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How bizarre!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-04-08 09:16:54
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Patriarch Kirill in furore over luxury watch

bizzaaaa01The Russian Orthodox Church has apologised for showing a photo of its leader Patriarch Kirill that was doctored to airbrush out a luxury watch he was wearing. The gold Breguet watch is estimated to be worth more than $30,000 (£19,000) and was spotted by Russian bloggers. The watch's reflection could be seen in the 2009 photo on the church's website.

The Patriarchate said the manipulation would be investigated and "the guilty ones will be punished severely". In a statement the Patriarch's press service said "we reject on principle any use of photo editing software to alter the appearance of images.”There will be a thorough investigation to determine why in this instance there was a crude violation of our internal ethical code. The guilty ones will be punished severely," it said.

The original photo, dated 3 July 2009, showed a meeting between the Patriarch and Russian Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov. The doctored version appeared this month. Despite the airbrushing the watch's presence was given away by its reflection on a polished table top. After heated debate about it in the Russian blogosphere the Patriarchate first removed the enlarged image from the site and then removed the image altogether. Now the Patriarchate says the original image is back in its archive.


bizzaaaa02_400Clarins unveils FEED 15 cosmetic pouch to fight …world hunger

Clarins has unveiled a chic new cosmetic beauty pouch in the brand's signature red, for a good cause. The Clarins FEED 15 pouch was launched as part of a partnership with Lauren Bush's FEED Projects to fight world hunger. The FEED organization benefits the United Nations World Food Program's School Feeding program that provides meals for children in third-world countries. Clarins partnered with FEED last summer with a goal of funding $1 million in meals in two years.

The new FEED 15 pouch is a cosmetics bag containing three of Clarins' most popular beauty products, including the UV Plus HP Day Screen SPF 40, the Moisture-Rich Body Lotion and the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector.  Each pouch sold will provide 15 nutritious meals through the United Nations World Food Program.


Cyclist accident makes waves on the Web

The story of a San Francisco cyclist who plowed into a pedestrian on March 29 and then apparently took to a bicycle blog forum to tell his side of the story is blowing up on the Web. Chris Bucchere allegedly struck 71-year-old Sutchi Hui—who later died—at a busy San Francisco intersection, and then identified himself as the rider in the crash on a public Google group for the Mission Cycling Club. The incident is making waves on the blog-o-sphere as readers weigh in on the cyclist's story. The post, which has since been removed from the forum, read in part, "The light turned yellow as I was approaching the intersection, but I was already way too committed to stop. The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions, … so, in a nutshell, blammo."

The rider goes on, "Apparently I hit a 71-year-old male pedestrian and he ended up in the ICU with pretty serious head injuries. I really hope he ends up OK." Hui died, but the medical examiner's report has not yet been released. In a statement to Yahoo News, the spokeswoman for the San Francisco District Attorney, Stephanie Ong Stillman, noted that the office is keeping an eye on the case, although no charges have been filed. Stillman emphasized, "We take pedestrian traffic fatalities very, very seriously."

Apparently so do many readers of blog forums, who weighed in on Bucchere's alleged actions. One biker wrote on SFist: "It takes just one (bleeping) jerk like Chris to give a bad name to the countless other bikers whom obey laws and ride safely." Another added, speaking directly to Bucchere, "Your irresponsibility injured (and ultimately killed) a man and you took to the Internet to tell your story? Yeah, you deserve jail time." Kevin LaKritz, a founder of Mission Cycling Club, learned of the incident through the public post, and told Yahoo News, "It's terrible; our thoughts go out to the family." LaKritz said of the post, "Everyone was shocked and horrified when they read it. It's not what Mission Cycling is about. It's about creating a community through cycling." He added, "We don't condone reckless riding in any way."


Snoop Dogg to release smokable book

bizzaaaa04_400Even the most ardent fans of Snoop Dogg would not claim that he is a man of letters. However he looks set to prove them wrong by releasing a book, though it will be far from conventional, as it will be smokable. The star, who has admitted a fondness for marijuana in the past, is printing the lyrics to some of his biggest hits in Rolling Words, with the pages made of his new rolling paper and the book itself being made from hemp materials. It even has a match striker on the spine, with the rapper appearing proud as punch when he announced the product in a YouTube video.

He said: These are my brand new rolling papers y'all that's right. But these rolling papers got lyics on them. I'm talking about some of my classic lyrics back in the day, like G Thing, Gin and Juice. And this thing right here can also be smoked with some of your finest. 'And the rest of the book is made of hemp materials. The cover is twine as you can see, a real thick material right there to get it all together.

'And on the spine I put a sticker, if you want to get, you know what I'm saying, right to the joint right away you can, y'know wop that off right quick. I made this book so people can always remember, you can roll with an expert, you can roll with Snoop. Rolling Words was made to promote his Kingsize Slim rolling papers, with Coachella music festival attendees set to be the first to try them. Snoop, real name, has courted controversy this year after apparently smoking a joint on stage and recording a music video where he sits next to a small mountain of marijuana. He was also arrested Sierra Blanca, Texas in January after being caught with a stash of the drug on his tour bus.

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