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Mon, 05 Jun 2023
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New Japanese Pop Idol Shocks Fans With News - She's Not Real

Aimi Eguchi
© Singularity Hub
A star is born! (and she only takes up 150 gigs of memory)

Only 15 seconds in the limelight and she'd already created an overnight buzz. She was the newest member of the very popular all-girl Japanese idol group AKB 48. Upon seeing the new face appear on a candy commercial, the band's faithful took to the message boards: Who is Aimi Eguchi?

This past Sunday, Ezaki Glico, the candy company which aired the commercial, confirmed what many of AKB 48's fans had come to suspect: Aimi Eguchi wasn't real. The new group member, it turns out, was a computer-generated composite of the real band members. Her pretty face was actually made up of the "best features" of six other members: her eyes, nose, mouth, hair/body, face outline and eyebrows were not flesh-and-blood, but cut-and-paste.

Not everyone was so quick to catch on, however, and Aimi had already formed a fan base of her own. "The video shocked fans of Eguchi," reports ChannelNews Asia, "who were convinced that her features were more the result of good genes than the skillful use of computer graphics." Watch this video and see if you can tell which ones are human, and which one is Aimi.

Heart - Black

US: California mom, Ka Yang, charged with murder after she microwaves baby to death: cops

© Sacramento Police Dept.
Ka Yang, 29, of Sacramento, Calif. Yang is being held without bail in Sacramento County Jail after an investigation found her baby likely died from burns suffered in a microwave oven.

Ka Yang, 29, of Sacramento, Calif. Yang is being held without bail in Sacramento County Jail after an investigation found her baby likely died from burns suffered in a microwave oven.

A California mom was arrested Tuesday on charges that she murdered her 6-week-old daughter by microwaving her to death.

Ka Yang, 29, of Sacramento, is being held without bail

The baby, Mirabelle Thao-Lo, was found dead in her home with "extensive thermal injuries" on March 17.

"She had some really deep tissue burns," Sacramento County coroner's office told the Sacramento Bee. "...It was probably the worst case I've ever seen."


Russia: Nearby highway could have misled pilots in Tu-134 crash says test pilot

© RIA Novosti. Alexei Danichev
Tu-134 crash near Petrozavodsk
The crew of the Russian Tu-134 passenger plane that crashed on Monday near the northern city of Petrozavodsk could have mistaken a highway near the airport for the runway, a test pilot said on Wednesday.

The RusAir Tu-134 jet took off from Moscow and was due to arrive in Petrozavodsk, the capital of Karelia, at 12:04 a.m. on Tuesday (20:04 GMT Monday), but crash landed on a nearby highway, which was shrouded in fog.

"We also took this highway for the runway on several occasions in poor weather," said Vadim Bazykin, who has flown passenger planes in and out of the Petrozavodsk airport for more than 10 years.

Bazykin said the Tu-134 was a very reliable aircraft and compared it with the famed Kalashnikov rifle.

Bizarro Earth

US - Grimes County resident: Blaze is like an 'F4 tornado made of fire'

Texas - Residents forced to evacuate wildfire-ravaged portions of Grimes County could do little Tuesday but sit and wait for word about their homes and businesses.

The Texas Forest Service said the fire, which prompted the evacuation of more than 1,800 homes and businesses, was 35 percent contained Tuesday.

Investigators believe it was sparked on Sunday by a backyard barbecue grill.

"Don't know if it's negligence," Sheriff Donald Sowell said. "We'll look into that later."

2 + 2 = 4

The Ten Most Expensive College Courses Covering Bizarre And Crazy Topics

© Image: JustJared.com
With college costs soaring, new grads staggering under record amounts of debt, and a grim employment picture, you'd think students (and universities) would be buckling down and focusing on serious academic pursuits.

Wrong! Crazy courses are a long-time college tradition. But even in the wake of the Great Recession, course catalogs are still loaded with goofy, lightweight classes, and students still are lining up to take them. Many of these offbeat offerings are consistently enrolled to capacity, and some, like "Geology and Cinema" or "Sport for the Spectator" are among the most popular classes on campus. On a per-credit basis, these classes cost just as much as organic chemistry or applied physics. Click here to see the courses.


US: Arvada Woman says Martha Stewart Table Exploded for no Reason

Their Father's Day ended with a bang.

Nancy Passarella and her family found themselves picking up the pieces after their Martha Stewart Living glass top patio table suddenly exploded sending flying glass and food everywhere.

"All of a sudden we heard this loud explosion, and the table proceeds to disintegrate," Nancy told us.

The mother and grandmother took pictures right after it happened, and you can see the family's startled expressions and fresh injuries.

"My son and his girlfriend were cut by the flying glass," she said.

Passarella now believes the table she bought from K-Mart in 2008 or 2009 is unsafe. And she's not alone.

Bad Guys

US: Sacramento woman arrested for allegedly killing her baby in microwave

© Unknown
Ka Vang was arrested today after a three-month investigation into her baby's death.
In what police say is an extremely rare and disturbing case, a Sacramento woman was arrested this morning for allegedly killing her 6-week-old daughter in March by placing her in a microwave oven.

Ka Yang, 29, was arrested at her Sacramento home this morning and charged with homicide after a three-month investigation into what caused unusual burns on the child, Mirabelle Thao-Lo, who was found dead on the afternoon of March 17.

Sacramento police spokeswoman Laura Peck said there have been only three previous cases involving a child being burned in a microwave, and that detectives studied those cases and consulted with medical experts and pathologists before making the arrest.

"It was a lengthy investigation to determine how these burns occurred," Peck said. "When the officers arrived on scene they immediately saw there were unexplained injuries because of the burns. That led to this very lengthy, involved investigation to determine how these unusual and rare injuries occurred."

The infant's fourth-degree burns were among the worst investigators at the Sacramento County Coroner's Office had seen, coroner's spokesman Ed Smith said.

Bizarro Earth

Non-infectious diseases 'now an epidemic'

Nearly two-thirds of deaths in the world are caused by non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart and lung disease, which are rapidly increasing at a cost to the global economy of trillions of dollars, according to UN estimates and preliminary results of a new study.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report circulated yesterday that while the international community had focused on communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, the four main non-communicable diseases "have emerged relatively unnoticed in the developing world and are now becoming a global epidemic".


Brazil police say thief used blade to steal woman's long hair at a bus stop

Brazilian police say a thief cut off and stole a woman's long hair while she waited at a bus stop.

Police say the hair was virgin, meaning it had not been chemically treated, and will probably be sold for the production of wigs.

Inspector Jose Carlos Bezerra da Silva said Friday to Globo TV's G1 website that the woman was waiting for a bus in the central city of Goiania when the man used a knife-like weapon to cut the hair, which reached past her waist. She said she thought the man was going to steal her purse so she turned her back to him.

Silva said he'd never seen a theft like it in 20 years.

He said the 24-year-old woman reported the case to police because she is evangelical and had to explain to her pastor why her hair wasn't long anymore.

Source: The Canadian Press


US: Mark Kelly Retires from Navy and NASA to be With Giffords

© Reuters
File handout image of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords is pictured with her husband NASA Astronaut Mark Kelly in this November 2007 photograph from their wedding
Captain Mark Kelly, the astronaut who commanded the final Space Shuttle Endeavour flight, will retire from the Navy and NASA to focus on his wife Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' recovery and work on a memoir with her.

"I want to be by her side. Stepping aside from my work in the Navy and at NASA will allow me to be with her and with my two daughters," Kelly said in a statement posted to his Facebook page on Tuesday.

Giffords is recovering after being shot through the head at a Congressional outreach event in Tucson on January 8.

The as-yet untitled memoir will be published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, which said in a statement it will be a "deeply personal account" of the couple's courtship, Giffords' career in politics and the shooting.

It also will tell the story of her recovery process and trace Kelly's career from decorated Desert Storm combat pilot to his recent mission as shuttle commander, the statement said.