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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Death is Milliseconds Away…

Snake Striking Bird
Image: Photographer unknown via Izismile

Unless there’s some Photoshop trickery afoot here, this photo makes you want to shout, “He’s behind you!”, because you know that the cute little robin is as good as a gone. Yet there is a morbid fascination about the way we are often most keen to watch animals in their natural setting when they are busy gobbling one another up. The photos collected here add something else to the whole guzzling theme, capturing as they do creatures enjoying their lasts moments in this world before the jaws of death close on them forever. Been dying to say it: om nom nom nom nom nom nom.

shark eating seal
Image: Chris and Monique Fellows via ny nerd

The seal may be one of the ocean’s top predators but there’s just no contest when it comes face to face with that most deadly of sharks, the great white. The seal takes one look into those stony black eyes and turns on its flippers – but too late! Despite being over three times as long and almost ten times the weight of its mammalian prey, the great white is not nearly as agile. It must attack from below, bursting out of the water, so that there is only one way the seal can go: down into its gaping maw.

crocodile eating mud crab
Image: Adam Britton

The photo above shows a mud crab that looks destined to become crab sticks being tossed into the nutcracker-like jaws of the Australian saltwater crocodile. There, it is set be put through the grinder at the back of the croc’s mouth. The saltwater crocodile is especially partial towards the mud crab, but it has to be quick, efficient and brutal or else the crafty crustacean may make its escape, or even fight back with a powerful and painful pinch of it pincer. P-ouch!

David Maitland Snake Frog Eating
Image: David Maitland via j-walk blog

It’s difficult to say who’s eating who in this snapshot of a struggle between a Morelet’s tree frog and a cat-eyed tree snake, which lasted for hours through the night in the tropical forest of Belize. Locked together in a deadly embrace, neither the kicking tree frog – who you’d have to say is quite handy – nor the stubborn tree snake showed any sign of weakening or backing down from the stalemate. In the end it was photographer David Maitland who gave in and went to bed.

frog eet frog
Image: Kerry Roberts via Where Light Meets Dark

If there was uncertainty in the last shot about whether the tree frog would get it, there sure isn’t here. What bites you on the nose this time is that the squealing, splashing frog is getting eaten alive by… another frog – a cannibalistic green-striped frog to be precise, and one no larger than its tree-dwelling cousin. Cannibalism is unsettling at the best of times, but when it’s in your own back garden, it’s really going to give you a shock – as it did Queensland, Australia resident Kerry Roberts. Still, it just goes to show: it’s a frog eat frog world.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

220MPH Solar-Powered Bullet Train on Arizona Horizon

by Jorge Chapa

sustainable design, solar bullet train, green design, alternative transportation, renewable energy, solar powered train, high speed rail

Travelers going from Tucson to Phoenix may soon be blazing across the desert in speeding solar bullet trains propelled by the sun’s rays. Hot on the heels of President Obama’s plan for High Speed Rail in the US comes the news that Arizona-based Solar Bullet LLC is proposing a new 220mph bullet train that will be entirely powered by the sun and will make the trip in 30 minutes flat.

sustainable design, solar bullet train, green design, alternative transportation, renewable energy, solar powered train, high speed rail

The adoption of high speed rail in the states stands to greatly curb greenhouse emissions while cutting down on our reliance on carbon-spewing cars and airplanes. Needless to say it’s one of our favorite transportation topics here at Inhabitat, so to say that this one caught our eye would be an understatement.

The system is being proposed by Solar Bullet LLC, founded by Bill Gaither and Raymond Wright. Their plan is to create a series of tracks that would serve stations including Chandler, Maricopa, Casa Grande, Eloy, Red Rock and Marana, and may one day stretch as far as Mexico City. The train would require 110 megawatts of electricity, which would be generated by solar panels mounted above the tracks.

Although the project is still in its early stages of development and the estimated cost is a whopping 28 billion dollars, the idea that someday in the future we could all be riding on solar powered bullet trains is simply too cool to resist.

+ Solar Bullet

Via Azstarnet

San Francisco Now Recycles An Astonishing 72% of All Trash

Recycling Gavin Newsom

Editor’s note: This post is a contribution by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. See his last post on electric vehicle charging infrastructure or all of his previous posts here. A companion piece was also posted on RedGreenandBlue.org earlier today.

San Francisco is a city that knows how to recycle. We work hard to give new life to our paper, bottles, cans and other waste.

New statistics released today show we are keeping 72 percent of all discards from going to the landfill – up from 70 percent the year before.

That’s a big leap for one year. The most significant gains came from the recycling of material from building sites – due in large part to our 2006 mandatory Construction and Demolition Debris Recovery Ordinance.

By requiring builders to recycle debris from construction projects, we were able to divert tens of thousands of new tons of material away from the landfill. This ordinance is unique in that it doesn’t require deposits or bonds, making it small business-friendly and limiting the amount of bureaucracy needed to implement the program.

When it comes to our recycling programs, we’re always in the development phase. In order to meet our ambitious goal of 75 percent recycling by 2010 and zero waste by 2020, we are constantly looking for additional materials to recycle, and for emerging markets to make use of our recyclables.

A few years back we developed—along with the company Recology, our partner in recycling — an innovative program to collect food scraps and turn them into organic soil. Local farms and vineyards now use this soil to grow crops, which are then sold back to consumers in San Francisco. We close the loop locally.

We’ve also recently started recycling almost all types of plastic. We take everything except plastic bags and Styrofoam. Most of it gets made into plastic molding and bender board.

Gavin Newsom Recycling Plant

A seventy-two percent diversion rate from the landfill is something to be proud of, and I congratulate every San Francisco resident, business, and visitor who helped us along the way. But we can’t rest on our laurels, not when there are so many valuable resources still going to the dump.

We recently conducted a waste stream analysis and discovered that about two thirds of the stuff people throw away—half a million tons each year—could have been recycled or turned to compost. If were able to capture everything, we would have a recycling rate of 90 percent.

That’s why I’ve introduced an ordinance that will make it mandatory for everyone —homeowners, businesses, or renters — to use our recycling and composting programs. If we can get food scrap collection service into large apartment buildings that currently don’t have it, we’re going to see another great year for recycling.

On a final note, the flip side to how much you recycle is how little you send to the landfill. Our disposal tonnage is the lowest it’s been in over 30 years. Our recycling programs can and have been implemented in cities around the world. For more info on our recycling programs please visit - http://www.sfenvironment.org/.

See also: Our series from the CEO’s of Major Solar Companies. Latest Post: Beyond Subsidized Solar Power: The Path to Grid Parity

Listen to Mayor Newsom’s Green 960 radio show online or subscribe to his weekly policy discussions on iTunes. Join Mayor Newsom on Facebook. You can also follow him on Twitter @GavinNewsom.

Image Credits: 1) TheGarbagePit 2) Mayor’s Office

AMC theaters are running FAKE IMAX's and charging $5 extra for a slightly bigger screen.

Boycott IMAX, AMC, and Regal. Don't let them fool you.

I went with a friend of mine to see Star Trek: The IMAX Experience at the AMC Theatre in Burbank today. I drove out of my way to see the film on the large IMAX screen and paid an extra $5 for the ticket, which felt worth it at the time.

HOWEVER, we get in the theatre and its just a slightly bigger than normal screen and NOT the usual standard huge 72 ft IMAX screen. I was very upset and apparently this problem is happening all over at Regal and AMC theatres. Here’s a graphic representation of what’s happening at these “FAKE IMAX” screens:



If you don’t want the whole long story, I did some research online and found this article that explains it. Basically IMAX is whoring out their brand name and trying to trick people. These new “IMAX” theatres are really just nice digital screens with good sound, but they ARE NOT IMAX, in that they don’t have the huge 72 ft gigantic screen which people would expect. However, they still charge $5 more for tickets as they would for the regular IMAX.

REGAL, AMC, AND IMAX - YOU ARE LIARS!

Boycott them. Fuck them for taking advantage of people and charging them $5 extra. If you’re in LA, go to the Arclight from now on, and fuck the IMAX screens (fake and real).

Some people at Regal and AMC both wanted to call these screens IMAX Digital so as to differentiate it somehow from the giant IMAX screens people are used to associating with the name IMAX. Apparently IMAX doesn’t see anything wrong with duping customers like this and insisted on simply keeping it as IMAX. Well, I have a better term how about - “BULLSHIT IMAX.” Cause that’s what it is.

According to this piece, IMAX CEO, Richard Gelfond said the company only puts IMAX digital systems into multiplex auditoriums that meet certain criteria. He jokingly said, “It’s a very scientific test. It’s called the ‘wow’ factor. So if you don’t go in and go ‘wow,’ we won’t do it.” HAHAHA! REALLY FUNNY RICHARD!!!! What happens if I go in the theatre and go “This isn’t a fucking IMAX screen, I just got ripped off for $5!!” Do I get my money back?

At the AMC theatre this was my experience at guest services:

Aziz: Yes, I’d like my $5 back. I paid $5 extra for an IMAX screen and that’s not nearly as big as what I have known IMAX to be.
Guest Services: I can’t sir. Its IMAX quality picture and sound.
Aziz: But the screen isn’t big, that’s the whole reason I pay $5 more for IMAX.
Guest Services: Well sir, you watched the whole movie, you could have come out and we could have given you tickets to a different one.
Aziz: Why would I do that? I’d leave Star Trek, the movie I wanted to see and you’d give me a ticket for Ghosts of Girlfriends Past? Oh yeah that’s fair! No, you need to give me the $5 back, its the principle of it. Can I see a manager?

Manager: Sir, we can’t refund the money, you saw the whole film.
Aziz: I don’t want $15, I just want $5 cause AMC lied about IMAX.
Manager: Sir, I can give you popcorn and a drink.
Aziz: I don’t want to go home and drink a nasty soda and eat nasty ass popcorn. I want my $5 back. Its not about the money, its the principle of the matter, ITS NOT IMAX.
Manager: Sorry, I can’t do anything.
Aziz: You know what Twitter is? I have 25,000 followers, I’m tell 25,000 people you run fake IMAX’s and that they should boycott AMC.
Manager: I don’t really care sir.
Aziz: Yeah, I wouldn’t care either if I worked here, but you know you are in the wrong! You should give me $5!!
Manager: SIR, I CAN GIVE YOU POPCORN AND A SODA.
Aziz: I DON’T LIKE POPCORN AND I DON’T LIKE SODA, I WANT MY $5!!!
Manager: Ok here’s two free passes.

UPDATE: In addition to this terrible tragedy, there are also terrible things going on in Darfur. Please Google around for more info on how to help there.

REAL UPDATE: THE TWITTER THING WAS A JOKE YOU ANGRY PEOPLE IN THE COMMENTS THREADS WHO CAME OVER FROM FARK OR WHATEVER, I DIDN’T SERIOUSLY “THREATEN” A DUDE WITH TWITTER. HAHAHAHA. TAKE IT EASY. ALSO, YES, I’M AWARE DARFUR IS A MORE SERIOUS PROBLEM. CHILL THE FUCK OUT!

MIT Builds World Of Warcraft Gaming Hut


Some gamers at MIT went and built a World of Warcraft 'pod' that contains everything a person would need to survive about three days while constantly playing WoW.

read more | digg story

Top 10 Ancient Chinese Inventions

The ancient Chinese brought us many great innovations, including some that we take for granted in the modern world. Let's examine 10 of ancient China's greatest inventions. Here are ten of the greatest inventions of the ancient nation, in no particular order.

read more | digg story

Norwegian ISP: dig your own fiber trench, save $400

Lyse has become the largest fiber-to-the-home provider in Norway thanks to an innovative business model that asks customers to preregister before any fiber is dug, then offers them a $400 savings if they dig their own trench from the street to the home. So far, 80 percent of Lyse's customers have broken out the shovels.



Norwegian ISP: dig your own fiber trench, save $400
Don't dig up his flowers

How did a Norwegian electricity company become the biggest fiber-to-the-home provider in the country? By adopting an innovative business model, offering faster speeds at identical prices, and—most unusual of all—letting customers save a few hundred bucks by digging their own fiber trenches through their backyards. We spoke to the company about the willingness that Norwegians have shown to get involved in laying their own infrastructure.

From power to broadband

Lyse didn't start out as a broadband company; before 2002, it was an electrical company that provided power to about 120,000 Norwegian homes. But it was good at infrastructure building, and in 2002 it decided to jump into the Internet game by deploying fiber to the home. That first year, it had only 500 customers; now, it has more than 130,000, making fiber even more important than electricity.

And that fiber doesn't just supply Internet access. Lyse offers the usual triple play bundle of voice, TV, and Internet, but it is also experimenting with tying home alarm systems and WiFi-equipped mobile phones into the fiber connection (every install comes with a wireless router to make this simple to set up). Users can pay for all these services—plus electrical service—on a single bill.

altibox-logo.png

Lyse's business model is different from companies like Verizon, which is currently rolling out fiber across its service area and then trying to sign up customers. Lyse instead sends people into unserved areas, knocks on all the doors, and passes out information on the new fiber service. Only when 60 percent of the people in an area sign up in advance for the service does Lyse start the actual fiber install.

Sixty percent sounds like a tough threshold, but the company says that it has been "very successful" so far by offering people far greater Internet speeds for the same price they are currently paying. Lyse's Altibox service offers 10Mbps, 30Mbps, or 50Mbps connections—all of them fully symmetrical (upload and download speeds are identical). In many areas, the uptake rate tops 80 percent, though competitors have boosted speeds and started deploying fiber of their own in an effort to retain customers.

Digging the trenches

In addition to entering an area with tremendous support already lined up, Lyse also does something innovative: it allows prospective customers to dig their own fiber trenches from the street to their homes. In return, customers can save about $400. "They can arrange things just the way they want," says Herbjørn Tjeltveit of Lyse, which makes for happier customers; apparently, nothing angers a Norwegian more than having some faceless corporation tunnel through his flower garden.

The scheme also appeals to a Norwegian sense of thrift and do-it-yourselfness, says Tjeltveit, and he speculates that it has an additional benefit: customers who put some sweat equity into bringing their Internet connection from the street to the basement are more likely to be invested in the product and the company. (The obvious downside is that passionate customers are more likely to complain whenever they see shortcomings in the product.)

So far, 80 percent of all customers have elected to do their own trenching, following the instructions and timeframe provided by the company. A technical team still has to come out to pull the fiber from the street through the ducting to the house and then make the proper termination, but much of the tough manual labor is avoided.

A new fiber deployment can certainly be expensive, but Lyse has insulated itself from much of the risk. The model works, too; the company is now the main fiber-to-the-home provider in Norway, where it covers half the municipalities, and its customer churn rate has stayed quite low. As for the future, Lyse can ramp up the speed dramatically once all that precious fiber is in the ground; its partners are already testing both 100Mbps and 1,000Mbps connections.

20 Stunning Panoramic Landscapes

I’ve always been fascinated by how 360° panoramic photos draw one into the scene. It’s almost like you’re really there and taking it all in.

In this article we’ll take a look at 20 stunning panoramic photos of landscapes from around the world. To view the fully interactive 360 degree versions, simply click on any of the images below.

Please note that you need to have Quicktime and Flash installed in order to view these photos. If full screen versions are not loaded at first, just click on the full screen icon to enlarge.

So browse away and enjoy your virtual trip to all of these amazing locations….

PICTURES of NIN|JA's First Concert in Florida

"Friday night, Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction kicked off their joint tour at Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, Florida."

read more | digg story

The giant jellyfish that washed up in Devon - so big it will make you go wobbly

By Caroline Graham

It is a sight to make even the bravest of beachgoers feel a little wobbly. But this 4ft jellyfish washed up on the North Devon coast should not put anyone off dipping a toe in the water.

Despite its size, the Rootmouth Jellyfish - also known as the Dustbin-lid - is more or less harmless, with a 'very mild' sting.

The scientific name of the species is Rhizostoma octopus, because of its eight major tentacles. It is fairly common off Britain and often becomes stranded ashore by currents and winds.

The huge Moon Jellyfish found on a beach in Devon

Big surprise: The huge 4ft moon jellyfish found on a Devon beach today

It was spotted by a woman at a popular beauty spot on the coast of north Devon.

She then found photographer Peter Stapleton who captured this image. But he is keeping the exact location secret - to avoid spreading panic.

The average moon jellyfish

Average size: Moon jellyfish usually only grow to 12 inches, above

The jellyfish - real name Aurelia aurita - can cause a painful rash on human skin if it comes into contact with tentacles.

Mr Stapleton said: 'A woman came up to me and said there was a huge jellyfish over on the other side of the beach.

'It was the biggest I've seen, about 4ft long with a large body and tentacles.

'As well as people there was other wildlife around it, including herons, but they seemed as puzzled as the rest of us and left it alone.'

The species - also known as common jellyfish or saucer jelly - have no bones or brain, and their colourful bodies are 95 per cent water.

They usually grow to around 12 inches (30cm).

Facebook confirms removal of two Holocaust denial groups. Is it enough?

Facebook has confirmed my earlier suspicion that it has disabled two of the five Holocaust denial groups whose presence has caused much controversy over the past week, following attorney Brian Cuban's consistent pressure for the groups' removal.

Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt said in an e-mail to Technically Incorrect: "Two of the groups have been disabled, but the other three remain."

He continued: "We are monitoring these groups and if the discussion among members degrades to the point of promoting hate or violence, despite whatever disclaimer the group description provides, we will take them down. This has happened in the past, especially when controversial groups are publicized."

This would suggest that Facebook is looking to the members of these groups to create the conditions for their own banishment.

It is a curious decision, as some would argue that the very existence of these groups fails to walk the line between hate and threat, if one can be defined at all.

In response to Facebook's comments, Brian Cuban said: "They have not addressed the issue. I find Barry Schnitt disturbingly dismissive and flippant about these issues."

How, indeed, should one interpret this posting, for example, from just before Mother's Day on a Facebook wall of one of the remaining Holocaust denial groups?: "Jews use the holocaust to achieve their agenda of killing innocents. Israel is the holocause (sic) of today."

Doesn't that feel like promoting hate?

One can only surmise that in the cross-disciplinary groups at Facebook that make decisions on policies such as these, lawyers have rather more influence than anyone else.

The Holocaust Memorial in Miami, Florida.

(Credit: CC Praziquantel/Flickr)

In a comment to a post from Michael Arrington at TechCrunch, Schnitt also said: "We are serious about our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and where there is content that violates these terms, we will remove it. We have spent considerable time internally discussing the issues of holocaust denial and have come to the conclusion that the mere statement of denying the holocaust is not a violation of our terms."

After the posting of Brian Cuban's open letter to Mark Zuckerberg on Cuban's blog, the Cuban Revolution, Schnitt also addressed for the first time that for many at Facebook this is also a personal issue:

"Many of us at Facebook have direct personal connection to the Holocaust, through parents who were forced to flee Europe or relatives who could not escape. We believe in Facebook's mission that giving people tools to make the world more open is a better way to combat ignorance or deception than censorship, though we recognize that others--including those at the company, disagree."

He added: "We may be fools for doing the former but not 'cowards.'"

Naturally, it would be interesting to know who at Facebook opposes the company's stance and whether Facebook would be happy for those employees, whoever they might be, to air their opinions publicly. Perhaps even on the walls of the three remaining groups.

However, it seems clear that this will not be the last we hear of this issue. In a further e-mail to Technically Incorrect, Schnitt explained who had been consulted by Facebook before the company determined its stance: "The experts we've talked to have generally been Internet law experts, free speech people, and experts on radicalism and technology. They haven't been specifically related to the Holocaust but that is a good idea."

It will be interesting to see what those Holocaust experts might say.


Tricycle Backflip [Video]


Travis Pastrana does a back flip on a trike...

Top 10 vintage Batman toys, for your inner Boy Wonder

Today we have a special treat for you here on the Hero Complex. We've been impressed with the serious fanboy obsessiveness of the Bat Blog, a colorful corner of the Internet devoted to the Caped Crusader and the mountain of collectibles that bear his pointy-eared visage. So today we venture into the Batcave and turn the Complex over to collector expert Tommy from Bat-Blog, for a guest column: The 10 coolest vintage Batman toys. It's a great list -- although we're not quite sure what's going with that water gun...

Toy 10 - Batman Water Gun10. 1960s Batman Figure Water Gun

This vintage Batman toy is a total blast. It's a 1966 Batman plastic toy water gun, released the same year that Adam West debuted in Batman's cape and cowl on television and also hit theaters with the tie-in film.

This item was created in a way more innocent time and I bet they never gave any thought at all about where they had placed the trigger for this toy. For that matter, they probably didn't even care about where the water plug was either.

As you can imagine, Batman collectors really love this item for its kitsch appeal and because it's really Toy 9 - Friction Tin Batmobile funny.

9. Battery-Operated Bump-N-Go Batmobile

It would be totally impossible to do any Batman toy list without mentioning the super-famous Batmobile. I mean, come on, that's one of the coolest pieces of bat-gear.

This toy was one of those battery-operated Bump-N-Go Cars. You flip the switch and this thing went nuts! It had sound effects and lights that blinked ... kids loved it.

Toy 8 - Bat-Projector
Today, it's a really great display piece and a fave of Batman collectors.

8. Chad Valley Give-A-Show Bat-Projector

You might remember these Give-A-Show toys from your childhood. I recall as a little kid having the one with Popeye, and I really loved it.

But this one was produced in Great Britain and is extremely hard to find here in the U.S. Heck, it's even hard to find in the U.K.!

I also included it on the list because the vintage-style graphics are so distinctive and eye-catching.


Toy 7 - Bicycle Ornament 7. Batman Bicycle Ornament

This is the 1966 official Batman bicycle ornament.

It was a hollow plastic figure of Batman that clamped on to your handlebars, and it had a spring that made the caped crusader go berserk as you cruised your neighborhood.

You know, there's something I've always loved about toys from this era and it goes beyond the actual product. At the time, the box-art often showed children using the product and really, really grinning.

I mean, this kid looks pretty darn happy with the product right here.


6. Japanese Tin Toy Batmobile

Toy 6 - Japanese Tin Toy BatmobileAnother Batmobile makes the list!

This one is a Japanese friction-driven tin toy.

Now, why is this Batmobile "more cool" than the previous one? Well, from a toy collector's point-of-view, it's a lot harder to find because it was "Sold Only in Japan."

Toy 5 - Captain Action Plus, it's a unique variation. And OK, it's a sports car!


5 - Captain Action Doll Batman Costume

In 1966, to compete with Hasbro's G.I. JOE, the Ideal Toy Company created CAPTAIN ACTION.

The accessorized approach was very similar, but instead of being a military man, this captain could do his heroic duty in the costumes of various crime fighters and adventure stars.

There was Superman, Aquaman, Captain America, Flash Gordon, the Phantom and many more. Of course, our favorite Caped Crusader was the most popular!


Toy 4 - Marx Friction Cars 4. Batman and Robin Friction Toy Cars by MARX

These wonderful toys from the past were made by the MARX Toy Co.

The cars are made of tin litho and the heads of Batman and Robin are vinyl rubber.

Nobody really knows why this pair is so extremely rare but expect to pay a few hundred dollars for them.

That is, if you can find them!


Toy 3 - Japanese Ray Gun 3. Japanese Batman Ray Gun

OK, I really don't need to explain why this item is so awesome ... just check out the picture.

First, it's a tin toy ray gun, which is always cool. Second, the graphics have Japanese lettering, very beautiful.

Plus, did I mention Japan?

Japan was among many countries that got caught up in the whole Batman TV show craze. In fact, there's an entire sub-culture of the toy collecting community that is totally devoted to these treasures.

And now the final two...

Toy 2 - Ideal Justice League of America Playset 2 - Batman & The Justice League of America Play Set by Ideal

In the 1960s Ideal made two Batman play sets, but this version made the list because it's much more rare.

Why? Well, Ideal added a few more superhero figures to this set and called it "The Justice League of America."

For that reason, it's a lot harder to find than the regular "Batman Set." Plus, visually, it's just such a great piece for display.

If you could find a mint-condition example like this one, you got something special. One sold at auction recently for $7,300 and there's a lot of buzz in collector circles about this grand pop-culture artifact.


Toy 1 - Ideal Utility Belt 1 - Batman Utility Belt Play Set by Ideal

Here it is, the No. 1 Batman item. This is the 1966 Ideal Batman utility belt, a "Complete Set of Crime Fighting Equipment" -- it says so right on the box.

The Bat-belt came with accessories that included a plastic dart gun (yes, "You'll put someone's eye out!"), a "real-working" flashlight, a pair of Bat-cuffs, a rope with grapple hook (to climb Gotham City skyscrapers!) and, of course, the coolest weapon in the world,the Bat-a-rang.

This classic is what toy collectors call a "museum piece." To find this rare play set complete with all its parts is virtually impossible, let alone with the original window box! About a year or so ago, one of these babies in mint shape was auctioned for $16,000, a price that would impress even millionaire Bruce Wayne.

U.S. Nazi Guard Suspect Flown To Germany

89-Year-Old John Demjanjuk Fought Deportation To Face Charges For Alleged Role In World War II Death Camp


John Demjanjuk, left, will likely head to Germany to face murder charges for his alleged role in a Nazi death camp. (AP (file))


Answers.com


Demjanjuk

John Demjanjuk is helped into a wheelchair before boarding a plane, May 11, 2009, at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)


(CBS/AP) Federal agents carrying John Demjanjuk in a wheelchair put him on a small jet Monday to be deported to Germany, where the retired autoworker is accused of being a Nazi death camp guard in World War II.

Demjanjuk, 89, arrived in an ambulance at Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport after spending several hours with U.S. immigration officials at a downtown federal building.

The plane arrived in Germany Tuesday morning.

He was to be brought before a judge and formally arrested. He also has to undergo a medical evaluation to see if he is fit to stand trial.

The deportation came four days after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider Demjanjuk's request to block deportation and about 3 1/2 years after he was last ordered deported.

The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk is wanted on a Munich arrest warrant that accuses him of 29,000 counts of accessory to murder as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. The legal case spans three decades.

Demjanjuk denies Germany's accusations, saying he was held by the Germans as a Soviet prisoner of war and was never a camp guard. Demjanjuk's family fought deportation, arguing he is in poor health and might not survive the trans-Atlantic journey.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, a founder of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, has no sympathy for the elderly defendant.

"When people say 'Well, he's 89 years old,' I do not have any compassion for that. He lived a full life. He avoided the bar of justice. He watched his family celebrate birthdays and occasions - something that was denied to all of his victims." Hier told CBS News.

Hier also said this will probably be the last trial of someone accused of Nazi war crimes.

"In order to have a trial you have to have personal testimony of the victims and all of them are now in their 80s … and eventually this will come to a biological end," he said.

The center was established to locate and help bring to justice Nazi war criminals.

When people say 'Well, he's 89 years old,' I do not have any compassion for that. He lived a full life. He avoided the bar of justice. He watched his family celebrate birthdays and occasions – something that was denied to all of his victims.

Rabbi Marvin Hier,
Simon Wiesenthal Center
The deportation capped a day in which Demjanjuk said goodbye to his family and was visited by two priests at his home in a Cleveland suburb.

He then slipped quietly into an ambulance parked in his driveway, his family members standing at the edge of the garage and holding up a floral-patterned bedsheet to block the view of reporters and photographers across the street.

Earlier Monday, his son, John Demjanjuk Jr., said an appeal in a U.S. court would go ahead even if his father isn't in the country.

"Given the history of this case and not a shred of evidence that he ever hurt one person let alone murdered anyone anywhere, this is inhuman even if the courts have said it is lawful," Demjanjuk Jr. said.

Also Monday, a Berlin court rejected an appeal aimed at preventing deportation.

Once in Germany, Demjanjuk will be brought before a judge and formally charged. He will also be given the opportunity to make a statement to the court, in keeping with standard procedure, Staudigl said.

Demjanjuk is expected to be held in the medical unit of a Munich prison. The government has said preparations have been made at the facility to ensure he will receive appropriate care.

The case dates to 1977 when the Justice Department moved to revoke Demjanjuk's U.S. citizenship, alleging he hid his past as a Nazi death camp guard.

Demjanjuk had been tried in Israel after accusations surfaced that he was the notorious "Ivan the Terrible" at the Treblinka death camp in Poland. He was found guilty in 1988 of war crimes and crimes against humanity, a conviction overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court.

A U.S. judge revoked his citizenship in 2002 based on U.S. Justice Department evidence showing he concealed his service at Sobibor and other Nazi-run death and forced-labor camps.

An immigration judge ruled in 2005 he could be deported to Germany, Poland or Ukraine. Munich prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for him in March.

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