Twitter helps authorities find sources of food poisoning

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up charging the restaurant in question with a violation.

“We know that the majority of cases of food borne outbreaks really never end up getting reported to the local health department anywhere in the country,” Dr Bechara Choucair told Reuters Health.

“We realized that people might not pick up the phone and call the doctor, but they might go to Twitter and complain to the world that they got food poisoning from eating out,” he said.

Dr ​Choucair and his colleagues in the Chicago Department of Public Health wondered if there was some innovative way for them to identify new cases of food borne outbreaks in Chicago that are regularly missed.

So they enlisted a technological collaborative group called Smart Chicago to help them.

“Smart Chicago collaborative helped us develop an app that literally sifts through hundreds of thousands of tweets every day that are coming from Chicago or linked to Chicago that might include a reference to a food borne illness,” Dr Choucair said.

The app, called Food borne Chicago, uses an algorithm to identify tweets that might be related to food poisoning symptoms in or near Chicago.

The app then responds to the person who sent the original tweet, saying, “That doesn’t sound good. Help us prevent this and report where you ate here,” and includes a link to an online form for reporting the details.

Food borne Chicago tweets as @foodbornechi.

Photo: Twitter

As Dr ​Choucair and his coauthors noted in a paper published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the program was launched in March 2013.

During the first 10 months of the program, Food borne Chicago identified 270 tweets describing complaints of food poisoning.

A total of 193 complaints were then submitted through the website, which lead to unannounced health inspections at 133 restaurants.

About 16 percent of the restaurants reported through Food borne Chicago failed inspections and were closed.

“The overwhelming majority of people are really excited to know that their local government is listening and is actually taking their complaint seriously and acting on it,” Dr ​Choucair said.

Dr ​Choucair said his team would like to see this app utilised by other health departments across the country. - Reuters

Algeria suspends all football after Cameroonian player's death

JS Kabylie's Cameroonian striker Albert Ebosse (C) passes the ball during his team's match with USM Alger in the city of Tizi-Ouzou, in the mainly Berber region of Kabylie east of the capital, on August 23, 2014.

Algeria has suspended all football this weekend in memory of Albert Ebosse, the striker killed on Saturday after being struck by an object thrown from the crowd during a Ligue 1 match in the north African country.

The Algerian Football Federation said in a statement it was considering several punitive measures including expelling Ebosse’s club JS Kabylie, for an unspecified time period from all competitions.

The Cameroon forward was struck on the head by an object allegedly thrown from a section of his club’s own fans as the players left the field at the end of a 2-1 defeat to USM Alger in Tizi Ouzou, a match in which he had scored his side’s goal.

The federation said the decision to cancel all matches this weekend was also to protest “the irresponsible action of fanatics and hooligans who perpetuate violence in stadiums which has reached unacceptable proportions”. 

Poor management in Africa

The world players’ union FIFPro said the incident was a reflection on the poor management of football in Africa. 

“In recent years, we have constantly had to denounce the flagrant lack of professionalism among African executives,” said Stephane Burchkalter, general secretary of FIFPro’s African division.

“On the one hand, they demand more and more of the players, in terms of investment.

"In plain terms, players have to be beyond reproach. If they make the slightest mistake, they are criticised and penalised. 

“On the other hand, the executives are allowed to do as they wish, without the least professionalism.

They can ‘forget’ to pay wages, or play with the lives of players by organising competitions without providing the most elementary safety precautions," he added. 

The federation and JS Kabylie said an immediate sum of $100,000 had been given to Ebosse’s family and the remainder of his contract would also be paid out. 

The 24-year-old Ebosse was the leading scorer in the Algerian league in the 2013-14 season with 17 goals having played the previous season in Malaysia.


Tags: cameroon and JS Kabylie

Meghan Trainor copied Korean tune for All About That Bass?

US singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor has been accused of plagiarising a Korean song for her debut single All About That Bass, now at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

US singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor, 20, has been accused of copying the tune for her hit singleAll About That Bass from a Korean song. 

According to online publication Mwave, the song's tune is very similar to that of a 2006 Korean song titled Happy Mode by three-membered group, Koyote.

The song currently sits at No. 2 on the Billboard charts and its accompanying video has raked in just under 30 million views on YouTube.

The similarities between the two songs were brought to the attention of the Happy Mode's songwriter and producer Joo Young Hoon.

Earlier today, Joo  tweeted: "I am consulting a specialised lawyer."

Check out the comparison (both tracks are merged into one) below and tell us what you think.

Sources: Mwave and YouTube

Actor Donald Glover will voice Spider-Man on animated TV series

Donald Glover, who has always wanted to play Spider-Man, will finally play the super hero on animated TV series Ultimate Spider-Man.
Donald Glover, who has always wanted to play Spider-Man, will finally play the super hero on animated TV series Ultimate Spider-Man.

Actor and hip-hop star Donald Glover has finally realised his dream of playing Spider-Man... well, kind of.

He will be voicing the character of Spider-Man's alter ego Miles Morales in the cartoon series Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors.

Four years ago, fans of his cult TV series Community campaigned for Glover, to play the hero in The Amazing Spider-Man flicks.

The campaign failed as the role ultimately went to Andrew Garfield.

But Brian Michael Bendis, the writer for the Ultimate Spider-Man comic series, was inspired by Glover's Twitter campaign to create Spider-Man's alter ego  Miles Morales, who is half-black and half-hispanic in 2011.

We're not ready for another live-action reboot of the Spider-Man series just yet, but we'd gladly welcome the introduction of Miles Morales to play opposite Andrew Garfield. 

Source: USA Today, The Verge



Girls' Generation's Seohyun graduates with special achievement

Girls Generation member Seohyun, whose real name is Seo Joo-hyun, graduated from Dongguk University last Thursday (Aug 21) and has officially earned her degree in theatre.

Pop the champagne! 

Girls' Generation's Seohyun has finally graduated from Dongguk University with a degree in theater after first enrolling in 2010.

Proving that her busy superstar schedule wasn't an excuse to slack, the 23-year-old star diligently stayed focused, and was rewarded with the Dean′s Achievement Award during the graduation ceremony, according to Kpopstarz.

Filled with pride after achieving the prestigious accolade, the very admired Korean singer, said: "I am honoured to have received such an important award on my graduation. I will work hard to be a responsible citizen with great sense of duty to our country."

She added: "It seems that it was just in the recent past when I registered in the university, I just can't believe that I've already completed my schooling and am now a graduate.

"(During) my time in the campus, I have learned a lot. I'm really thankful to all my professors who have taught me all the things I need to learn. And also, I would like to thank all my friends who helped me out at some point."

Fans took to Twitter their congratulatory messages and expressed pride for the singer.





Congratulations,​ Seohyun! 

Source: Kpopstarz

​Photo: SPH

Manchester United sign Di Maria in British-record deal

Angel Di Maria, swapping the white of Real for the red of Manchester United

Manchester United announced on Tuesday that they have signed Argentina winger Angel di Maria from Real Madrid for a British-record transfer fee of £59.7 million (S$123.4 million).



The 26-year-old’s move, on a five-year contract, shatters the previous British-record fee of £50 million paid by Chelsea to sign Spain striker Fernando Torres from Liverpool in 2011.

United manager Louis van Gaal said: “Angel is a world-class midfielder, but most importantly he is a team player. There is no doubting his immense natural talent. 

“He is a tremendously fast and incisive left-footed player who puts fear into the most accomplished defence.

“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Manchester United,” Di Maria said.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Spain and there were a lot of clubs interested in me, but United is the only club that I would have left Real Madrid for.

“Louis van Gaal is a fantastic coach with a proven track record of success and I am impressed by the vision and determination everyone has to get this club back to the top – where it belongs. I now just cannot wait to get started.”

Which is music to the ears of suffering United fans considering their latest lost to third division side MK Dons in the second round of the League Cup. 

We present some of Di Maria's highlights to underline why United splashed so much cash for the Argentine ace.

His goal scoring abilities

His injury time goal against Switzerland during the World Cup. Source: Tumblr

His dribbling:

He made Puyol do the split!. Source: Tumblr

We don't know what move this is, but it worked. Source: Tumblr

He assists:

His rabona assist for Cristiano Ronaldo during Real's Champions League game in 2013. Tumblr

Another rabona assist. Source: Giphy. 

​No wonder United captain Wayne Rooney is excited at the prospect of playing with Di Maria.



​Source: AFP, Tumblr. Giphy

English authorities ignored abuse of 1,400 children for fear of being labelled racist

The author of the independent inquiry Alexis Jay revealed that police and child protection services failed to take action about the abuse of 1,400 children in Rotherham.
An independent inquiry led by Alexis Jay revealed that police and child protection services failed to take action about the abuse of 1,400 children in Rotherham.

English authorities ignored and failed to do anything about the physical and sexual abuse of 1,400 children over a 16-year period, an independent inquiry revealed.

Children as young as 11 were beaten, raped and trafficked between 1997 and 2013.

Yet, police and child services in Rotherham, in south Yorkshire,​ failed to take any action.

It was reported that the victims were doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight.

"(They were) also made to witness brutally-violent rapes and threatened they would be next," said Professor Alexis Jay, the author of the report .

Speaking about the police and child protection services' failure to act, the report said; "The collective failures... were blatant.

"From the beginning, there was growing evidence that child sex exploitation was a serious problem in Rotherham, which came from people working in residential care and from youth workers who knew the young people well."

Jay also said that there were indications of a cover-up as "three reports given to police and Rotherham Council in 2002, 2003 and 2013, which linked child sexual exploitation and drugs, guns and criminality... were effectively suppressed."

Fear of being labelled racist

It was suggested that the fear of being labelled a racist prevented the relevant authorities to take any action as a majority of the perpetrators were of Pakistani heritage.

The District Commander for Rotherham Jason Harwin said: "Firstly I'd like to start by offering an unreserved apology to the victims of child sexual exploitation who did not receive the level of service they should be able to expect from their local police force."

He admitted: "We fully acknowledge our previous failings."

Source: BBC, Al Jazeera

Passenger, 82, fights pilot, 23, for control of plane

An Australian pilot made an emergency landing after wresting back the controls of his light aircraft from an 82-year-old passenger who grabbed them midflight, the aircraft's charter company said.

Police said the elderly man chartered the small four-seater Beechcraft Duchess plane on Monday for a business trip from the Sydney suburb of Bankstown to Cowra, a distance of about 186 km.

But he began acting erratically midway through the flight, moving to shut down the plane's engines and seizing the control stick, a spokesman for charter company Australia by Air told reporters.

The 23-year-old pilot restrained the passenger and made a distress call before safely landing the plane in a field, police said.



"The pilot displayed excellent airmanship and skill during the landing, and we thank him for his professionalism," the company said in a statement.

Police Inspector Mark Wall said the man was in stable condition in hospital in Sydney, with injuries to his face.

The pilot was treated for shock and discharged.

It was not immediately clear what caused the elderly man to attempt to seize the plane.

Police say they are investigating the incident. - Reuters

Manchester United thrashed 4-0 by third Division side in League Cup

MK Dons English striker Benik Afobe (2nd R) celebrating with teamates after scoring their fourth goal during the English League Cup second round football match between Milton Keynes Dons and Manchester United at Stadium.

Manchester United sank to new depths on Tuesday when they crashed out of the League Cup in the second round following a 4-0 defeat at third-division Milton Keynes Dons.

United had announced the signing of Angel di Maria from Real Madrid in a British-record £59.7 million (S$123.4 million) deal shortly before kick-off, but they were brought down to earth with a painful bump as their second-string team fell apart at Stadium MK.

Van Gaal made 10 changes to his starting XI, with goalkeeper David de Gea the only player to hold onto his place from Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Sunderland in the Premier League.

The visitors received an early setback when Shinji Kagawa had to go off after a clash of heads and in the 25th minute they gifted their hosts the lead. 

Jonny Evans, United’s captain for the day, passed the ball straight to Ben Reeves inside his own area and the Dons number 10 squared to Grigg for a simple tap-in.

 MK Dons Northern Irish striker Will Grigg (C) celebrating his opening goal in the English League Cup. Photo: AFP

The home side were aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty early in the second half when a shot from Dean Bowditch struck Evans on the arm, but in the 63rd minute they added a second goal. 

After United again conceded possession cheaply, Grigg sprayed a pass wide to Reeves, who crossed back to him, as he went on to beat De Gea with an outrageous chested finish from 10 metres. 

With 20 minutes remaining, Reeves displayed his disdain for the visiting defence with a showy no-look through ball for on-loan Arsenal striker Afobe, who held his nerve to sweep the ball past De Gea. 

Belatedly, United rallied, with Adnan Januzaj hitting the post, but with six minutes left Afobe charged through three weak challenges before slamming home to complete a humiliating night for English football’s misfiring giants.

Asked if he had a message for United’s fans, the shell shocked van Gaal said: “They have to believe in our philosophy. We are building up a team and you cannot make it in one month, not in one year.

Van Gaal, shell shocked. Photo: Reuters

“Of course it’s very disappointing, but I hope they shall maintain their confidence in the club and our philosophy because that philosophy takes time.”

“I’m a little bit in shock, to be walking around and seeing the scoreline,” said MK Dons manager Karl Robinson.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s something that dreams are made of for these players.”

Source: AFP


Tags: man utd


Alba reprises stripper role

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