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Source: MedleyStory

Changes promised at SJSU months after hate-crime

Months after an alleged hate crime sent shockwaves through the San Jose State campus, there is a plan for change.

A task force handed down more than 50 recommendations Friday in the hopes that administrators will take action.

Still task force member Gary Daniels isn't ready to claim success.

"I have no reason to be optimistic," says Daniels.

He says their final report, released Friday, means nothing without action.

"Yes this incident happened to an African American student but it could have happened to anyone. And it likely will happen to another student unless something is truly done on our campus," says Daniels.

The incident at San Jose State involved four white students, who are now charged with misdemeanor battery and hate crimes for harassing their black roommate.

Afterward there were protests on campus, and from administrators, the promise of change.

"It's just really shocking and disheartening to have something like that happen on campus," says student Jacquelyn Guerra.

"I don't think things are going to change immediately," says student Victor Hernandez.

Judge LaDoris Cordell, who headed up the task force, hopes change will be swift.

"A crisis is a terrible thing to waste," says Cordell.

And she hopes it will be a catalyst.

Among the recommendations handed over Friday were create an Office of Diversity, require extensive training for faculty and RA's, and establish a user-friendly link on university website for reporting hate crimes.

University President Mohammad Qayoumi released a statement Friday saying, "There are no easy or quick fixes. I am committed to thoughtful and sustainable actions..."

"The President is aware of that skepticism. And I have said to him in a very public fashion... it is now up to you to prove them wrong," says Cordell.

The task force hopes the university will have an action plan within 45 days and give public progress reports.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:01:19 -0700

Judge reduces bail for firework throwing fan

The explosion in the stands at AT&T Park Wednesday night startled players and left fans- including Diane Lundquist and her partner Noel Grandrath with ringing ears.

The two women were sitting about 30 feet away from spot where police say a 21 year-old man threw a lit M-80 firework.

"All of a sudden, just heard a really, really loud bang," said Lunquist. "Looked over, kind of like, 'What was that?' and saw a lot of smoke billowing up from where those special seats are right along the wall."

"[I] saw a few people exiting the area with their hands over their ears because obviously it hurt," said Grandrath. "My left ear is actually still sore today."

San Francisco prosecutors say Paolo Allesio Pavone of San Bruno threw the explosive from his seat in section 142 at a Coors Light beer stand. He faces felony counts of possession of a destructive device in a public place and possession of an incendiary device, and a misdemeanor count of discharging dangerous fireworks. If convicted, prosecutors say Pavone could be registered as an arsonist.

"There was the possibility of injuries to others, there was the possibility of panic, people running getting hurt," San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon told KTVU. "I think this person probably thought it was funny but obviously it's not."

Fireworks experts say the M-80s are banned in many counties for good reason.

"They are extremely powerful, they've been rated to be as powerful as a quarter stick of dynamite," said Jeff Thomas of Pyro Spectaculars by Souza, the company that did the opening day fireworks at AT&T Park last week.

On Friday afternoon, Pavone entered a plea of not guilty and mouthed "I'll be alright," to family members in the courtroom. The judge agreed to reduce his bail from $2.4 million to $100,000.

Attorney Paul DeMeester said his client has never been in trouble and indicated the higher bail was an overreaction to other violent incidents linked to Giants games.

"What the original bail reflected was probably the Brian Stow case, and the damage to the Muni buses case during the World Series celebration," said DeMeester.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:21:57 -0700

2 hikers found dead in same area within days of one another

KTVU has confirmed that the hiker found dead Thursday night on Mount Tamalpais was a fourth grade teacher at an Oakland school for disadvantaged children.

Marie Sanner, 50, had been hiking on Mount Tam when she disappeared Thursday.

Sanner was the second woman found dead in the area within five days.

Marin County's Mt. Tamalpais, known as The Sleeping Princess in a Miwuk Indian Legend, was bustling with hikers Friday.

Jackie Mohanna of San Francisco told KTVU she and her daughter hike the Matt Davis trail every Friday. She knew of the deaths adjacent to the trail.

“They're saying it's unrelated from what we read, but it's too much of a coincidence," said Mohanna. "(Someone's)pushing these women over the edge.”

People left flowers Friday near where 33-year old Magdalena Glinkowski's body was found Saturday. She was from Menlo Park and had been missing two weeks. Officials say her body showed no sign of trauma, toxicology tests are incomplete.

Then about a half mile away off the Matt Davis trail, late Thursday, searchers found Sanner's body. The Mill Valley woman had only been missing a few hours.

Both women were down a rocky drainage common in the area.

"It shocked me and it worried me a little bit because I also hike quite frequently around Mount Tam," said Filipa May who lives on the mountain.

Hikers told KTVU, here where cellphones are iffy, the deaths have upped safety concerns. They say bright clothing, a whistle, or a GPS-satellite tracker can mean life or death.

"I hope it doesn't deter people, gives us more appreciation of what we have and be safe and aware," said hiker Theresa Salcedo of Daly City.

Investigators tell KTVU there is nothing that links these two deaths and no obvious signs of foul play although they say they have not yet ruled anything out.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:55:23 -0700

Marijuana vending machines could be coming to California

It's not a candy machine but the Zazzz will dispense marijuana edibles.

The machines currently being installed in Colorado dispensaries could be headed to California as early as this summer.

The man behind the machine, Stephen Shearin, says the Zazzz is aimed at eliminating product theft inside dispensaries.

Here's how it works: After presenting your medical marijuana card to enter a dispensary, once inside you swipe your license at the Zazzz. The machine uses facial recognition software to make sure the license is yours.

Currently Zazzz does not read medical marijuana cards.

"We believe that our technology is equally capable as a doorman would be at a bar. So if they have an adequate ID that they're faking out a human, they may be able to fake us out," said Shearin.

"We're not taking blood and DNA," he added.

That makes Bloom Room employee Carey Grafmiller uncomfortable. Bloom Room is a San Francisco medical marijuana dispensary. Grafmiller says he has other concerns as well.

“One of the biggest things I think is overmedicating,” said Grafmiller.

Without employee expertise he's concerned patients won't know what they're getting.

“You run the risk of ingesting far too much of your medication and being very uncomfortable,” he explained.

Grafmiller's other concern is product freshness, especially when it comes to edibles.

“Is it old, is it not good anymore, is it possibly stale, is it possibly moldy?”

Zazzz is climate controlled. Shearin says product expiration dates will be monitored.

Right now the machines are only legal inside dispensaries, but Shearin says he believes the law will evolve to include other locations. 

“If the law does that and the law is comfortable with the way our machine verifies then absolutely,” said Shearin.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:55:59 -0700

Oakland woman dies after collapsing at Coachella

An Oakland woman died days after collapsing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, authorities said Friday.

Kimchi Truong, 24, collapsed while attending the music festival in Indio, Calif. last Sunday, according to a report by the Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner's Bureau.

She was taken to JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio and transferred to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, where she died on Thursday, according to the report.

An autopsy and toxicology test are being performed to determine Truong's cause of death and results may not be released for another six weeks, according to the coroner's bureau.

The two-weekend music festival is continuing today, Saturday and Sunday.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:39:31 -0700

Car plows into busy candy store

A car plowed into a crowded candy store in Pleasant Hill Friday afternoon but did not cause any serious injuries, a police sergeant said.

Around 3:15 p.m., two cars at the intersection of Contra Costa Boulevard and Alan Drive collided, sending one car up the walkway and into the front of the store located at 1005 Contra Costa Blvd., Sgt. Scott

Vermillion said.

Approximately 30 customers and workers inside the store were unharmed except for a few complaints of pain, the sergeant said.

Vermillion said it was "very lucky" that no one was injured inside the store crowded with shoppers stocking up for the Easter holiday.

He said he did not know when the store would reopen since it sustained major damage to its front entryway.

A preliminary investigation showed that neither drugs, alcohol or speed appear to have been factors in the crash, the sergeant said.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:07:57 -0700

No human remains found at site of suspected arson fire

No human remains were found by arson investigators who searched the charred wreckage of a vacant former television studio used as a shelter by dozens of squatters, a San Jose fire captain said Friday.

The San Jose Fire Department on Thursday called off its search for evidence of human victims in the five-alarm, suspected arson fire Sunday that destroyed the one-time home of KNTV at 645 Park Ave., fire Capt. Rob Brown said.

"They were not about to isolate any human remains at this time," Brown said. "The arson investigation is completed as far as searching the property."

The fire department turned over the site to the city of San Jose for demolition of what is left of the structure, Brown said.

A 55-year-old man, Stillman Pfeffer, was charged Wednesday with residential arson and first degree burglary in the fire, after prosecutors alleged he sprayed flammable liquid on a mattress inside the building Sunday while 20 to 40 transients were living inside it.

According to a report prepared by San Jose fire arson investigators, three people were unaccounted for of those living in the vacant building and "possibly were unable to exit the building at the time of the fire."

Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, which used the arson investigation report as part of its case against Pfeffer, asked a judge on Wednesday that Pfeffer be held without bail and reported that murder charges could be filed if anyone had been killed in the fire.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the fire department used human remains detection dogs to sniff the front and rear areas of the devastated building and the dogs indicated finding several "hits" for potential human remains, but none proved to be genuine.

Officers from Santa Clara County Animal Car & Control on Thursday recovered and removed the remains of a pet dog of one of the transients who had lived in the building, according to fire Capt. Cleo Doss.

On Tuesday, accelerant detection dogs brought in to find possible evidence of flammable materials identified some items that were bagged and taken to the county Crime Lab, according to San Jose fire arson investigators.

San Jose firefighters were called about the fire at 3 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Park and Montgomery avenues near the San Jose Caltrain station. The blaze eventually was upgraded to five alarms.

The fire was controlled by 5:47 p.m. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.

Property damage to the building was estimated at about $3.2 million, Deputy District Attorney David Boyd said.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:17:43 -0700

Popular teacher turns self in for alleged sexual-relationship with student

A popular math teacher at San Leandro High School is accused of two felonies, related to an ongoing sexual relationship with a teenage girl.

Leon Chang, 27, turned himself in to police Thursday afternoon.

He’s facing statutory rape charges and contacting a minor for lewd purposes.

"She's a senior, and it's been going on since junior year," student Ramon Cuevas told KTVU, "One of the teachers caught them in the act and reported it to the administration.”

Without going into details, San Leandro Police confirm they were alerted to the inappropriate contact by school personnel.

"We have a great relationship with the school district," Lt. Mike Sobek told KTVU, "and they called us at the right time."

Investigators have been working on the case for a few months, developing forensic evidence before seeking charges.

"These are highly sensitive cases," added Sobek.

Chang has been teaching math at San Leandro High School for almost six years, and in an online profile, described himself as an activities director and a coach of various sports at the school.

Videos he has posted online show skits and flash-mob dances he has orchestrated with students.

"It just all went to waste but he was a great teacher," senior Ramon Cuevas told KTVU, "I loved him, I actually loved him as a teacher."

School is on spring break this week, and the students say the affair, and fall-out, will be a big distraction when students and staff return Monday.

The San Leandro Unified School District issued a letter to parents, acknowledging it is "deeply concerned" about the allegations, and has suspended Chang without pay and directed him "not to return to work or be on district property.”

"It's always surprising when it's a teacher," said Lt. Sobek, "It's always unfortunate."

Sobek said Chang surrendered to San Jose Police, not San Leandro, and may have family in the South Bay.

He is currently out on bail, but no one answered the door at his Oakland condominium. Neighbors said he lives there with his wife of two years.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:00:54 -0700

Lost llama takes stroll through Colorado community college

Students at a community college in Colorado were shocked to see a llama roaming the campus earlier this week.

Officials at Trinidad State Junior College in southern Colorado shot video of the llama walking through the school’s campus on Wednesday.

The animal wasn't aggressive, but it didn't allow anyone to get close.

Police followed the llama, but lost track of the animal when it headed toward the foothills.

Officers believe the llama was recently sold from the area, but somehow escaped from its current owner, and wandered back to familiar surroundings.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:44:37 -0700

Judge orders brothers to be tried together in 25-year-old murder case

A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge Friday agreed to grant a motion from the District Attorney's Office to consolidate the murder cases of Robert Zimmer and his brother David who are accused of murdering David's estranged wife in San Jose 25 years ago.

Judge Hector Ramon also entered a not guilty plea for Robert Zimmer and set a preliminary hearing for both to begin on May 23.

The two defendants watched from a courtroom jury box in the Hall of Justice as their attorneys argued against the prosecution's move to consolidate their cases.

Ramon entered the not guilty plea for Robert Zimmer, 70, after Zimmer's attorney said he would not instruct his client to enter the plea himself.

Robert Zimmer, who with his brother David, 66, are charged with murder in the former cold-case death of 38-year-old Cathy Zimmer, whose strangled body was found inside her car in San Jose on March 10, 1989.

Both men are being held without bail in the county Main Jail in San Jose beside the courthouse.

David Zimmer pleaded not guilty to the murder charge when he was arraigned on March 10, the 25th anniversary of the discovery of Cathy Zimmer's body. Robert Zimmer was arraigned on the charge on Feb. 27 but did not enter a plea.

Arguing in favor of consolidating the Zimmer brothers' cases, Deputy District Attorney Ted Kajani said that both involved a single set of facts and there is a large amount of evidence common to both men.

But the men's attorneys each vigorously opposed combining the cases.

Michael Cardoza, attorney for David Zimmer, said that his client's case ought to proceed separately, since the prosecution will use DNA evidence against Robert Zimmer and not David, and Robert Zimmer's attorney would need more time to prepare.

"My client should not have to wait," Cardoza said.

Steve Defilippis, Robert Zimmer's lawyer, said that he only received Kajani's motion to consolidate on Monday and that he had to review about 800 pages of reports, including 400 to 500 pages of lab materials, and 16 compact discs containing prosecution evidence.

Since his defense of Robert Zimmer would require analysis of DNA evidence and other issues, he needed more time to prepare for the preliminary hearing, Defilippis said.

"This case should be kept separate," Defilippis said.

Defilippis said he also would have to review wiretap evidence and affidavits that Kajani had filed under seal.

Kajani said that the defense could petition to have those materials unsealed.

Ramon said that he would be "inclined to unseal" those documents. He ruled in favor of consolidating the cases, citing a state statute permitting it.

The judge asked Robert Zimmer if he was willing to waive his right to a preliminary hearing until May 23 and he responded "yes."

Outside of court, Defilippis maintained that he did not have sufficient time to put together his side of the case.

"I'm getting this rammed down my throat," he said.

When Cathy Zimmer's body was found, it was wrapped in a quilt blanket on the rear floorboard of her 1986 Chrysler New Yorker that San Jose police found parked at San Jose International Airport.

According to Kajani, Robert Zimmer was arrested on the basis of DNA evidence taken from clothing on Cathy's body and from statements by his daughter to investigators.

Robert Zimmer's daughter Paula Zimmer told a San Jose police detective on Nov. 9, 2010, that she recalled her father saying he had met Cathy on the day the woman died and was concerned his fingerprints would be found in her car.

In 2012, the district attorney's Crime Lab examined a DNA swab from the zipper and button of pants worn by Cathy Zimmer when her body was located and it was determined that Robert Zimmer was a possible contributor to a mixture of DNA found on it, according to prosecutors.

David Zimmer, a one-time engineer at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, was taken into custody based on the alleged motive that he collected about $400,000 from the sale of his and Cathy's home and from life insurance policies covering Cathy at the time of her death, Kajani said.

Cathy Zimmer's murder was a cold case for nearly 25 years until the district attorney's office disclosed in January that it had reopened it and released photos of the quilt that her body was wrapped in.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:19:02 -0700

Law enforcement holds security drills at BART stations

A number of police and state and federal law enforcement agencies converged on several BART stations Friday morning to conduct security drills.

The drills were an effort to help coordinate amongst the agencies just in case of a major emergency, said officials.

The drill ran from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the West Oakland, Embarcadero, Coliseum and SFO BART stations.

Officials said during the drill, riders may have seen several police cars, emergency vehicles and canine units.

Along with BART police, the Transportation Security Administration, and federal and state agencies took part in the drill.

“We know based upon other parts of the world that transit is a major target,” said Lt. Kevin Franklin of the BART Police Department. “Transit preparedness, and surface transit in particular, is something we need to be prepared for.”

According to BART officials, each station had different scenarios. BART service was not affected during the drill.

Although drills occur every year, BART officials said the last drill of this magnitude occurred in 2010.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:08:16 -0700

New 'Super Awesome' exhibition at the Oakland Museum of CA

The Oakland Museum of California has just opened their new exhibition titled ‘SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot’ featuring works by 15 contemporary artists who have been a part of the Giant Robot magazine and its social and cultural evolution.

Giant Robot was a bi-monthly magazine of Asian and Asian American popular culture founded in 1994 which initially was created as a small, punk-minded magazine that featured Asian pop culture and Asian American alternative culture, including such varied subject matter as history, art, music, film, books, toys, technology, food and skateboarding.

Co-curated by Giant Robot visionary Eric Nakamura and OMCA’s Associate Curator of Art & Material Culture Carin Adams, SuperAwesome presents new or recent works by California and international-based artists affiliated with the influential magazine that brought Asian, trans-Pacific popular culture to mainstream audiences in the United States.

The exhibition also features Giant Robot magazines, ephemera, vinyl toys, custom vending machines, and the original Giant Robot Scion XB inspired by Nintendo's Famicom gaming console, designed by Eric Nakamura and fabricated by Len Higa. The car-turned-interactive gaming station boasts built-in sound and projectors, enabling visitors to use the car to play video games.

Over the past 20 years, the Giant Robot brand has expanded to include retail stores and galleries in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, a restaurant, museum and gallery exhibitions, and a popular website. It has also become an important outlet for a generation of emerging artists, several of whom have achieved mainstream success—such as Adrian Tomine, whose work has graced many New Yorker covers, and James Jean, whose is best known for his work for Prada, ESPN, and Atlantic Records.

For more information, visit museumca.org.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:10:07 -0700

Michaels security breach exposes millions to credit card fraud

The country’s largest craft store has issued a warning about a security breach that may have exposed the credit card information of millions of customers.

Michaels, the arts and crafts store chain, and its subsidiary Aaron Brothers framing said the breach has affected stores nationwide.

On the Michaels website, a statement from CEO Chuck Rubin outlined how widespread compromised data issue was. Customers who shopped at 28 Bay Area Michaels stores are part of the 2.6 million people affected nationwide who made purchases between May 2013 and last January.

“That's a very long time. I hope they just found out, which is why we're just finding out,” said Ell Parker of Oakland.

The company didn't say how long it knew of the issue, but did notify customers of a possible breach three months ago. Four Bay Area Aaron Brothers were also at risk.

A total of 400,000 Aaron Brothers customers across the country who used credit cards for purchases between June 2013 and last February are at risk.

The statement from Rubin reads in part: “We want you to know we have identified and fully contained the incident, and we can assure you the malware no longer presents a threat to customers while shopping at Michaels or Aaron Brothers.

Some Michaels customers told KTVU all companies need to step up their security. Parker said she doesn’t take the security promised by merchants for granted.

“You've just got to watch your information closely. You can't really depend on anything these days,” explained Parker.

“I usually use my debt card, said Oakland resident Freda Winkle. I don't like to have cash on me. And now it seems like everywhere you go. You should use cash.”

Rubin said both companies will offer free identity protection and credit monitoring services to those affected for one year.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:08:19 -0700

Mudslide causes big problems in Piedmont

An East Bay neighborhood returned to normal Friday night after a small mudslide caused big problems.

A lone tree-trimmer used a chainsaw that afternoon to cut a big pine tree off power lines that it was weighing down along Moraga Avenue in Piedmont.

"The hillside got saturated and caused the trees to drop into the power lines," an East Bay Mud worker told a resident.

That knocked out power to almost 500 customers, and along with the lines, the trees hung precariously over the road.

Moraga Avenue and Maxwelton Road both had to be shut down.

"I just know that around 11 o'clock, power went out, so kids at home reported the computers aren't working. So... right, no power," exclaimed resident Margaret Dunlap.

It is unknown what exactly caused the mudslide, but clearly some kind of water leak from above loosened the earth.

City officials say they have talked to the owner of the home directly above the slide.

"We do it preemptively, to say it looks like it came from your property, if it did, you're going to be responsible for it," explained Piedmont City Clerk, John Tulloch.

Homeowner Stephen Parker told KTVU he doesn't know what caused the leak.

"I looked, and it's a big mess. Do you think it's related to your property or the property up here? Well, I'm not really sure. I don't have enough information to say. But that's on my property," he said.

Friday’s slide was the second one in the area in two years. City officials say the previous one was caused by faulty drainage at the home next door.

"Two years ago, because the slide came from their property, the city cleared it, got the road open again, and then they were billed for the city's costs," added Tulloch.

East Bay Mud said this was not caused by a broken water main or leaky sewage. But that it could have been leaky irrigation or a home water line.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:34:23 -0700

Mill Valley woman identified as hiker found dead on Mt. Tam

The Marin County coroner's office has identified the missing hiker who was found dead on Mt. Tamalpais Thursday afternoon as 50-year-old Marie Christine Sanner of Mill Valley.

Sanner was hiking on Mt. Tamalpais and was reported missing by her father around 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

She was last seen near the Mountain Home Range Inn a mile east of the Pantoll Ranger Station, Marin County sheriff's Lt. Doug Pittman said.

Her body was found at 5:30 p.m. Thursday along Fern Creek below and west of the Matt Davis Trail on Mt. Tamalpais, Marin County coroner's office Lt. Keith Boyd said.

Sanner was identified through fingerprints and an autopsy is scheduled for Monday, Boyd said.

The cause and manner of her death are under investigation, but there is no apparent connection to Sanner's death and the death of Magdalena Glinkowski, 33, of Menlo Park, Boyd said.

Glinkowski left a note on March 30 stating she was going for a hike. Her car was found April 4 near the Pantoll Campground, and security camera footage showed her walking across the parking lot.

A man who was trail running the day Glinkowski disappeared told the Marin County Sheriff's Office he saw Glinkowski's photo in the media and realized he might have seen her, the sheriff's office said.

Search and Rescue teams resumed the suspended search for Glinkowski and found her body on April 12 around 9:25 a.m. down a steep slope in a drainage area about a half-mile from the Bootjack parking lot where she was last seen, the sheriff's office said.

The sheriff's office said Glinkowski's autopsy showed no visible signs of trauma, and the cause and manner of her death are pending toxicology tests.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:02:39 -0700

'Holy Grail' of weight loss? New find could be it

Most people desire to have as little body fat as possible, but researchers have found there may be one type of fat you want a little more of. 

In what could be a major breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists in the United Kingdom have used an MRI scan to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the very first time. (Via CBS)

What's brown fat? One of the study's authors tells Fox News:

“What most of us imagine is ‘fat’ is actually white fat, which stores [excess] energy and increases in size, [leading to] obesity. But there is another type of fat: brown fat ... what it does is the complete opposite. Instead of storing energy, it actually burns off energy, and in that process, it releases heat.”

If you look at the image in the video, which shows the upper chest of a person as if viewed from the feet, you'll see that the green areas represent places of potential brown fat. Previophously, it had only been found in the shoulders of newborns. (Via The Huffington Post)

The finding is significant for the development of future weight-loss methods. 

This is because it's currently believed a sugar-cube size of brown fat, if activated properly, could burn about six to nine pounds of white fat in a year. You know, the bad stuff you spend hours in the gym trying to work off.  (Via ABC

There are currently no existing weight loss therapies focusing on brown fat, but one the study's author says if a treatment could be developed, it might be the, "holy grail" of weight loss. Basically, you'd be able to burn bad fat without exercising.

The New York Times explains there are some issues though — leaner people likely have more brown fat, while obese people have less. Younger people also have more than older people, and women have more than men. 

Scientists say the key will be figuring out how to maximize these stores of fat.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:11:26 -0700

Saudi tower enters race for world's tallest building

Move over, Dubai. If Saudi Arabia's newest construction project goes as planned, the Burj Khalifa could be dethroned as the world's tallest tower.

The planned tower has had delays since it was first proposed in 2011, but now construction for the skyscraper dubbed Kingdom Tower is reportedly set to begin next week along the Red Sea. (ViaVisualhouse)

According to the Saudi Gazette, the building, which is designed by the same architects who designed the Burj Khalifa, is designed to have 200 floors, standing at more than than 3,200 feet — passing the Burj by more than 560 feet.

But the exact size of the building is not yet set in the stone. According to Arabian Business, the developer has not yet decided on the final height — only that it will definitely surpass the Burj Khalifa.

The tower's construction will likely not be a smooth process. Aside from its location near salt water, which could damage the building, erecting such a tall structure is no easy feat.

According to Businessweek, there is only so much change in height a person's inner ear can tolerate, and the weight of elevator cables might become a problem considering the Burj is already "near the maximum height a single elevator can travel without being insupportable."

And then of course, there's the threat of wind. CNN reports to counter this, the building will change shape every few floors — making the wind load less harsh than it would be if it were a solid structure.

If successful, the complex will house a mix of residential and commercial units, as well as the world's tallest terrace. (Via Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)

It's estimated the $1.2 billion project will be completed sometime in 2018.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:11:15 -0700

Michaels hack compromises about 3 million credit cards

‚ÄčArts and crafts retailer Michaels is now confirming about three million credit card numbers were compromised by a hack.

The company warned customers of a possible cyberattack back in January. Turns out, the breach happened over an eight-month period from May 2013 to January of this year. (Via Newsy)

After months of investigation into the issue, the company said it only affected about 7 percent of cards used during that period. The hack took credit and debit card numbers and expiration dates. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Anthony92931)

But Michaels' CEO writes, "There is no evidence that other customer personal information, such as name, address or PIN, was at risk in connection with this issue."

The hack also hit Michaels' partner store, Aaron Brothers, but to a lesser degree. About 400,000 cards were affected between June 2013 and February 2014. 

‚ÄčThe CEO continues: "We are truly sorry and deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause. Our customers are always our number one priority and we are committed to retaining your trust and loyalty." (Via Michaels)

In a move similar to Target's after its big hack last holiday season, Michaels is offering identity protection, credit card monitoring services and fraud protection assistance to affected customers for 12 months — and at no cost. (Via WTNH)

A nice gesture, sure. But Krebs On Security says, “Incidentally, credit monitoring services will do nothing to protect consumers from fraud on existing financial accounts — such as credit and debit cards — and they're not great at stopping new account fraud committed in your name."

Although it looks similar, BGR says it's not clear if this attack is in any way related to the much larger breach on Target's system.

This is the second credit card attack on Michaels' customers in the past few years. In 2011, The Verge reports, the company "had their payment systems tampered to collect data which helped the crooks create counterfeit cards." (Via Wikimedia Commons / Michael Rivera)

You can find a list of affected stores on both Michaels and Aaron Brothers' websites.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:56:42 -0700

Woman killed in Colo. home said husband ate pot candy

Police say Kristine Kirk called saying her husband was “'totally hallucinating,” and scaring their children.

During the call, Richard Kirk can be heard talking about the candy he bought from a legal pot store in Colorado before the incident.

Kirk told dispatchers her husband had taken prescription pain pills along with eating the candy and asked her to get a gun and shoot him.

The frightened woman can be heard begging police to hurry, saying she was "scared of what he might do," after he began to rant about the end of the world.

Documents obtained after the incident described Kirk’s the final moments.

"She next related that he had the gun, and she did not know where to go," warrants say. A few seconds later there was screaming followed by a gunshot.

Then, 12 minutes into the call, the line went silent.

The Denver Post reports when cops arrived, they found Kristine Kirk dead from a gunshot wound to the head.

Denver police say Kirk admitted the shooting when they arrived. They also confirm he was slurring his speech and appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

In a Thursday news conference, Denver Police Chief Robert White said the 911 dispatcher had been placed on leave and admitted, “obviously something went wrong because somebody lost their life."

More here.  

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:56:14 -0700

Police search for suspects who fatally stabbed man's dog in Mission

A man attacked while walking his dog in San Francisco's Mission District early Friday morning was uninjured but his dog was stabbed to death, a police spokesman said.

The 20-year-old man was walking his dog near 22nd and Bartlett streets at about 3 a.m. when two men between 20 and 25 years old approached him with a knife, police Officer Gordon Shyy said.

One of the two men grabbed the dog and they got into an argument. Eventually they let the dog go and ran away, but when the man looked at his dog he realized it had been stabbed, Shyy said.

He took the dog to an animal hospital but it died from its injuries. Police have not located any suspects in the attack.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:24:42 -0700