Take your pick

February 28, 2010 at 9:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Kate Winslet and Gabourey Sidibe arrive at the British Academy Of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London

THE NEWS

Woman’s size-D breast implants save her from gunshot: “A woman’ life was saved by her size-D breast implants when she was shot at point blank range with a semi-automatic assault rifle, her doctor said. Lydia Carranza was working in the office of a dentist in Beverly Hills, California when a gunman ran in and opened fire. He aimed the weapon directly at her heart but one of her silicone implants took the force of the blow, stopping bullet fragments from reaching her vital organs. The gunman had gone to the dental office looking for his wife, who also worked there. She was shot and killed in the attack. Mrs Carranza was sitting a few feet away when the gunman turned on her. “She’s just one lucky woman,” surgeon Dr Ashkan Ghavami told the Los Angeles Times. “The bullet fragments were millimetres from her heart and her vital organs. Had she not had the implant, she might not be alive today.” Mrs Carranza, a mother of three and grandmother of two, had implants some years ago to change from a B-cup to a D-cup. Jaime Paredes, the alleged gunman, is awaiting trial on charges including murder following the shooting in July.”

Diamond the size of a ‘chicken’s egg’ sells for record $35.3 million: “A 507½-carat gem discovered in South Africa last year has become most expensive rough diamond ever sold. Hong Kong’s Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Company bought the Cullinan Heritage stone for $35.3m, Petra Diamonds announced on Friday. Petra recovered the gem, the 19th largest ever found – described as the size of a chicken’s egg, from its Cullinan mine near Pretoria in South Africa in September last year. Petra said that record price reflected the “incredible rarity” of stone based on its “remarkable size” and “exceptional colour and clarity”. “It is fitting that the Cullinan Heritage should achieve a sale price of $35.3 million, the highest sale price on record ever achieved for a rough diamond, as it has the potential to produce one of the world’s most important polished gems. The sale proceeds further bolster Petra’s treasury and will be invested in the growth of our core assets.” said Johan Dippenaar, Petra’s chief executive. Chow Tai Fook has yet to outline its plans for the stone. The world’s biggest diamond, the 3,106-carat Cullinan, was discovered in the same mine in 1905. That was cut to form the Great Star of Africa and Lesser Star of Africa, set in Britain’s crown jewels”.

French cheese fightback: “Charles de Gaulle famously bemoaned the difficulties involved in running a country with 246 different types of cheese. But it seems world famous Gallic varieties including camembert, roquefort and brie are increasingly falling out of favour. Although the average Frenchman still eats almost a pound of cheese per week, making the country the second biggest consumer of the food in Europe after Greece, it is increasingly likely to be a processed foreign variety. New figures show raw-milk cheeses from rural France, which until the Second World War accounted for nearly all consumption, now make up just seven per cent of those eaten…. The Association Fromages de Terroirs (AFT), which aims to protect France’s traditional cheese culture, is now trying to fight back with a series of posters of “Fromgirls”, displaying scantily clad women working in the industry. All are meant to be defending an old fashioned culture which is just as much about beautiful young women as it is about cheese. Veronique Richez-Lerouge, of the AFT, said: “The French have forgotten what real cheese is like. Buying cheese has become like buying a box of washing powder.” Despite the gloom in the industry, a National Cheese Day will be celebrated next month, with farming groups doing everything they can to promote traditional dairy products.”

English champagne? “Sparkling wine is flourishing in English vineyards, to the surprise of many judges…. They like it until they’re told it’s English. But once they’re told how much it costs (and English wine is far pricier than it should be thanks to the savage duty that producers have to pay the Treasury), they like it again. If it costs that much, then it must be good. Never mind the fact that Nyetimber, from the other end of the county (and which sells for over £25), has just been named best sparkling wine in the world by an Italian magazine. “Usually, once people put their schnozz in the glass they grasp the quality and love it,” says Breaky Bottom’s owner, Peter Hall, when I catch up with him a day or so later at Pelham House Hotel, my new favourite watering hole in Lewes. “I’m only small and bobble along the bottom, but I sell every bottle I produce so I must be doing something right. I planted my vineyards 35 years ago and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. I’m proud, too, of the likes of Ridge View, Denbies and Nyetimber, and applaud what they’re doing. England is currently producing some really fine sparkling wines.” Breaky Bottom is a long-standing favourite of mine, produced in an achingly pretty fold of the Downs just outside Lewes. Unlike most of the current sparklers, it is made from seyval blanc, rather than the classic champenois triumvirate of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, and the glass of 2005 in my hand is gloriously fresh, crisp, toasty, honeyed and supple.”

Promiscuous females ‘could prevent species becoming extinct’: “According to research by the Universities of Exeter and Liverpool, females that have multiple mates reduce the risk of producing a brood of offspring without males. The study, published today in Current Biology, says an all-female brood could occur when all the ‘male’ Y chromosome sperm are killed before fertilisation, because of a sex-ratio distortion (SR) chromosome. Scientists believe all-female broods will pass the chromosome on to their sons, which will in turn produce more female-only broods and eventually there will be no males and the population will die out. Known as ‘polyandry’ among scientists, the phenomenon of females having multiple mates is shared across most animal species, from insects to mammals. For this study, the scientists worked with the fruitfly Drosophila pseudoobscura. They gave some populations the opportunity to mate naturally, meaning that the females had multiple partners. The others were restricted to having one mate each. Several generations of these populations were bred so researchers could see how each fared over time. Over 15 generations, five of the 12 populations that had been monogamous became extinct as a result of males dying out. The SR chromosome was far less prevalent in the populations in which females had the opportunity to have multiple mates and none of these populations became extinct. Having multiple mates can suppress the spread of the SR chromosome, making all-female broods a rarity, the researchers suggest.”

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

Some advice for students

February 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

7 Ways to Appear Smarter Than You Really Are

1.) Wear glasses. It’s no secret that people associate glasses with intelligence. Look at any of your intellectual heroes, Jean-Paul Sartre, Noam Chomsky, Elton John. What do they all have in common? That’s right, they all wear glasses.

2.) Mix foreign language into everyday conversation. Holding the door for someone can be a chore, especially when you know all you’re going to get out of it is a boring old “thank you.” Next time you walk into your building and someone takes the time to hold the door for you, hit them with a “danke” and see what happens. They’ll probably be champing at the bit to hear your opinions on current affairs. If they dare interrupt you during your commentary on what you pretend to know about federal budget spending with their opinion on the matter, say “au contraire” and walk away.

3.) Tuck a pencil between your head and your ear. This gives the illusion that your time is so valuable that not a moment can be wasted fumbling around your pockets in search of a writing utensil to write down your profound ideas. Replacing the pencil with a pen will make it look like you’re not afraid to make mistakes, because you don’t.

4.) Massage your temples. Regardless of whether or not you know the answer, rub your temples when asked a difficult question. Massaging your temples makes it look as if you are so smart that it is actually causing you physical pain to separate the answer to this particular question from the sea of knowledge that flows inside your brain. It is imperative that you massage your temples for just the right amount of time. Massage them too little and it will seem forced, massage them too much and it will look like you’re struggling with the question. For best results, it is recommended that you massage your temples for approximately three seconds before attempting to answer the question. If you have facial hair, the same effect of massaging your temples can be achieved by stroking your chin.

5.) Sit with one leg crossed over the other. Sitting with one leg crossed over the other is one of the intelligent community’s worst kept secrets. Anyone who has ever attended a family party can recall seeing at least one of their uncles sitting this way. You may not think too highly of your Uncle Frank, but that doesn’t mean sitting this way won’t make you look smarter. As long as you can provide an educated commentary about something other than what kind of dip is on the table, people should be able to differentiate you, the intellectual, from the Uncle Franks of the world.

6.) Begin papers with a famous quote. There is no better way to start off a paper than to include a famous quote in the introduction. Contrary to popular belief, the quote doesn’t have to have anything to do with the actual paper topic. The whole point of beginning the paper with a famous quote is to say to your professor, “Here is something Nietzsche wrote, by the time you’re done reading my paper his quote is going to seem like something a four-year-old scribbles on the back of their placemat while waiting for their Cone Head sundae at Friendly’s.”

7.) Develop a taste for coffee. Sometimes, a cup of coffee is the difference between saying something smart and forgetting to wear pants. The caffeine in coffee can help gain some awareness during the morning hours, but there is more to it than that. Drinking coffee all the time will make it look like you are in need of energy. If you follow the steps listed above, people will probably speculate that your fatigue is a result of staying up all night to work on secret science projects and study Victorian literature.

THE NEWS

Legless man plants New York train bomb: “A legless man being pushed in a wheelchair by two people managed to plant a crude explosive device at a New York City train station. The New York Post reported today that a canvas bag left near a waiting area contained a “pyrotechnic” with shotgun shells taped to it. The 57-year-old disabled man, Perry Roosevelt, was arrested along with one of the men with him. Roosevelt planted the homemade bomb at the 125th Street Metro-North station yesterday afternoon, causing trains to be re-routed for two hours.”

French movie-makers find the perfect tree — in an Australian hamlet: “Meet the movie star set to make the tiny town of Boonah in southeast Queensland famous – a 130-year-old fig tree. An exhaustive two-year search of the globe brought French movie makers knocking on the door of John and Margaret Foote at Teviotville, a small rural enclave between Boonah and Beaudesert. Scouts had been searching around the world for the perfect tree to feature in L’Arbre, French for The Tree, a movie adaptation of Judy Pascoe’s novel Our Father Who Art in the Tree. Mrs Foote recalls being amazed when a movie scout arrived on the door. “This French bloke just turned up one day and spent about two hours taking photos and then he said he had found the tree and next thing we knew they were making a movie at our house.” The couple have owned the property for more than 30 years, but old photos show the fig was already firmly established at the start of the 20th century.” [It looks a pretty good tree to me too. I think it's a Moreton Bay fig]

Inmate forgotten in courtroom : “Authorities in California are investigating how a 57-year-old inmate was forgotten and left handcuffed in a courtroom while everyone left for a four-day holiday weekend. According to Sheriff’s Lt. Gary Faulkner, Solano County Superior Court Commissioner Raymond Wieser had ordered Calvin Jones jailed on a probation violation about early on February 11, the day before the court’s four-day Lincoln’s birthday-Presidents Day holiday was to begin, The Oakland Tribune reports. A courtroom bailiff apparently handcuffed Jones, then placed him in a secured attorney-client interview room before resuming courtroom duties. The bailiff never returned and apparently went off duty that afternoon without moving Jones or making arrangements for him to be taken to the Solano County Jail in Fairfield. Jones was left in the room, without food, water or access to a toilet for more than 10 hours, until a cleaner discovered him and called the Sheriff’s Office.”

Realtor’s joke backfires: “When a real estate agent agreed to sell the St Helens Park home of Nataly Suarez and Danny Cooper, the couple was sure they could focus on preparing their property for inspections and leave the details to the professionals. But logging on to see their home listing stopped them dead in their tracks — literally. After the real estate agent failed to show the couple advertising plans for their three-bedroom brick house, the pair was stunned to read its description as: “Deceased Estate (Vendors Dying To Sell).” When the agent was told by his clients that questions were being asked about the listing, which appeared in the suburb’s local paper this week, he cancelled a planned inspection and attempted to edit the entry on the web. The agent declined to discuss the matter yesterday. But he did respond to NSW Fair Trading officers instructed to investigate the complaint by Minister Virginia Judge. Ms Judge said: “[The agent] was directed by Fair Trading to immediately withdraw the advertising. He also agreed to print an apology in next week’s Macarthur Advertiser and NSW Fair Trading will continue to investigate the matter.”

Goat rapist told to marry it: “The owner of a goat allegedly raped is demanding the two accused make traditional wedding arrangements. State media also said the two young men accused of having sex with a goat in central Mozambique faced criminal charges. The young men, whose names and ages were not released, were caught in the act by police and arrested outside the rural town of Mbucuta in central Mozambique, the website of the state broadcaster said. “One of the young men was naked and holding the goat’s head, and the other was having sex with the animal,” witness Mario Creva told Radio Mozambique. District prosecutor Leonides Mapasse said the two would face trial for simple larceny. The goat’s owner may also file a civil suit against them, he said. The owner was demanding the young men pay him damages and initiate a traditional wedding ceremony by paying “lobolo,” a dowry, a family member told Radio Mozambique.”

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

The right attitude

February 26, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A young boy and his dad went out fishing one fine morning. After a few quiet hours out in the boat, the boy became curious about the world around him. He looked up at his dad and asked “How do fish breath under water?”

His dad thought about it for a moment, then replied, “I really don’t know, son.”

The boy sat quietly from another moment, then turned back to his dad and asked, “How does our boat float on the water?”

Once again his dad replied, “Don’t know, son.”

Pondering his thoughts again, a short while later, the boy asks “Why is the sky blue?”

Again, his dad replied. “Don’t know, son.”

The inquisitive boy, worried he was annoying his father, asks this time “Dad, do you mind that I’m asking you all of these questions?”

“Of course not son.” replied his dad, “How else are you ever going to learn anything?”

THE NEWS

Beer-swilling, smoking Jesus in schoolchildrens’ textbooks: “Pictures of Jesus Christ holding a cigarette in one hand and a beer can in another in a book for primary school children has triggered a row in India. The images of Jesus Christ found in the cursive writing exercise copies at a private school in the city of Shillong was brought to the notice of the influential church by parents. “We are shocked and hurt by this act where Jesus Christ has been portrayed in a highly objectionable manner…we condemn the total lack of respect for religions by the publisher,” Dominc Jala, the Archbishop of Shillong, told IANS news service. New Delhi-based Skyline Publication produced the copies meant for Year One students. “Just imagine students at such an impressionable age being dished out objectionable images which are nothing but blasphemous,” said T. Jrwa, a church leader. Local authorities have since confiscating all the copies from the school and book shops and is considering legal action.” [Not a Muslim publisher either. The owner of the firm has a Hindu name: Indra Mohan Jha]

Protests over ‘gay’ Jesus close exhibition in Spain: “An art exhibition portraying Jesus as the gay son of a prostitute has been closed after the organisers at Granada University in Spain admitted that furious protests from churchgoers meant that they could no longer guarantee the safety of its creator, Fernando Bayona. The exhibition also shows Jesus having sex with Mary Magdalen before turning gay. “There is a lot of anger and there have been some very serious threats to both the artist and our staff,” said a worker at the university.”

Elevated status for British rhubarb: “It is difficult to imagine rhubarb being elevated to the ranks of international fine food. But this hardy staple from Yorkshire, renowned for stimulating digestion, now enjoys the same cachet as that of champagne and Parma ham. It is a remarkable ascendancy for a food product favoured by grandmothers in pies and crumbles. In recent years chefs such as Marco Pierre White and Jamie Oliver have championed the plant and attempted to make it fashionable by using it with duck, in salads or in fools. Now the European Commission has awarded Yorkshire forced rhubarb Protected Designation of Origin status. It becomes the 41st product from Britain to acquire this exclusive label, and shares it with Cornish sardines, Melton Mowbray pork pies and Swaledale cheese.”

Python eats 77lb. goat, horns and all: “There was no kidding around for this 5m amethyst python when it came to dining out at Kuranda – it devoured a 35kg goat, horns and all. The goat had gone missing from the Nathan Rd property bordering rainforest three weeks ago, when its owner stumbled on the enormous reptile, with a suspiciously large bump in its stomach. The python had swallowed the pet goat and spent the next three days digesting its meal before it disappeared. Neighbour Yuri Hagedorn kept a careful watch over the reptile and even put a corrugated iron shelter over it. Mr Hagedorn said the snake had been a regular visitor to the street. “This particular python, I think because it’s territorial, has been in the area for quite a while,” he said. “It eats mainly wallabies, and wallabies are as big as a goat.” Surviving goats from the woman’s yard have since been donated to Kuranda’s Uncle Pete’s Petting Zoo. Queensland Museum reptile curator Patrick Couper said amethyst pythons, also known as scrub pythons, were not shy about eating large prey. “Large amethyst pythons will certainly eat tree kangaroos, they’ll certainly eat wallabies,” Mr Couper said. “I’ve often seen photographs of large amethystines with bulky items in their gut like that. A 5m python at a Kuranda house in February stalked the owners’ pet dog before eating it in March 2008. “It’s quite common for people’s puppies to get eaten,” Mr Douglas said.”

British post office delivers parcel six miles… 27 YEARS late: “When Tracy Smeathers completed a college course in 1982, she expected to receive her grade certificates the following week. However, she was left shocked after receiving a call from her mother, Gill Smeathers, on Tuesday to say she had received the parcel – more than 27 years late. The package, postmarked November 4, 1982, still complete with its 12.5p stamp, was 9,964 days overdue. The cylindrical tube had taken nearly three decades to travel just six miles from Kettering to Gill’s home – where Tracy, now 46, used to live – in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. It contained four secretarial certificates from a course Tracy took at Kettering Technical College from 1981 to 1982. Gill, a retired officer worker in her mid 70s, said: ‘I knew instantly when I saw the name of the college what it was. ‘Tracy thought I had received the certificates and I thought she had them so we never even realised they were missing. ‘It was in very good condition so I don’t think it’s ever been opened.”

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

Looking at curvy women ‘gives men the same high as alcohol or drugs’

February 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

For millions of women fretting about their weight the news will be a huge relief, men prefer a curvier figure. Not only that, the effect on the male brain of a shapely woman is, apparently, comparable with that of beer and brandy. According to research, figures such as Beyonce’s also light up the male brain in the same way as illegal drugs. Researchers in Georgia, in the U.S., scanned the brains of 14 young men as they looked at before and after pictures of nude women who had plastic surgery to give them more shapely hips and bottoms. Seeing the post-operative shots excited the brain’s ‘reward centres’ – regions more usually activated by drink and drugs. More here

THE NEWS

Miracle of the dog that survived 300ft drop after chasing seagull off clifftop: “A dog that chased a seagull off a 300ft cliff miraculously survived when she landed with a belly-flop in the sea below. Poppy, a three-year-old springer spaniel, ran off the clifftop in East Sussex so fast she managed to avoid the beach and plunge into deep water, which cushioned her fall. She then saved herself from drowning by doggy-paddling back to the shore where she calmly waited to be rescued. Poppy was being taken for a walk by Lia Markwick and Stephen Winslade, as a favour to her owners, Lia’s brother Ben Markwick and his partner Kelly Ixer. It would seem the excitement of the sea air got the better of her as she ran away from Miss Markwick and Mr Winslade near the clifftop at the Seven Sisters’ beauty spot in Seaford. Miss Markwick, 29, said: ‘We were about 100 yards from the edge and she was to the side of us away from the cliffs but she saw this seagull and just bolted. ‘She is normally very obedient but we called at her to stop and she didn’t. ‘She carried on and just went over the edge at such speed. The couple called the coastguard and an RNLI crew was despatched to the scene. A crew member spotted a shocked and dishevelled Poppy sheltering on a rock and plucked her to safety.”

Man glues coin to step and wins $1.2m: “Here’s a story which will have you rushing home to glue a gold coin to your doorstep. A retired Sydney man who did just that after reading an article about feng shui became an instant millionaire thanks to a stroke of good fortune. The ex-policeman, aged in his 50s, picked a winning ticket in the latest BoysTown charity lotto, netting him a luxury house on the Sunshine Coast worth more than $1.2 million. And because he bought four tickets, which cost $15 each, he was given an extra prize – the choice between an Audi sportscar and $75,000 in gold bullion. Feeling a tad old for the swish car, he took the gold and plans to cash it in for an overseas holiday. The man, a bachelor who wished to remain anonymous, said he’d also sell the house – despite the lure of its views and nearby beaches – and use the money to pay off his debts. He reckons his stroke of luck was all down to the gold coin. Since gluing it in place in November, he’s also won two lotto prizes worth more than $1000. “I had lost a fair bit of money, so I thought … why not!” he said of adopting the feng shui practice.”

Lazy British cops let woman die: “An investigation has been started into why police failed to smash down a locked bathroom to reach a dying mother. Sushma Kaur, 25, could probably have been saved if officers had not waited 16 minutes for specialist equipment to arrive, an inquest heard. When Mrs Kaur collapsed at her home in Ilford, Essex, in January her seven-year-old son went to a neighbour who raised the alarm. Officers were called at 4:45pm and when they arrived ten minutes later they discovered the bathroom locked. Instead of breaking it down they called for a unit with specialist equipment to open the door. The equipment did not arrive until 5.11pm. When officers gained entry to the bathroom they found Mrs Kaur had collapsed and was not breathing. She was taken to hospital but pronounced dead. A neurologist told the inquest at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court this month that basic medical care could have saved Mrs Kaur if it had been delivered earlier. He told the court that, in his opinion, “if police officers had forced the door when they arrived, placed the lady in a recovery position and provided basic medical care on the balance of probabilities she would still be alive.”

Drug gang led by lingerie model, ‘angels’: “One of the world’s largest drug gangs is headed by a stunning lingerie model. The Sun reported an international arrest warrant has been issued for 30-year-old Angie Sanselmente Valencia, who insisted members of her all-female empire were “unsuspicious, beautiful angels”. Investigators told The Sun how the beauty pageant winner quit modeling and left her native Colombia for Argentina to set up the empire last year. It is believed she split from a Mexican drug baron dubbed “The Monster” in a bid to rival his empire. Her “angels” were paid $2,000 to board flights from Colombia to Cancun, Mexico, with bags of cocaine every 24 hours. They were then trafficked to Europe. Valencia – crowned Colombia’s “Queen of Coffee” in 2000 – is thought to be on the run in Argentina or Mexico after the scam was blown, apparently by a leak to police in Buenos Aires.”

Beer belly saves bartender’s life in knife attack: “A British bartender cheated death in a knife attack because his beer belly protected his vital organs, it was reported today. Doctors told Snaz Martin, 43, he was “almost certainly” saved by his paunch after a boozy customer stabbed him with a three-inch blade. The chubby landlord, who runs the Britannia Inn in Kent, South East England, told The Sun: “The doctor said I could have died but my organs were protected by a bit of extra fat. “I’m not massive by any stretch of the imagination – I only weigh 13 stone. [182lb] “But I do have a beer belly and they’re saying that’s what saved me. “I couldn’t believe it when he said my beer belly saved me – all I could do was laugh. “I was laid up for three days in hospital. The knife just missed my spleen and other organs.” The married father-of-two was rushed to hospital after the bloody attack last January. He threw customer Paul Whibley, 24, out of his bar after he pulled a knife in an argument with another customer. Minutes later Whibley returned with the knife and stabbed Mr Martin. Whibley was sentenced to four years in jail last week after pleading guilty to wounding with intent.”

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

A Texan BBQ

February 24, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

THE NEWS

New slang: “Teenagers are inventing new text message terms because their parents have already caught onto slang such as LOL (laugh out loud) and OMG (oh my God). Among the new abbreviations are 53X, which means sex, H9, which means hate a lot, and umfriend, which means sexual partner, as in “this is my, um … friend”, according to internet search specialists Ask Jeeves. Ask Jeeves spokeswoman Nadia Kelly said: “Children don’t want adults muscling in. So as parents learn a new set of words, kids come up with new ones.”

Police probe $US30-million lottery ‘win’ in Brazil: “A group of Brazilian lottery players who thought they had won a $US30 million ($A33.36 million) jackpot had their euphoria turn to dismay when they found out their precious ticket had not been registered. According to reports, investigators believe the shop where the group of 40 players had bought their ticket did not enter their numbers into the national lottery computer system, invalidating their win. “We know that the ticket was paid for and if the ticket was not properly issued then fraud was committed,” a local police chief, Clovis da Silva, said. The government financial agency responsible for the lottery has suspended the shop in the southern city of Novo Hamburgo, and the bitter would-be winners are looking at launching a lawsuit.”

Woman guilty of swapping children for $175 and a cockatoo: “A 52-year-old US woman has pleaded guilty to trading two children to a couple in exchange for an exotic pet bird and $US175. Donna Louise Greenwell received 15 months of hard labour on each count, which she will serve concurrently. The Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court’s Office told The Advocate newspaper in Louisiana that Greenwell will begin serving her sentence on March 25. The couple, Paul James Romero and Brandy Lynn Romero, each pleaded guilty to the same charges in October. Greenwell was accused of selling the couple a four-year-old girl and five-year-old boy in return for the cash and a cockatoo. Both children were in Greenwell’s care after their biological parents had left them with her.”

Woman bishop arrested for drunken driving: “When police stopped the head of Germany’s Protestant church and breath-tested Bishop Margot Kaessman it might have seemed like sacrilege. But the country’s equivalent of the Archbishop of Canterbury was arrested for drink driving and is now fighting to save her reputation. Since she was pulled over in Hanover at eleven o’clock on Saturday evening, the various accounts of inebriation have grown steadily bleaker, and the outspoken cleric’s story has become front page news. Germany’s upper alcohol limit for driving is a blood alcohol ratio of 0.03 per cent ratio if the driver is involved in a traffic offence — the bishop had just driven through a red light — and 0.11 per cent usually opens the driver up to prosecution and a one year-withdrawal of the driving licence. Her first avowal to the police that she had only drunk a glass of wine had turned by the next day’s official statement from a church official to a 0.11 per cent blood alcohol level. Then a leak from the police allowed the mass circulation newspaper Bild to claim on its cover yesterday that she had a level of 0.13 per cent, before the state prosecutor revealed that Bishop Kaessmann actually had a whopping 0.15 per cent reading — the equivalent of consuming at least a bottle of wine in the hour before she got behind the wheel.”

Not so rapid transit in Australia: “It’s a bus that takes up to 35 minutes to travel just 3.5km. That’s a staggering 10 minutes per kilometre. The 431, which takes Sydney suburban commuters into the CBD, is an example of why many Australians are abandoning public transport and clogging the roads with their cars. One regular 431 passenger bet The Daily Telegraph that it was quicker to walk than take the bus – and he won. James said the trip, from the CBD to his home in the innerwest suburb of Glebe during evening rush hour, would often take 35 minutes. In the challenge, he took the bus while Telegraph reporter Joe Hildebrand went by foot. Hildebrand ended up beating the bus by more than a minute by taking an alternative route.”

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

Things that will get you kicked off a plane

February 23, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

From wearing skimpy outfits to sniffing fellow passengers, travellers have been removed from planes for some strange reasons. Passengers won’t be surprised to find out that joining the mile-high club or reading porn will get them kicked off their flight. But did you know discussing the safest seat or asking for water are offences that could easily have you holed up in airport security? Here are some actions that could get you kicked off your next flight. Some airlines are very touchy:

Attempting to join the mile-high club

A flight between Las Vegas and Seattle was diverted in 2007 after passengers spotted a couple getting intimate mid-flight. The couple was allegedly “messing around” in the seats before taking the action to the bathroom. They were escorted off the plane after arguing with flight attendants.

Sniffing fellow passengers

Two men had to be removed from a flight between Dallas and Vegas last year due to their bizarre response to a woman’s perfume. “The passengers smelled a ladies perfume, liked it and proceeded to lean over their seats and press their noses against her neck to smell it more. It was unreal,” flight attendant Bobby Laurie, from a major US airline, said.

Discussing which is the safest seat

A Muslim family was removed from an AirTran flight last month after passengers heard them discussing the safest place to sit and misconstrued the nature of the conversation. The family was cleared of any wrongdoing but the airline refused to rebook them.

Sky-high breast feeding

A woman filed a complaint against Delta Air Lines and Freedom Airlines in 2006 claiming she was kicked off a plane because she was breast-feeding her baby. Emily Gillette said she was discreetly breast-feeding her 22-month-old daughter on a flight between Burlington and New York when she was approached by a flight attendant who then removed her from the plane. The airline said she refused their request to use a blanket “to provide a little more discretion”.

Being too sexy to fly

A Hooters employee [above] became the centre of attention on a Southwest flight when a crew member threatened to remove her due to her “skimpy” outfit. Wearing a tight-fitting white top, green sweater and a white denim mini-skirt, Kyla Ebbert was desperate to remain on the flight and negotiated with the crew by offering to pull her top up and skirt down, and she was allowed to stay.

Reading porn

A man was thrown off a Nationwide Airlines flight in 2005 after a row over his right to read porn on the plane. A flight attendant told passenger AC Hoffman to put the pornographic magazine away but he refused. “Some things are just common sense – it is not a social norm to read that type of magazine with other passengers in the vicinity,” a spokesman for the South African airline said.

Having poor personal hygiene

A German man was chucked off a plane in Honolulu, US, back in 2006 for being excessively smelly. Fellow passengers had complained to the crew about his offensive body odour. He tried to sue the airline but the case was thrown out.

Asking for water

A simple request for water resulted in a man being booted off a plane at La Guardia Airport, US. Mitchell Roslin said the water was for his wife, who was seven month pregnant. The cabin had overheated after the Spirit Airlines plane experienced engine trouble. Mr Roslin was told it was “against corporate policy” to give out water before the plane took off. He was asked to leave the plane, and his wife and two children got off with him.

Having a coughing fit

A teenage girl who caught a cold during a school trip was kicked off her flight home because she was coughing. Rachel Collier was removed from the Continental Airlines plane, which was flying between New Jersey and Honolulu, US, when the captain became concerned about her coughing fit.

Flying with a cuddly crocodile

A woman found herself in hot water when she refused to move her metre-long cuddly toy crocodile, which the crew said was blocking the emergency exit. She was removed from the Ryanair flight, which was flying between Rome and Milan in 2007.

Wearing a rude T-shirt

A US woman was forced to leave a Southwest Airlines flight due to her “offensive” T-shirt. Featuring pictures of George Bush and friends, Lorrie Heasley’s T-shirt had a slogan based on the film Meet the Fockers – with one crucial vowel altered.

Flying with an autistic son

A mother and her autistic boy were kicked off an American Eagle flight at Raleigh-Durnham Airport, US. The two-and-a-half-year old was upset and could not be calmed down by his mother, so the pilot deemed him “uncontrollable” and removed them.

Chucking a hissy fit

A man was taken off a flight after becoming enraged and slapping his wife. The passenger became angered when told he wouldn’t be able to sit next to his wife. “He started screaming and throwing items. When his wife tried to call him down, he slapped her. And it all started out with “Don’t you know who I am?” Shelby, who has been a flight attendant for a major US airline since 2001, said. He spent the night in gaol, but his wife was allowed to fly home.

Original story here

THE NEWS

Man on the run given away by faithful dog: “A German man on the run from police was given away by his own Jack Russell terrier, faithfully wagging its tail outside the small cupboard he was hiding in. Police called at the 52-year-old man’s apartment in Euskirchen near Cologne in western Germany on Friday, and an acquaintance opened the door carrying the suspect’s dog. “The man claimed not to know where the wanted man was. When he put the dog down, it proceeded with a wagging tail to a small cupboard … and stood expectantly in front of it,” police said in a statement. This prompted the officers to investigate the cupboard, which was just a metre high and 80 centimetres wide, where they found the man “hunched up inside”. A police spokesman said he was not able to say what the man was wanted for but that it was “not a capital crime”. He declined to give the man’s name, nor that of his erstwhile four-legged friend.”

Would-be killer wants wife back: “Aaron Rolls has launched an audacious bid to win back the heart of the wife he and his mistress plotted to kill. Rolls is bombarding his ex-wife and murder target in Queensland with lovelorn letters from his Victorian cell. And his innocent target Patrizia Rolls has told how she is trying to rise above the continued harassment and build a new life. In one letter he tells his ex: “I still love you”, despite a police bug recording his plan to drown her during a romantic swim. A recent Victorian law makes it illegal for jailed criminals to write to their victims if it would cause distress but Rolls has tricked prison authorities by sending letters to an intermediary who then delivers them to Patrizia. Aaron Rolls, a steroid-abusing security guard and his mistress, Mirvat Sleiman, were convicted of conspiracy to murder last May. Their plot was averted in a freak twist when Victorian detectives bugging a Queensland public phone on another case overheard their alarming conversation.”

TN: City will pay vet bills for dog shot by police: “Anna Bolton will get her money. Memphis Mayor A C Wharton has reversed the city attorney’s office and will pay Bolton $1,094, the amount she spent in veterinary bills after her dog was shot by two Memphis police officers. … Oct. 22, officers Harold Buckley and LeCharra Yarbrough were responding to burglar alarms at Bolton’s High Point Terrace home when dogs Bing and Violet, both Labrador mixes, bolted out the back door. The officers said the dogs charged them and each fired a shot.”

IN: College lifts 116-year ban on national anthem: “For more than a century, there was no playing of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at Goshen College — a small Christian college with ties to the Mennonite Church. That’s about to change. For the first time in the school’s history, Goshen College will play an instrumental version of the national anthem before many campus sporting events.”

‘Holy Grail’ comic book sets record price: “It was a sale that took place faster than a speeding bullet. A rare copy of the first appearance of Superman in a comic book has sold for $US1 million in a private, online sale, leaping the previous record in a single bound. The comic, a 1938 edition of Action Comics No 1, has been dubbed the “Holy Grail” for avid collectors. Only 100 are known to still exist, out of an original print run of 200,000. It was offered for sale by an anonymous seller and was snapped up within minutes by a buyer who has also remained anonymous. The sale was run by auction website ComicConnect.com. A co-owner of the site, Stephen Fishler, said the comic was bought by a “well-known individual” with a well-known, high-quality comic book collection, the Associated Press reported. The previous record was $317,000 for another Action Comics No 1. It was bought last year by System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan. The million-dollar copy was rated to be in a much better condition that Dolmayan’s copy. It was “8.0 grade” or “very fine”, for those who keep track of such things. Action Comics originally sold for just 10 cents.”

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

Atheist sex

February 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The toon below was in fact sent to me by an atheist

THE NEWS

Fake mourner steals 1200 pairs of shoes: “A South Korean who stole 1200 pairs of expensive shoes from funeral homes while posing as a mourner has been arrested, police in Seoul said. The man identified only as Park, 59, took off his own shoes before entering mourning rooms and donned more expensive footwear when he left. He intended to sell them through his own second-hand shoe business, police in southern Seoul’s Suseo district said. Koreans normally remove outdoor footwear when indoors, especially at funeral homes. Police said they caught Park stealing three pairs of shoes, worth a total of two million won ($1950) when new, at one funeral home. They then raided his warehouse and found 1200 pairs stored according to size in preparation for resale. A Suseo police officer who declined to be named said the station had put the footwear on display for the past week and many pairs were reclaimed by owners.”

BBC demotes Prince Harry in obituary shake-up: “Prince Harry’s death will no longer trigger an automatic interruption of BBC programmes, but Prince William’s will, a British newspaper has reported. The BBC has downgraded Prince Harry along with Princess Anne, Princes Andrew and Edward, and Prince Edward’s wife, the Countess of Wessex. They had been on a list known as Category 2, which meant the news of their deaths would have followed specific guidelines, including news flashes and documentaries. The Category 1 list, which includes the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and Prince William, remains unchanged. If they die, there will be an immediate interruption of all BBC programs. Prince Harry now appears in a new list that includes the Pope, Muhammad Ali, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Gordon Brown and Bob Dylan. Their deaths are to be regarded as “major breaking news stories with coverage on merit” [Since Prince Harry is one of the most popular Royals, this is pretty wrong-headed. Looks like the Left-leaning BBC is not fond of the Royals]

PETA Calls for Nevada School to Cancel Donkey Basketball Game‏: “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling for the cancellation of a Nevada school’s donkey basketball fundraiser, saying it teaches students cruelty to animals. PETA has posted an action alert on its Web site asking supporters to contact Lyon County School School District Superintendent Caroline McIntosh and urge her to cancel the March 1 event at Yerington High School. PETA contends that donkeys ridden by players in the offbeat games are often dragged, kicked, or hit by stray balls, and are sometimes seriously injured in falls. McIntosh says the fundraiser is a tradition at Yerington High, and she believes the animals are not mistreated. But she says she will check with the vendor who supplies the donkeys to ensure they are treated humanely.”

New fruit — a pleach: “Is it a plum? Is it a peach? It’s probably a pleach as it’s a morph of the two tasty stone fruits. Whatever it is, it’s a love child of the two, accidentally created by a retired NSW farmer. Bruce Davis from Mudgee in the state’s central west couldn’t believe it when he discovered he had grown a cross between a peach and a plum. The fruit looks like a peach from the outside, but resembles a red plum when bitten into. The unusual fruit is believed to be the first of its kind ever grown in the state. Mr Davis grows peach and blood plum trees alongside each other and believes the peach/plum tree may have grown from compost that contained plum seeds. “It’s a really interesting piece of fruit and it’s very tasty,” Mr Davis said. A cross between a plum and an apricot, known as a pluot, has been grown in the past, but a peach and a plum is a new combination for NSW, Primary Industries Minister Steve Whan said. “It is yet to be seen if this fruit has a place in the market, but if there is a new opportunity, I would encourage the grower to explore it,” Mr Whan said in a statement today. Industry and Investment NSW Mudgee horticulturist Susan Marte said this was the first time she had heard of anyone accidentally crossing the two fruits.”

The latest from Australia’s Wild North — a cat that thinks he’s a chicken: “Four legs, two pointy ears, whiskers on his face – Bustopher might look like one, but he is far from being an ordinary cat. The four-year-old feline thinks he’s a chook. When Naomi Oliver’s chickens laid their eggs and didn’t show much interest in the incubation and the upbringing of their offspring, the animal-lover’s feline took over the command in the chook shed – and started incubating the eggs. “I am not sure if he knows that he is a cat, he doesn’t really behave like one,” Mrs Oliver told the Northern Territory News. “Bustopher often wanders around in the chook pen, playing with the chooks as if he was one of them, not a predator.” But it wasn’t until her chooks laid a few eggs in a nest outside their shed that Mrs Oliver discovered her cat’s quirky affection for her poultry. “I was looking for Bustopher and found him sitting on the eggs, obviously trying to incubate them,” Mrs Oliver said. “When he was still there after three days I started wondering what was going through his head – but I am sure he thought he was doing a great job.” Mrs Oliver said her cat only left his nest once or twice a day to grab a feed and have a nap on her bed, before heading back to his hatchlings-to-be. “He’s a real character, and obviously friends with my hens but when nothing hatched after three days he gave up on sitting on the eggs.”

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

Amazing ant that carries 100 times its body weight

February 21, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An incredible image of a tiny ant carrying 100 times its own body weight, while hanging upside down from a glass-like surface, has won first prize in a national science photo competition. The amazing picture was snapped by scientists at Cambridge University by a team in the department of zoology investigating the extraordinary sticky feet of ants and other insects. The image, taken by Dr Thomas Endlein, shows an Asian weaver ant, upside down on a smooth surface, carrying a 500mg weight in its jaws

THE NEWS

British Keystone Kops log six incidents of snowball fights as ‘serious violent crimes’: “Children caught throwing snowballs are being recorded as ‘serious violence crimes’ by confused police officers. Six incidents were logged in the same category as murder or using a weapon to inflict injury by the Greater Manchester force during the cold snap in January. Officers admit to being baffled about how record log government crime statistics, resulting in the blunder, despite no arrests being made and no one being injured. It is thought they assumed a snowball should be regarded as a weapon if it is thrown at someone. Chief Constable Peter Fahy cited the incidents as he lambasted his own officers for over-recording incidents of crime. He said many officers at GMP were not applying common sense and were ‘too cautious’ in their work. But he added that some were confused by the regulations and were ‘caught up in bureaucracy’. Mr Fahy revealed the snowball crime statistics to astonished councillors at a meeting of the Greater Manchester Police Authority. Cllr Susan Williams described the logging of snowball throwing as violent crime as ‘loony’. She told the meeting: ‘We seem to have gone the way of madness if this is being classed as serious violent crime.’”

Transsexual singer wins top music school place after switching his voice from baritone to a soprano: “When transsexual opera singer Emily De Salvo [above] first applied to one of Italy’s most prestigious music schools, he was rejected as the board was unsure whether to place him among the male or female singers. This week, after three years’ studying with baritone Maurizio Picconi and soprano Amelia Felle, the 29-year-old has won a place at Bari’s Tito Schipa Conservatory after changing his voice. De Salvo, formerly Stefano, who has yet to make his gender change complete with surgery, convinced the jury he can handle both sides of the opera spectrum – from male baritones to female sopranos. The singer believes he has an unusual voice which could help him to claim a niche in opera buffa. ‘I’ve been exploring the Baroque repertoire with Felle, exercising my strengthened falsetto,’ he said. ‘With Picconi, on the other hand, I’ve been broadening my baritone chords.”

British bulldog earns a place in the hearts and homes of the French: “It is the symbol of British tenacity, a national mascot for ever associated with Winston Churchill’s defiance during the Second World War. Now the British bulldog has achieved a peacetime conquest of note, winning a place in the hearts and homes of the French. Almost non-existent across the Channel for decades, the bulldog has become something of a fashion statement, owned by the rich and famous and courted by advertisers and film producers. Globalisation is one explanation, with Anglo-Saxon habits spreading through music, language, food — and dog baskets — in France. The country’s schizophrenic approach to British culture is another: abhorred one day, Britain is admired the next. What delights the French about the animal is its typically British phlegmatic character. “They don’t give a damn about anything so long as they get food, a rug and a stroke,” said Patrice Santais, a Normandy breeder. “People want a distinctive dog — and the bulldog is distinctive,” said Hélène Denis, head of Le Club du Bulldog Anglais. Josette Roux, who lives south of Paris and owns two British bulldogs, agreed. “They have expressions which other dogs just don’t have. They are beautiful in their ugliness.””

Strange things are still happening in Australia’s wild North: “A Northern Territory girl [above] had to be rushed to hospital after the oven in her family’s new $1million “dream” home exploded. Experts told the Northern Territory News it was a miracle that Emma Rothwell, 11, escaped the ordeal with only minor injuries. “It was a bit scary, I can’t really remember it,” she said. The blast happened at the family’s brand new house, worth $987,000, on Damabila Drive, Lyons. Emma was cooking a curry when the stove blew out of its fittings, hitting her in her right leg and throwing her on to the ground. Her father Philip Rothwell and nine-year-old brother Adam were only metres away from the carnage in the living room when the blast happened last Thursday. “It was an almighty explosion, absolutely tremendous,” Mr Rothwell said. “My daughter was blown onto the floor. She was under shock and didn’t respond. I couldn’t stop her from screaming for about 15 minutes.” Emma was rushed to Royal Darwin Hospital and released on crutches a day later. The explosion scattered food and glass and debris across the kitchen floor. The electric oven was blown out of its fittings in the kitchen cooking bench and the gas cooking top was lifted. Mr Rothwell said the stove was brand new and only used three times.”

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

British humor?

February 20, 2010 at 11:57 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE NEWS

Dead woman starts moving, breathing: “Funeral home workers in the Colombian city of Cali got the shock of a lifetime when an apparently dead 45-year-old woman suddenly started breathing and moving as they prepared her for burial. Local media said the woman had been declared clinically dead at a medical facility after having been hospitalised in serious condition with a neurological condition. “The instruments the patient was connected to gave no blood pressure or heart rate readings,” said Miguel Angel Saavedra, a doctor at the clinic where the woman was treated. Medical staff at the facility signed the women’s death certificate and her body was transferred to a funeral home to be prepared for burial. But, in a case of what physicians call Lazarus Syndrome, the woman was not actually dead. “When they were going to apply formaldehyde, the patient began to breathe again and make movements,” Saavedra told a local news station. The woman, whose name has not been released, was readmitted to hospital and was in a coma, doctors said.”

Tree is dead – but not according to the South Australian government: “Landscape “experts” are monitoring the health of this tree while it “establishes” itself. That’s the official line from the State Government. But this tree is dead, says a Botanic Gardens spokesman. The Government appears to have lost the symbolic pine planted at the Gallipoli underpass last August. However, in strains reminiscent of Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch, it is yet to concede defeat. Horticulturist Bruce Morphett, of the Adelaide Botanic Garden, said pines did not have the capacity to regrow. “The way it’s just completely brown like that – to me, I’d just say it’s dead,” he said yesterday. Arborist Marcus Lodge, of Arborman Tree Solutions, viewed photographs of the wollemi pine and agreed it was probably dead. Another arborist described the pine’s location, surrounded by concrete, as a “heat island, which is a difficult place for any tree to thrive in”. After checking with the Premier’s Department, a spokeswoman for the Transport, Energy and Infrastructure Department provided this response: “The tree planted to symbolically represent the Lone Pine was partially heat damaged during this year’s heat wave. “A shadecloth was placed around the tree to protect it from further damage while it establishes itself. “The health of the tree is being monitored by landscape experts.”

Tough dog: “A dog found swimming in the ocean about 2km from the coast has been dubbed a “super pooch” by his rescuers and animal experts. The male bull terrier cross was plucked from rough seas on Saturday afternoon by two men who were on a day trip to High Island, about 6km off the coast of Fishery Falls, south of Cairns. Paul Daniel and his mate Steven Pye found the dog as they made their way in a dinghy back to their camping site near the Russell River. Mr Daniel said he saw a “bobbing object” in the sea which looked like a buoy until he took a closer look. “We couldn’t believe it. We immediately wrapped a towel around him and took him back to the hut for fresh water and food,” Mr Daniel, 41, said. The animal was in poor condition when found, with cuts along his face, lice through his coat, one testicle and a crooked tail. Veterinarian Owen Lavers said a dog would be lucky to survive two hours in calm seas and believed the animal’s survival was amazing. Far Northern RSPCA inspector Cameron Buswell believed the dog likely jumped overboard when travelling with its owner. “It’s incredible, he’s got all the elements to deal with, sharks and crocodiles, they are always more active this time of year,” he said.”

Joan the Loan: “A 78-year-old grandmother known as “Joan the Loan” was told she was too old to go to jail after she was convicted of illegal money lending. Joan Fionda, a widow who walks with a stick, was not quite the cuddly granny she appeared. The court heard that she lent tens of thousands of pounds at exorbitant interest rates to people so desperate they had nowhere else to go. In return she would demand pre-signed blank cheques or access to their bank accounts or benefit payments. One couple were forced to sell their flat in order to pay back the inflated amount they owed her. The court heard that Fionda would be accompanied by “enforcers” and had a team of three or four women helping run her money-lending operations. Staff at the post office in Horfield, Bristol, nicknamed them “the Mafia” because were always withdrawing cash using other people’s pass books. The judge at Bristol Crown Court described Fionda a”loan shark” and sentenced her to a 12-month community and supervision order. Judge Nigel Davis said:”This is basically loan sharking. This is a cottage industry where you lent quite considerable sums at quite a considerable rate of interest. “I find it very difficult to know what to do with you. There is no way I am going to send you at this stage of your life to prison. “But at the same time I don’t want you to think what you were doing was okay. On occasions you were charging quite a lot of money. “You were lending to people who are often very vulnerable and unable to pay you back.”

£200 ransom demand after sleepy village pub’s prize pigs are stolen: “It has all the telltale signs of a classic whodunnit. The sleepy picturesque village, two innkeepers, prized possessions and a ransom message demanding cash. Three-year-old Humbug and Truffle disappeared from their enclosure at St John Inn near Torpoint, Cornwall, on Wednesday. The protected Kune Kune breed pigs are worth about £300 and were bought by the pub owners when they were just 16 weeks old. Business partners Dan Bettinson and Lauren Edlin were also left an answerphone message demanding £200 be left in a brown envelope in the red telephone box in the village in return for the pigs. Miss Edlin said: ‘It’s absurd. We weren’t sure whether to take it for real to start with ‘Then we had a ransom, a message left on the answering machine,’ Mr Bettison explained. The strange demand, spoken in a heavy Cornish accent, arrived on Thursday. A police spokesman said the incident is being investigated. He said: ‘We’ve had a complaint that two Kune Kune pigs have been stolen from a pub near Torpoint. We are looking into the alleged theft.

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

Governmental dead horses

February 19, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed down from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

In the Public Service, however, a whole range of far more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1. Change riders.

2. Buy a stronger whip.

3. Do nothing: “This is the way we have always ridden dead horses”.

4. Visit other countries to see how they ride dead horses.

5. Perform a productivity study to see if lighter riders improve the dead horse’s performance.

6. Hire a contractor to ride the dead horse.

7. Harness several dead horses together in an attempt to increase the speed.

8. Provide additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance.

9. Appoint a committee to study the horse and assess how dead it actually is.

10. Re-classify the dead horse as “living-impaired”.

11. Develop a Strategic Plan for the management of dead horses.

12. Rewrite the expected performance requirements for all horses.

13. Modify existing standards to include dead horses.

14. Declare that, as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overheads, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line than many other horses.

15. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.

THE NEWS

Germans rush to declare tax crimes: “More than 550 taxpayers contacted officials in the southwestern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, tax authorities said overnight after Germany decided to buy information on bank accounts held in Switzerland. The prosperous state which includes Stuttgart has heard in the past 10 days from 556 people who omitted to pay about €85 million ($120 million) in taxes on income and investments, regional finance minister Willie Staechele said. German tax collection is the responsibility of state authorities. The Federal Government approved this month a purchase by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia of a computer disk said to contain the names of 1,500 such taxpayers, despite controversy stemming from the fact that it was also said to have been stolen. Press reports said officials were prepared to pay €2.5 million ($3.82 million) for the information, and Baden-Wuerttemberg has also been offered a disk and is now deciding whether or not to buy it. Nationwide, data purchases are expected to net more than €100 million ($152.66 million) in back taxes, with some estimating proceeds as much as four times that amount. Tax officials have advised Germans to declare themselves before the disks are examined, which would force them to pay back taxes but allow them to avoid legal proceedings.”

Half of men look at breasts before face: Nearly half of British men [The honest ones] quizzed in a new survey confessed to looking at a woman’s chest before her face. In the biggest study of its kind, British cosmetic surgery giants Transform interviewed 3000 women and 1000 men. The results revealed a number of eye-opening truths about the UK’s attitudes to breasts in the 21st Century. Four in ten men quizzed admitted they looked at women’s breasts at least 10 times every day, while nine in 10 women admitted to checking out their rivals’ assets several times a day. Four in 10 women said they suffered from “breast envy” among their friends and work colleagues, and 63 percent of those surveyed wanted bigger boobs. But almost half of all men questioned thought their partner’s breasts were beautiful and would refuse to change anything about them.”

Man-sized crab shellshocks UK crustacean fans: “A monster crustacean as big as a man has been christened “Crabzilla” upon his arrival in Britain. The two-metre-long Japanese Spider Crab arrived this week at Birmingham’s National Sea Life centre en route to his final destination in a specially adapted Belgian display tank. “It is rumoured these crabs can grow as big as four metres,” curator Graham Burrows said, “big enough to straddle a car”. “Crabzilla certainly lends credence to those claims.” The colossal crustacean has been flown to the UK from Japan and is ultimately bound for Belgium to take up permanent residence at a Sea Life centre in Blankenberge. Having been quarantined in the UK, however, Sea Life marine experts agreed that UK animal lovers deserved a chance to see him before he crosses the Channel in March. “He will absolutely dwarf the other crabs in there, but he’s not aggressive and they should have nothing to worry about,” Mr Burrows said. The Japanese spider crab, Macrocheira kaempferi, is the largest known member of the arthropod family, which includes all invertebrates with jointed limbs.”

Zsa Zsa’s flamboyant husband joins race for California governorship: “Prince Frederic von Anhalt, a flamboyant socialite and eighth husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor, has officially entered the California governor’s race. Von Anhalt’s political platform includes legalizing marijuana and prostitution, lifting the import ban on Cuban cigars then taxing them all. The 65-year-old flew to Sacramento Wednesday from his Los Angeles home to file his candidate papers. Von Anhalt says he was motivated to run by watching the mistakes of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who he says has let Californians down. Von Anhalt is the only independent in a field that includes Republicans Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner and the presumed Democratic candidate, Attorney General Jerry Brown.”

Australia’s dumbest crook: “A country burglar could be Australia’s dumbest crook after leaving a trail of extraordinary clues along his crime spree route. Within an hour of being charged and bailed over other break-ins, Bendigo man Andrew Bawden, 36, was back in business, busting into cars and houses and robbing offices and a cathedral. But his one-man crime wave came unstuck when he dropped his police charge sheet at one crime scene. Two hours later he dropped the DVD of his police interview at another. “You get crooks sometimes who leave one thing that’s stupid. Both things are extraordinary,” Bendigo police Sgt Brendon Murphy said. But Sgt Murphy said it was important to remember the trauma faced by Bawden’s victims before ineptitude ended the spree. “We’re just thankful this numbskull’s been nipped in the bud,” he said. Bawden’s busy but badly managed crime spree happened early this month but was outlined on Tuesday in Bendigo Magistrates’ Court. The court heard Bawden had been out of jail for three months after serving a four-year sentence, but quickly returned to crime. Bawden, of Golden Square, pleaded guilty to about 30 counts. He was remanded in custody for sentence on March 31.”

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

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