Somehow, I don’t think this is what he had in mind

November 30, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Plane drama as woman strips on flight: “PASSENGERS on a US flight were shocked to see a woman strip naked and be restrained by flight attendants. The incident happened on the weekend on board a Delta Airlines flight between Chicago and New York. The woman, described as “emotionally disturbed”, took off her clothes as the plane began its descent into Kennedy Airport and “created a ruckus”, the Associated Press reported. The woman – estimated to be in her late 20s – “stripped nude during the flight and was restrained on the plane and taken into custody by local law enforcement upon landing. A Newsday news manager who was on the flight said flight attendants tried to cover the woman with a blanket while she yelled “No! No! No!” A spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the woman was taken to a medical centre. She is not expected to be charged over the incident.”

Stomach songs sound shoddy, says Swede: “A SWEDISH man broadcast music from his stomach for several hours via a mini audio system, but said he was disappointed by the sound quality. The sound was “bad, bad. It was a very bad sound. But that was not the important thing, I just wanted to show that it worked,” said Fredrik Hjelmqvist, 45, owner of a hi-fi equipment shop in Stockholm. “It was a success, we were the first in the world to do this,” said Hjelmqvist, who hopes to sell his invention for around €12,800 euros ($18,000). The plastic capsule containing the device is about three centimetres long and 1.5 centimetres wide, and contains a miniature battery-powered audio device. The music was heard by using a stethoscope connected to an amplifier.

Florida woman who set herself on fire charged with arson: “A FLORIDA woman who set herself on fire has been charged with arson. The woman, Robin Warren, set herself alight on Sunday at her Deltona home – where there was an eight-year-old child present – after buying petrol from a convenience store, authorities told the Orlando Sentinel. “The child was uninjured and placed in the care of family members,” the Deltona Fire Department said in a statement. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported the woman, aged in her 40s, suffered critical burns and was airlifted to the Orlando Regional Medical Centre. Volusia County sheriff’s spokesman Brandon Haught said the woman’s daughter was in the house when deputies arrived and was not hurt.”

Italian handyman killed non-paying clients: “An Italian village odd-job man gunned down clients who failed to pay him, killing at least five in the small Sicilian community, a prosecutor claim. Ugo Rossi, chief prosecutor for the city of Syracuse, said Giuseppe Raeli, 69, was accused of five murders and four attempted murders, although press reports said he was suspected of eight killings over seven years. “Giuseppe Raeli was ready to kill for only a few hundred euros, even 200,” Mr Rossi told local media. “He took the law into his own hands as soon as someone owed him money and didn’t pay him for work he had done.” Mr Rossi said a home-made safe containing 20,000 euros ($27,600) and a loaded pistol were found in a search of the home”

There’s one born every minute: “Queensland Senator Brett Mason is among a group of investors who fear they have lost their savings after investing in a natural medicines company run by his neighbour. Senator Mason was wooed by his Brisbane neighbour and former bankrupt, Patrick Wilson, to plunge $150,000 into New Zeal, as well as join the board of the company which purported to be developing a range of drugs, including a natural ADHD medication. “Like other investors, I am seeking to divest myself of my shares,” he said. “(Patrick Wilson) was a neighbour of mine, I knew him socially. I trusted him and it appears that trust was very misplaced.” Shareholder Juan Kloostra poured $60,000 his entire savings into the company, saying he was convinced the calibre of the board was a strong sign the company would be profitable.”

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

Some airline announcements

November 29, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kulula is an airline with a head office situated in Johannesburg, South Africa. Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight “safety lecture” and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, “People, people we’re not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!”

—o0o—

On another flight with a very “senior” flight attendant crew, the pilot said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”

—-o0o—

“There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane.”

—o0o—

“Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”

—o0o—

From a Kulula employee: ” Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.”

—o0o—

“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favourite.”

—o0o—

Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines.”

—-o0o—

And from the pilot during his welcome message: “Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!”

—o0o—

Part of a flight attendant’s arrival announcement: “We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of Kulula Airways.”

—o0o—

Heard on a Kulula flight: “Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing. If you can light ‘em, you can smoke ‘em.”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Christopher Columbus ‘was Polish not Portuguese’: “The conventional wisdom relating to Christopher Columbus is under threat after academics concluded the explorer was actually a Polish immigrant. An international team of distinguished professors have completed 20 years of painstaking research into his beginnings. The fresh evidence about Columbus’ background is revealed in a new book by Manuel Rosa, an academic at Duke University in the United States. He says the voyager was not from a family of humble Italian craftsmen as previously thought – but the son of Vladislav III, an exiled King of Poland.”

Indian practices not allowed on airline: “A budget airline has come under fire for allowing passengers to seat older children on their laps in order to pack more people onboard. India’s aviation safety authority has instructed the airline, SpiceJet, to sack staff who let grown up children fly as infants following revelations of the practice, the Times of India reported. While children up to two years old can fly seated on a parent’s lap, those aged between two and 12 years are required to have a seat, according to Indian regulators. However this hasn’t been the case on some Spicejet flights. Passengers on a SpiceJet flight from Mumbai to Delhi in June alerted authorities to the situation when they complained there were more people onboard the flight than seats. “The new management has acted on the report that fixed responsibility and heads of some senior people have rolled,” the airline said.”

Folk dancing revived in England: “For as long as anyone can remember, morris dancing – our most famous indigenous jig – has inspired in most English breasts nothing but horror, hilarity and bewilderment. The sight of middle-aged men bedecked in ribbons and bells, capering and prancing and clacking sticks in the air is so utterly out of keeping with our postmodern sensibility that we hardly know where to look. Yet, in recent months, something unthinkable has started to happen: folk dancing is becoming cool… Among them were the determinedly modern Belles of London City. A three-woman team, dressed in tight red-and-white corsets and top hats, the Belles are a living, jiggling refutation of the assumption that morris dancing can’t be sexy.”

India. Men caught in ‘women only’ train carriage forced to do sit-ups: “At least one carriage is reserved for women on every metro train in the Indian capital, where female residents and tourists have complained about sexual harassment on public transport for decades. Police on Saturday led a crackdown of men using women’s carriages at a station in Gurgaon, a satellite development on the outskirts of Delhi, after a series of complaints and women passengers joined in the action. The offending commuters were made to pay a fine of 250 rupees (£3.40) while angry women slapped some of them and forced them to do sit-ups. S. Deswal, the Gurgaon police commissioner who led the raid, said: “We found many male passengers in the women’s coach. The moment the women saw us, they got the courage to teach the men a lesson.”

Store detectives dress as baby Jesus to catch Christmas market thieves: “Store detectives at Christmas Markets in Austria are being disguised as the baby Jesus in an attempt to catch shoplifters and pick pockets. In the German speaking world the Christ child is usually played by young women and is also the traditional bringer of Christmas gifts. Actors have been replaced by the undercover detectives to stop criminals taking advantage of the crowds to steal items from the stalls and shoppers’ bags at the events which are popular tourists attractions. A spokesman for the city council in Weitra, Austria, which is one of those to employ the Christ child detectives said: “They are in among the crowds all day long and they are perfect for keeping an eye out for petty crooks.”

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

People you meet at Wal-Mart

November 28, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Many more here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Allergic to a kiss: “Even brushing your teeth or waiting hours after eating may not prevent some partners of people with food and medicine allergies from triggering an allergic reaction through a kiss, according to allergists at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. “If you have food allergies, having an allergic reaction immediately after kissing someone who has eaten the food or taken oral medication that you are allergic to isn’t highly unusual,” said allergist Sami Bahna, MD, ACAAI president. “But some patients react after their partner has brushed his or her teeth or several hours after eating. It turns out that their partners’ saliva is excreting the allergen hours after the food or medicine has been absorbed by their body.”

Giant chocolate Christmas tree: “A French chocolatier has created a ten-metre-high [35ft] chocolate Christmas tree in his laboratory in Paris. Patrick Roger’s creation will be used to raise funds for a television charity event to support research into neuromuscular diseases. The tree, which is currently towering inside the chocolatier’s factory in Sceaux, weighs four tonnes and according to Mr Roger’s is a piece of “architecture”. The chocolate Christmas tree will be shown on France’s Telethon, a nationwide charity appeal show, and viewers will receive part of the sugary sculpture in exchange for a donation. Mr Roger’s laboratory also features a wide range of other chocolate sculptures, including small Santas, reindeers and other figurines.” [Video at link]

34 minutes – the time it takes for new shoes to pinch: “The average woman can stand their new pair of shoes for just 34 minutes before grimacing with pain. Researchers have found that once they have stepped out of the taxi and into a pub or club, they survive just over half an hour before their feet start to hurt. Four in ten said they take a spare pair of pumps ‘out of habit’ to change into because they know their shoes will rub. And more than half have ended up walking home bare-foot, while one in ten have abandoned their shoes altogether or borrowed someone else’s. But a survey of 4,000 women revealed a determined one fifth said the prospect of aching feet would not put them off wearing a pair of killer heels.”

Japanese company plays Mozart to its bananas: “A Japanese fruit company has been playing Mozart to its ripening bananas, claiming it produces a sweeter product. And that’s not all – the paper says a wide variety of food and beverages in Japan have been enjoying exposure to classical music, including soy sauce, udon noodles, miso and even sake, the Japan Times said. In fact, the sake is downright picky when it comes to composers. At Ohara Shuzo brewery, senior managing director, Fumiko Ohara told the paper the classical musical experiment began over 20 years ago when the president, Kosuke Ohara, came across a book about brewing with music. They experimented with jazz, Mozart, Bach and Beethoven, among others. “We found Mozart works best for sake,” Mr Ohara said, “and that’s why we use only his music.”

Drive-thru offers sex toys and lubricants: “A new drive-thru window in one Alabama community is offering customers a lot more than just a burger and fries. Sherri Williams, owner of the adult store Pleasures, will start selling a variety of items including sex toys and lubricants through three drive-up lanes at a new location in Huntsville. “It’s a new level of privacy, and it feels good to give something back to the community,” Williams said in a news release. All of the items will be placed in brown paper bags and delivered through a drive-thru drawer.”

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

Woman losing weight

November 27, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

But implants holding up well

Story here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Dawn of the flexisexual: “Now a new word has been coined for the growing number of straight women who flirt with bisexuality… flexisexual. It refers to people who have a sexual preference but refuse to be bound by it. And it seems heterosexual women in their 30s and 40s are leading the trend. Psychologist Dr Cecelia D’Felice said: ‘Women are often more open to these experiences when they reach their 40s and are more confident with their sexuality. If an opportunity presents itself they may think “why not”, particularly if they have come out of a long relationship.’ A third of 6,000 women surveyed by Coco de Mer said their favourite fantasy was to have sex with a woman.”

Pink downfall: “A male Qantas flight attendant was fired after stealing a pair of pink ladies’ ugg boots from an upmarket hotel in California. In a bizarre case, David Tregear told the national industrial court in Sydney he was so sleep deprived he didn’t realise what he was doing when he stole the boots from the lobby of an Orange County hotel in March. The boots had been left near a shoe-shine chair. Mr Tregear said he believed they had been abandoned and took them to give to his daughter. Once he realised he was in trouble, he sent the ugg boots back to the hotel. However, Fair Work Australia commissioner Colin Thatcher found the father of three had made no attempt to hand in the boots before this. Mr Thatcher said he did not see how anxiety and depression “would cause him to perform illegal acts”. He said Qantas was within its rights to sack him. Mr Tregear, who served more than 20 years with the airline, said his life had been ruined.” [Must not speculate about the sexuality of a male flight attendant, of course]

The most boring day of the 20th century: “It was the year that Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile and food rationing came to an end in England. The Queen became the first reigning monarch to visit Australia and Marilyn Monroe married Joe DiMaggio. But amid historic events of 1954 was a date which can only today be classed as significant – for its insignificance. April 11 of that year has been identified by experts as the most boring of the 20th century – a day when nothing of note happened. After feeding 300 million facts into a new computer search engine, it was announced there were no key news events or births and deaths of famous people. The best the machine could muster for the day was the fact that Belgium had its fourth post-war general election and a Turkish academic was born.”

British woman crows too soon: “A bank worker who boasted on Facebook about receiving a big redundancy payout was fired after her employer saw the messages. RBS worker Kate Furlong posted the messages minutes after her bosses announced they were planning to cut 3,500 jobs. The debt officer at the bank, which is part-owned by the taxpayer, immediately posted on Facebook that it was the ‘best news ever’ and that she would be getting a ‘nice payout’. After her employers found out she was sacked for breaching the company’s ‘declaration of secrecy’, which they claimed amounted to gross misconduct. As a result the 23-year-old, who earned £18,000 a year, did not receive her £6,000 payout.”

Big bungle by British spooks: “MI6 was blamed yesterday for the fiasco that saw a fake Taliban commander paid hundreds of thousands of pounds for his role in secret Afghan peace negotiations. Intelligence officers are said to have believed the man was Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, a key insurgent leader. But now he is thought to have been a mere shopkeeper. The imposter was flown on British military planes to meetings with the Afghan government in the belief that he could help bring peace to the country. He even met Afghan president Hamid Karzai in the presidential palace in the capital Kabul. After two months, he disappeared with a substantial sum of money.”

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

Some celebrity clangers from Britain

November 26, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

FOOTBALL

‘You can never say never – unless you say never yourself.’ England footballer Emile Heskey

‘England are learning to walk before they can run with their feet nailed firmly to the ground.’ ITV commentator Clive Tyldesley

‘He was outstanding from the first minute to the second.’ Wigan manager Roberto Martinez

‘He [Robbie Keane] was like the cat that got the cheese.’ Stan Collymore

‘Bobby Moore always had his suits manicured.’ Sky Sports commentator Jamie Redknapp

‘There’s no one to blame – they are just ­individual mistakes.’ David Beckham

‘When you’ve got a mountain to climb, you may as well throw everything in the kitchen sink straight away.’ Former England player David Platt

‘We scored three goals at home and 99 times out of ten that’ll be enough.’ Retired player Dean White

‘The goalkeeper – his left hand just disintegrated.’ Sky Sports commentator Peter Beagrie

‘Eduardo will be making his come-back tonight, after his fatal injury.’ Former West Ham player Julian Dicks

‘The future isn’t about yesterday, it’s about today.’ Former Tottenham manager David Pleat

QUESTION AND ANSWER

Louise Minchin: ‘What is it like to have Sir Cliff Richard promoting this project?’ Alzheimer Society spokeswoman: ‘Well, dementia has been in the shadows for a long time…’ Sunday Life

POLITICS

‘Some of this stuff with Max Mosley is political. I mean, some people use the story as a stick to beat him with.’ Radio 5 Live presenter Nicky Campbell

‘Every time I visit Iraq or Afghanistan I am blown away…’ David Cameron

‘Funding is to be cut for sports where targets were missed, such as archery.’ Radio 5 Live

‘Let’s not take our bridges before they’ve been erected.’ Bob Ainsworth

‘Liberalism with a small “c”.’ David Blunkett

‘I am not a man of faith, but my wife is.’ Nick Clegg

CRICKET

‘I took great solstice from England’s Ashes win.’ Commentator Martin Adams

‘The crowd are buzzing like new birds in a nest.’ Commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins

‘He tried to cut off his nose, in spite of his face.’ Former Australian batsman Matthew Hayden

ODDBALLS

‘The banks have made people green with anger over the last few years.’ BBC presenter Evan Davis

‘11am heralded two minutes’ silence that was echoed all over the country.’ BBC Radio 4

‘So the obvious answer is “why?’’ ’ John Humphrys

‘Have you got your feet firmly under the carpet now?’ Holly Willoughby

‘Did your great-grandfather have any children?’ Fern Britton

‘He was a wonderful man, as was his wife.’ BBC Radio 3 presenter Sean Rafferty

‘My heart goes out to everyone awaiting an organ transplant.’ Elisabeth Buggins, NHS West Midlands

‘Is it your sister or brother who’s his dad?’ Radio presenter Victoria Derbyshire

‘This guy’s a pathological, homeopathic murderer.’ Radio 5 Live

‘As Mr Madoff is 75, he will not be able to serve his whole 150 years service.’ BBC News 24

ATHLETICS

‘We could be getting a brace of medals by the end of the evening – we could even get a couple.’ BBC2

GOLF

‘The return of the Tiger – he was up and down, in and out, as usual…’ English golfer Peter Alliss

‘It was as if Faldo was trying to reinvent the wheel and put people in spokes that just didn’t fit them.’ Reporter David Facey

LITERALLY

‘My legs literally turned to jelly.’ Pop star Rachel Stevens

‘It sounds like Lenin will literally be cheering in his grave.’ BBC presenter Justin Webb

‘You were up against the Norwegians who are, literally, born on skis.’ BBC news reader Kate Silverton

‘You can literally get a world on your plate.’ Jamie Oliver

TENNIS

‘I’m currently writing a screenplay that I haven’t started yet.’ Serena Williams

‘That was pure instinct from Murray – he made up his mind to go for that.’ Commentator John Lloyd

‘The wind is coming from Federer’s end.’ BBC

COOKERY

‘If your fridge is full this Christmas, use nature’s fridge – your car!’ Anthea Turner on GMTV

‘So, before you were a vegetarian, did you eat meat?’ BBC radio presenter Jumoke Fashola

HORSES

‘We have to remember that horses are only human.’ Commentator Mike Tucker

Original story here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Lips are a woman’s most attractive feature?: “If you want to catch a man’s attention, don’t bother fluttering your eyelashes or flicking your hair. Just practise your pout. According to a study, a woman’s lips are the most attractive part of her body. Especially if she’s wearing red lipstick. Scientists found that in the 10 seconds after meeting a woman for the first time, the average chap will spend more than half his time gazing at her mouth. If she has applied lipstick, he’ll find it difficult to look away, with a dash of pink holding his attention for 6.7 seconds and red keeping him fixated for 7.3 seconds. The study, by scientists at the UK’s Manchester University, involved tracking the eye movements of 50 men as they were presented with images of different women. When the women wore lipstick, the men gazed at their lips for an average of 7 seconds, spending 0.95 seconds looking at their eyes and 0.85 seconds studying their hair. But when they went without make-up, the men tired of looking at their lips after 2.2 seconds”

Chinese villagers ‘descended from Roman soldiers’: “Genetic testing of villagers in a remote part of China has shown that nearly two thirds of their DNA is of Caucasian origin, lending support to the theory that they may be descended from a ‘lost legion’ of Roman soldiers. Tests found that the DNA of some villagers in Liqian, on the fringes of the Gobi Desert in north-western China, was 56 per cent Caucasian in origin. Many of the villagers have blue or green eyes, long noses and even fair hair, prompting speculation that they have European blood. The genetic tests have leant weight to the theory that Roman legionaries settled in the area in the first century BC after fleeing a disastrous battle. The clash took place in 53BC between an army led by Marcus Crassus, a Roman general, and a larger force of Parthians, from what is now Iran, bringing to an abrupt halt the Roman Empire’s eastwards expansion. Thousands of Romans were slaughtered and Crassus himself was beheaded, but some legionaries were said to have escaped the fighting and marched east to elude the enemy.”

Mad Yugoslav flies into a rage over reclined seat: “An enraged air passenger has been arrested after allegedly hitting and grabbing the ear of the man in front of him for reclining his seat during a flight. Tomislav Zelenovic faces six months in jail over the November 22 incident on American Airlines. About 20 minutes into the flight Mr Dougal put his seat back with the intention of going to sleep, but he felt the person behind him – Mr Zelenovic – bump it…. To this Mr Zelenovic shook the back of Mr Dougal’s seat, then grabbed his ear and “pulled it back and down” hard enough that Mr Dougal’s glasses were knocked off. His ear was left red and ringing after the incident. Another witness says Mr Zelenovic whacked Mr Dougal on the side of the head. Mr Zelenovic was escorted off the plane by police.”

An electric car that uses petrol?: “Chevrolet’s new Volt plug-in electric vehicle will use two-and-a-half litres of petrol every 100km when running on electricity alone, according to its fuel label. The Volt, which can run on electricity alone for up to 55km, also has a small petrol engine which acts as a generator and recharges the car’s batteries on the run. The range quoted on the label is slightly less than the 40 miles (60km) range quoted by General Motors in its press material; many electric cars quote a theoretical range that is often difficult to achieve when the car is driven normally. The fuel efficiency rating quoted for the Volt is also well below the 230 miles per gallon number GM originally claimed in 2009. In a statement released with the new-look label, General Motors, says it has always maintained the Volt’s energy efficiency depends on how you use it. It says range can vary between 25 miles and 50 miles depending on a number of conditions.”

How women can’t sustain weight war: “Whatever the motivation to start dieting, it lasts little more than a week. A study has found that the average woman is so weak-willed when it comes to weight-loss that she gives up after just eight days. Some had been inspired by ­cele­brity weight-loss stories, while a few admitted they were doing it for a better love life. But in most cases, efforts to slim down will be short-lived. Nutritionist Fiona Hunter said: ‘Women up and down the country tend to pull out all the stops when it comes to dieting. ‘But maintaining their regimes for any length of time can be difficult, as these figures show. ‘Finding a diet that suits you and your lifestyle will give you a much greater chance of success.’”

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

Getting straight to the point

November 25, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Dogs smarter than cats because they are more social: “Dog owners, this will confirm what you always thought. And cat owners, prepare to extend your claws: scientists at Oxford University claim canines are smarter than felines. And the reason, according to the researchers, is that dogs are more social animals and therefore have bigger brains than the more solitary-inclined cats, the (London) Daily Telegraph said. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, charted the evolutionary history of various mammals’ brains over 60 million years and found a link between the size of an animal’s brain in relation to its body and how socially active it was…. And here’s one more thing to bark about: “All dogs are quite good at solving problems,” Dr Shultz added, ” which gives credence to the traditional image of the cunning fox which is a member of the same family.”

No, Minister! Put that bracelet down now, it’s 3,000 years old: “For any parent taking the children to a museum, it’s a heart-stopping moment – inquisitive little fingers reach towards a priceless artefact and disaster seems inevitable. So imagine the panic at the British Museum yesterday when a visitor tried on a 3,000-year-old Bronze Age bracelet which is so delicate that it should never be touched by an ungloved hand. Embarrassingly, the culprit was Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, who blushed as he was told off like a naughty schoolboy by an official. A pair of gloves were thrust his way and Mr Vaizey sheepishly apologised before safely handling the warrior’s bracelet, which was unearthed in County Tyrone last April. It would have belonged to an important warrior or priest around 950-800 BC.”

British pilot flies plane into Air Force flypast squadron: “A bungling amateur pilot flying a tiny Cessna airplane in the UK accidentally flew into a Royal Air Force (RAF) flypast. Stunned pilot David Remnant suddenly found himself alongside a massive formation of 29 military aircraft including Tornado jets. At a court case in the UK, magistrates heard how one Tornado pilot had seen the Cessna just 200-feet away, heading straight towards him. Air traffic controllers had to order the RAF team to “dive, dive, dive” for 300-feet while Mr Remnant was told to fly 300-feet upwards to avoid a mid-air collision. Mr Remnant, 43, an experienced pilot, got mixed up with the flypast to mark the Queen’s birthday after misreading the times on an air restriction notice. Mr Remnant, who was said to have been “mortified,” admitted entering controlled air space. He was fined £1400 ($2200) with £673 costs.”

Man arrested after complaining of being ripped off by prostitutes: “Complaining to the police about prostitutes ripping you off may not be the best move. A US man was arrested after asking police to help him get money back from two prostitutes. The Columbia Daily Tribune reported on Tuesday that Ryan McNames, 19, told police he offered two women $US60 for one to show him her chest and the other to perform oral sex on him. Columbia police spokeswoman Jessie Haden said the women left with the money even though no oral sex was performed. Mr McNames told police on Saturday he wanted at least $US40 returned. Mr McNames was arrested on suspicion of patronising prostitution and released from jail after posting a $US500 bond.”

‘Cookie Monster’ gets fired: “Stephen Duckett has been sacked as chief executive of a Canadian health service after refusing to stop eating a cookie rather than talk to the media. Dr Stephen Duckett, who has been dubbed the “Cookie Monster”, left a meeting with health care leaders in Edmonton eating a cookie and refused to talk to waiting media about the health crisis in the Canadian province of Alberta. He had been headhunted in 2009 from Australia to be in charge of the newly created Alberta Health Services. But his tenure ended abruptly today after a video went viral of him munching on a cookie as he walked past the media and ignoring their questions except to tell them “I’m eating my cookie”. Alberta Health Services issued a press release on Wednesday, Canadian time, saying Dr Duckett had been removed as its chairman.” [Video at link]

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

Naked ambition

November 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

German couple in court over ‘squeaky bedsprings’ sex: “A German couple have been taken to court because their bed made too much noise during their lovemaking. Stefanie Mueller, 24, faced a fine for one night of passion with partner Lucas Zetsch, 25, that woke up the neighbourhood. Police said they received ten complains from neighbours of the pair in the city suburb of Lichtenberg on the night in question in July this year. The pair were summoned under anti noise-pollution laws but they refused to pay the £86 penalty. This led to a court hearing in Berlin where Miss Mueller, a hotel worker, said; “We weren’t that loud.” The judge said; “Perhaps not you, but your bed. We have witness statements that it was heard banging and squeaking around the neighbourhood from 11.30pm until 1.00am the next morning.” Mr Zetsch told the court: “It was totally normal sex, nothing exciting” – a remark which earned him a scornful look from Miss Mueller, who snapped: “Thanks – that was nice.” Then she left the court. The judge threw the case out as the complainants did not show up for the hearing.”

IL.: Man carried pipe bomb in backpack 2 years: “An Arlington Heights man who was stopped with a pipe bomb in his backpack told Wheeling police he had been carrying the bomb for about two years, authorities said today. Ryan Barton, 20, was stopped last week in Wheeling for questioning about recent car burglaries. He had no connection to the burglaries, but during the stop, authorities discovered the bomb in his backpack, police said. Barton gave no reason for carrying the bomb, said Wheeling Police Chief William Benson. Barton said a former friend had helped him make the bomb, Benson said. Barton, who is free on bond, is charged with unlawful use of a weapon and is to appear in court Dec. 9.”

Woman stuck in bathroom for three weeks: “A woman was trapped in her bathroom for three weeks after her door lock broke and her nocturnal pleas for help were ignored by neighbours. The woman emerged in a “very weakened” state when rescue workers, alerted by neighbours worried because they had not seen her for some time, broke into her home in the Paris suburb of Epinay-sous-Senart to extricate her. She had got stuck after the bathroom door lock broke. The woman, who is recuperating in hospital, survived by drinking warm water from the bathroom tap and at night-time tried to call for help by tapping on piping, police said. But neighbours in the apartment block said they thought someone was doing home repair work and launched a petition to find out who it was and have it stopped.”

British Hacker jailed after spying on computer users using their own cameras: “A hacker spied on countless computer users by manipulating their home webcams. Matthew Anderson, 33, is understood to have sent out 50million ‘spam’ emails containing an attachment for recipients to click on. All of those who did so – believed to be 200,000 – had their computer infected with a virus that left it effectively ‘enslaved’. Anderson was then able to rifle through private files and saved photographs – and even switch on web cameras attached to the computers. At his leisure he then sat spying into the living rooms or bedrooms of strangers. The victims will have been completely unaware of his watching eyes. When he was caught in a four-year police operation, officers found he had stored pictures and film of dozens of people in their own homes.”

Baby girl in China abandoned on the street… because she is BLONDE: “A mother abandoned her newborn baby on the street in China – because the little girl was blonde. The white-haired Chinese baby was discovered by a passer-by on a street corner in Nanning, Guangxi Province. The woman who found the child heard a cry and made the shocking discovery. Police found a bag of baby clothes besides the quilt and an envelope containing 3,900 Yuan, about £390. Police suspect but have not confirmed that the mother dumped her child because of the baby’s white hair.”

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

Kermit has an after-dinner rest

November 23, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Lower-class people better at reading emotions: “Upper class people may have more educational opportunities, greater financial security, and better job prospects than people from lower social classes, but that doesn’t mean they’re more skilled at everything. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, found that lower-class people are better at reading the emotions of others. The study was prompted by observations that for lower-class people success depends more on how much they can rely on other individuals. The volunteers did a test of emotion perception, where they were instructed to look at pictures of faces and indicate which emotions each face was displaying. People with more education performed worse on the task than people with less education.”

Workers transporting US nuclear missiles drunk on the job: “US agents tasked with transporting nuclear weapons and related parts in trucks were drunk on the job, revealing a “potential vulnerability” in a “critical national security mission” a scathing report has revealed. The Department of Energy’s internal regulator report released yesterday found in one incident last year, two agents were arrested and detained after an incident at a bar during a transport mission. In 2007, another agent was arrested for public intoxication. Both events took place during extended trips where agents were checked into hotels after placing the transport vehicles into “safe harbours.”

Canadian court examines polygamy laws: “A LAWYER for the provincial British Columbia Government is warning a judge that declaring polygamy a protected religious practice would make Canada the only Western country to allow multiple marriages. The British Columbia Supreme Court is examining whether banning polygamy violates Canada’s version of the bill of rights in a case that will focus on the small polygamous community of Bountiful, British Columbia. The BC government asked the court last year to decide whether Canada’s polygamy laws are constitutional after repeated failures to prosecute the two leaders of Bountiful.”

Strange Caddy: “Traditionally linked with finned land yachts, Cadillac has signalled a serious interest in downsizing with its Urban Luxury Concept vehicle. Unveiled last week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the monospace ULC measures up at only 3.8m long yet has more interior volume than the cabin of Cadillac’s CTS mid-size saloon. Created by GM’s advanced design centre in California, the ULC is designed to introduce American luxury buyers to the concept of compact premium, as well as appeal to a younger, hipper audience than traditionally buys a Cadillac.”

Ex-wife wins $3m from $90 million lottery winner – even though she left him 10 years ago: “The ex-wife of a $90 million lottery winner has successfully sued him for $3.2 million, despite leaving the marriage a decade ago. Englishman Nigel Page, 44, bagged the massive Euromillions windfall in February this year. Shortly after the win was made public Mr Page’s ex-wife, Wendy, who left him for another man 10 years ago, launched legal action and reportedly sought up to $12 million. She was awarded a $3.2 million lump sum in an out-of-court settlement. The 43-year-old human resources director is the mother of Mr Page’s 13-year-old daughter, Ella. Unnamed family friends told The Sun newspaper that Mr Page was heartbroken when Wendy, whose surname is not known, walked out on their marriage, taking then-three-year-old Ella with her. She is also believed to have sought and received a large increase in child maintenance payments for Ella – up from $242 a month to $3200.”

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

Irish logic again

November 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Paddy rings his new girlfriend’s door bell, with a big bunch of flowers.

She opens the door, sees the flowers, and drags him in.

She lies back on the couch, pulls her skirt up, rips her knickers off and says, ‘This is for the flowers!’

‘Don’t be silly,’ says Paddy, ‘You must have a vase somewhere!’

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Pictures, pictures, pictures …

As regular readers here will mostly know, every couple of months I put up my selection of what I think are the “best” pictures that have appeared on this blog. I have just put up my selection for September/October. See here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

A tilted head is sexy? “By simply tilting her face forward a woman’s face can be judged to be more feminine and more attractive, whereas a man’s face is considered more attractive when tilted backwards, this latest research has found. Typically taller than women, men view women’s faces from above so a female face was deemed more attractive when tilted forward, simulating this perspective. The opposite was then true for men whose faces were judged more masculine and attractive when tilted backwards as though they were viewed from below.”

Pope puts on his best hat to announce new policy: “After decades of fierce opposition to the use of all contraception, the Pontiff has ended the Church’s absolute ban on the use of condoms. He said it was acceptable to use a prophylactic when the sole intention was to “reduce the risk of infection” from Aids. While he restated the Catholic Church’s staunch objections to contraception because it believes that it interferes with the creation of life, he argued that using a condom to preserve life and avoid death could be a responsible act – even outside marriage.”

Malvern Water – more good news for the Queen: “William Chase, the entrepreneur behind Tyrrells Crisps and Chase potato vodka, is to put together a bid to restart production of the Queen’s favourite mineral water, Malvern Water. Mr Chase has hired advisors BDO to approach the brand’s owner Coca-Cola about buying the Worcestershire-based plant and brand. Coca-Cola stopped production at the plant this year saying that the volume of water it was able to extract from the Malvern Hills-based site was not economic. However, Mr Chase, who has enjoyed significant success with both his crisps and vodka businesses, believes it could be a success if run for a smaller more select market. He told The Sunday Telegraph: “Malvern is a Great British brand with such an incredible provenance behind it.” Malvern water has long been associated with the Royal family, carries the Royal warrant and was reportedly taken by the Queen on foreign visits.”

Ford, Nissan and Turkish carmaker Karsan on shortlist to become New York City’s ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’: “The phasing out of the yellow taxi cabs that growl and bump through Manhattan will be little short of revolutionary. The Ford Crown Victoria cars that make up the bulk of New York’s taxi fleet will cease production next year – and officials have begun the search for a new icon. David Yassky, New York’s taxi commissioner, told The Times: “We’re really looking for something to become as iconic as the London cab.” He has selected three contenders. The Ford Motor Company has submitted something resembling a decorator’s van and Nissan is offering a yellow people-carrier, but the most distinctive entry comes from Karsan, the Turkish manufacturer: a bug-shaped vehicle with a glass roof.”

Saintly statue stymies unholy church donation box thief: “A WOULD-BE thief who attempted to steal a church donation box in Munich suffered divine retribution in the form of a falling statue of a saint that gashed his head, the German website The Local reported yesterday. The Local said the nearly life-size statue of Saint Antonius tumbled from its wooden base as the thief was trying to break open the donation box attached to the same structure. “He (the saint) obviously did not want to let it go,” it quoted the church’s priest, Ludwig Sperrer, as saying with a grin. But the thief didn’t undergo a miraculous conversion despite the statue’s apparent intervention. He went to a nearby house to ask for help for his bleeding head and while there, his female accomplice stole a wallet left lying on the counter”.

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

A quiz that will defeat you

November 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

1. What’s the word for the fear of heights?

a) Vertigo

b) Acrophobia

c) Impetigo

b) The fear of heights is called acrophobia (from the Greek akros, ‘highest’). Reactions include clinging, crouching, or crawling on all fours as well as sweating, shaking and palpitations. Vertigo, on the other hand, is a type of dizziness where sufferers feel they are moving when they are in fact stationary. Up to 10 per cent of people experience some form of vertigo in their lives.

2. Which nationality invented the ‘stiff upper lip’?

a) The Americans

b) The British

c) The Germans

a) Unlikely as it might sound, it was the Americans. The oldest known uses of the term are all from the U.S., beginning in 1815. It appears in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) and in the letters of Mark Twain (1835-1910), and it was only towards the end of the 19th century that the expression first appeared in print in Britain.
QI graphic

3. From where does your body lose most heat?

a) Your feet

b) Your head

c) The part that is most exposed

c) According to Professor Gordon Giesbrecht at the University of Manitoba, the world’s leading expert on cold-weather survival, the head and neck lose heat no faster than the rest of our skin. Our head seems to get colder because the high concentration of nerve cells makes it five times as sensitive to changes in temperature as other areas

4. What happens if you eat cheese before bedtime?

a) You have bad dreams

b) You sleep more soundly

c) You have good dreams

b) In 2005, the British Cheese Board organised a study in which threequarters of the 200 volunteers, who all ate cheese before bedtime, reported undisturbed sleep. The overall conclusion was that cheese is a perfectly safe late-night snack. In addition, because it contains high levels of a chemical called trytophan – which produces the ‘ happy hormone’ serotonin – it is likely to reduce stress and so encourage peaceful slumber.

5. What’s the name of the chemical that’s bad for you and is found in Chinese food?

a) Salt

b) Monosodium glutamate

c) Potassium nitrate

a) Despite its reputation in the press, monosodium glutamate is much less harmful than ordinary table salt. Every concerned public body that ever investigated MSG has given it a clean bill of health. Salt, on the other hand, is a known contributor to high blood pressure, which can lead to heart problems.

6. What effect does drinking alcohol have on antibiotics?

a) It stops them working

b) It makes your symptoms worse

c) It has no effect at all

c) Of over 100 types of antibiotic available for prescription, only five have serious side-effects if taken with alcohol. The idea that alcohol ‘stops antibiotics working’ dates back to the VD clinics of World War II. Doctors scared their patients into not drinking to lessen the chances of alcohol-fuelled casual sex, which risked them passing on the infection before the drug had a chance to work. This advice soon became standard medical practice for all antibiotic prescriptions.

7. Who became King of England after the Battle of Hastings?

a) Harold Godwinson

b) William the Conqueror

c) Edgar the Ætheling

c) Despite what you might think, William didn’t conquer straight away. When Harold was killed at Hastings in October 1066, Edgar the Ætheling (grand-nephew of Edward the Confessor) was proclaimed king by a council of religious and political leaders called the Witan. The Anglo-Saxons elected their kings rather than rely on the hereditary principle. Edgar reigned for two months before fleeing from William the Conqueror’s invasion force.

8. In Britain, how far are you from a rat at any given time?

a) 6ft

b) 70ft

c) Half a mile

c) 70ft. According to Rentokil, the pest control company, the commonly held idea that you are ‘never more than 6ft away from a rat’ is wrong by a factor of ten. The National Rodent Survey estimated there are around 70 million rats in the country, compared with just 63 million humans. But rats, although they happily live off our rubbish, don’t like to get too close to us.

9. Which two counties fought each other in the Wars of the Roses?

a) Yorkshire & Lancashire

b) North Yorkshire & South Yorkshire

c) No ‘counties’ fought at all

c) Neither the Yorkists nor the Lancastrians were based in the counties that bear their names, and neither side called the conflict ‘the Wars of the Roses’. The Houses of York and Lancaster were branches of the House of Plantagenet, which had ruled England for 300 years. If anything, more Lancastrians than Yorkists came from Yorkshire – and most Yorkists were from the Midlands.

10. When did Parliament make slavery illegal in England?

a) Section 71 of the 2009 Coroners and Justice Act (which came into force on April 6, 2010) makes it an

a) 2010

b) 1833

c) 1574

a) Section 71 of the 2009 Coroners and Justice Act (which came into force on April 6, 2010) makes it an offence in the UK to hold a person in ‘slavery or servitude’. Slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire in 1833, but it wasn’t thought necessary to make it a specific criminal offence at home until now.

QI graphic

11. How tall was Napoleon?

a) 5ft 2in

b) 5ft 6½in

c) 4ft 11

b) 5ft 6½in – which made him taller than both the average Frenchman and Englishman of his day and 2½in taller than his great rival Horatio Nelson. The universal belief that Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was short came about from a combination of British propaganda and his decision to impose a 5ft 7in minimum height requirement on his personal guard, who all then towered over him.

12. Who thought the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton?

a) The Duke of Wellington

b) Adolf Hitler

c) David Cameron

b) Adolf Hitler. The Duke of Wellington, to whom the quote is often attributed, hated sport and disliked Eton – and during his time there the school didn’t have any playing fields, anyway. It was Hitler who was so convinced that Britain owed its victory in World War I to strategic skills acquired at Eton that he ordered that the school be bombed shortly after the outbreak of World War II.

13. How good is a bat’s eyesight?

a) Terrible – they’re blind

b) Bats don’t have eyes

c) Pretty good

c) Of the 1,100-odd species of bat in the world, not one is sightless, and many can see very well indeed. The notion that bats don’t need eyes because they get about exclusively using echolocation or ‘sonar’ is complete nonsense. Fruit bats have large eyes and even small bats, which do use sonar to hunt, have good night vision.

14. What’s the world’s second highest peak?

a) Mount Chimborazo

b) K2

c) Mount Everest

c) Mount Everest. Its main summit is the highest point on the Earth’s surface measured from sea level. It rises just over 29,035ft into the sky, but the unremarkable bump of Everest’s south summit at 28,707ft is almost 460ft higher than K2, the world’s second highest separate mountain.

15. What’s the hardest known substance?

a) Diamond

b) Water

c) ADNR

c) ADNR. In 2005, scientists at Bayreuth University in Germany created a new material by compressing pure carbon under extreme heat. Called hyperdiamond or aggregated diamond nanorods (ADNR), it’s the hardest, stiffest and densest substance known to science (although it looks rather like a glittery black pudding).

16. Why was the speed camera invented?

a) To speed cars up

b) To slow cars down

c) To collect number plate information

a) The original speed camera was designed by a Dutch engineer called Maurice Gatsonides (1911-1998), Europe’s first professional rally driver. His invention enabled him to see how much extra speed he could squeeze out of a corner by approaching it along a different line. Only later did he adapt it to produce the ‘Gatso’ camera for catching speeding motorists.

QI graphic

17. What does a British judge bang in order to keep order in court?

a) Nothing

b) A mallet

c) A gavel

a) Nothing. British judges do not, and never have, used gavels – only British auctioneers. Actors playing judges on TV and in films in Britain use them because their real-life American counterparts do.

18. What is paper money made from?

a) Paper

b) Plastic

c) Linen

b) and c). ‘Paper money’ is made from cotton or linen (confusingly, this is sometimes called ‘rag paper’). Cotton and linen fibres contain far fewer acids than wood pulp, so they don’t discolour or wear out so easily. In 1988, Australia became the first country to introduce bank notes made of plastic. These make it easier to incorporate security devices such as holograms.

19. Which part of the food does a microwave cook first?

a) The middle

b) The outside

c) Both simultaneously

b) Microwave ovens don’t directly cook food; they heat the water inside it. If the food is the same consistency all the way through, the water nearest the surface will absorb most of the energy. But food like jacket potatoes, which are dry on the outside, gets hotter in the centre, because the centre contains more water than the skin.

20. What language is the Spanish national anthem sung in?

a) Dutch

b) Spanish

c) It has no words

c) Despite having one of the oldest tunes of any national anthem, La Marcha Real is the only one with no official words. They were dropped in 1975, on the death of General Franco, with whom they were inextricably associated in the public’s mind.

In 2007, the Spanish Olympic Committee, inspired by a performance of You’ll Never Walk Alone by visiting Liverpool football fans, held a competition to find new words for the national tune. The winning lyrics, called — believe it or not — ¡Viva España!, were dropped after just five days after several regions denounced the words as ‘too nationalistic’.

It’s still not the oddest anthem, though — for 350 years, the Dutch have been pledging allegiance to the King of Spain in theirs.

Original story here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Stonehenge Getting An Extreme Makeover: “Stonehenge is getting a multimillion-dollar grant that conservators say will help restore some dignity to a World Heritage site blighted by busy roads and cramped facilities. English Heritage said Friday that it now has about two-thirds of the money it needs to revamp the area around the prehistoric circle of stones, although the group acknowledged the improvements probably wouldn’t come in time for the 2012 Olympic Games, when hordes of tourists are expected to descend on the site. Built between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago, Stonehenge is one of the world’s most recognizable sites. But the monument’s vista is blighted by two busy roads, one of which runs right by it. Stonehenge’s visitor center is also inadequate, with vehicle traffic spilling out onto the grassy area nearby during peak periods.”

1939 Batman Comic Sells For Nearly $500,000: “A rare comic book an 84-year-old California man bought for a dime when he was a teen has been sold in Texas for $492,937. The copy of Detective Comics No. 27 featured the debut of “The Batman.” Robert Irwin says he bought the May 1939 issue from a Sacramento, Calif., newsstand when he was 13, and it’s the only comic book he kept from his youth. The winning bid came from a collector who wished to remain anonymous. He placed the bid by phone Thursday in an auction by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Heritage sold a rare copy of that same comic in better condition for $1,075,500 in February.”

Botswana president rejects “traditionally-built” ladies: “Ian Khama, 57, is still a bachelor, a matter of concern in Botswana, a country that views its leader as a tribal chief. President Khama has turned the tables on his followers, explaining he was too busy with affairs of state to find a companion. “For your information, I want a woman who is tall, slim and good looking,” he told a party meeting on the issue. He then turned to the corpulent Botlhogile Tshireletso, a female minister, and said: “I don’t want one like this one. She may fail to pass through the door, breaking furniture with her heavy weight and even break the vehicles’ shock absorbers.” Marriage has always been a fraught issue in the Khama family. The president’s father, Sir Seretse was the country’s foremost independence hero but was forced into exile because the colonial administration bowed to pressure from neighbouring South Africa’s apartheid rulers to remove a man who had married a white woman. Lady Ruth Khama was a Lloyds of London bank clerk and her son is Southern Africa’s only mixed race leader.”

Surgeons use donor liver saved from burnt-out plane wreck: “This was the charred wreckage of a private jet carrying a donor liver organ which crashed on a runway at Birmingham airport. Firemen covered it in foam to put out the flames as the organ was taken to the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital where a transplant went ahead successfully last night. At Queen Elizabeth Hospital a spokeswoman today described the transplant patient as ‘stable’. She added: ‘The transplant team would like to thank the pilot of the light aircraft and his colleague for their bravery. ‘Our thoughts are with the individuals and their families.The team would also like to thank the quick-thinking of the fire and rescue teams at the scene who saved the organ.’

Does the suspect have any distinguishing features?: “Police arresting a man for allegedly soliciting prostitution in Miami earlier this month ran into a bit of difficulty when they got him back to the station. It was not a matter of him resisting arrest or being uncooperative. Nor did it have anything to do with his identification – he provided his name and other personal details, and submitted to fingerprinting and a mugshot. The trouble started when they got to the part in the paperwork that requires them to note ‘unique physical features’. The suspect had an unique physical feature alright… no forehead! After an unspecified period of time, the police clearly gave up, as the charge sheet merely states ‘half a head’ – hardly the medical term for it.”

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

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