Sunday, July 08, 2007

Truth in Advertising

Happy Landing
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel
Sydney Opera House falls short of being among the seven wonders of the modern world.

An Australian is among 100 people gored at Pamplona's running of the bulls.

Some discounts don't make cakes appetising.


Anonymous said...

Running of the bulls injures 100 in Pamplona
From correspondents in Pamplona from
AN Australian gored in the thigh was among to 100 people injured when the annual running of the bulls got under way in Spain yesterday.

The identity and condition of the injured Australian was not immediately released.

The 36-year-old was speared in the buttocks and had to undergo emergency surgery, rescue services said.

Five other participants in the bull run were also hospitalised.

The first running of the bulls at the nine-day Los San Fermines festival was delayed for more than five minutes because of huge crowds.

The number of revellers swelled this year because the traditional start day, July 7, fell on a weekend, officials said.

The revellers and runners sprayed each other with sparkling wine as fireworks and rockets heralded exploded to signal the start .

"Men and women of Pamplona, Viva San Fermin!" Mayor Yolanda Barcina shouted from the city hall balcony to launch Spain's most famous fiesta, which was popularised internationally by Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises.

Below, crowds packed the town hall square, most dressed in white shirts and trousers and donning red handkerchiefs, the traditional garb of the festival.

The "chupinazo" firecracker officially started the festivities.

Several bulls and runners slipped and fell on the cobblestoned streets which had been made wet by beverages spilled by the revellers.

Spanish experts rated the opening run as disappointingly slow.

Australians among the revellers included Sara Newey, 23, and Rene Armstrong, 25, from Perth, who said that in the preceding 12 hours they had drunk a bottle of Jack Daniel's bourbon, several bottles of sangria (a blend of wine and fruit) and six beers each.

"You just have to keep going," Ms Newey said with a carton of sangria in one hand and a bottle of sparkling wine in the other.

The women said they were on a tour with 600 other Australians.

Anonymous said...

Opera House misses out on New Seven Wonders list
From correspondents in Lisbon from
THE Sydney Opera House has missed out on being named as one of the new seven Wonders of the World.

The Great Wall of China, Petra in Jordan, Brazil's statue of Christ the Redeemer, Peru's Machu Picchu, Mexico's Chichen Itza pyramid, The Colosseum in Rome and India's Taj Mahal have been chosen as the modern-day seven Wonders of the World.

The winners were announced at a glitzy show at Portugal's Benfica stadium today to unveil the winners chosen in an online poll at which drew more than 100 million voters.

The New 7 Wonders of the World organisers say the contest was a chance to level the global cultural playing field and recognise the achievements of societies outside Europe and the Middle East.

The traditional "seven wonders of the world" all existed more than 2000 years ago and were all in the Mediterranean region.

Only one remains standing today - the Pyramids of Giza.

The winning sites were selected after a tally of about 100 million votes cast by people around the world over the internet and by mobile phone text messages, the non-profit organisation that conducted the poll said.

Among the other places that missed out were the Acropolis in Athens, the Statues of Easter Island, Cambodia's Angkor, Turkey's Hagia Sophia and Russia's Kremlin and St Basil's Cathedral.

The new architectural marvels were presented during a show which included appearances by American actress Hilary Swank, Indian actress Bipasha Basu and British actor Ben Kingsley, as well as performances by Jennifer Lopez and Jose Carreras.

The campaign to pick the seven new wonders was begun in 1999 by Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber. His Switzerland-based foundation, called New7Wonders, received almost 200 nominations from around the world.

The list of candidates was narrowed down to 21 by early last year.

Voting took place over the past six years, but gathered pace only in recent months.

The organisers conceded there was no foolproof way to prevent people from voting more than once for their favourite. They claimed votes came in from every country in the world.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) keeps updating its own list of World Heritage Sites, which now totals 851 places.

However, Paris-based UNESCO distanced itself from the seven wonders ballot, saying it reflected only the opinion of those who voted.

Mr Weber aims to encourage cultural diversity by supporting, preserving and restoring monuments, and inspire people to value their heritage.

His foundation said it would use 50 per cent of net revenue from the project to fund restoration efforts worldwide. One of them is a mission to rebuild the giant Bamiyan Buddha statue in Afghanistan, blown up in 2000 by the Taliban regime.

"If you want to save something, you first have to truly appreciate it," Mr Weber told the crowd at today's show.

The original list of seven architectural marvels was collated by a variety of observers of the ancient Mediterranean and the Middle East.

However, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Pharos lighthouse off Alexandria in Egypt have all vanished.

- with AAP

Anonymous said...

Mystery failure hits Xbox
By Dave Bullard
TENS of thousands of Australian Xbox 360 users have been hit by expensive and unexplained hardware failures.

Indicated by three flashing red lights, the failures have been causing frustration as out-of-warranty games consoles are returned to stores, and internet forums from Puerto Rico to Singapore overflow with complaints.

Sales of Microsoft's next-generation consoles hit the one million mark last month in Australia and New Zealand, and retailers have told local trade magazine Smarthouse that the incidence of failure could be as high as 30 per cent.

After months of complaints, the company yesterday admitted there had been "an unacceptable number of repairs" and would reimburse any customer who was out of warranty and had paid for repairs after getting the three flashing red lights error message.

It is also extending the terms of its one-year Xbox 360 warranty to three years for affected gamers.

A spokeswoman from Microsoft Australia's Entertainment & Devices Division told the Herald Sun she was unable to give any local details, and referred inquiries to a statement by the division's global president, Robbie Bach.

In it, Mr Bach says: "This problem has caused frustration for some of our customers and for that, we sincerely apologise."

But, he adds, "the majority of Xbox 360 owners are having a great experience with their console and have from day one".

Microsoft has been unable to identify the cause of the failures, which it says will cost it more than $US1 billion ($1.16 billion).

"There is not a single issue that we can point to as being a problem," the company said.

"There are a variety of scenarios that can cause a general hardware failure. Only the indicator (the three flashing red lights) is always the same."

In a message posted on the Australian Xbox website, Xbox corporate vice-president Peter Moore said Microsoft had already made certain improvements to the console to address this issue.

"Frankly," he said, "we've not been doing a good enough job" listening to consumers.

The new policies are now being implemented around the world, and take a few days to be put in place.

Several Australian electronics chains contacted said they were unaware of the extent of the problem and were not prepared to comment.

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