It's not for households with nervous people.
Evan Gurgui on Behance>>
“It’s not illegal to sell snake oil if people are willing to buy it.”However, Mr. Warshak was in big trouble for defrauding his customer's credit card accounts:
Warshak was the founder of Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, a Cincinnati company that sold a wide range of supplements but made most of its money on one blockbuster product: Enzyte. Warshak sold countless men on the simple idea that happiness was just a little blue pill away. His pill had a six-letter name, just like the prescription drug it was designed to evoke. But unlike Viagra, Enzyte was “natural” and could be ordered without a prescription in the privacy of one’s home.From prison, Mr. Warshak maintained that he made some mistakes, but they were merely "growth issues."
...prosecutors alleged that Warshak had exploited that desire for privacy to bilk his customers out of more than $100 million. The scam was simple, they alleged: Get a customer’s credit card number by offering a free sample (pay only the postage!), then charge the card again for more product than the customer ever ordered. Enzyte was marketed to men who didn’t want to go to the doctor, the government argued, and thus were likely to be ashamed of their sexual inadequacy. Warshak figured he could steal from these customers with minimum risk, prosecutors said; embarrassment would keep them from complaining.
Ara Keshishyan put together a crew and gave each of the participants so-called “seed money,” which they deposited into Citibank checking accounts that each had recently opened.They were caught, and Citibank said it closed the loophole.
After arriving at their targeted casino, the conspirators went to on-premise cash advance kiosks and withdrew multiples of the deposits that they had previously made into the Citibank accounts. Apparently, Keshishyan had discovered a glitch in Citibank’s security protocol whereby multiple withdrawals made within 60 seconds of each other at the kiosks would result in cash payments from the various cages at the casinos. The deposits and withdrawals were each kept under the federal transaction reporting level of $10,000 so as to conceal detection.
Being the alleged brains of the operation, Keshishyan kept the collected funds and doled out cuts to his conspirators. His take was generally used for gambling. On top of having gamed the Citibank cash advance process, Keshishyan and his crew were often “comped” into the casinos with free rooms based upon the level of their gambling.
“I wish everyone would stop criticising Jimmy Savile. He was a nice man. When I was eight he fixed it for me to milk a cow blind-folded.”- Jimmy Savile let me milk cow blindfolded - prank text BBC Radio Ulster reporter red-faced, Ricky Gervais in stitches, Belfast Telegraph>>
A new paper published by the National Marine Mammal Foundation in the scientific journal Current Biology sheds light on the ability of marine mammals to spontaneously mimic human speech. The study details the case of a white whale named NOC who began to mimic the human voice, presumably a result of vocal learning.
"The whale's vocalizations often sounded as if two people were conversing in the distance," says Dr. Sam Ridgway, President of the National Marine Mammal Foundation. "These 'conversations' were heard several times before the whale was eventually identified as the source. In fact, we discovered it when a diver mistook the whale for a human voice giving him underwater directions."
Bergwall had always wanted to meld in. He was a teenage misfit. He grew up in a small town in rural Sweden, one of seven siblings raised according to strict Pentecostal beliefs. He describes himself as a "creative and ambitious" child, interested in theatre and writing. At 14, he realised he was gay. Ashamed by his sexuality, he hid it from his deeply religious parents. He started experimenting with drugs – amphetamine was his favourite – and, at the age of 19, was accused of molesting adolescent boys. Later, he tried to stab a former lover. In 1990, he robbed a local bank dressed in a Santa Claus outfit to feed his addiction. The clerk recognised him. He was incarcerated in Säter hospital for psychiatric treatment. Not a stable individual, then, but not a serial killer – at least, not yet.
As a young man, Bergwall had always hankered after being taken seriously and treated as an intelligent person. For a while, he wanted to be a doctor and read up on psychoanalysis. In Säter, he began to realise he could use this knowledge to get the attention and acceptance he craved. "What would you say," he asked his therapist one day in 1992, "if I had done something really bad?"
"That created a reaction, an interest," Bergwall says now. "I said: 'Maybe I murdered someone' and once I'd said that, there was no going back."
A pretty Chinese girl tied to a torture rack, without seeming discomfort, apparently permits her head and limbs to be stretched yards away from their natural positions.
A black & white video created by painting a whole room (including myself) in shades of grey. All footage was captured on camera in colour.Even when you know what's happening, it's hard to see all the changes.
...He enjoyed some early success as a painter in his own right, contributing three works to a prestigious art exhibition in Munich in 1978. But, by his own admission, he was more drawn to the outlaw life. One day during his wanderings, he bought a pair of winter landscapes by an unknown 18th-century Dutch painter for $250 apiece. Fischer had noticed that tableaus from the period which depicted ice skaters sold for five times the price of those without ice skaters. In his atelier, he carefully painted a pair of skaters into the scenes and resold the canvases for a considerable profit. Thirty years ago, fakes were even harder to detect than they are now, he tells me. “They weren’t the first ones I made, but they were an important step.” Soon he was purchasing old wooden frames and painting ice-skating scenes from scratch, passing them off as the works of old masters.Eventually, after years of creating forgeries, he was caught, and received a light jail sentence. How was he able to get away with it for so long?
Today, critics are divided about how good a fraudster Beltracchi was. Daniel Filipacchi says he remains impressed by Beltracchi’s talent. “He’s a genius. The Forest (2) is very, very well done, and the other ‘Max Ernsts’ that I’ve seen are all amazing paintings.” Werner Spies agrees: “They can only be described as the work of a brilliant forger.” But Aya Soika thinks Beltracchi’s greatest talent is as a self-promoter. She notes that his use of a projector suggests that at least some of his work was the result of meticulous duplication rather than artistic creativity. Ralph Jentsch dismisses the bulk of Beltracchi’s forgeries as “rubbish” and “crude fakes.” Scoffing at Beltracchi’s self-portrayal as a brilliant role player who inhabited the minds of great artists, Jentsch says Beltracchi approached painting like “someone decorating a Christmas tree. Add some lights here, some balls there. An artist doesn’t work like that.” So how did so many art experts fall for Beltracchi’s rubbish for so long? Jentsch traces the failure to sloppiness, laziness, and in some cases, a powerful desire to believe. The Beltracchis cleverly exploited the blindness and gullibility that pervades the high-stakes world of art, where connoisseurship and provenance can get lost in the frenzy of excitement over a new find. They also took advantage of the particular circumstances in Germany, where the Nazi past can perversely be used as a sort of shortcut to legitimacy—tapping, as well, into deep reservoirs of German guilt and loss. The Beltracchis, Jentsch says, were “very clever . . . from a psychological standpoint. They thought, How can we make people believe our story?” And, he concludes, “they carried it off brilliantly.”Read the story: The Greatest Fake-Art Scam in History? One of his forgeries hung in a show at the Met. Steve Martin bought another of his fake paintings. Still others have sold at auction for multi-million-dollar prices. So how did a self-described German hippie pull off one of the biggest, most lucrative cons in art-world history? And how did he get nailed? Vanity Fair>>