Woman finds human finger in bowl of chili at Wendy’s restaurant


Thursday, March 24, 2005

San Jose, California — A woman eating a bowl of chili at a Wendy’s restaurant bit into a chewy bit that turned out to be a human finger. She immediately spat it out, warned other patrons to stop eating, and upon recognizing the object as a finger, vomited.

“I’m more of a Carl’s Jr. person,” the 39-year-old Las Vegas woman, Anna Ayala, told Knight Ridder. She said this incident was her first visit to a Wendy’s restaurant. Ayala described how she found the finger, “Suddenly something crunchy was in my mouth,” she continued, “and I spit it out.”

According to Devina Cordero, 20, after Ayala found the finger, she ran up to her and Cordero’s boyfriend and said, “Don’t eat it! Look, there’s a human finger in our chili.”

“We went up to the counter and they told us it was a vegetable,” Cordero continued. “The people from Wendy’s were poking it with a spoon.”

The restaurant is located at 1405 Monterey Highway, just south of downtown San Jose.

Wikinews reporter David Vasquez drove his car up to the drive-thru menu and found that chili was still on the menu, at a price of US$1.19 for a small serving. He also witnessed workers unloading supplies from a semi-trailer truck in the restaurant’s parking lot, and carting them into the back door of the establishment.

According to Ben Gale, director of environmental health for Santa Clara County, the finger did not come from any of the employees at the restaurant. “We asked everybody to show us they have 10 fingers and everything is OK there,” he said. The found portion of the finger likely belonged to a woman because of its long and manicured fingernail, also found in the food.

Officials seized the food supply at the restaurant and are tracing it back to the manufacturer, where they believe the finger may have gotten mixed in with the raw ingredients used to prepare the chili. The restaurant’s operators were later permitted to re-open after preparing new chili prepared from fresh ingredients.

As this story was filed, there was no mention of the incident on the Wendy’s corporate web site. Wendy’s issued a statement through a spokesman.

“Food safety is of utmost importance to us,” said Wendy’s spokesman Joe Desmond. He referred to the incident as an “unsubstantiated claim.”

“We are cooperating fully with the local police and health departments with their investigation. It’s important not to jump to conclusions. Here at Wendy’s we plan to do right by our customers,” Desmond said.

According to county health officials, the unfortunate woman who bit into the finger is doing fine, despite her initial reaction. Officials also noted that the finger would have been cooked at a high enough temperature to destroy any viruses.

The Santa Clara county medical examiner reported that the finger had a solid fingerprint, although investigators did not say if a search of fingerprint databases would be performed to find the owner of the finger.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Website of Bill O’Reilly, FOX News commentator, hacked in retribution


Saturday, September 20, 2008

According to document-leaking website Wikileaks.org hackers bypassed security at BillOreilly.com, the official website of Fox News Channel commentator Bill O’Reilly, exposing personal information of the site’s users in a document posted on the Internet.

The one page document, which Wikileaks confirms to be authentic, shows a list of individuals and passwords of those who have accounts on O’Reilly’s website, BillOReilly.com. The list, according to the document, contains at least 205 names, e-mail addresses, billing addresses and passwords of subscribers.

“The hack was a response to the pundit’s recent scurrilous attacks over the Sarah Palin‘s email story–including on Wikileaks and other members of the press,” said Wikileaks in a statement on their website. According to the report, the security on O’Reilly’s website was “non-existent”.

“I’m not going to mention the website that posted this, but it’s one of those despicable, slimy, scummy websites. Everybody knows where this stuff is, OK, and they know the people who run the website, so why can’t they go there tonight to the guy’s house who runs it, put him in cuffs and take him down and book him?,” said O’Reilly on his show, The O’Reilly Factor, on September 18.

Wikileaks recently published documents from Palin’s hacked Yahoo.com e-mail account. The documents had shown that Palin had been conducting matters pertaining to the public or government of Alaska over her private e-mail account.

In an exclusive statement to Wikinews, Wikileaks stated that they will only publish the single page, but also claim to have several more. Wikileaks also states that they have already received “three letters” from staff members employed by O’Reilly “requesting” Wikileaks remove the document, which Wikileaks refuses to do.

“We simply cannot [remove the information]. The system, as per policy, is designed so that files can not be taken down, once up,” said Wikileaks to Wikinews.

O’Reilly and Fox News have not yet responded to inquiries.

Wikinews interviews Frank Moore, independent candidate for US President


Saturday, March 1, 2008

While nearly all coverage of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. We now interview independent Presidential candidate Frank Moore, a performance artist.

Wikinews Shorts: July 9, 2007


A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, July 9, 2007.

On July 9, 2007, Sony Computer Entertainment America announced the release of an 80GB hard drive version of its PlayStation 3 video game console, priced at US$599.

Sony also announced a price drop to US$499 for its current 60GB model. Jack Tretton, Sony Entertainment America chief executive, said, “Our initial expectation is that sales should double at a minimum.”

Sources

  • “Sony cuts Playstation price in US” — BBC News Online, July 9, 2007
  • Scea. “Sony Computer Entertainment America Introduces New 80GB PLAYSTATION(R)3” — prnewswire, July 9, 2007

Nigerian gunmen have released three-year-old Margaret Hill, after holding her captive for four days. The toddler has since been reunited with her parents. She is reportedly in good health but covered with mosquito bites and also hungry, having not eaten recently.

The kidnappers had threatened to kill the toddler unless a ransom was paid or Mr. Hill came to take her place. The family claims no ransom was paid for her freedom. She was kidnapped from her car on July 5, on her way to school. Her driver was stabbed trying to protect Margaret.

Sources

  • “Nigeria kidnappers free UK girl” — BBC News Online, July 8, 2007
  • “Nigerian captors release British girl” — CNN, July 8, 2007

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Peter Ormond, Hamilton Centre


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Peter Ormond is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Hamilton Centre riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Ormond did not answer three questions: “Which of your competitors do you expect to pose the biggest challenge to your candidacy? Why? What makes you the most desirable of all candidates running in the riding?”, “Are the property taxes in your riding at a fair level for the amount of services received in the municipality?”, and “Of the decisions made by Ontario’s 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your this electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to your this riding? To the province as a whole?”

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Solar-powered plane completes 26-hour flight


Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Solar Impulse, an experimental solar-powered airplane, landed in Switzerland on Thursday after completing a successful 26-hour test flight. The flight was a proof-of-concept displaying that a solar-powered aircraft can accumulate enough power from the sun during the day to power it through the night. The team that designed and built the aircraft believes that, in theory, the plane could fly indefinitely, given that there is enough sunlight to power it.

The flight is the longest and highest flight by a piloted solar-powered aircraft, with an average altitude of about 28,000 feet, and an average speed of around 25 miles per hour. Pilot Andre Borschberg, a former fighter pilot in the Swiss air force, said “I’ve been a pilot for forty years now, but this flight has been the most incredible of my flying career. Just sitting there and watching the battery charge level rise and rise thanks to the sun. I have just flown more than 26 hours without using a drop of fuel and without causing any pollution.”

The plane can carry only one passenger, and contains 12,000 solar cells. However, the plane does have its setbacks; a blog on the project’s website reported after seventeen hours of flight that “Andre’s feeling great up there. His only complaints involve little things like a slightly sore back as well as a ten-hour period during which it was minus twenty degrees Celsius in the cockpit. That made his drinking water system freeze up and worst of all his iPod batteries die.”

The project’s intention is to show that emissions-free air travel is a feasible concept; however, the team does not believe that current propulsion methods will be replaced by alternatives in the near future.

Stanford physicists print smallest-ever letters ‘SU’ at subatomic level of 1.5 nanometres tall


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A new historic physics record has been set by scientists for exceedingly small writing, opening a new door to computing‘s future. Stanford University physicists have claimed to have written the letters “SU” at sub-atomic size.

Graduate students Christopher Moon, Laila Mattos, Brian Foster and Gabriel Zeltzer, under the direction of assistant professor of physics Hari Manoharan, have produced the world’s smallest lettering, which is approximately 1.5 nanometres tall, using a molecular projector, called Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) to push individual carbon monoxide molecules on a copper or silver sheet surface, based on interference of electron energy states.

A nanometre (Greek: ?????, nanos, dwarf; ?????, metr?, count) is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a metre (i.e., 10-9 m or one millionth of a millimetre), and also equals ten Ångström, an internationally recognized non-SI unit of length. It is often associated with the field of nanotechnology.

“We miniaturised their size so drastically that we ended up with the smallest writing in history,” said Manoharan. “S” and “U,” the two letters in honor of their employer have been reduced so tiny in nanoimprint that if used to print out 32 volumes of an Encyclopedia, 2,000 times, the contents would easily fit on a pinhead.

In the world of downsizing, nanoscribes Manoharan and Moon have proven that information, if reduced in size smaller than an atom, can be stored in more compact form than previously thought. In computing jargon, small sizing results to greater speed and better computer data storage.

“Writing really small has a long history. We wondered: What are the limits? How far can you go? Because materials are made of atoms, it was always believed that if you continue scaling down, you’d end up at that fundamental limit. You’d hit a wall,” said Manoharan.

In writing the letters, the Stanford team utilized an electron‘s unique feature of “pinball table for electrons” — its ability to bounce between different quantum states. In the vibration-proof basement lab of Stanford’s Varian Physics Building, the physicists used a Scanning tunneling microscope in encoding the “S” and “U” within the patterns formed by the electron’s activity, called wave function, arranging carbon monoxide molecules in a very specific pattern on a copper or silver sheet surface.

“Imagine [the copper as] a very shallow pool of water into which we put some rocks [the carbon monoxide molecules]. The water waves scatter and interfere off the rocks, making well defined standing wave patterns,” Manoharan noted. If the “rocks” are placed just right, then the shapes of the waves will form any letters in the alphabet, the researchers said. They used the quantum properties of electrons, rather than photons, as their source of illumination.

According to the study, the atoms were ordered in a circular fashion, with a hole in the middle. A flow of electrons was thereafter fired at the copper support, which resulted into a ripple effect in between the existing atoms. These were pushed aside, and a holographic projection of the letters “SU” became visible in the space between them. “What we did is show that the atom is not the limit — that you can go below that,” Manoharan said.

“It’s difficult to properly express the size of their stacked S and U, but the equivalent would be 0.3 nanometres. This is sufficiently small that you could copy out the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the head of a pin not just once, but thousands of times over,” Manoharan and his nanohologram collaborator Christopher Moon explained.

The team has also shown the salient features of the holographic principle, a property of quantum gravity theories which resolves the black hole information paradox within string theory. They stacked “S” and the “U” – two layers, or pages, of information — within the hologram.

The team stressed their discovery was concentrating electrons in space, in essence, a wire, hoping such a structure could be used to wire together a super-fast quantum computer in the future. In essence, “these electron patterns can act as holograms, that pack information into subatomic spaces, which could one day lead to unlimited information storage,” the study states.

The “Conclusion” of the Stanford article goes as follows:

According to theory, a quantum state can encode any amount of information (at zero temperature), requiring only sufficiently high bandwidth and time in which to read it out. In practice, only recently has progress been made towards encoding several bits into the shapes of bosonic single-photon wave functions, which has applications in quantum key distribution. We have experimentally demonstrated that 35 bits can be permanently encoded into a time-independent fermionic state, and that two such states can be simultaneously prepared in the same area of space. We have simulated hundreds of stacked pairs of random 7 times 5-pixel arrays as well as various ideas for pathological bit patterns, and in every case the information was theoretically encodable. In all experimental attempts, extending down to the subatomic regime, the encoding was successful and the data were retrieved at 100% fidelity. We believe the limitations on bit size are approxlambda/4, but surprisingly the information density can be significantly boosted by using higher-energy electrons and stacking multiple pages holographically. Determining the full theoretical and practical limits of this technique—the trade-offs between information content (the number of pages and bits per page), contrast (the number of measurements required per bit to overcome noise), and the number of atoms in the hologram—will involve further work.Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas, Christopher R. Moon, Laila S. Mattos, Brian K. Foster, Gabriel Zeltzer & Hari C. Manoharan

The team is not the first to design or print small letters, as attempts have been made since as early as 1960. In December 1959, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, who delivered his now-legendary lecture entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” promised new opportunities for those who “thought small.”

Feynman was an American physicist known for the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as work in particle physics (he proposed the parton model).

Feynman offered two challenges at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society, held that year in Caltech, offering a $1000 prize to the first person to solve each of them. Both challenges involved nanotechnology, and the first prize was won by William McLellan, who solved the first. The first problem required someone to build a working electric motor that would fit inside a cube 1/64 inches on each side. McLellan achieved this feat by November 1960 with his 250-microgram 2000-rpm motor consisting of 13 separate parts.

In 1985, the prize for the second challenge was claimed by Stanford Tom Newman, who, working with electrical engineering professor Fabian Pease, used electron lithography. He wrote or engraved the first page of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, at the required scale, on the head of a pin, with a beam of electrons. The main problem he had before he could claim the prize was finding the text after he had written it; the head of the pin was a huge empty space compared with the text inscribed on it. Such small print could only be read with an electron microscope.

In 1989, however, Stanford lost its record, when Donald Eigler and Erhard Schweizer, scientists at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose were the first to position or manipulate 35 individual atoms of xenon one at a time to form the letters I, B and M using a STM. The atoms were pushed on the surface of the nickel to create letters 5nm tall.

In 1991, Japanese researchers managed to chisel 1.5 nm-tall characters onto a molybdenum disulphide crystal, using the same STM method. Hitachi, at that time, set the record for the smallest microscopic calligraphy ever designed. The Stanford effort failed to surpass the feat, but it, however, introduced a novel technique. Having equaled Hitachi’s record, the Stanford team went a step further. They used a holographic variation on the IBM technique, for instead of fixing the letters onto a support, the new method created them holographically.

In the scientific breakthrough, the Stanford team has now claimed they have written the smallest letters ever – assembled from subatomic-sized bits as small as 0.3 nanometers, or roughly one third of a billionth of a meter. The new super-mini letters created are 40 times smaller than the original effort and more than four times smaller than the IBM initials, states the paper Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas, published online in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The new sub-atomic size letters are around a third of the size of the atomic ones created by Eigler and Schweizer at IBM.

A subatomic particle is an elementary or composite particle smaller than an atom. Particle physics and nuclear physics are concerned with the study of these particles, their interactions, and non-atomic matter. Subatomic particles include the atomic constituents electrons, protons, and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are composite particles, consisting of quarks.

“Everyone can look around and see the growing amount of information we deal with on a daily basis. All that knowledge is out there. For society to move forward, we need a better way to process it, and store it more densely,” Manoharan said. “Although these projections are stable — they’ll last as long as none of the carbon dioxide molecules move — this technique is unlikely to revolutionize storage, as it’s currently a bit too challenging to determine and create the appropriate pattern of molecules to create a desired hologram,” the authors cautioned. Nevertheless, they suggest that “the practical limits of both the technique and the data density it enables merit further research.”

In 2000, it was Hari Manoharan, Christopher Lutz and Donald Eigler who first experimentally observed quantum mirage at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. In physics, a quantum mirage is a peculiar result in quantum chaos. Their study in a paper published in Nature, states they demonstrated that the Kondo resonance signature of a magnetic adatom located at one focus of an elliptically shaped quantum corral could be projected to, and made large at the other focus of the corral.

US Nationwide Pollution Permit Restrictions Upheld


Wednesday, October 4, 2006

The US Army Corps of Engineers decision to place restrictions on issuance of nationwide pollution permits has been upheld by a federal court. In National Association of Home Builders v. Army Corps of Engineers, the District Court for the District of Columbia found that the Corps of Engineers had not acted in an “arbitrary” or “capricious” manner in changing the terms and conditions for issuance of a national pollution permit, including reducing the size of area into which pollutants may be discharged from 10 acres to 1 acre, raising the threshold for requiring additional permits from 1 acre to 1/10 acre,

A nationwide permit allows an organization to engage in certain industrial activities on a national basis (such as mining and construction), reducing the amount of paperwork and filings needed for otherwise minor environmental impacts, as opposed to an ordinary permit for a specific location which will engage in activities which generate water pollution.

Due to concerns over the amount of discharge taking place in waterways, the Corps of Engineers began in the 1980s to reduce the authority granted by nationwide permits and to bar use of the permits in certain ecologically sensitive areas.

Some industry groups, including the plaintiff in the above case, The National Association of Home Builders, sued the Corps of Engineers in 2000 over the change in an attempt to block its implementation. Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, were given permission to intervene in the case in support of the actions of the Corps.

Environmental groups were pleased with the decision, but are concerned over other actions of the Bush Administration, such as the attempts to weaken provisions of the 2002 Clean Water Act to allow additional dumping of construction and mining waste into waterways as fill material.

Ian Thorpe starts to recover from chest pains


Friday, March 3, 2006

Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe is reported to be feeling much better after suffering from chest pain for some time.

The Olympic gold medalist was due to swim in the 100m and 200m freestyle and in three relays at the Commonwealth Games, but due to his complaints his fitness has been in doubt. He has been unable to take the drugs needed to overcome his pain as they are banned from the Games.

Thorpe told the media Thursday “It’s actually the best I’ve felt in a while; the antibiotics are starting to work.”

Maker Faire 2009 wraps up in San Mateo, California


Thursday, June 4, 2009

The fourth annual Maker Faire took place this past weekend at the San Mateo Fairground in San Mateo, California located in the United States. The first Maker Faire, which took place in 2006, had approximately 20,000 people in attendance. This year, more than 80,000 people were expected to attend; quadruple the attendance of just four years prior. On Saturday night, it was reported that attendance was up considerably over last year’s event.

Maker Faire, the self-declared “World’s Largest DIY Festival”, offers a forum where hundreds of makers and crafters alike man booths where they display their work. In the main halls alone, there were hundreds of booths. Outside the expo halls, the surrounding area was also filled with many interesting projects, some of which were mobile. In addition to all of the projects on display, there were a number of on-stage presentations. The biggest presentation of the weekend was given by Adam Savage who spoke on the topic of his “Colossal Failures”. During his talk, the Fiesta Hall was filled to capacity.

The theme for this year’s fair was “Remake: America” after President Obama‘s call to “begin again the work of remaking America”. In addition, “going green”, alternative fuel vehicles, crafting, steampunk and sciences for the young, were common themes found throughout the fair.