The Tiger Woods imbroglio

November 30, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

There are a couple of contradictory stories about the recent car crash involving Tiger Woods. It is now mostly said that it was caused by his wife attacking him over an affair that he allegedly had. A tabloid has claimed Woods was having an affair with Rachel Uchitel – a sexy Manhattan hostess who lost a fiancé in the World Trade Center on 9/11 and who was previously linked, very linked, to married television star David Boreanaz.

I thought a photo of Uchitel might help people clarify their minds about it all. See below. Ms Uchitel is said to be very friendly to celebrities so Tiger could well have scored a hole in one. He has admitted to knowing her. “Uchitel” is a Russian surname and “Rachel” is usually Jewish. A lot of Russian Jews moved to NYC after the Soviet collapse. Jewish ladies often have a lot of bosom so there is the faint — very faint – possibility that what you see below may be natural

THE NEWS

British Keystone Kops again: “A police force has apologised after deploying 30 officers, a fleet of vehicles, dogs and a helicopter to arrest members of a rock band on the basis of false information. The four members of The Thirst, from Brixton, South London, were arrested at gunpoint after a gig in Staffordshire after a CCTV operator told police they had a handgun in their car. The musicians, their manager and a friend were detained overnight, had their fingerprints and DNA taken, surrendered their clothes for scientific examination and had their hands swabbed for firearms residue. On closer examination, however, the security camera footage showed the band unloading their instruments and equipment and using jump leads to start one of their vehicles. Staffordshire Police initially claimed it had acted “appropriately and proportionately” in arresting the group, who have been a support act to the Rolling Stones and the Sex Pistols. But a senior officer has now apologised “unreservedly” to the six men and is reviewing the circumstances leading to their arrest. The Times has obtained a Special Delivery letter sent to each of the men by Assistant Chief Constable Jane Sawyers, which states: “We clearly got this wrong and I totally accept the sighting of a handgun was a mistake.” Ms Sawyers promised the men that their DNA samples and fingerprints would be destroyed and offered them the opportunity to oversee that process.”

British bungling never stops: “Almost 200 prisoners including murders and sex offenders have been released early by mistake from jails, according to official government figures. The number wrongfully released has jumped by 45 per cent in the past two years as the jail service struggles to cope with overcrowding and a record prison population. Latest figures from the Ministry of Justice show that prisoners are being released early by mistake from jails in England and Wales at a rate of almost one a week. Jason Bethell a murder suspect, was accidentally released early from Chelmsford Prison two weeks ago but later gave himself up to the police. He is back in custody. Dominic Grieve, the shadow Justice Secretary said: “As prisons have become more overcrowded, staff overworked and transfers of inmates between prisons more frequent, the number of erroneous releases has shot up. This is a direct consequence of Labour’s incompetent mismanagement of the justice system.” Official Ministry of Justice figures released to the Conservations in a series of parliamentary written answers show that 193 prisoners were released early by mistake between January 2005 and the end of September this year.”

Seagoing bovine in Australia’s wild North: “A sea rescue operation was launched to save a 500kg cow after it was found floating about in Northern Territory waters yesterday. The mystery marine bovine was spotted doggy-paddling around in Darwin Harbour during the morning hours. Rescuers – armed with a life ring and a length of rope – found it in between South Shell Island and the gas plant. It was reportedly not in a good mood. Workboats Northern Australia (WBNA) operations manager Ben Wall and his crew had a bit of a struggle catching the surly steer. “He was sort of heading further away from the safe side of things – heading for the mangroves near the gas plant,” Mr Wall said. “He was a bit feisty – the first time the boys tried to lasso it, it got away. But the farmyard animal eventually returned to the boat to have a life ring fitted over his head – “so it knew we were trying to help”, Mr Wall said. They motored slowly back to shore, reaching dry land in about 45 minutes. By 11.30am the unlikely sea creature was back on terra firma. Mr Wall said they’re not sure where it came from. But it’s now resting at Berrimah export yards after one of his mates – cattle exporter Linton Batt – sent out ringers to wrangle the steer when it docked. This is the second time Mr Wall has helped save a soggy cow from the harbour. WBNA crews – who usually operate marine vessels for construction and maintenance industry projects – are used to handling some odd jobs. “(A cow is) nothing out of the ordinary,” he said. “We’ll have a crack at anything.”

A ‘peacock’ spider: “The tiny arachnid, found in Australia, shows off a rainbow of colours to impress nearby females. It can raise a pair of legs and fan out two brightly patterned flaps at the back of its body. Displaying its spectrum of shades in an attempt to attract the attention of the less vibrant brown spiders, the creature reveals hues of orange, yellow, green and blue. Also known as a Maratus Vilans, amateur photographer Jurgen Otto originally spotted the colourful creature in the wild. However, as it is only 4mm long, he found it easier to capture images in his Sydney home. The spider also uses its third pair of legs in the mating display, raising them to show a brush of black hairs and white tips. The spider can also jump, but the common belief that it can use its patterned flaps to glide through the air is an urban myth which has been debunked by the Australasian Arachnological Society. Both sexes of the spider rarely reach more than 5mm in body length. Females are brown with no distinct pattern.”

Brewery launches world’s strongest beer at 32% proof: “A brewery with a history of controversy claims to have made the world’s strongest beer, named Tactical Nuclear Penguin, at 32 per cent proof. Its maker, BrewDog brewers of Fraserburgh, Scotland, described the tipple as its “most audacious and ambitious project to date”. Only 500 bottles of TNP have been produced, with half going on sale for 30 pounds ($50) each and remainder offered for 250 — with a share in the company also on offer. In a posting on the company’s website, James Watt, the managing director said: “This beer is bold, irreverent and uncompromising, a beer with a soul and a purpose, a statement of intent. “A beer like Tactical Nuclear Penguin should be enjoyed in spirit sized measures.” BrewDog, which describes itself as making “progressive, craft beers” was previously responsible for an 18.2pc drink called Tokyo which it claimed had been “banned” by the Portman Group, the industry body which runs a voluntary code of conduct. It also made a low alcohol brew which it mockingly name “Nanny State”.

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Strange plane

November 29, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The plane in the above picture is still officially the ‘Air Vehicle Number 1′, a prototype, on board the USS George Washington CVN-73 for catapult fit checks. Not exactly still Top Secret but certainly not yet made public.

It will be known as the F/A-37. Although specs are classified, it is believed to be Mach 3.5 (top speed in the Mach 4 range) super-cruise stealth fighter/bomber/interceptor with approximately a 4,000nm range.

Update

I should have consulted a hoax checker. It is not a real plane. See the comments.

THE NEWS

Recipe for test-tube meat: :Scientists have grown meat in the laboratory for the first time. Experts in Holland used cells from a live pig to replicate growth in a petri dish. The advent of so-called “in-vitro” or cultured meat could reduce the billions of tons of greenhouse gases emitted each year by farm animals — if people are willing to eat it. So far the scientists have not tasted it, but they believe the breakthrough could lead to sausages and other processed products being made from laboratory meat in as little as five years’ time. They initially extracted cells from the muscle of a live pig. Called myoblasts, these cells are programmed to grow into muscle and repair damage in animals. The cells were then incubated in a solution containing nutrients to encourage them to multiply indefinitely. This nutritious “broth” is derived from the blood products of animal foetuses, although the intention is to come up with a synthetic solution. The result was sticky muscle tissue that requires exercise, like human muscles, to turn it into a tougher steak-like consistency. “You could take the meat from one animal and create the volume of meat previously provided by a million animals,” said Mark Post, professor of physiology at Eindhoven University, who is leading the Dutch government-funded research. Post and his colleagues have so far managed to develop a soggy form of pork and are seeking to improve its texture.”

English whisky? “It’s a fierce rivalry which goes back centuries. And the sometimes bitter relationship between Scotland and England has just got a little more tense. For the first time in 100 years, a whisky made south of the border is about to go on sale. Bottles of the single malt Chapter 6 made by the English Whisky Co carry a picture of St George slaying the dragon. The iconic English imagery, as well as plans to sell it north of the border, have enraged Scotch whisky traditionalists. John Kaylor, chairman of the Perthshire branch of the Tartan Army, fan club of the Scottish international football team, said: ‘It’s flattering that the English want to copy us but what’s next – Shakespeare shortbread and the Lake Windermere monster? ‘No true Tartan Army member would ever wet their lips with English whisky.’ The makers stoked up the debate by announcing plans for a ‘commemorative bottling’ if England win the football World Cup next summer. The firm is planning to stock its malt in shops from December 16, with a 700ml bottle costing £34.99. Exports will start after Christmas. The first barrels were produced from locally grown barley at its St George’s distillery in Norfolk in 2006. Then, it could only be called a malt spirit. Now, it can be officially classed as a whisky as it has been stored for more than three years.

Killer whales eat sharks: “Using a combination of superior brain power and brute force, the highly-intelligent orcas are able to catch and eat what many think of as the ocean’s top predators. The notorious Great White and Mako are just two of at least nine species of shark known to be on the menu for some orca families. Populations of orcas in territories across the globe – including New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Farallon Islands off America’s West Coast – have devised a number of strategies with which to take down their mighty adversaries. But to make sure they don’t end up seriously injured when attacking such dangerous prey, the orcas spend years perfecting the various techniques and watching more experienced adults demonstrate how to do it properly. ‘The most impressive strategy is the ‘karate chop’,” said expert Dr Ingrid Visser, 43, who has studied orca behaviour for 17 years. ‘The orca will use its tail to drive the shark to the surface. They don’t even touch it. Using an up-thrust of its tail it creates a vortex which pushes the shark up on the current they create with their movements. ‘Once the shark is at the surface, the killer whale pivots and lifts its tail out of the water and comes down on top of it like a karate chop.’ With the shark dazed, the orca grasps the dazed shark and turns it upside down – giving a mind-boggling impression that the killer whale understands shark biology. When sharks are quickly flipped upside down, they enter paralysed state known as ‘tonic immobility’ – making for an easy meal.” [Pix at source]

Aircraft blamed for grey British skies: “Clouds generated by a single jet aircraft can reduce sunshine levels over thousands of square miles, researchers have found. The Met Office used satellites to watch the vapour trail of an aircraft flying over the North Sea on a sunny day earlier this year. Researchers had expected high-level winds to rip the trail apart and disperse it, but the opposite happened. The vapour trail — made up of soot and tiny ice crystals — seemed to act as a catalyst for more clouds to form. The clouds kept on growing even as they were blown southwards until eventually they formed a hazy high-level blanket of cirrus cloud across southeast England. Since hundreds of jets fly over Britain each day, the collective impact from such clouds could be huge. It means people jetting off to the sun are generating cloud cover that reduces the sunshine for those left at home.”

Paris, the city of sleep: “Paris may attract more visitors than any other city, but after dark the City of Light risks becoming the Capital of Sleep unless something is done to perk up its nightlife, according to the latest French protest movement. “We must do something or soon everyone interested in nightlife will be forced into exile in London or Berlin,” said Eric Labbé, an aficionado of electronic music, who has launched a campaign to help to save the Paris club scene from extinction. His petition has attracted 13,000 supporters who are appalled at a rigorous clampdown on noise and the closures of famous clubs. Part of the problem, says Labbé, is the growing intolerance of the increasingly bourgeois Parisians about noise after dark. This has resulted in the police imposing a “law of silence” on a city which was once hailed as a centre of nocturnal revelry. Paris nightlife is becoming so dull, says the petition, that people in search of nocturnal thrills go to London and other European cities for fun. The point is made by a photograph attached to the petition which shows an announcement on a poster outside a club: “Closed due to dead city. Please apply to the neighbouring capital.” Despite its age-old image as a beacon of hedonism, the golden age of Parisian nightlife was before the war, when writers such as Ernest Hemingway portrayed life in the city as one endless party. A smoking ban in force since January is being blamed for complicating matters for nightclub owners as revellers spill onto the pavements to smoke and make noise.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Beware of assumptions

November 28, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE NEWS

Australian servo slip-up sees two bagged by cops: “Police have arrested two men after one of them allegedly put a bag full of cannabis on a shop counter while paying for groceries. Police were called to the Caltex Service Station on the Stuart Highway in Alice Springs early yesterday morning after the attendant reported the incident. Poilce said the two men, aged 28 and 32, were arrested after Yona the drug detection dog found 14 grams of cannabis in the 28-year-old man’s clothes. The 32-year-old was released without charge and the 28-year-old was charged with drug possession in a public place. He has been bailed to appear in the Alice Springs Magistrates Court on December 15.”

Rare car: “It’s taken 4000 hours to get her prepared but Barrie Childs is finally ready to farewell his “Old Mother Gun”. The Sydney car collector is hoping to sell two Bentleys at next week’s Bonhams and Goodman vehicle auction. One is a replica of the “Old Mother Gun” racing car, a model made famous for two incidents at the Le Mans 24-hour race in Paris. In 1927 it was involved in the famous White House crash, in which the three Bentleys that entered into the event collided. The following year it won the coveted event. Childs believes his is one of only two replicas in the world. He was inspired to re-create it after finding a matching 1925 Bentley engine and chassis while on a trip in Britain to buy a Rolls-Royce Phantom II. He enlisted the help of the Vintage Motor Garage for the restoration. Tackling the Phantom II will be his next project once the sale of his two Bentleys – the other is a 1934 sports saloon – clears out some space in the garage.”

Australian shark wrangler catches tigers by the tail: “Meet the shark cowboy – the marine scientist who knows how to catch a tiger by the tail. Shark wrangler Richard Fitzpatrick has won scientific acclaim for his unusual technique of roping and riding giant man-eating Tiger sharks, all in the name of research. But, lately, fellow boffins have told him to rein in his death-defying underwater rodeo act. “They thought it was too dangerous to have me jumping in the water and catching them by hand,” the daredevil researcher said yesterday. “It’s mainly the big Tiger sharks they are worried about. “But I’ve not had any bad injuries. Not yet.” Tiger sharks are man-eating predators that grow up to 5m, the size of a small family car. “Riding a tiger shark is awesome,” said Mr Fitzpatrick, who left Cairns this week on a diving expedition tagging sharks in the Coral Sea. “You can feel the power building up in the animal as they start to swim. “Up to 5m is the biggest shark we’ve tagged so far. I want to get inside their heads.” He admits most people think he is either “a liar or a loony” when he tells them he lassoes sharks for a living. But it was the only way he could think of to get the ocean predators to the back of a boat to tag them with satellite-tracking devices.” Tail-roping has proved the least stressful for man and shark as, inexplicably, the predator becomes placid once the tail is caught allowing the splash tags to be attached to the dorsal fin.”

Drug user rips off his scrotum: “A legal drug known as ‘meow meow’ led one user to rip off his own scrotum, after he hallucinated for 18 hours and believed centipedes were crawling over his body and biting him. Police in the UK have warned people to stay away from the drug Mephedrone which is sold legally on the internet as plant fertilser. Its chemical formula is one molecule different to ecstasy and as such dealers are claiming is not a controlled substance. It is more commonly known on the streets as “drone”, “bubble”, “meow meow” or “legal high”. Durham Police are warning that its use can result in severe nose bleeds, nose burns, hallucinations, blood circulation problems, rashes, anxiety and paranoia, fits, delusions and can lead to a heart attack. But a police report – some of which was based on online forums about the drug – revealed a lad in Durham had tried to rip off his testicles after taking it”.

Iraq dudded by fake bomb detectors: “The Iraqi parliament is looking into the sale by a British company of “bomb detectors” costing millions of pounds amid claims that they do not work. In the past two years Iraq’s security forces have spent more than $80 million (£47 million) on the detectors made by ATSC Ltd, based in Yeovil, Somerset. The devices, which consist of little more than a telescopic radio aerial on a black plastic handle, were each sold for the price of a new car and are in use at army and police checkpoints across the bomb-ravaged country. On October 25 suicide bombers drove through checkpoints that were equipped with the detectors and blew up three government ministries, killing 155 people. The Iraqi parliament is scrutinising the purchase after an article appeared in The New York Times in which the American Major-General Richard J. Rowe Jr, who oversees Iraqi police training for the US, said: “I have no confidence that these work.” It comes after it was confirmed that the Iraqi Government had spent $85 million (£50 million) on the devices, despite the manufacturer’s admission that they work on the same principle as a dowsing rod. Each detector bought by the Iraqi Government cost up to $60,000 (£35,000). The American magician James Randi has condemned the device as a “blatant fraud” and offered $1 million if the manufacturer can prove that it works. It has declined.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Amazing Home remedies

November 27, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

1. If you are choking on an ice cube, don’t panic. Simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat and presto, the blockage will be almost instantly removed.

2. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

3. You can avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat just by using the sink.

4. For high blood pressure sufferers: Simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use an egg timer.

5. A mouse trap placed on top of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives. Then you will be afraid to cough.

7. Have a bad toothache? Smash your thumb with a hammer and you will forget all about the toothache.

8. Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are: In life, you only need two tools – WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn’t move but should, use the WD-40. If it should not move and does, use the duct tape.

9. Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

10. Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.

THE NEWS

Germany: Anti-terrorist police seal off airport … for fish: “Anti-terrorist police sealed off an airport terminal after mistaking 140lbs of frozen fish for a bomb. Armed SWAT teams evacuated terminal one at Hamburg airport, Germany. They leapt into action after police spotted two blue plastic wrapped packages on an apparently abandoned luggage trolley. But police smelt something fishy about the packages as they began to melt, filling the departure hall with the unmistakable aroma of rotting seafood. ‘We had to assume the worst until we knew what was on the trolley. Luckily just the fish went off, not a bomb,’ said one officer.”

Mysterious toilet blockages plague Cathay flights: “Cathay Pacific has announced it is fitting its Airbus fleet with new pipes following toilet blockage problems on three planes, with one packed flight forced to make an unscheduled landing because it had no working lavatory. Toilets on the Hong Kong airline’s Airbus A330 and A340 planes have been blocked in three separate incidents over the past 11 days, Cathay spokeswoman Carolyn Leung said, confirming a report by the South China Morning Post. One November 17 flight from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to Hong Kong carrying 278 passengers was forced to divert to Mumbai, when flight attendants discovered shortly after take-off that none of the plane’s 10 toilets was working. The enforced detour caused an 18-hour delay on what should have been an eight-hour flight. The two other flights affected by blocked toilets were from Rome to Hong Kong on November 9 and Dubai to Hong Kong on November 19. In both cases, the number of passengers had to be restricted to fewer than 240 when it was discovered before take-off that only toilets on one side of the plane were functioning. The exact cause of the toilet blockages remained unclear, the spokeswoman said, adding that passengers might be partly to blame.”

Ga. high court rules mower isn’t a motor vehicle: “A riding lawn mower may have four wheels, a powerful engine and can cost as much as a used car. If it’s stolen, however, the Georgia Supreme Court concluded Monday that it’s not a motor vehicle. The 4-3 decision overturned the conviction of Franklin Lloyd Harris, who was convicted of felony motor vehicle theft after he loaded a Toro riding mower in 2006 from a Home Depot in Dalton into his van and sped away. Because Harris was a repeat offender, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Public defender Michael McCarthy told the justices that while Harris should still be charged with theft, he shouldn’t be punished as if he had stolen a car. A riding mower is many things, a modern mechanical marvel among them, but McCarthy said it’s not a motor vehicle under state law. Prosecutors countered that the state defines a “motor vehicle” as a “self-propelled” device, and there’s no doubt a riding mower meets that standard. The state’s top court agreed, concluding in an 18-page decision that the sentence should be overturned because the purpose of a riding mower is to cut grass, not transport people.”

China’s garlic bubble: “Shanghai stocks have done very well, copper has soared and property has been blazing. Not one of those assets, though, can match the roaring returns on a kilogram of Chinese garlic. In the garlic-producing heartland of Jinxiang, wholesale market prices of the pungent clove — caught in a tornado of easy liquidity and artificial market forces — have been whisked into the stratosphere. Average prices, according to a report from the Ministry of Commerce, have hit 6.14yuan (97 cents) a kilogram, having surged 286 per cent since March. In some markets, the price has risen fortyfold this year, according to Jerry Lou, a Morgan Stanley analyst. In Jinxiang, the market activity has become so frenzied that fever for the stinking produce is affecting the financial sector. Local banks and cash machines have found themselves running out of money as speculators withdraw hard currency to fight for their purchases. The astonishing surge in the price of garlic makes it the best-performing Chinese asset class of the year.”

Samba star is born after maxi fuss over mini skirt: “Brazilians may be seeing a whole lot more of the student whose short pink dress got her booted from college: She’s agreed to march in the nation’s famously flesh-baring Carnival parades. Geisy Arruda, who became an instant celebrity after being heckled by hundreds of fellow students because of her dress, says she has accepted invitations to participate with samba groups in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. “It will be a dream come true for me,” Arruda said just before giving a deposition to police investigating the students who harassed her on October 22 at the University Bandeirante in Sao Bernardo do Campo, just outside Sao Paulo. Arruda, 20, said she will parade for the Leandro de Itaquera samba school in Sao Paulo and the Porto da Pedra school in Rio. The Rio and Sao Paulo parades are broadcast live throughout the nation of more than 190 million people. “Sometimes, good things come from bad things,” she said. Many women featured in Carnival dance nearly nude in feathered costumes, but Arruda didn’t say how naked she’s willing to get. “I hope to look good,” Arruda, who became an Internet sensation after video of what happened at the school appeared on YouTube. She had to put on a professor’s white coat and left the campus amid a hail of insults and curses. The private university expelled Arruda, alleging her provocative attitude, not her dress, caused the near riot. After a national uproar, the university reinstated her.” [Video at link]

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Odd travel insurance claims made by Australians

November 26, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

FROM broken hearts to thieving monkeys, insurance companies have revealed some of the most bizarre claims ever made by Australian travellers. Insurance companies have dealt with a range of out-there claims by travellers who’ve landed themselves in sticky situations overseas.

One Aussie traveller claimed a monkey stole his wallet while on a holiday. The insurance company covered his claim after a thorough investigation.

On the subject of furry friends, another traveller wanted compensation after alleging that her pets were jetlagged after a long haul journey.

Meanwhile, other holidaymakers have tried to cash in on their insurance policies by claiming a failed romance in France led to a broken heart, a music festival caused hearing loss and acid rain deteriorated a hire car’s paint job.

Strange claims that insurance companies honoured included a tourist whose possessions were stolen by gypsies after they rescued a child mid-air, another who lost their gold-capped dentures, and one partygoer whose heel fell off their Jimmy Choo shoe.

Travel experts from lastminute.com.au and travel.com.au say travel insurance is a must and is as essential as bringing your passport. “Travelling without travel insurance is a risky business, putting travellers in danger of expensive bills for emergency medical treatments, flight cancellations, theft and lost property,” Mia Carter from lastminute.com.au said. “A simple accident can add up to thousands of dollars if you’re not covered.

“One man fell over on a ferry in Croatia and broke his leg, and complications resulted in him being sent to London and eventually back to Australia to get it fixed. This would have cost him over $82,000 without travel insurance.”

Having travel insurance also paid off for a man whose suitcase, worth $13000, and passport fell off the back of a boat in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

Another traveller had a snowboarding accident where their snowboard went one way, and they went another, causing $66,000 worth of damage, which was covered by their policy.

Original story here

THE NEWS

Tourists rolled by gangs of baboon thugs: “Visitors worried about becoming victims of South Africa’s high crime rate could find themselves robbed by a more furry felon: baboons. Officials at the nation’s premier holiday destination are battling to control increasingly aggressive troupes of the large primate – and there are fears the problem will only worsen with the influx of visitors to Cape Town for the soccer World Cup next year. A troupe of 29 baboons raided four cars outside Simon’s Town, a small coastal neighbourhood, yesterday. One baboon known as “Fred”, the leader of the group, opened unlocked doors and jumped through windows to search for food, ransacking a bag in the back seat of a red car as a couple panicked about their passports. Other baboons climbed on car roofs, looking for ways in. ”We spend the whole day basically rescuing tourists,” Mark Duffels, a volunteer who monitors the baboons, said. There are about 420 baboons in 17 troupes that roam the city’s outskirts. They are a protected species under South African legislation”.

Miss Earth 2009: “The winners walk on a beach on the island of Boracay in Aklan province, central Philippines November 23, 2009. The winners are (L-R): Miss Earth Water Jessica Barboza of Venezuela, 22, Miss Earth Air Sandra Seifert of the Philippines, 25, Miss Earth Larissa Ramos of Brazil, 20 and Miss Earth Fire Alejandra Echevarria of Spain, 20. Ramos beat about eighty contestants from around the world to win the Miss Earth 2009 title on Sunday. [Not enough to make me a Greenie but nice anyway]

$1 million masterpiece by William Hogarth found in cupboard in Australia: “A portrait believed to be an 18th century British masterpiece worth about $1 million has been uncovered by chance. The oil-on-board self-portrait is believed to be the work of leading English artist-innovator William Hogarth. It has been sitting for 30 years in a cupboard at historical society rooms in Maryborough, and its discovery has the art world’s pulse fluttering. Dated circa 1731, the modest, wood-framed 40cm painting is in the initial process of authentication after Queensland Museum development officer Fiona Mohr contacted Hogarth expert Christine Riding at London’s Tate Gallery. The work was uncovered last month during a Collections of Australia assessment of artefacts in museums across the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay. “The funny thing is the Maryborough Historical Society had been sitting on it for quite a while believing they could have a Hogarth,” Ms Mohr said. “But like a lot of these societies, they didn’t look at it in terms of the object’s value in a monetary sense.” Ms Mohr said the painting was believed to have been given to the society by Maryborough resident Minnie Hull in the early 1970s. “It had been given to a relative of the donor at the time of their marriage in 1881,” she said. “It was said to be 150 years old, so this is how we dated it back to 1731.”

TN: Prisoners escape, steal cigarettes, then return to prison: “State prison officials say two southern Middle Tennessee inmates escaped, burglarized a convenience store and then returned on their own. In a news release Monday, officials said the two broke out a window in their cell Nov. 7 at the Turney Center Industrial Complex annex in Clifton. They stole cigarettes and tobacco products from a store in Clifton and then returned to the minimum-security annex. Officers later discovered the contraband and an investigation began. Michael Queener and Adam Garland will face additional charges involving escape and burglary.”

Hungary: Don’t kiss Santa: “Santa Claus should avoid kissing children and shaking their hands to prevent spreading the flu and should get vaccinated against the illness, Hungary’s state health authority said. In a recommendation issued over the weekend and posted on its official website http://www.antsz.hu, the authority did not ban traditional Santa Claus activities but warned of increased risks of contagion due to a nationwide flu epidemic. … ‘For Santa Clauses, prevention is especially important as they meet lots of children in early December, and therefore they face a high risk of infection,’ the authority said. ‘If Santa Claus is elderly, overweight or has a chronic illness, and therefore belongs to a high risk group concerning the flu … then getting a vaccination against the flu is particularly important,’ it added.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

There’s nothing like a Christmas Carol

November 25, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

‘In honour of this holy season’ Saint Peter said, ‘You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven.’

The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. ‘It represents a candle’, he said.

‘You may pass through the pearly gates’ Saint Peter said.

The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, ‘They’re bells.’

Saint Peter said ‘You may pass through the pearly gates’.

The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women’s panties.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, ‘And just what do those symbolize?’

The man replied, ‘These are Carol’s.’

THE NEWS

Rio bans coconuts on its beaches: “One of the enduring images of Rio’s beaches – coconuts opened to yield their sweet water – is about to be a thing of the past under a new clean-up campaign by authorities. The environment secretariat of the host city of the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games has decreed that the big green fruit beloved by thirsty residents and tourists alike is an unhygienic eye-sore and its sale by vendors will be banned from December 1. ”Go on Ipanema beach at the end of the day and you’ll see a mountain of coconuts that people have left on the sand. What attracts rats most to the beach are coconut husks,” the official in charge of the beaches, Jovanildo Savastano, said. Up to 30 tonnes of empty coconuts are recovered every day, he said. Some environmentalists argue however that the fruit is biodegradable and presents no negative ecological impact. Its liquid is also excellent for health, they say. Beachgoers with a craving for coconut juice will still be able to slake their thirst, but only by buying it in receptacles like bottles – or industrially made, in cans. ”This ban favours companies more than the people,” one environmentalist, Gerhard Sardo, said, stressing that empty drink cans are already a problem.”

It’s txting times for many parents: “It’s a classic case of if you can’t beat them, join them, especially if you’re a parent. NSW’s Deputy Police Commissioner Dave Owens has mastered the complications of the teenage mind to solve one of his most important cases yet. And it may just hold some answers for parents everywhere. He has discovered that if he texts his 17 and 19-year-old daughters to tell them dinner is ready it works better than if he calls out to tell them to come downstairs. Welcome to the modern method of communication with teenagers. Academics, including one who has even posted a Twitter message to ask his wife for a coffee when she was sitting next to him, were unsurprised by Owens’ discovery. “If I yell out to them they ignore me, they’re with their phone or with their Myspace so if I SMS them I get a response. It is a sign of their generation,” Mr Owens said. “If dinner is ready and I want them to come down it saves me yelling four and five times up the stairs. My yelling gets ignored – my SMS gets an instant reply. They are straight down.”

I’ll paay that: “Playboy magazine is about to get its oldest ever playmate after a Dutch reality television star agreed to reveal all at the age of 60. Singer and Holland’s Got Talent judge Patricia Paay [above] will strip off for next month’s issue of the raunchy men’s magazine. “I’ll show it all. The results are classy, but I’ll hide nothing,” Paay said. Despite her years, photographer Philip Riches said the blonde star still looks stunning. “She is amazing and has an exceptionally good body. She is so open and has a lot of energy. At the end of the shoot, I was exhausted,” Riches said. In a message to bolster older ladies everywhere, the photographer added everything about the diva is real – “her breasts, her butt, her legs, nothing is fake, maybe except for her nails.” The photos were shot at a country house and depict Paay running around the woods naked.”

Cops on trail of gingerbread vandal: “The people of Bergen rolled out the cookie dough on Monday as local police tried to sniff out vandals who destroyed the Norwegian city’s traditional Christmas decoration — a town of gingerbread houses. On Saturday, vandals entered a massive tent in central Bergen and crushed most of the 650-cookie-house town, topping off the ruins with paint and fire extinguisher foam. Police in Norway’s second largest city asked the public to offer information that could lead to the perpetrators. “The people who did this must be full of gingerbread dust, They will smell a long way,” police inspector Erik Sveaas told news agency NTB. Local media reported that the destruction had shocked the residents of Bergen, a picturesque city on the North Sea coast where children decorate hundreds of gingerbread houses every year before Christmas. Steinar Kristoffersen, who runs the Bergen Sentrum foundation behind “the worlds largest and greatest gingerbread town”, said the opening of the exhibit will be postponed well into next week due to the vandalism.”

Women nag ‘useless’ husbands to feel more feminine: “Women have long complained that their man doesn’t pull his weight on household chores. But his lack of effort on the domestic front could actually be a myth created by his partner, researchers have found. According to a major study, female breadwinners exaggerate their partner’s uselessness around the home because they feel guilty about devoting too much time to their career, and not enough to their role of wife and mother. By nagging their man over his alleged shortcomings, women feel more feminine because they can control the traditionally female role of maintaining the home and family, experts say. ‘Working women who provide the majority of the household’s income continue to articulate themselves as the ones who ‘see’ household messes and needs as a way to retain claim to an element of traditional female identity,’ said Dr Rebecca Meisenbach, professor of communication at Missouri University. Dr Meisenbach questioned 15,000 American female breadwinners for the study, to be published in the journal Sex Roles this week. She said most of the women she interviewed did not resent the fact that their husband was neither a breadwinner nor a home maker. ‘Over 60 per cent said they enjoyed the control they experienced. By highlighting stories of how men have to be told or asked to do specific chores in he home, these female breadwinners are making sure they still fit gender boundaries of a wife as someone who manages the home and children.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Some ignorant but hilarious answers on British quiz shows

November 24, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PRESENTER: Who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?

CALLER: Leonardo di Caprio.

PRESENTER: Was the Tyrannosaurus Rex a carnivore or a herbivore?

CONTESTANT: No, it was a dinosaur.

ANNE ROBINSON: What type of bear lives in the Arctic?

CONTESTANT (after much thought): Penguin.

ANNE ROBINSON: What was the principal language used by the ancient Romans?

CONTESTANT: Greek.

PRESENTER: Emmental and Double Gloucester are both types of what?

CALLER: Banks.

JEREMY PAXMAN: Of all Beatrix Potter’s books, which is the only one to feature a human in the title?

ANTONY BEEVOR (author and historian): Peter Rabbit

ANNE ROBINSON: What ‘B’ was a pseudonym used by Charles Dickens?

CONTESTANT: Bart Simpson.

STEVE WRIGHT: Johnny Weissmuller died on this day. Which jungle-swinging character clad only in a loincloth did he play?

CALLER: Jesus.

ANNE ROBINSON: The point on a golf club or a tennis racket that gives the best contact is alliteratively known as the what spot?

CONTESTANT: The g-spot.

ANNE ROBINSON: Who won the U.S. Open Tennis Championship wearing a black dress modelled on Audrey Hepburn’s in Breakfast at Tiffany’s?

CONTESTANT: Roger Federer.

DARREN DAY: What area of Germany is the cake named after, made with chocolate, cream, kirsch and cherries?

CONTESTANT: Belgium?

PRESENTER: What is the capital of Cuba?

CALLER: Is it Belgium?

DALE WINTON: Alderney and Sark – are they part of the Channel Islands?

CONTESTANT: Ooooh! Is that the English Channel? I don’t know, are there islands in the English Channel? I’ve never heard of any. France – that’s near the English Channel isn’t it?

ANNE ROBINSON: Pakistan was part of which other state until it achieved independence in 1947?

CONTESTANT: Bulgaria.

DAVE LEE TRAVIS: In which European country are there people called Walloons?

CALLER: Wales.

QUIZMASTER: Where is the Sea of Tranquility?

CONTESTANT: Ibiza.

ANNE ROBINSON: What kind of dozen is 13?

CONTESTANT: Half a dozen.

STEVE WRIGHT: On what part of the body is a lobotomy performed?

CONTESTANT: The bottom.

PRESENTER: What was the date of the Battle of Hastings?

CONTESTANT: Ooooh! Er…. was it 1974?

ANNE ROBINSON: Which English queen rode a chariot with knives on the wheels?

CONTESTANT (full of confidence): Victoria!

PRESENTER: Which ancient army was discovered in China in 1974?

CONTESTANT: The Territorial Army.

PRESENTER: What was Hitler’s first name?

CONTESTANT: Heil.

PRESENTER: Who was the Prime Minister before Tony Blair?

CALLER: George Bush.

PRESENTER: Name Prince Charles’s younger sister.

CALLER: Is it Camelia?

PRESENTER: What religion was Guy Fawkes?

CALLER: Jewish.

ANNE ROBINSON: In Roman Catholicism, baptism, confirmation and matrimony are three of the seven what?

CONTESTANT: Deadly sins.

ANNE ROBINSON: What man made structure built during the 3rd century BC is often said to be visible from space?

CONTESTANT: The Millennium Dome.

PRESENTER: According to legend, who shot an apple off the top of his son’s head?

CONTESTANT: Well, straightaway I’m thinking of Isaac Newton.

More here

THE NEWS

Germany’s Robin Hood banker spared jail: “The manager of a bank branch in Germany who secretly transferred money from rich clients to heavily indebted customers has been sentenced to a 22-month suspended jail term. The 62-year-old woman, dubbed “the Robin Hood banker”, was found guilty of moving a total of €7.6 million ($12 million) between December 2003 and February 2005, in 117 separate transfers. Her altruistic aim was to prevent clients from seeing their accounts closed for want of funds. As a rule, she transferred the money back when the indebted clients were solvent again, but €1.1 million ($1.7 million) was lost when certain customers were unable to pay their debts. The court, in the western city of Bonn, took a lenient view of the fraud as she owned up immediately and took none of the money for herself. It also judged she had suffered enough after losing her job and paying compensation. According to press reports, she now lives off a tiny pension.”

McDonald’s turns golden arches green in Germany: “With the climate change summit in Copenhagen fast approaching, even McDonald’s has decided to go green — at least with its logo. At German branches of the US fast-food chain, the famous golden arches will be emblazoned on a green background, rather than its usual red, McDonald’s Germany vice-president Holger Beeck said. The change would be made on all new and refitted restaurants “out of respect for the environment”, Beeck told the Financial Times Deutschland. A study earlier this month showed that McDonald’s was the most popular brand for Germans between the ages of 12 and 18. McDonald’s has in the past come under fire from environmental groups on several fronts, including its use of packaging and deforestation. However, environmental campaigners Greenpeace have also praised the company for efforts to be more environmentally friendly, including introducing refrigerators without harmful chlorofluorocarbons.”

Man discovers Charles Manson is his real dad: “A man who went in search of his biological father was shocked to learn it was famed serial killer Charles Manson. Matthew Roberts, a 41-year-old DJ who lives in Los Angeles, said the shock of discovering his father sent him into depression. Mr Roberts grew up in Rockford, Illinois but didn’t know he was adopted until his sister told him at age 10. Despite his adoptive father telling him “nothing good” would come of discovering who his real parents were, Mr Roberts used a social services agency to locate his mother, Terry. She confirmed Mr Roberts was adopted and told him his birth name was Lawrence Alexander but would not reveal the last name. Eventually Terry relented and revealed that Mr Roberts’ father was Manson, who she claims raped her in 1967 after she had succumbed to his manic charisma. “She even said, ‘You look just like him’, Mr Roberts said recalling the shocking revelation. Manson has confirmed that he could be Mr Roberts’ father and that he remembers Terry. Mr Roberts fears he may have inherited some of Manson’s characteristics but insists he is a very peaceful person. “I’m not nuts but I’ve got a little bit of it,” Mr Roberts said.”

Police issue worst e-fit in the entire world… and it works!: “Some have compared it to the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, while others wondered how hard it could be to find a man who apparently does not have ears. But it’s police in Bolivia who may yet have the last laugh. By some miracle they actually managed to capture a murder suspect using what may well be the worst e-fit in the entire world. Bolivian authorities released this crudely-drawn e-fit of the man believed to have taken part in the murder of a taxi driver in March. His body was found in March. He had been stabbed eleven times and then his body had been burnt. The e-fit was drawn by a woman who lived in the area where Rafael’s body was found. She claimed the drawing showed the man who killed the taxi driver and then set his body on fire. YouTube video of a Pat Noticias news anchor solemnly announcing the release of the e-fit was quickly picked up by bemused bloggers and become an Internet hit just days after being post. But police efforts may have paid off. They have made at least one arrest in the case, nabbing a suspect who was then paraded before the cameras – although, as he cannot be identified, most media sites cheekily blocked his face out with an image of the e-fit.”

Australian bank gets rewarded for dumping fees: “It was a colossal gamble — the first major bank to dump penalty fees to appease angry customers, a move that would flush more than $100 million down the drain annually. But it appears National Australia Bank’s pre-emptive bet on fee reductions has paid off in spades. A month after dumping all penalty fees, NAB saw a 40 per cent reduction in customer complaints and a sixfold increase in customer acquisitions. NAB chief executive Cameron Clyne yesterday admitted his market-leading purge on penalty fees was so successful in driving new business and generating customer goodwill that it almost covered the drop in fee revenue. The bank announced in July it would be dumping its overdrawn account and dishonour fees in a bid to win new customers and improve the bank’s image.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Blogroll

November 24, 2009 at 12:38 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

After years of neglect, I have pruned my blogroll (in the side column under “OTHER BLOGS”). I checked each link and found most of them “dead” or no longer regularly updated. So there are only about a tenth as many blogs on it compared to what used to be there. They should all now be “live”, however.

Any suggestions for blogs that should be there are welcome but will not necessarily be acted on.

The wonders of youth

November 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

THE NEWS

Dad spoke to son in Klingon: “A dad spoke only KLINGON to his son for the first three years of his life to see if he could pick up the alien language. Linguist Dr d’Armond Speers came up with the idea after watching an episode of Star Trek. He spent days translating phrases into Klingon – hoping his toddler’s first word would be “vav” rather than “dad”. Dr Speers, of Minnesota, US, battled on with commands like “find the USS Enterprise”, – but his wife only spoke English to the infant. He said: “He was definitely starting to learn it. When Alec spoke back to me in Klingon his pronunciation was excellent.” Eventually he abandoned his scheme, admitting his son “stopped listening to me when I spoke in Klingon”. He added: “It was clear he didn’t enjoy it.” Alec, now 13, doesn’t speak a word of Klingon.”

University cracks down on fat blacks: “A UNIVERSITY’S requirement that overweight undergraduates take fitness classes before they receive their degrees has upset students and drawn criticism from health and legal experts. Officials at Lincoln University, near Philadelphia, said they were concerned about high rates of obesity and diabetes, especially in the African-American community. “We know we’re in the midst of an obesity epidemic,” said James L. DeBoy, chairman of Lincoln’s department of health, physical education and recreation. “We have an obligation to address this … [knowing] there’s going to be some fallout.” Students are required to have tests of their body mass index, a measure of weight to height. Students with an index of 30 or above – considered obese – are required to take a weekly Fitness for Life class, which involves walking, aerobics, weight training and information on nutrition, stress and sleep. Mr DeBoy said students were not required to lose weight, they just had to pass the class through attendance and participation.”

Rare Darwin book found in British toilet: “A first edition of Charles Darwin’s seminal On the Origin of Species will be sold this week after it was found in a family’s toilet in southern Britain. The book, which was first printed in 1859, was bought by a family for just a few shillings in a shop about 40 years ago, Christie’s auction house said. The family has since kept the work on a bookcase in the guest lavatory at their home in the Oxford area, it said. The book will go under the hammer in London tomorrow to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the publication of the father of the theory of evolution’s famous work. The book, about 1250 copies of which were first printed, is expected to fetch €60,000 ($100,000). Margaret Ford, head of books and manuscripts at Christie’s, said the book would have been a bargain when it was bought by the present owner. “It’s incredibly important,” Ms Ford said, adding of the current owner: “He knew it (the book) was textually important. “He maybe did not know how much of a bargain he was getting.” Christie’s said the son-in-law of the current owners was at an exhibition on Darwin and spotted a picture of the spine of the work. He realised the book in the toilet was something special, matching the binding of the work in the picture.

NYC teacher sues for slipping on condom: “A teacher is suing the Department of Education after slipping on condoms. Karen Hollander is blaming the department for failing to clean up the condoms and other rubbish and claiming that this negligence made the area unsafe. Hollander said she suffered injuries to her head and nervous system after her fall at the High School of Art & Design in New York City on November 12, 2008. The suit says school officials failed to maintain safety in the cafeteria by allowing trash that included condoms to pile up on the floor. “They caused, allowed and permitted condoms to be distributed by school personnel to the students, many of which were opened during the school lunch period and thrown on the floor,” said the suit.” [Classy school!]

Now THAT’S a parking ticket!: “A sports car that had been illegally parked near Downing Street was blown up by police amid fears of a terrorist attack. Michael Raphel, 28, left his red Honda Civic Type R on double yellow lines less than a quarter of a mile from Number 10. The Metropolitan Police carried out two controlled explosions after CCTV footage showed him running from the parked vehicle. The incident happened on November 7, the day before a Remembrance Sunday Parade. Mr Raphel, a businessman from Headington, Oxford, who was visiting London to celebrate a friend’s birthday, said he returned to find his burnt out car surrounded by anti-terror police. ”They explained that because I was seen running from the car, and because of the parades the next day, it had heightened their suspicions. ”The driver and passenger windows had been blown out and the bonnet and boot had come open with the force… Mr Raphel, who owns a men’s designer clothing store, said he would be seeking compensation from the police and an apology. But a spokesman for confused.com, an insurance price comparison website, said it is unlikely Michael will receive a payout for his car as he parked illegally.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Some quotes About Getting Old

November 22, 2009 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

* I much prefer being over the hill to being under it. ~Bruce Lansky

* At my age I don’t care if my mind starts to wander- just as long as it comes back again. ~Mike Knowles

* Middle age is when a narrow waist and a broad mind begin to change places. ~Glenn Dorenbush

* When you can finally afford the rings you want, you’d rather no one noticed your hands. ~Lois Muehl

* A man has reached middle age when he is warned to slow down by his doctor instead of the police. ~Henny Youngman

THE NEWS

Britain: Cheap clothes better made that expensive ones: “In a study, analysing how well made high street clothes were, supermarket and so-called value retailers performed better than designer names. The consultancy tested ten pairs of ladies jeans and ten polo shirts. The jeans ranged in price from £7 to £123, while the polo shirt ranged in price from £12 to £85. In both cases the cheap versions of the clothes generally fared better than the expensive versions. The garments were sent to a professional testing laboratory, used by the fashion industry, and were tested in 15 different trials, which analysed their colour-fastness, their seam strength, how much they shrunk, and their resistance to abrasion. Andy Garbutt, retail expert at PWC, said: “We didn’t test for fit, fashionability or brand. We purely looked at the quality of the clothes, how well made they were. “And it is clear that there is no longer a link between quality and price. It may not have been the cheapest clothes that won, but it was often the second cheapest.” With the jeans the top performing pair cost £8, followed by an £18 pair with a £9.50 pair in third place. The worst two performers were a £40 and a £25 pair. The £123 pair came in fourth place. With the polo shirt the top performer cost £12, followed by another £12 version, with a £4.50 shirt in third place. The average price of the three worse performers was £15, with the £85 shirt in fifth place.”

Free silver penis implants for all Cubans: “CUBA’S government has offered its first free penis implants, part of a program set to be expanded across the communist island, an official newspaper reported. It is likely not what Karl Marx had in mind when he imagined a society transformed “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs”, but Juventud Rebelde reported the silicon and silver penis implants were set to become more common. Men in seven Cuban provinces will be eligible for the procedure, which urologist Juan Carlos Yip boasted was normally “exclusive to first-world countries and at a high cost”. “It will be carried out in patients whose sexual suffering does not respond positively to traditional treatments,” he said. The over-40s and those with diabetes or circulation problems are set to be first in line”. [Would YOU trust a Cuban doctor to operate on your willy?]

British poll reveals sexual ignorance: “More than one in 10 British people don’t realise that a woman can still get pregnant if she has sex standing up, according to a poll. Nearly one in five – 19 per cent – are also unaware that a woman can get pregnant during her period, or if the man withdraws before ejaculation, according to the Government-commissioned survey. While 11 per cent believe that sex standing up is an effective contraceptive method, more than a third – 37 per cent – never talk about contraception with their partners at all. “In spite of our love of talking about sex and relationships, the survey suggests it’s our lack of knowledge that is causing confusion,” commented sex and relationship expert Dr Pam Spurr. Other findings from the poll of 2000 people aged 16-50 include that 31 per cent never discuss sexual health with partners, while 17 per cent don’t know that infections like herpes and genital warts are resistant to antibiotics.”

An eatery to avoid: “If you’re frustrated by poor service at a restaurant, think twice before you decide to not tip. You may be in for a bit more than just a dirty look from the waiter. “Nobody, nobody wants to be forced to pay a tip or be arrested for terrible service,” Leslie Pope said when her happy hour ended in handcuffs. Pope and John Wagner were hauled away by police and charged with theft for not paying the mandatory 18 percent gratuity totaling $16 after eating at the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pa. with six friends. Pope claimed that they had to wait nearly an hour for their order and that she had to get napkins and silverware for the table herself. After the $73 bill came, the group paid for food, drinks, and tax but refused to pay the tip. After explaining the bad service to the bartender in charge, Pope claimed he took their money and called police. The couple was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car. Police charged them with theft since the gratuity was part of the actual bill. However, it is doubtful that the charges will hold up in front of a judge. The couple is scheduled to appear in court next month.”

Smiling in a bikini on Facebook costs Canadian woman her insurance benefits: “Facebook can be a double-edged sword, a Canadian woman learned when an insurance company cut her health benefits, claiming she was healthy after seeing pictures of her smiling in bikini at the beach. Nathalie Blanchard, 29, took long-term sick leave from her job at IBM in Bromont, Quebec, more than a year ago for severe depression. She was receiving monthly benefits from her insurance company, Manulife. When Ms Blanchard called Manulife to ask why the payments dried up, the insurance company said that “I’m available to work, because of Facebook,” she told CBC television. She said that Manulife cited several pictures Ms Blanchard had posted on her social networking website page, including some showing her enjoying herself during a male strip-tease show at a Chippendales bar, celebrating her birthday and bathing in the sun. Based on these postings, the firm claimed Ms Blanchard was no longer depressed. Manulife declined to comment on the incident but said in a statement that “we would not deny or terminate a valid claim solely based on information published on websites such as Facebook.” But the company did recognize that it uses such information to learn more about their clients.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

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