Who’s a pretty boy, then? Ginger monkey

September 30, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


And ginger babies are natural for that species of monkey

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Single dose of hallucinogenic mushrooms ‘may alter personality forever’: “Perhaps a new academic study might help explain some of the weirder outfits worn at raves and rock festivals. A single (high) dose of so-called ‘magic’ mushrooms was found to change people’s personalities, not for a few hours, but for at least a year – making people more ‘open’, said researchers. The personality disruptions were so intense they were equivalent to the slow changes that occur in people over entire decades – and the researchers found that even after terrifying drug trips, the changes were the same. Study leader Roland R. Griffiths, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said that so many of the study participants still exhibited changes after a year the changes were ‘likely to be permanent.'”

Incredibly rare one million pound bank note sold for just £69,000: “You would hope that if you were selling one of the world’s few one million pound notes you would at least get its face value at auction. But one of only nine ever issued was sold today for a fraction of its original price with one collector securing it for £69,000 at a specialist sale in London. Produced in 1948 under the post-war Marshall Plan to help the British economy stave off bankruptcy, the notes were part of a £300 million loan from the United States, but were never legal tender. All the notes that made up the package, valued at £25,000 upwards, were destroyed apart from the highest denominations. The one sold today is dated August 30, 1948, and is printed on Bank of England watermarked paper.”

Britain’s traditional pint of beer and dozens of eggs are saved from the Euro meddlers: “Pubs will still be allowed to serve beer in pints and grocers can carry on selling eggs by the dozen after European Union attempts to kill off traditional measures were thwarted. The Government will today claim to have beaten back a bid by Brussels to enforce a switch to metric for all food and drink labelling. Defra, the food and farming department, says the protection of imperial measures is among a raft of victories it has secured in the new EU rules. It had been suggested the EU rules would require eggs and bread rolls to be sold in batches of ten. There were also fears milk and beer would be sold only by the litre or half-litre.”

Man, 46, tracked down and throttled schoolboy, 13, in revenge attack for killing his character in computer game: “A middle-aged man carried out a real-life revenge attack on a schoolboy who killed his character during a game of Call of Duty, a court heard. Mark Bradford, 46, was furious when he was gunned down in the war simulation by the 13-year-old, and ‘lost it’ when the schoolboy goaded him over his online death. Bradford stormed from his bedsit in Budeaux, Plymouth, Devon, and confronted the youngster at the boy’s friend’s house by placing his hands round the schoolboy’s neck. The attack ended when the teenager’s horrified mother pulled Bradford off the boy, who was left scratched and with reddening to the neck. Bradford admitted one count of assault by beating at Plymouth Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. Magistrates ordered a probation officer to prepare a full report on his background before he is sentenced.”

Belgian eccentric who sees everything in black and white… because he thinks he’s a penguin: “Waddling through the backstreets of Brussels, this elderly gentleman appears to have got slightly lost on his way to a fancy dress party. But this man is not on his way to a party – as he is Belgian eccentric Alfred David, who has spent much of the last 40 years living out his obsession with penguins. The 79-year-old, nicknamed ‘Monsieur Pingouin’ (Mr Penguin) dons his favourite hooded black-and-white penguin costume when he takes trips out in local neighbourhood of Schaerbeek. The pensioner’s life changed in May 1968 when his hip was injured in a car accident. His resulting limp was characterised by his colleagues as a waddle, and they dubbed him Mr Penguin. As a consequence he embraced an interest in the flightless sea bird and began collecting everything he could find that had a link with the animal.”

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

A sunbather with nerves of steel

September 29, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

She’s 4 stories up. Story here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Wrong button caused plane to ‘almost turn upside down’ during plunge: “A Japanese plane narrowly avoided disaster this month when it plunged over the Pacific, almost turning upside down, the Transport Ministry said yesterday. The All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight, with 117 passengers and crew on board, dived 1900 metres in 30 seconds in the incident off the southern Shizuoka district on September 6. The manoeuvre happened when the co-pilot, in trying to unlock the cockpit door for the captain who was returning from the toilet, mistook a command button for the cockpit door lock switch nearby. The plane, which took off from Naha on Okinawa island in the south, later managed to touch down at Tokyo’s Haneda airport safely. Two crew members were slightly injured, while four passengers reported health problems following the incident. Images from the flight recorder on the Boeing 737-700 showed the plane veered to the right and then sharply to the left, before dropping backwards. The aircraft tipped more than 130 degrees to the left at one point, but the darkness outside meant many of those on board did not realise the craft had almost flipped over.”

Lifestyle ‘is better in Poland than Britain': Less crime and violence – and it’s cheaper too: “The quality of life in Britain is the worst in Europe – lower even than Poland, because of crime, violence and the high cost of living. A study puts the UK at the bottom of a league of ten nations, even though some of them have much lower incomes. Households in countries such as Poland, France, Spain and Italy all have less material wealth but are considerably happier with life. Only 5 per cent of Britons describe themselves as happy, while 10 per cent would like to emigrate. The league is based on 16 factors including net income, VAT, the cost of essential goods such as fuel, food and energy, as well as lifestyle considerations such as hours of sunshine, holiday entitlement, working hours and life expectancy. “Long working hours, the lowest number of days holiday a year and a high retirement age paint a bleak picture for those in the UK,’ said the uSwitch.com price comparison website, which carried out the study. `We also suffer the most expensive food and diesel prices along with higher-than-average petrol costs, while enjoying almost the lowest amount of sunshine.'”

Vegetarian dating website shut down because it was stuffed with secret meat-eaters: “A dating website for vegetarians has been reprimanded by watchdogs for being misleading – after bolstering member numbers with meat-eaters. Veggiedates.co.uk invites users `to meet single vegetarian men and women looking for love’. But despite its name the majority of the singles were omnivores. Vegetarians who signed up did not realise the site is linked with others which share a database, a fact admitted in the terms and conditions. The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that this was misleading. It rejected the site’s claim that it never said it was `only’ for vegetarians, and told it to change its homepage. Users who signed up hoping to meet a meat-free partner were stunned to find most of the available singles were red-blooded carnivores instead.”

Culprit who stole 39 goldfish from garden pond is unmasked: ” A retired couple who set up CCTV cameras in their garden to catch the mystery predator which was eating their goldfish finally discovered it was a hungry otter. Pensioners Elizabeth and Harry McDougall were devestated to find their collection of 27 goldfish, in two ponds in their garden in Carlisle, had been wiped out. All that remained after the night-time attack were fins and scraps of skin. The couple restocked the ponds and fitted a strong plastic mesh, installing CCTV to try to find the culprit. Three weeks later, the predator struck again, killing all 12 of Mrs McDougall’s new fish. This time the CCTV recorded the incident on camera and now the couple have released the footage to show the thief at work. The film shows how the otter expertly wriggles to remove the plastic netting, peering round to make sure the coast is clear, and then helps himself to a bumper fish feast. Otters were once on the brink of extinction in England but are making a comeback and finding easy pickings in back garden ponds.” [Video at link]


‘You’ve got a couple of nice handfuls!’

1,300 naughty British postcards: “These saucy seaside postcards were once considered so risqu‚ they were confiscated by police on the grounds of obscenity. Thick with double-entendres, busty bathing belles, naughty vicars and henpecked husbands, the images may have been a hit with British holidaymakers who bought up to 16million of them every year during the 1950s. But the Conservative government of the time took a different view and felt they were a source of moral corruption. From the early 1950s, tens of thousands of postcards deemed offensive were destroyed as part of the government’s aggressive anti-obscenity campaign. A new exhibition displaying 1,300 titillating postcards, seized by police between 1951 to 1961, is being held by the British Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent. The display features cards that were seized by police in Margate, Kent.” [More pix at link]

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

Grandparents‏

September 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Have you ever wondered what the difference between Grandmothers and Grandfathers is ….? Well here is the British version:

A friend, who worked away from home all week, always made a morning available when he would take his 7-year old granddaughter for a drive in the car for some bonding time – just him and his granddaughter. One particular Sunday, however, he had a bad cold and just wanted to stay in bed. Luckily, his wife came to the rescue and said that she would take their granddaughter out in the car.

When they returned, the little girl anxiously ran upstairs to see how her Grandfather was.

‘Well, did you enjoy your ride with Grandma ….. ?’

‘Great, Grandpa,’ the girl replied, ‘and do you know what …….. ? We didn’t see a single tosser, blind bastard, f*ckwit, dick-head, Asian pr*ck or wanker anywhere today!’

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Nude car washer on probation: “A man who scrubbed his pickup truck in the nude at a US car wash has been sentenced to a year of probation. Robert E Bailey has pleaded guilty to open and gross conduct for being naked at Economy Car Wash in North Attleborough on May 31. The Sun Chronicle reports that a woman vacuuming her vehicle at the business called police after she saw the 65-year-old Bailey in the nude. Police say Bailey was wearing shorts by the time they arrived at the scene and denied doing anything wrong. A judge also ordered Bailey to stay away from the car wash and the witness and to continue counselling. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.”

Why the fairer sex is also the tougher one: “For centuries they’ve been labelled as the weaker sex. But when it comes to the battlefield of illness and infections, women are far more robust than their male counterparts. For it appears Mother Nature has given women a superior immune system, enabling them to fend off germs that leave men struggling to cope. According to a study, the fairer sex is genetically programmed to better resist infections and cancer, and also has a back-up system for fighting disease. The secret to women’s stronger immunity lies in a key biological difference between the sexes. Women have an extra copy of the female X-chromosome, while men have only one and a much smaller Y-chromosome. This means women have greater access to molecules called microRNAs, which are encoded on the X-chromosome. These tiny strains of ribonucleic acid are regarded as major regulators of the immune system.”

The smarter you dress, the ‘whiter’ it makes you appear: “Clothing, it seems, can make us colour blind, because whether we perceive someone as ‘white’ or ‘black’ depends not just on skin tone – but also how smartly they are dressed, according to researchers. Volunteers in a U.S. study tended to label someone as white if they were dressed in a suit – even if the face had dark skin – and labelled someone black if they were dressed in working overalls. The scientists revealed that perception of race is shaped by prejudices that we already hold – and that racism runs deeper than we think. In the study, conducted by a team of researchers from Tufts University, Stanford University and the University of California, participants, of various races, were shown a series of computerised faces, with different skin colours and clothing. Some wore business attire and some working overalls – similar to what a caretaker might wear.”

British freedom of information watchdog tries to bury information: “The quango in charge of freedom of information has been caught trying to ‘bury’ its own bad news. A string of internal emails show staff at the Information Commissioner’s Office conspiring to limit the fallout from a decision not to take action against a snooping website. Senior public servants at the transparency watchdog describe plans ‘to pick a day when it looks like a busy news day out there’. In the end, the decision not to take action against the website Internet Eyes – which offers payment to members of the public who use CCTV cameras to spy on innocent shoppers – was made public on June 14. It was the same day that David Cameron announced a major U-turn over NHS reforms, teachers voted to strike and the Home Office admitted 1,200 paedophiles and rapists could use human rights law to have their names removed from the sex offender register. The ICO’s decision attracted hardly any coverage.”

Bargain kitchen: “If you’re a sucker for luxury then this kitchen made from 24 carat gold leaf and Venetian glass might just be your thing. But the £300,000 price tag – well over the average UK house price – might put you off. Unveiled at the 100% Design show at Earls Court this weekend, the Colosseo Oro kitchen by London-based Marazzi Design is thought to be the most expensive kitchen in the world. Only ten will be made, with luxury features including 24 carat gold leaf, crocodile embossed leather, Swarovski crystal lights and glitter lacquered worktops. The appliances alone will set you back £55,000: Zaha Hadid – the architect named the most influential thinker of 2010 by Time magazine – has designed a tap costing a cool £6,000.”

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

New Invention

September 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

At a news conference yesterday, Calvin Rickson, an engineer from Texas A&M University, announced his latest design.

Calvin has designed a bra which prevents women’s breasts from jiggling, bouncing up and down, and stops nipples pushing through the fabric in cold weather.

After the conference, a large group of men took Mr Rickson outside and kicked the sh*t out of him.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

More dumb robbers: “It is a case of ‘smile, you’re on cabbie camera’ for two of Queensland’s dumbest bandits. After using a Taser to rob a Surfers Paradise real estate agency at the weekend, the duo made their escape in a taxi. There was a problem with their choice of getaway vehicle, however – it was fitted with the standard surveillance cameras which captured their undisguised images up close and personal. And the men made doubly sure they were filmed by catching two cabs after the robbery which happened about 2pm on Saturday. “There was a certain degree of planning but it was certainly a bit ad hoc the way they left the scene,” Acting Detective Inspector Chris Toohey, of Surfers Paradise CIB, said. “The (surveillance camera) shots are good-quality shots and we’re expecting a good result.”

Porn star apologizes to firemen: “A porn star who exposed herself on a Los Angeles Fire Department truck in an adult film says she is sorry she played a part in getting the city’s firefighters in trouble. The fire department has confirmed an investigation has been launched into claims that firefighters allowed two fire trucks to be used as props in separate porn films. In a movie shot at Venice Beach, LAFD Engine 263 is reportedly used as the backdrop by actress Charley Chase, who performs lewd acts while a group of firefighters appear to be watching the movie being shot. “I apologise from the bottom of my heart to all of the firefighters involved,” Chase said. “It definitely was not my intention to get any of them in trouble.”

Live patient sent to morgue in Brazil: “A Brazilian woman in her 60s being treated in hospital for pneumonia was declared dead by her attending doctor and sent to the morgue still alive, O Globo newspaper reported on Sunday. The doctor felt no vital signs, ran tests and pronounced her dead. She was sent to the morgue and spent at least two hours in a plastic body bag. "I went to give my mum one last hug, and I could feel that she was breathing. I screamed out — my mum is alive! And they all looked at me like I was crazy," Rosangela Celestrino, the patient's daughter, told the paper. "Not only did I have to go collect my mum from a cold storage drawer at the morgue, but when I got there, I find her still breathing," Celestrino went on."

Unusual hotel rooms: “Looking for a weekend retreat that’s perfect for an escape? Here’s a hotel that’s built just for the job. Holidaymakers are now being offered the chance to stay in an oil rig survival capsule. The bright orange pods have undergone an incredible transformation and are now available to tourists for 60 euros – or £53 – a night. Kitted out with lights, a survival suitcase and sleeping bags and guests can choose between simple hammocks or a normal bed in their pods. Tourists with a sense of adventure are now clamouring to spend the night in the rooms, which measure just 14ft across. Mr Oudendijk, who lives in the Hague, in the Netherlands, said: ‘Since we launched them the pods have been very popular – they’ve even saved some relationships.’ The 44-year-old designer stumbled across the pods for sale on the internet while looking for a boat.”

Nazi fancy dress in Thailand: “The annual summer sports day had a long tradition of fancy dress and, eager to impress, the pupils of Sacred Heart Catholic School kept their outfits under wraps for weeks. They wanted to surprise their parents and teachers as they made their entrance at the school in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. And surprise them they did. With a flourish and a fanfare, they revealed their costumes – to outraged gasps from the crowd. The smiling pupils arrived at the school dressed in full Nazi regalia and carrying large Swastika flags, leaving foreign parents and teachers open-mouthed. Leading the march into the sports ground was a girl dressed as Adolf Hitler – complete with toothbrush moustache. Stunned ex-pats were appalled. Surely the pupils were aware of what the Swastika and Nazis represented? Apparently not, as it emerged that not even the Thai teachers at the school understood what all the fuss was about.” [The Swastika is a good luck symbol in most of Asia so the students probably took their cue from that]

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

German sheriff at work

September 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


“Hey, cowboy, this town is too small for both of us!”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Barcelona stages its final bullfight: “Barcelona hosted its final bullfight last night before the introduction of an historic ban. The bullfights, or corridas, in the city’s famous bullring, La Monumental, the last functioning fight venue in Catalonia, attracted a sell-out crowd of 20,000. Catalonia, in the north east, is the first region of mainland Spain to ban the age-old tradition of bullfighting. It was outlawed in the Canary Islands in 1991. Last night’s event was the final fight scheduled before the prohibition begins in January next year. Tickets sold at record speed and were later fetching up to £3,000 online. About 30 animal rights activists celebrated outside the bullring, which held about 15 fights a year out of a total of 1,000 in Spain. It has hosted bullfights since 1914.”

British lifeguards need rescuing: “They thought that their drive along the beach would be a great way to celebrate the end of the summer. But the lifeguards at Booby Bay in Cornwall made a right booby on the last day of the season – by writing off their £40,000 pick-up truck. The beach team’s truck was swamped by the incoming tide as they attempted to drive through wet sand on the way back from the beach – which is only accessible when the tide is out. The RNLI team summoned a second rescue truck and then a tractor but by the time they got there the vehicle was too far into the advancing sea to allow them to get a tow rope on board. The rescuers were forced to salvage what equipment they could from their truck as it sank beneath the waves. It is likely to be a total write-off.”

Drug submarine captured: “A massive drug smuggling operation by rebels in Colombia has been sunk after authorities seized a submarine used to transport narcotics. The vessel – which is capable of storing at least seven tonnes of drugs and has a sophisticated navigation system – belonged to the FARC terrorist organisation, which is financed through the drug trade. But on Friday officers captured the sub near the Pacific port of Buenaventura just as it was about to embark on its first drug run. Authorities believe the 52ft vessel cost around £1.3million and could travel submerged throughout the Central American region and Mexico with a crew of five.”

Thousands run through the streets of Salt Lake City in their underwear: “When thousands of people took to the streets of Salt Lake City in their underwear, they were not just hoping to break records. Wearing just boxers, panties and bras, the crowds of people said they were there to break stereotypes. Salt Lake City is the home of the Mormon church, which is a vocal opponent of gay marriage and a bastion of conservatism. ‘My goal is to change Utah. To make this state lighten up once and for all,’ run organiser Nate Porter told Fox 13. ‘I’m trying to draw people in that are jaded by politics.’ The annual event, called the ‘Utah Undie Run’ encouraged people to paint their naked torsos with messages about gay rights and other causes. ‘We’ve all heard it for years, Utah is boring, Utahans are uptight… well it’s time to change all that, at least for a night,’ the group wrote on its website.”

Lawn mower Racers: “Lawn mowers were pushed to the limit last night as the annual 12-hour endurance race across the West Sussex countryside got under way. More than 30 teams of three driveres battled through the night in a bid to follow in the footsteps of racing legends such as Sir Stirling Moss and be crowned this year’s champion. All driving genuine lawn mowers, the team members took turns to race during the gruelling event. The race, which kicked off from Five Oaks, near Billingshurst at 7pm, saw competitors reaching speeds of up to 50mph. A spokesman for the British Lawn Mower Racing Association said the machines had been slightly modified and they ran without their cutting decks. ‘The main objectives were and still are, no sponsorship, no commercialism, no cash prizes and no modifying of engines,’ he said.”

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

Real turkeys

September 25, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Chocolate ‘as good for you as exercise’: “Chocolate is as good for you as exercise, research suggests. Scientists found that small amounts of dark chocolate may improve health in a similar way to exercise. The researchers focused on the mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses in cells that generate energy, and discovered that a plant compound found in chocolate, called epicatechin, appeared to stimulate the same muscle response as vigorous activity. Dr Moh Malek, from Wayne State University in Detroit, who led the US study on mice, said: “Mitochondria produce energy which is used by the cells in the body. More mitochondria mean more energy is produced the more work can be performed. “Aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling, is known to increase the number of mitochondria in muscle cells. Our study has found that epicatechin seems to bring about the same response – particularly in the heart and skeletal muscles.”

Police literally catch burglar napping: “A man got so drunk on a bottle of whisky he allegedly stole from a house, that he was nabbed by cops after he passed out on the driveway. Jaber Ibrahim, 39, was found asleep outside the home – leaving the “stolen” loot inside the house. The allegedly stolen items he was carrying when police found him were a “Tom Jones album”, an “American country song album” and “a microphone”, a police statement tendered to the court said. Ibrahim was charged with breaking and entering and stealing goods worth less than $60,000.”

World’s oldest car up for sale: “The world’s oldest running car, a 1884 De Dion Bouton Et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Runabout, has been put up for sale and is expected to fetch up to £1.6million when it is auctioned off early next month. The 127-year-old steam-powered vehicle was built in France in 1881 for the Count De Dion, 12 years before Henry Ford assembled his first car. Nicknamed ‘La Marquise,’ in a tribute to De Dion’s own mother, it is only nine feet long and weighs 2,100 pounds and has a maximum speed of 38 miles per hour. The car which takes 45 minutes to generate enough steam to drive, is powered by bits of paper, wood and coal. Whilst its thin metal wheels are wrapped with solid rubber. Expert motoring author David Burgess-Wise examined De Dion’s creation in 1995 before quickly affirming its historic credentials as the oldest functioning motor.”

The perfect cure for stranded air travellers… the Sleepbox: “All that slithering around on a seat being uncomfortable while waiting for your late-running flight could be about to end. Because Sleepbox has landed – bringing with it the prospect of a decent 40 winks while you wait for take-off. The specially equipped boxes may take a bit of getting used to, but the weary traveller cannot fail to be impressed. The self-contained mobile bedrooms have been created by Russian architecture company the Arch Group. The first, which can be rented out for half-hour periods, have been installed at the Aeroexpress terminal of Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow. Standard features include ventilation and sockets for notebook and mobile phone chargers. There is also space for luggage under the beds which each come with a nightstand.”

British maternity units refuse to tell parents the sex of unborn babies: “NHS maternity units are refusing to tell expectant parents the gender of their unborn baby, an investigation has found. The hospitals say they are too short-staffed to establish the sex of the foetus during ante-natal screening. But some medical groups believe the NHS policies are being driven by fears that females could be selectively aborted among cultures which value boys more highly. There is also concern that it is driven by people threatening to sue over being told the wrong gender of child. The Council of Europe is due to consider a draft resolution in October which recommends that all its 47 member states – including Britain – instruct hospitals to “withold information about the sex of the foetus” from parents. The move is a bid to prevent the practice of selective abortion”

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

Two American views of Europe

September 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In a newspaper interview in France (though the reporter was from an English newspaper) after a “grand tour” of European capitals and cultural sites, Ben Franklin (everybody’s favorite interviewee in those days) was asked whether there was any one particular item of European culture he wished he could take back with him to improve American life. Franklin said he didn’t think Europe had much in the way of culture that would be useful in the US. “Except” he said, “perhaps the recipe for a good mozzarella cheese.”

I was speaking with a co-worker (this was in 1962) about something or other and quoted the famous line by Churchill: “the Germans are always at your throat or at your feet,” to which the fellow responded, “Yes, and if we were speaking of the French, I guess you could say that they’re always somewhere in between.”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Slap a boob to enlarge it? “Want bigger breasts but shy away from the idea of surgery? Thailand claims to have the answer. Already famous for its medical tourism services – including cheap breast implants – Thailand is promoting a “body slapping” technique that it claims can boost breast size, according to a video by the Bangkok Post. It has even licensed one beauty shop in Bangkok to perform the non-surgical treatment, which involves kneading, massaging and hitting of the breasts, as well as buttock-slapping to firm the rear. The traditional therapy has been practised by shop owner Khemmikka Na Songkhla – better known as Khunying Tobnom – for more than two decades. She claims the slapping shifts fat from one area to another, while kneading works excess fat towards the breasts. She has approval from the Thai Government to carry out the technique after a study by the Thai Health Ministry reportedly found vigorous massage left volunteers’ breasts noticeably bigger.”

Irish oldster dies of ‘spontaneous human combustion’ : “A baffled coroner has ruled that a man who burned to death in his home died as a result of spontaneous human combustion. Dr Ciaran McLoughlin, the coroner for West Galway in Ireland, said that although Michael Faherty, 76, had been found lying on his back close to a fire in an open fireplace, that blaze had NOT caused his death. It is believed to be the first case of its kind in Ireland, although a number of unexplained cases are reported each year around the world. The term spontaneous human combustion (SHC) describes alleged cases of the burning of a living human body without an apparent external source of ignition. While his body was totally destroyed by fire, it had not spread and the only minor damage in the sitting room was to the ceiling above him and the floor beneath him.”

Brits to go faster: “Motorway speed limits will rise to 80mph to shorten journey times and help boost the economy. Police and authorities currently turn a blind eye to most motorists who drive at this speed, and they are rarely prosecuted. But a review of road safety is expected to conclude that the increase from the current 70mph limit should be made official. It is understood that there is now broad agreement within the Coalition and among civil servants, with the only question being the timing of the announcement. A consultation on the increase could be announced as soon as this month’s Conservative Party conference. A condition is likely to be that an 80mph limit would be more strictly enforced, to prevent the usual speed rising to 90mph..”

Trying not buying – retailers fight back against time-wasting internet users: “A rapidly growing number of retailers are threatening to charge “fitting fees” to stop shoppers trying items in store – only to buy them online for less later. Fed-up sellers of everything from cameras to wetsuits, ski boots and wedding gowns say they have been forced to consider charges to protect themselves from what they consider to be exploitation. The move comes as a survey by The Daily Telegraph of more than 1000 people revealed that 61 per cent had tried a product in a store, then later bought it on the internet. Nearly half of them said they had done so at least five times. Hanna Kossowska, who owns Hanna Couture, is contemplating charging brides-to-be $300 for a six-hour dress fitting, which is refundable if they buy from her.”I’m now lucky to get one job from 10 fittings because girls tell me they can get either the same dress or a similar dress on the web for less,” she said.”

Dolly Parton has busted Aussie red tape for her latest tour Down Under: “Bureaucrats working nine to five almost put an end to Dolly Parton’s blockbuster tour of Australia in a row over her huge bus. But federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has proved an unlikely hero, personally stepping in to save the November tour. Now a grateful Parton has vowed to give the Grayndler MP “a huge cuddle” when she arrives. The country music legend never tours without the massive 14m bus, staying in it along with members of her entourage wherever she performs. Having applied to bring two buses into Australia, Parton was affronted when Customs officials ruled one was nearly 2m too long, 5cm too wide and overweight for Australian regulations.”

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

Boy and his dog

September 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Report: Deep-sea squid bisexual and promiscuous: “Scientists have gained a rare glimpse into the sex life of the mysterious deep-sea squid. By studying footage taken by underwater vehicles, US researchers have found that this rarely seen creature will often engage in same-sex mating. They believe this is because encounters with potential mates in the dark depths are rare, and the squid may be unable to tell the sexes apart. The study is published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.”

Colorful croc: “CRIKEY, an orange croc! But the cranky chameleon has no one to blame but himself for changing colour – after apparently biting off more than he could chew. Owner Tracey Sandstrom, who runs Roaming Reptiles, said Snappy made a meal out of the filter in his water tank. “I think it caused the pH levels in his water to soar which has led to the change in colour.” The 2.5m croc stays warm at night in his heated indoor tank before moving outside through his “croc flap” to bask in sunshine by day. “It doesn’t seem to have affected him at all. He’s still got a healthy appetite, is normally aggro and doing everything he always does,” Ms Sandstrom said.”

Dumb British bus driver: “Teenagers screamed in terror when their double-decker school bus hit a low bridge and the roof was ‘peeled off’. Passers-by and drivers helped shocked sixth formers staggering off the bus in tears, bleeding and clutching head wounds, as emergency services raced to the scene. Amazingly no one was seriously injured in the accident yesterday morning, although 14, including the driver, were taken to hospital. More than 50 students from Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington were a mile from their destination when the bus driver appeared to take the wrong route. College principal Tim Fisher said: ‘This has been a lucky escape. I went to the scene and, like everybody else, I was shocked, surprised and most of all relieved that all the people on the bus had walked away.’ Durham Police are investigating.”

Turkish morgue ready for undead to rise: “A local town council in central Turkey has built a morgue with a warning system in case dead bodies come back to life, Anatolia news agency reported today. The municipality of Malatya province has equipped its new mortuary with refrigerators sensitive to movement inside, Anatolia said. “The refrigerator can sense even the slightest movement of the body inside and gives out an alarm,” Anatolia quoted Akif Kayadurmus, the head of cemeteries, as saying. Kayadurmus said the refrigerator doors were also kitted out with a special system of clip that automatically opened in case of contact. “If the patient, proclaimed dead by doctors, awakens from a state of unconsciousness, then we consider each and every possibility,” he said.”

Arabic writing on passenger planes? “Southwest Airlines said yesterday it called in federal investigators to probe mysterious markings found on the fuselage of some of its planes. The markings are being treated as vandalism, and do not appear linked to “any known group or activity,” it said in a statement, after reports that the markings appeared to be Arabic or Arabic-like. “Beginning in February, we began to receive reports of vandalism on our aircraft. These markings appear on the exterior of the aircraft and vary in appearance,” the airline said. “Upon discovery, we immediately contacted federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, which all concluded that these markings have no affiliation to any known group or activity,” it added. A spokesman declined to go into any further detail, but Arizona-based television channel ABC15 cited multiple sources as saying that the markings appear to be Arabic words.”

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

It all depends on your point of view

September 22, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

The vanishing cruise-ship passengers: “Over the past few years, there have been an alarming number of unexplained and unsolved disappearances on board cruise liners. According to the U.S.-based International Cruise Victims Association, 165 people have gone missing at sea since 1995, with at least 13 this year alone — many of them from vessels popular with British holidaymakers. Cruise ship holidays are enormously popular. According to the Passenger Shipping Association, 1.7 million cruises will be taken in Britain this year (many will be repeat cruises by the same holidaymakers). But what is happening to all these passengers who simply vanish while at sea, never to be seen again? Are they the victims of a sinister crime wave? Have they had a mishap at sea and fallen overboard, or perhaps chosen to take their own lives? The sad fact is that, in many cases, no one knows. And for the family and friends they left behind, that only compounds the heartache.”

Who am I? “If this cute little chap looks a wee bit confused, it’s no wonder. His big wide eyes stare out at the world around him – which in turn is staring back at him. Because nobody has seen a creature quite like this one before. With a nose that looks more like a rodent’s but long, pointy paws and white fur dappled with brown and orange, he is quite unique. And zookeepers at Wenling, in eastern China, who were handed the animal by an anonymous man, have been unable to work out exactly what species he belongs to. They think they are looking at some strange type of monkey – but other students of nature might recognise the characteristics of a bush baby. As he sits in his cage, the creature therefore awaits an uncertain fate. And the zookeepers sit and monitor his development and hopes he grows up into something slightly more recognisable.”

British motorist buys back his first car 44 years after he sold it (and it’s done just ten miles in that time): “When he sold his beloved Austin 10 in 1967, Pete Thomson assumed that would be the last he ever saw of it. However the pensioner has amazingly been reunited with his car after the 44-year gap – and was astounded to find it had only done ten miles since he sold it. Pete, from Whitby in North Yorkshire, first bought the classic 1934 Austin in 1959 when he was serving in the Royal Engineers. He paid £45 for the car, keeping it for eight years before he sold it on for around £400. At this point he assumed he would never see the car again, however astonishingly he received a phone call from the current owner last month after he tracked him down as a previous owner. During the years it has been out of his hands the car has been been completely stripped down to its chassis, rebuilt and sprayed a different colour, from burgundy to black. The car has had two owners who bought it with the intention of renovating it and had sold it on without finishing the work, until it got to its third owner who completed the work and tracked down Pete.”

Big dog: “This Great Dane is a real canine super star after officially being recognised as the world’s tallest female dog – standing 5ft 11in on her hind legs. Weighing more than 11 stone ‘Super’ Nova, who lives with owner Ann Suplee in Addison, Illinois, was only recently given the title by the Guinness Book of Records. Taking her place in the record books after the previous record holder died, Nova still sleeps in Mrs Suplee’s queen-sized bed like a young puppy. Four inches taller than her father and eight inches taller than her mother, Nova eats up to 30lbs of food a week. Inspired to go for the record after the number of comments the dog received in the park from fellow pet owners, she said she was proud of her prized pooch. ‘Nova knows her own size, but with a simple “excuse me” she will move out of the way, and is very careful around my three-year-old grandson who’s now at eye-level with her tail.'”

Misery in Las Vegas: “Visitors to Vegas are hit with the constant noise of coins cascading out of slot machines and everywhere they look are opulent hotels and their rich residents, but the desert town that is guaranteed to shock has a very dirty secret. According to a new economic study of the 100 largest U.S. cities, since the recession ‘Sin City’ has become the single most dreadful place to live in America. Academics say although Vegas is undoubtedly the entertainment and gambling capital of the world nowhere has employment, business growth and house prices plunged further. Many homeowners in the city have been ruined by a crash in house prices, which were an astonishing 64.5 per cent lower in June 2011 compared to the market peak of late 2007. And in the same period unemployment is up 7.5 per cent, employment down 13.4 per cent, and gross metropolitan product down 12.8 per cent.”

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

The perils of age-related hearing-loss

September 21, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Scientists who failed to predict earthquake go on trial: “Seven scientists have today gone on trial in Italy for manslaughter after being accused of failing to warn residents about the risk of a devastating earthquake. The seismologists have been charged with providing ‘inexact, incomplete and contradictory information’ about whether smaller tremors felt by L’Aquila residents six months before the April 6, 2009, were threatening. More than 300 people died in the central Italian disaster when the 6.3-magnitude quake struck the medieval town. L’Aquila was reduced to rubble and in the aftermath survivors lived in tent camps and housing for months. The case is being closely watched by seismologists around the world who insist it’s impossible to predict earthquakes and that no major temblor has ever been foretold.”

Bull castration goes badly wrong: “A man has been airlifted to hospital after badly cutting himself while attempting to castrate a bull at Clermont yesterday. The RACQ CQ RESCUE chopper was called to the rural property about 11am Tuesday after a 29-year-old man sliced open his left forearm after slipping while attempting to castrate the bull. The man was initially taken to Clermont Hospital before being airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital. The bull’s condition is unknown.”

Italian Parents take legal action to force son, 41, to move out: “After several failed attempts to convince their 41-year-old son to leave the nest, a Venetian couple have hired a lawyer in a last resort bid for domestic peace and quiet, Italian media reports. The parents, whose names were not published, were said to be exhausted by fending for their adult offspring, cooking his meals and doing his washing and ironing, according to the reports yesterday. “We cannot do it anymore. My wife is suffering from stress and had to be hospitalised,” said the father, who approached the legal department of a consumer association, ADICO, for help. The son “has a good job but still lives at home. He demands that his clothes be washed and ironed and his meals prepared. He really has no intention of leaving.” Reports said the son also had aggressive tendencies. ADICO lawyer Andrea Camp said a letter was sent to the son, advising him to leave the house within six days or face legal action.”

Florida teenager lands a 12ft alligator… with little more than a puny fishing rod: “Tim was only armed with what his father called ‘his puny bass rod’ – but Tim thought he’d give it a go anyway. And so began a David-and-Goliath struggle, until Tim managed to pull the far-bigger and far-heavier gator towards the boat. Tim told TCPalm.com: ‘I thought it was just a nine-footer. Then I saw how big it was. I was more afraid we would lose it than I was of the gator. ‘I wasn’t just pulling him in with my arms, I was using my legs. It was hard.’ But he added: ‘He had a lot of character, and I had a lot of fun.’ When the gator was in a manageable position, Tim hit it with a bang stick – a .44-caliber rifle round mounted on a stick – which stuns the animal. Then he and Mr Griffenberg harpooned it before it was finally able to be pulled into the boat. Nothing will go to waste, as wife Tim’s mother is making a lamp from a back leg, and 250lb of edible gator meat sits in freezers awaiting the frying pan.”

Indian train travels 980km in wrong direction… without any rail staff noticing: “More than a thousand furious rail passengers stormed a station office after they noticed the train they were on had gone 980km in the WRONG direction. As the packed service pulled into the Indian city of Warangal people on board went berserk as they realised they were five hours away from where they should have been and no staff on board had noticed. It was when it arrived at an interchange at Vijayawada it went wrong, as it was due to swing north to its eventual destination of Varanasi, one of India’s holiest cities. India’s signalling system is run on codes but instead of entering the three-letters for its next intended stop Bhubaneswar (BBS) staff put in the code for Bilaspur (BSP) sending the train in completely the wrong direction. Experts were amazed the service did not crash as it went for 600 miles on the completely wrong track.”

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

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