A sign from “Occupy Wall St.”

October 31, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s probably a photo-shop but it COULD well be true

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Drink-driver caught by police after smashing into 12-cars on Moscow road rampage… was totally NAKED: “A drunk taxi driver who smashed into 12 cars told police he decided to get into his cab naked after his girlfriend dumped him. Police were alerted to the man’s erratic driving when he took a wrong turn in central Moscow. They then watched in disbelief as the man, named on Russian TV as taxi driver Vitaly Grodi, narrowly avoided hitting a schoolbus, ramming a police van and smashing several other cars. Eventually the man was caught and officers who asked him to step out of his car were stunned after seeing the driver was naked. Footage shown on Russian TV shows damage to man’s grey taxi, with a front wheel missing and a headlight smashed in. Grodi, who wasn’t even wearing shoes, screamed at police not to cover him up as he lay on the ground handcuffed.”

Antique steam-bike expected to break world record price at auction: “The 117-year-old ‘Roper Steam Powered Motorcycle’ was designed by Sylvester Roper and is now expected to reach £325,000 when it is sold in Las Vegas in January. Enthusiasts from across the globe are expected to bid for the machine which had a top speed of 40mph and consisted of a boiler, steam engine stuck onto a hickory velocipede bicycle frame. Roper connected the piston rods to cranks on the rear wheel axle and the solid wheels made for a very uncomfortable ride. The bike worked by using a firebox and boiler suspended on springs from the frame between the wheels. A charcoal fire heated the water to generate steam to power the engine. The exhaust steam was carried by tubing into a chimney behind the saddle. Water was supplied from a reservoir that was part of the seat using a feed-water pump operated by the left-cylinder crank.”

Next generation drones can stay in air for FOUR days and may eventually conduct dog fights at 65,000ft: “The maiden flight of a revolutionary drone aircraft that can stay in the air for four days at 65,000 feet is just days away. The Phantom Eye, made by Boeing’s secretive Phantom Works division, is powered by hydrogen and is designed to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance missions while remaining at high altitude. It will produce only water as a by-product. Its inaugural flight will take place at Edwards Air Force Base in California and is expected to last between four and eight hours. Boeing also is developing a larger unmanned plane that will stay aloft for more than 10 days and ‘Phantom Ray,’ a fighter-sized UAV that will be a test bed for more advanced technologies, which made its inaugural flight in April. ‘Phantom Eye is the first of its kind and could open up a whole new market in collecting data and communications,’ Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Phantom Works, said.”

Armed guards to protect British ships from pirates: “British ships are to be allowed to carry armed guards to protect them from pirates, David Cameron has announced. A legal ban on weapon-toting protection staff will be relaxed so that firms can apply for a licence to have them on board in danger zones. The Prime Minister said radical action was required because the increasing ability of sea-borne Somali criminals to hijack and ransom ships had become “a complete stain on our world”. He unveiled the measure after talks at a Commonwealth summit in Australia with leaders of countries in the Horn of Africa over the escalating problem faced in waters off their shores. Under the plans, the Home Secretary will be given the power to license vessels to carry armed security, including automatic weapons, currently prohibited under firearms laws. Officials said around 200 were expected to be in line to take up the offer”

World’s most powerful laser to tear apart the vacuum of space: “A laser powerful enough to tear apart the fabric of space could be built in Britain as part major new scientific project that aims to answer some of the most fundamental questions about our universe. Due to follow in the footsteps of the Large Hadron Collider, the latest “big science” experiment being proposed by physicists will see the world’s most powerful laser being constructed. Capable of producing a beam of light so intense that it would be equivalent to the power received by the Earth from the sun focused onto a speck smaller than a tip of a pin, scientists claim it could allow them boil the very fabric of space – the vacuum. Contrary to popular belief, a vacuum is not devoid of material but in fact fizzles with tiny mysterious particles that pop in and out of existence, but at speeds so fast that no one has been able to prove they exist. The Extreme Light Infrastructure Ultra-High Field Facility would produce a laser so intense that scientists say it would allow them to reveal these particles for the first time by pulling this vacuum “fabric” apart.”

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

A great loss

October 30, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s Romanian tennis star Simona Halep above. She has since had her assets surgically reduced in the belief that it would improve her tennis game. It is unknown if any male tennis spectators agree

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

‘Sugar Daddy Parties’: “Events that offer to set up wealthy older men with young cash-strapped women, dubbed ‘Sugar Daddy Parties’, are about to hit Britain after becoming popular in the U.S. The parties have been hosted at swanky New York cocktail bars, where the ‘daddies’ discuss fees for future dates with the women who take their fancy – and its organisers are now seeking London venues. The ‘matchmakers’ justify the events by insisting that all participants are consenting adults and ‘nobody has to do anything they don’t want to’ but critics say the parties are bordering on prostitution. And the scenes from New York venues that have hosted the get-togethers, showing pretty young women hanging off the arms off much older men only add to the sleaziness factor. On average, fees of $500 per date is said to be common in the U.S., but arrangements worth between $10,000 and $20,000 per month have also been agreed upon in the past, according to its organiser. Despite denying that they’re encouraging prostitution, organisers say the women are usually aged in their late teens or early twenties and are seeking money to pay for university fees or a more glamorous lifestyle.”

Japanese fishermen net £90,000 in bag swept away by the tsunami: “A trawler off Japan has found a bag in its fishing nets packed with 11 million yen (£90,000) in cash off the tsunami-ravaged north-eastern coast. The money is believed to have been swept away from its unidentified owner in the disaster seven months ago. More than 1,000 notes worth 10,000-yen (£82) each was pulled from the bottom of the sea off the coast of Ofunato city in Iwate Prefecture. City official Kou Ueno said: ‘We think it is related to the disaster as no-one is going to throw this kind of thing away on purpose.’ Safes and envelopes filled with cash have been regularly turning up since the 9.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the coastal area, setting off a giant tsunami which left about 20,000 people dead or missing. In the latest case, if no-one claims the money over the next six months,it will go to the finders”

US Navy commander jailed for three years after pleading guilty to rape of two female sailors: “A US Navy commander will serve more than three years behind bars after admitting sexual assault and raping two of his female sailors. A military judge ordered Jay Wylie’s dismissal and sentenced him to confinement. Navy spokeswoman Sheila Murray said Wylie was sentenced to 10 years, but would serve 42 months as part of a plea deal. During the San Diego, California, hearing, the judge also ordered that Wylie forfeit future benefits. He was immediately sent to the brig at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. According to the navy, Wylie got drunk on two occasions and sexually assaulted women who were on the destroyer he commanded.”

Stone Age-style restaurant serves only food that was available to our caveman ancestors: “At first glance, Berlin’s Sauvage restaurant looks much like many of the German capital’s other trendy eateries. But take a closer look at the chalkboard out front and you’ll discover they are embarking on a culinary shake-up that takes its inspiration from the Stone Age. Proudly announcing a ‘Real Food Revolution – Paleolithic cuisine!’, there is no cheese, bread or sugar available, only fare accessible to our hunter-gatherer ancestors more than two million years ago. Sauvage, which is also the French word for ‘savage’ or ‘wild,’ is part of the Paleolithic diet movement and claims to be first of its kind in Europe. That means serving only organic, unprocessed fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and herbs. The menu includes salads with olives, capers and pine nuts; gluten-free bread with nut-based butter or olive tapenades; smoked salmon with herb dressing; and other various meat and fish dishes.”

Booze diet putting women at risk as they starve themselves so they can drink: “YOUNG women are starving themselves so they can drink alcohol but not gain weight, increasing a trend dubbed “drunkorexia”. It is most common among university students, but doctors warn it is not only bad for overall health, it could also backfire – adding weight rather than taking it away. Research shows substance abuse often coexists with eating disorders, with as many as 50 per cent of women with eating disorders also having a drinking problem. Eating Disorders Victoria’s Dr Naomi Crafti said the increase in binge-drinking in Australia was a big problem. “They are not eating all day because they know they are going to drink at night so they are saving their calories,” Dr Crafti said. “Then they are drinking large quantities of alcohol which has no nutrients, getting excessively drunk because they have had no food in their stomach and later on purging to rid themselves of the calories of alcohol.”

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

The ears have it

October 29, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A young man moved into a new apartment of his own and went to the lobby to put his name on his mailbox.

While there, an attractive young lady came out of the apartment next to the mailboxes, wearing a robe.

The boy smiled at the young woman and she started a conversation with him.

As they talked, her robe slipped open, and it was obvious that she had nothing else on. The poor kid broke into a sweat trying to maintain eye contact.

After a few minutes, she placed her hand on his arm and said, “Let’s go to my apartment, I hear someone coming.”

He followed her into her apartment; she closed the door and leaned against it, allowing her robe to fall off completely.

Now nude, she purred at him, “What would you say is my best feature?”

Flustered and embarrassed, he finally squeaked, “It’s got to be your ears.”

Astounded, and a little hurt she asked, “My ears? Look at these breasts; they are full and 100% natural. I work out every day and my butt is firm and solid. Look at my skin – no blemishes anywhere.

How can you think that the best part of my body is my ears?”

Clearing his throat, he stammered…. “Outside, when you said you heard someone coming…. that was me.”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

‘Belligerent’ clamper locked up two unmarked police cars as they provided security for Queen during royal visit: “A parking attendant who clamped the unmarked vehicles of two police officers supposed to be providing protection for Queen Elizabeth, has been found guilty of wilful obstruction this afternoon. Gareth Andrews, from Fareham, Hampshire, was on clamping duty in Portsmouth when the monarch made an unannounced visit on May 25 this year. And he refused to release the vehicles despite an officer producing a warrant card which proved who they were, Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard today. District Judge Anthony Calloway found the 39-year-old guilty of the offence of wilfully obstructing the police officer. Pc Cox told the court that Andrews’ behaviour was ‘belligerent’, ‘defiant’ and ‘obstructive’. He added: ‘I decided I had no option but to arrest Mr Andrews to get the clamp removed and he was clearly obstructing me.’ Eileen Sproson, defending, told the court Andrews was unlikely to be able to renew his clamping licence next year because of the conviction for contravening the Private Security Industry Act.”

Shortcut puts man on track for collision: “POLICE have charged a man after he managed to lodge his car across a railway line while “trying to find a shortcut” home in Cairns yesterday. The man’s four-wheel-drive Renault ended up perched across the railway track on Kamerunga Rd at Stratford around 3pm on Thursday, shutting down trains loaded with tourists and causing road delays. He told The Cairns Post he’d planned to “sneak across the tracks” to get to his home on Magazine St more quickly. It took fire fighters more than half an hour to remove the man’s car from the railway line as the Kuranda train, loaded with day-tripping tourists, waited patiently for the track ahead to clear. Residents in the tourist town of Cairns are remarkably patient with unusual traffic incidents and it’s not unusual for a rented camper-van to accidently drive through roundabouts in the opposite direction to oncoming traffic.”

Saved by the helmet: Lucky soldier survives shot to head and only suffers a bruise: “A soldier survived a shot to the head in Afghanistan thanks to wearing a sturdy helmet. Private Shane Dixon from 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment is being called the ‘luckiest soldier in the Army’ for getting away unscathed when he was shot in Helmand province. Pte Dixon was on patrol when a Taliban bullet struck him, throwing him unconscious to the ground. The bullet got stuck in his helmet just centimetres from his skull, The Daily Telegraph reported. His only injury was a ‘golf ball sized bruise’ and he was back to work within two days. The standard issue helmet which Pte Dixon has kept as a memento with the bullet still lodged inside is designed to withstand small arms fire, but nothing fired from high velocity weaponry.”

Is this the ultimate suburban garden? “Resplendent in crimson, bronze and every conceivable shade of green, this manicured garden looks like it belongs to a stately home or national park. In fact, it is nestled behind an unassuming suburban home in Walsall. It does not have a team of gardeners toiling over it, but is the labour of love of retired GP Tony Newton and his wife Marie, who have worked on it almost every day for the past 20 years. Yesterday they showed it off surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colours from their autumn shrubs such as acers, azaleas and conifers. They said it was at its best due to the recent spell of warm weather. ‘It’s so unusual not to have had a frost by this time of year’, Mr Newton said. The couple moved to the four-bedroom home in suburban Walsall in 1982 and began landscaping the neglected garden 10 years later when their four children no longer used it as a play area. Self-taught, they drew up meticulous drawn-up plans for the layout to make it a ‘four seasons’ garden which would look dazzling all year round.”

Brain dead British Farmer caused 75mph train crash by parking tractor on line while he fed his horses: “A farmer caused a 75mph train crash when he parked his tractor on a busy railway line while feeding his horses in a neighbouring field. John Watkyn-James parked his farm vehicle and trailer on the track in Kidwelly, west Wales, leaving a high-speed train to plough into it, causing over £80,000 damage. The farmer was branded ‘incredibly stupid’ by a judge today, but was spared jail as miraculously the crash only caused minor injuries. Watkyn-James, 51, yesterday admitted endangering the life of train passengers by leaving his vehicle on the crossing. Sentencing him to a 36-week suspended sentence, Judge Paul Thomas told him: ‘What you did was incredibly stupid. ‘You were delivering bails of hay when you stopped on the crossing leading to the field. ‘You took a risk to save a few minutes and as a risk you put passengers and staff in great danger. You are lucky that no-one was hurt but it must have been very terrifying.” [I hope the train company sues him for its losses

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

Always get a second opinion

October 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Joe had suffered from really bad headaches for the last 20 years. He eventually decides to go and see a doctor.

The doctor said, ‘Joe, the good news is I can cure your headaches. The bad news is that it will require castration.

You have a very rare condition, which causes your testicles to press on your spine and the pressure creates one hell of a headache. The only way to relieve the pressure is to remove the testicles.’

Joe was shocked and depressed. He wondered if he had anything to live for. He had no choice but to go under the knife. When he left the hospital, he was without a headache for the first time in 20 years, but he felt like he was missing an important part of himself. As he walked down the street, he realized that he felt like a different person. He could make a new beginning and live a new life.

He saw a men’s clothing store and thought, ‘That’s what I need… A new suit.’

He entered the shop and told the salesman, ‘I’d like a new suit.’

The elderly tailor eye d him briefly and said, ‘Let’s see… size 44 long.’

Joe laughed, ‘That’s right, how did you know?’

‘Been in the business 60 years!’ the tailor said.

Joe tried on the suit it fit perfectly. As Joe admired himself in the mirror, the salesman asked, ‘How about a new shirt?’

Joe thought for a moment and then said, ‘Sure.’

The salesman eyed Joe and said, ‘Let’s see, 34 sleeves and 16-1/2 neck.’

Joe was surprised, ‘That’s right, how did you know?’

‘Been in the business 60 years.’

Joe tried on the shirt and it fit perfectly.

Joe walked comfortably around the shop and the salesman asked, ‘How about some new underwear?’

Joe thought for a moment and said, ‘Sure..’

The salesman said, ‘Let’s see… size 36.

Joe laughed, ‘Ah ha! I got you! I’ve worn a size 34 since I was 18 years old..’

The salesman shook his head, ‘You can’t wear a size 34. A size 34 would press your testicles up against the base of your spine and give you one hell of a headache.’

New suit – $400
New shirt – $36
New underwear – $6
Second Opinion – PRICELESS

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Fraud art dealer who fooled galleries all over the country caught out when he sold fake painting to late artist’s friend: “A rogue art dealer who was jailed after netting £180,000 selling fakes was finally caught out when he sold a piece to an auctioneer who was a friend of the artist. Rizvan Rahman, 40, tried to pass off a fraudulent copy of a work by Cornish artist Jack Pender to a local auctioneer. But unknown to him the expert, David Lay, was a good friend of the artist, who died in 1998, and also happened to be an expert on all his works. Realising it was a fake, he contacted the artists’ son, Robin Pender, and together the two men researched Rahman’s collection and passed their findings on to the police. In December 2009, officers swooped on Rahman’s home in Leicester and seized 19 paintings, some purportedly by Picasso, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. He was arrested and sentenced to 18 months in prison at Leicester Crown Court earlier this month.”

Bought for seven shillings and forgotten in an attic for 300 years: Unseen portrait by Velázquez is unveiled: “It bears all the marks of one of the greatest painters the world has ever known. Yet for more than three centuries, this £3million Diego Velázquez portrait remained undiscovered – locked up with bric-a-brac in a family’s cupboard. The old master was unveiled for the first time ever today before it goes to auction in December. Known as Portrait of a Gentleman, it is thought the Spanish artist painted it between 1632-1635, after his first trip to Italy. The painting was bought in the 1820s by little-known artist Matthew Shepperson, who lived on a modest income and collected portraits as a hobby. Experts believe he may have paid as little as seven shillings for it – and most likely never knew the value of what he had as it was not signed. The painting’s origin has now been verified with scientific paint tests, an X ray scan and consultation with six independent experts. It is expected to sell for between £2-3m when it goes on sale"

Green living? “Towering over the city skyline, these are the world’s first forest in the sky apartments, complete with a living space that is also your garden. With trees equal to one hectare of forest spanning 27 floors, these 365 and 260-foot emerald, twin towers will be home to an astonishing 730 trees, 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 ground plants. Basking in the north Italian sun, the towers, called the Bosco Verticale, are under construction in the city of Milan – and the plants are being grown in pots while their new home is being prepared. Director of Boeri Studios, Michele Brunello, 35, has been managing the project for his urban design and architecture firm since it was designed in 2006. ‘The idea for a vertical forest came when we were involved in a local tree planting project,’ he explained. ‘We imaged a building that allowed the landscape to enter it. ‘By creating a tower that truly becomes a home for the landscape we have a powerful tool.’ Brunello’s concept is designed to save on land, which, he said, is a precious resource in the centre of a major city.”

Time for a daiquiri? Strawberries can protect your stomach from harmful effects of alcohol: “Worried about an upset stomach after a night on the town? Try drinking strawberry daiquiris. Researchers have discovered that strawberries can protect the stomach lining from alcohol, boosting hopes of improved treatment of stomach ulcers. The scientists gave ethanol to laboratory rats and found that the stomach mucous membrane of those which had eaten strawberry extract for the previous ten days suffered less damage. Researcher Sara Tulipani, of the University of Barcelona, said: ‘The positive effects of strawberries are not only linked to their antioxidant capacity, but also to the fact that they activate the antioxidant defences and enzymes of the body.’ Scientists say a diet rich in strawberries can help to prevent gastric illnesses and slow down the formation of stomach ulcers.”

Lively lady: “A topless and drunken woman led police on a car chase along route 422 at speeds of up to 128mph before surrendering to officers. Erin B. Holdsworth, 28, of Hiram, Ohio, was found to be wearing only fishnet stockings, a g-string and high heels when she was arrested in Auburn Township. Officers used stingers along the highway to disable two of Holdsworth’s tyres and she was forced to pull over on the side of the road a short time later. When they approached her vehicle, the nearly-naked woman got out and staggered across the road before she was handcuffed. She has been charged with operating a vehicle impaired (OVI), refusing a blood alcohol test, fleeing and eluding, criminal damage, driving under a suspended licence, speeding and reckless operation at Chardon Municipal Court.”

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

Traditional British English fading away

October 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s diabolical! Traditional British words are dying out – because text speak has become so popular, research has found.

Experts have found a significant decrease in the use of words which our parents and grandparents used to utter on an almost daily basis.

‘Balderdash’ and ‘shenanigans’ now sound ‘arcane’ because modern slang has ‘quashed’ them, according to a study.

And ‘rambunctious’, ‘verily’, ‘salutations’, ‘spiffing’, ‘betrothed’ and ‘bally’ have all followed ‘cripes’ in falling out of fashion.

But a quarter of British adults admit using text message abbreviations such as ‘lol’ (laughing out loud), ‘jel’ (jealous) and ‘soz’ (sorry) in verbal communication.

The survey of 2,000 adults found that almost three-quarters believe longer words have become outdated since text messages and social networking websites gained popularity.

TOP FORGOTTEN WORDS

1. Bally: A British word from 1885 which is a euphemism for bloody

2. Laggard: An 18th Century word to describe someone who lags behind or responds slowly

3. Felicitations: From the noun of action felicitate, you would use this word to express congratulations

4. Rambunctious: Boisterous or unruly, the word is believed to have originated in 1830

5. Verily: From Middle English, simply means true or in truth

6. Salutations: A welcome greeting

7. Betwixt: Originated before 950, and means neither the one nor the other

8. Lauded: From the Latin laudāre, to praise

9. Arcane: Known or understood by very few

10. Raconteur: A person skilled in telling stories,originated in the 19th Century, from the French verb, raconter, to tell

11. Cad: An ill-bred man, originates from 19 Century, derived from the word Caddie

12. Betrothed: The person to whom one is engaged

13. Cripes: Twentieth Century slang for an expression of surprise, euphemistic for ‘Christ!’

14. Malaise: A vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness

15. Quash: To put down or suppress completely; quell

16. Swell: Originates before 900 from the Middle English verb swellen, meanings include the verb to inflate and an adjective which describes if something is excellent

17. Balderdash: From the 1590s it was originally a jumbled mix of liquors (milk and beer, beer and wine, etc.), before being transferred in 1670s to ‘senseless jumble of words’

18. Smite: To strike, deal a blow

19. Spiffing: From the word spiff, meaning well-dressed, means superb

20. Tomfoolery: Foolish behaviour

Half of those polled didn’t know what a ‘cad’ was and almost one in five weren’t familiar with the term ‘raconteur’, while three-quarters had never described something as ‘diabolical’.

JP Davidson, author of Planet Word, which tells the story of our evolving language, said: ‘There are some great descriptive words that are being lost and these words would make our everyday language much more colourful and fun if we were to use them.’

Just nine per cent use the word ‘bogus’, ten per cent have used ‘fiddlesticks’ and only three quarters have used ‘oopsy-daisy’.

Only half have used the word ‘knackered’ and three quarters have never used ‘diabolical’. Three quarters don’t use ‘cheerio’ and a fifth say they don’t know what ‘myriad’ means.

Most people admitted they often come across words they don’t know the meaning of, with teenagers and those in their twenties finding this happening more frequently than any other age group.

More here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Ohio dentist wants to buy back Halloween candy: “It’s hard to imagine that there will be eager children lined up around the block to take part in this anti-cavity dental deal next week. An Ohio dentist is offering to buy kids’ trick-or-treating booty this Halloween. He’s even throwing in a toothbrush to sweeten the deal, so maybe it will be like taking candy from a baby.”

Utah: Another bright bank robber: “The suspect in the robbery of a West Jordan credit union over the weekend left police a big clue about who he was: a receipt with his name on it. James Brent Milligan, 52, was arrested late Saturday after investigators said they linked him to an armed robbery at Cyprus Credit Union, 1381 W. 9000 South, earlier that day. According to a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court, Milligan, of Midvale, entered the bank, flashed a gun and passed a note to a teller demanding cash. The teller gave the robber a wad of money that contained a dye packet. The robber then demanded cash from a second teller before leaving the bank. He apparently tossed a burlap bag he used during the robbery in the parking lot, after realizing some of the cash had been stained with red dye, the complaint states. But the robber didn’t notice he’d left behind another critical piece of evidence: a pawn shop receipt with Milligan’s signature on it, according to authorities.”

And an Indianapolis genius: “Police in Indianapolis say a man [Lester Smith -- above] who robbed a payday loan service left his wallet behind. According to investigators, the 20-year-old man had a gun and tied up the teller at an Advance America store. WTHR reported that detectives later found the wallet at the scene, with the man’s ID still inside. Police say the man was also identified by witnesses and is seen on security video. He now faces a number of charges, including robbery and carrying a handgun without a license.”

German cafe battles computer giant over apple logo: “When is an apple with a cutout silhouette and a leaf on top just, well, an apple? A German family cafe and the American tech giant are trying to sort that out. The Local Germany reported overnight that when Christin Romer opened her cafe in the west German city of Bonn last May she named it Apfelkind (apple baby) after a nearby apple orchard. Then she commissioned a logo, which turned out to be a red apple with a cut-out silhouette of a child in a hat, and liked it so much she had it reprinted on cushions, chairs, cups and even a delivery bike. Enter Apple, the world-famous computer giant, which sent her a letter from California headquarters last month saying its logo would be damaged by any trademark rights she might win for her apple and that in particular, the choice of the colour red, the leaf on the apple stem and the shape of the apple could confuse consumers.” Pretty childish from Apple]

Australia has the world’s best beaches?: “AUSTRALIA has the world’s best surfing beaches, according to an international gathering of scientists, legislators, environmentalists and wave riders. At the Global Wave Conference in France this week attendees from more than 20 nations gave a thumbs up to Australia’s surfing beaches as they considered an increasing threat to surfing environments. “Australia has long been regarded as having many great beaches,” National Surfing Reserves chairman Brad Farmer said. “Now this conference is recognising Australia’s 10,000 plus beaches as the world’s best.” Founder of the organisation he represents, Mr Farmer is lobbying for the establishment of a Ministry for Coasts in Australia to help protect beaches.”

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

This has to be one of the funniest news reports for a while

October 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It COULD be an urban myth but it is very believable

H/T Interested Participant

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Disgusting British Army claws back £433 ‘overpaid’ to dead soldier… because he was shot dead in Afghanistan 10 days before pay day: “The family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan have been ordered to repay hundreds of pounds – because he died after receiving his wages. Military bosses said that since Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft was paid a month in advance, his relatives must return £433 to cover the ten days after the 25-year-old was shot. Last night his shocked father Tony described the decision as ‘disgusting’, adding: ‘Jordan gave his life for this country and this is how they treat him. ‘When I read the letter you could have knocked me down with a feather. When it sunk in what it said, it felt like I’d been poked in the eye with a stick. I want to make it clear that this is in no way a question of money, but one of respect.’”

The dog that’s almost had its day: “They look so cute it is almost impossible to believe these dogs have had their day. But the Sealyham terrier, once beloved of Hollywood stars and royalty, is now ‘rarer than a tiger’ and on the verge of extinction. The staggering decline in the popularity of the little white dogs is highlighted in the latest edition of Country Life magazine as it sends an ‘SOS’ – that’s ‘Save our Sealyhams’ – message to its well-heeled readers. Describing the breed as ‘both cheerful companion and efficient pest controller’, the article urges: ‘If we can save the rhino or tiger, we can surely save this useful and charming breed of dog.’ The call to arms to rescue the British breed from oblivion comes as the Kennel Club revealed that just 49 Sealyham puppies were registered with it in the UK last year. It is all a very long way the days when more thousands were registered a year and everyone who was anyone seemed to have a Sealyham. Sealyhams were first bred by Captain John Tucker-Edwardes between 1850 and 1891 at his home Sealyham House, in Pembrokeshire, to hunt rats, foxes, badgers and rabbits.”

Cash-strapped British council erects £100,000 golden ‘monstrosity’ monument in nature reserve: “A hard-up council was today condemned for building a £100,000 golden monument – in a nature reserve. The 40ft-high tower has been slammed as a ‘monstrosity’ by people living in the surrounding village of Polesworth, Warwickshire. It is visible from the M42 as well as from the village’s half-timbered homes, looming high above the woodland habitats and clear lagoons of the park. The space-age ‘tower of leaves’, called ‘Gold Leaf: Buried Sunlight’, was erected as part of the regeneration of Pooley County Park in north Warwickshire. It was paid for through a Government programme designed to ‘breathe new life into coalfield communities’. Martin Haigh, who lives in Polesworth, said: ‘I visited the nature reserve just yesterday and spotted this large, golden column on top of the hill. ‘I – and many other locals – think it’s an eyesore.’”

60 Elvises!: “A group of 60 Elvis impersonators had to flee a charity fundraiser after a faulty smoke machine set off the fire alarm The lookalikes were attending a charity function in Rochester, Kent, when the fire alarm sounded late on Saturday night. It is believed that it was set off by a faulty smoke machine that formed part of the Elvis act at the fundraiser. Guests leaving the hotel were stunned to see a group of around 60 impersonators, dressed in wigs and full rhinestone costume, gathered in the car park. “I was in a bit of a state getting out of my room,” one guest told the Daily Mirror. “But I was more confused when I got outside to see all these people dressed as Elvis. “There were people in full Elvis jumpsuits and wigs standing by a roundabout, looking a bit worse for the wear.”

Balloon release now against the law in one Australian city: “Letting go of a single balloon deliberately will now get you in trouble with Sunshine Coast Council after it approved a raft of new laws including regulation of balloons and dogs in dining areas. In front of a packed gallery, Division 12 Cr Lew Brennan put forward a motion to remove the balloon law because he said it was ‘meaningless’. While he recognised concerns over the impact of helium balloons on marine life, Cr Brennan said there were much bigger concerns regarding fishing lines and crab pots that council should be focussed on, and that party hire businesses in the community relied on having balloons. “It’s a meaningless local law it will not be regulated. “This is not about 1000, or 200 or 50, this is about a single balloon. Cr Brennan said education, not regulation, was the solution and the main reason people released balloons was in relation to emotional occasions such as relating to Daniel Morcombe, or a boy who died in the Mary Valley.”

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

Is this stunt the best advertisement ever made?

October 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Click here for video.

This happened a couple of years ago in Austria but you won’t believe it when you see it. The video takes a little while to get going and the commentary is in German but none of that will matter when you see what the man and his machine does. And the driver looks like he is just doing a routine job! And no sign of any safety precautions if anything goes wrong. A truly brilliant conception

The stunt was put on by Liebherr for the TV show “Wetten dass” (Beat that!) and the music is by Italian composer Vivaldi. The last words of the video are “Liebherr Baumaschine” (Liebherr building machines) and that really sums it up. After such an incredible demonstration of Swiss/German reliability and precision who would want to buy anything but a Liebherr crane or digger?

Rather amazingly Liebherr is still a family-owned and run company

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Irish airline fixes plane with duct tape: “A plane with 200 passengers onboard had to turn back to London after tape used to patch up a pilot’s window came loose. Passengers watched in horror as ground crew put the tape around the edge of the windscreen of the Ryanair jet shortly before takeoff from London Stansted Airport to Riga, Latvia. The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said the tape was being used as an extra precaution to secure a new window seal. But the pilot aborted the flight after 20 minutes when the tape started to become loose and made disturbing noises. Irish low-cost airline Ryanair insists normal procedures were followed throughout, and there was no danger to passengers or crew.”

Drive dangerously in South Australia and you may get your car crushed: “Many of the vehicles crushed or sold under the strict vehicle confiscation laws were family cars, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show. They included 21 Holden Commodores, 13 Ford Falcons and five Mitsubishi Magnas. Police Senior Constable Dave Muir said the documents showed that police would not be swayed by the type of vehicle or its value but would act in the best way to reduce the risk of serious accidents. “Clamping, impounding and forfeiture of vehicles is one of the tools police use to ensure those drivers who commit prescribed or forfeiture offences have their vehicle removed from them and taken off the road, regardless of the vehicle’s make, model or value,” he said. Harsh hoon driving legislation was introduced in 2009 and several “public crushings” of high-performance or modified cars have since been held.”

“Alternative” medicine expert lets his little son die: “A couple who treated their sick four-year-old son with alternative medicine are being investigated for manslaughter, Italian police have said. Luca Monsellato was taken to hospital with a high fever and cold symptoms but failed to respond to emergency medical treatment and died. His parents, Marcello and Giovanna Pantaleo, told doctors they had been treating his apparent three-week cold with fennel tea – a popular homeopathic remedy for coughs – in an attempt to keep his fever under control. They eventually took him to hospital when his condition worsened. Mr Monsellato, 52, of the southern Italian town of Tricase, close to Lecce, has been a doctor of alternative medicine for more than 20 years. He is honorary president of Italy’s Homeopathic Sinergy Association and an expert on acupuncture. He told staff at the hospital how his son had been suffering from the effects of a cold for three weeks and they had given him fennel tea instead of other medical treatment.”

Spy couple who sent secrets to Russia for 20 years caught as they sent their last message in code: “Spyhunters in Germany have arrested a middle-aged Russian couple it says were espionage agents for Moscow who operated under the radar of the intelligence services for two decades. The married spooks – identified in Germany as Andreas and Heidrun Anschlag – allegedly sent back their reports to their handlers via a radio code. German media reports said the arrest of Heidrun Anschlag was like a scene from a cold war movie – she was tapping out a message back to Russia in her home in Balingen when an armed task force broke in and arrested her mid-transmission. Investigators said it was due to information gleaned from the interrogations in America that led to the arrests of the spy duo in Germany. Andreas and Heidrun were reportedly throwbacks from the Soviet era who stayed on in reunited Germany to serve new masters after the same old secrets – industrial, technological and military.”

It’s no picnic at Hanging Rock as couple perch inches from an 800ft fall: “This young couple are perched only inches away from an eight hundred feet fall. The pair had carefully crawled right to the edge of Australian landmark ‘Hanging Rock’, where the sandstone is only a foot wide. Photographer Michael Matthews was amazed to see the duo so far out on the narrow rock formation, overlooking the Grose River Gorge in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. He said: ‘They were on the end of the rock for about 5 minutes. ‘They even had a hug and a kiss out there, but were being extremely careful.’ ‘I panicked, especially as they got so close to the narrowest end. ‘The end of the rock where the man is sitting would only be about about a foot wide. It was too narrow for them to sit side by side. ‘I had a sickly feeling in my stomach and a real fear of seeing them fall. They would never have survived the drop.” Mr Matthews carried on taking snaps of the scene before the couple carefully make their way back to the wider section of Hanging Rock, where they stopped for a picnic.”

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

The alleged origins of some well-known phrases

October 24, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We use them every day – from telling friends how you’re ‘in the doghouse’ with the wife, blaming someone for ‘passing the buck’ or regaling dinner parties with rumours heard ‘through the grapevine’. But how many of us know the origins of such idioms, which provide so much richness to the English language?

Here are some examples from The Etymologicon:

In the doghouse – from Peter Pan. In JM Barrie’s 1911 novel, Mr Darling forces the dog to sleep in the kennel, and as a result the children disappear. As penance, he takes to sleeping there himself.

Through the grapevine – from the ‘grapevine telegraph’, a phrase which emerged during the American Civil War for an unofficial, word-of-mouth network along which news was passed, either because Confederate soldiers passed it on while drinking wine after dinner, or because slaves discussed it while picking grapes from vines.

Castor oil – originally the name of a liquid used as a laxative which was extracted from the glands of a beaver – or Castor, in Latin. It was not until the mid-18th century that it was discovered that the same effect could be got from the oil produced by the seeds of Ricinus communis, which became known as the castor oil plant.

Bizarre – from the Basque word for beard, bizar, because when bearded Spanish soldiers arrived in remote Pyrenean villages, locals thought them odd.

Serendipity – a word coined in 1754 by Horace Walpole, son of the first prime minister, after reading a book about the island of Serendip – now known as Sri Lanka.

Dog days – the name for the hottest, sultriest part of summer which coincides with a period, during July, when Sirius –the dog star – cannot be seen as it rises and sets at the same time as the sun.

Pass the buck – from the horn of a deer (buck), which was commonly used as a knife handle. The phrase emerged in 19th century America when poker players would signify the dealer for each game by stabbing a knife into the table in front of him.

Shell out – from the awkward process of getting a nut out of its shell. Artillery shells are so described because early grenades looked like nuts in their shells.

In a nutshell – Pliny, the Roman writer, claimed there was a copy of The Iliad so small it could fit inside a walnut shell.

Bigot – old English for ‘by god’, to describe someone who asserts their own saintliness, while being a hypocrite.

Upshot – the decisive, final shot in an archery contest which decided who had won.

More here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Hard-up British police force tasked with finding £1m savings lavishes £100,000 on murals for new HQ: “A police force has spent more than £100,000 on art for its new headquarters – at a time when it is shedding 3,000 jobs and needs to save £134 million. Greater Manchester Police has bought two murals commemorating the work of Sir Robert Peel, the father of modern policing, for its £64 million building in Newton Heath, Manchester. One piece, which cost £40,500 and hangs inside the public entrance, features a picture of Peel formed from his own words. Another costing £60,500 hangs by the staff entrance. The latest round of redundancy notices were issued to civilian staff – officers cannot be made redundant – this month and they are expected to leave in January.”

Bed in the clouds: The optical illusion that appears to show a tent in the sky: “This tent looks as though it has been pitched in the sky in a photograph that plays tricks on the eyes. Student Bjarke Bitsch pitched his tent so high up Mont Blanc – the highest mountain in the French Alps – that snow and clouds blended together in this shot. The 24-year-old from Aarhus in Denmark took the stunning photo during a three day-expedition to climb the peak in Chamonix, France. The image was captured near the summit, at a spot called Aiguille du Gouter, which has an altitude of 3,900 metres. He said: ‘I was stunned when I got home and looked at the photos. The high exposure caused by the sun meant it looked just like we had camped on the clouds. ‘The only reason I took the picture was because were proud of the work we had done with the tent – we made anchors with bags of snow to combat the wind.”

Four is a bad number in China: “Queensland Tourism is chasing part of a $9 billion payday out of China but has warned Australians might have to do something about the number 4. In its Project China discussion paper, Queensland Tourism said the industry needed a massive upgrade and investment to cope with additional demand. The paper outlined some major changes the industry would have to accept if it wanted the wealth that would be generated by Chinese visitors who spent $381 million in the state last financial year and $2.7 billion nationally. Among them is an end to the rip-offs, faster service, a huge boost to air travel into Queensland as well as catering for the particular needs of the Chinese who believe the number 4 is unlucky because it sounds similar to the word for death, making fourth floors in hotels a no-go zone.”

Henry Ford made ‘em tough: “Driving from Melbourne to Moscow is one hell of a road trip, but try doing it in an antique. Constantine Mandylas is confident his 1913 Model T Ford [above] will get him to his cross-continental destination, but he’s not so sure about the tyre treads. The Melbourne man began his gigantic journey from the Motorclassica exhibition and the Convention Centre yesterday in the classic car, heading to Perth, then South Africa, before making his way through Europe to Russia. He said he was in safe hands with the Model T, nicknamed “Tin Lizzie”, which was voted the Car of the Century by an international jury in 1999. Packing spare parts and spare tyres, Mr Mandylas said the mega-marathon wouldn’t be without its hiccups. “I’m basically going to run the tyres until the tread disappears completely. If I break down in the middle of the Sahara what happens then? I might have to get a camel to tow me to a garage,” he said.”

Sweet tooth, sweet tooth personality: Why a fondness for chocolate helps you have a bright personality: “Americans with a sweet tooth are more likely to be friendly, scientists have claimed. Volunteers who chose a piece of chocolate over a non-sweet food item were found to have sweet dispositions while also viewed the same by others, according to a new study. Among chocolate-goers’ characteristics, researchers found an inclination to volunteer and help others in need strongest among them. But before chocolate flies off the shelves, it should be noted that researchers say they were able to determine whether it was chocolate’s mood-lifting effect, or an independent trend in the type of recipient. ‘Our taste studies controlled for positive mood so the effects we found are not due to the happy or rewarding feeling one may have after eating a sweet food,’ Brian Meiers, a psychology professor at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, told Reuters. ‘It is striking that helpful and friendly people are considered ‘sweet’ because taste would seem to have little in common with personality or behaviour,’ Mr Meiers added on his surprise of the findings.”

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

My name is Donald. Who are you?

October 23, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Alleged Russian spy ‘has photographic memory’: “Katia Zatuliveter, the suspected Russian spy who had a four-year affair with Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock, has a near-photographic memory, a friend has revealed. Miss Zatuliveter, 26, developed her skill at St Petersburg University, which was named last week as a major recruiting ground for spies. It is known that while working for Mr Hancock, 65, she had access to his papers from the Defence Select Committee. Miss Zatuliveter denies spying and claims that the arrest of ‘femme fatale’ Anna Chapman in America last year prompted MI5 to target her. But MI5 says it has strong grounds to think she was a spy.”

Woman’s uncontrollable sex drive after she was bitten by puppy was caused by rabies: “A woman who told her doctor she had a sudden, unbelievable increase in her sex drive died four days later of rabies. The 28-year-old, who lived in India, complained that she felt constantly aroused, sometimes with no stimulation at all. Her confounded physician referred her to the Sri Gokulam Hospital and Research Institute in Salem, Tamil Nadu. They discovered that a small bite from a puppy two months earlier caused the disease. The fear of water caused by paralysis of the swallowing muscles is widely known as a symptom of rabies. But it can also cause hypersexuality, a result of inflammation of the brain.”

Three times lucky? Not for this bumbling bandit: “A knife-wielding bandit returned to the same Mt Isa store three times in quick succession and not only ended up with nothing, he ended up in the hands of the law. The bandit entered the northwest Queensland store in Marian St at 4pm yesterday and demanded money, police say. Instead of taking cash, he decided to hand the employee the knife. A short time later the bandit returned to get the knife, but the employee refused his request. He returned a third time and tried to rob the store again but the employee refused his demands. Police nabbed the 33-year-old suspect soon after and he was charged with armed robbery. He will appear in the Mount Isa Magistrates Court on October 24.”

“We will have to demolish our £300k home to rid it of Japanese knotweed”: “It’s the scourge of the suburbs, feared by homeowners and gardeners. Now a couple have been told their newbuild home must be demolished to rid it of an invasion of Japanese knotweed. Matthew Jones and fiancee Sue Banks have seen the value of their four-bedroom house in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, almost wiped out – dropping from £305,000 to £50,000 – as a result of the damage. The weed has spread along the brick walls, forced its way through flooring and sprouted over skirting boards. What was once their dream home is in danger of collapse. There was no sign of the plant when the couple bought the house two years ago, believing it to be the ideal location to bring up a young family. But it was growing unnoticed on wasteland next to the property. Slowly it crept over the garden fence and took over the lawn before forcing its way into the house. The owner of the wasteland it spread from is legally responsible to clear the area of the plant – but officials failed to track down the person responsible.”

Darts on sale in British parliament: “Speaker John Bercow came under fire last night after House of Commons souvenir shops were discovered selling darts despite a ban on bringing potential weapons into Parliament to prevent attacks on MPs. The sale of the £26 darts sparked a security alert last week when worried officials saw them on display and warned Commons officials. They immediately ordered one kiosk to stop selling them. But a second shop took them off the shelves only after The Mail on Sunday managed to buy a pack and contacted the House of Commons’ authorities. When a reporter showed the darts to security staff last night, one said: ‘If you came through our checks with those, there is no way we would let you take them into the building.’ It is strictly forbidden to take any sharp or pointed object inside the Palace of Westminster. All visitors are forced to walk through airport-style scanners before they can enter the building.

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

Greedy fish

October 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A voracious pike died trying to swallow a big carp. The freshwater predator literally bit off more than it could chew, and choked to death..

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Man tries to turn his own faeces into gold<: "A MAN from Northern Ireland has been jailed after an experiment in which he attempted to turn his own faeces into gold went wrong and started a fire in a block of flats. Yahoo news reported that Paul Moran will now serve three months in jail and a further 12 months on license after the failed experiment caused a fire at his Housing Executive home in Derrin Park, Enniskillen. Moran admitted arson and endangering the lives of others in the fire, which reportedly caused over £3,000 worth of damage. It is thought that as part of the bizarre experiment Moran left his faeces, along with other waste products such as fertiliser, on a heater. In his ruling Judge McFarland told Moran: “Rather bizarrely you were attempting to make gold from human faeces and waste products. Moran’s barrister mentioned that his client was a man of ‘considerable intellectual ability’.

Rare Royal Navy uniform worn by survivor of Battle of Trafalgar: “A rare Royal Naval uniform worn by a British survivor of the Battle of Trafalgar has been unearthed after spending decades in the attic of one of the sailor’s descendants. William Hicks became famous for his gripping account of Trafalgar which told how, as a 17-year-old midshipman on HMS Conqueror, he helped British forces crush France and Spain in 1805 to end the threat of an invasion by Napoleon. Now a uniform worn by Hicks several years later when he reached the rank of lieutenant has been unearthed in a plastic bag in an attic, after being handed down through his family for 200 years. It went on display today at the National Maritime Museum in London on the anniversary of the battle off the Spanish coast. The museum also displays the uniform worn by Admiral Nelson that momentous day when he was shot and killed by a French sniper.”

Steve Jobs ‘regretted trying to beat cancer with alternative medicine for so long’: “The Apple chief executive, who died this month after a pancreatic tumour spread elsewhere, delayed having operations and chemotherapy for nine months after the disease was discovered in October 2003. In spite of pleas from family and friends, he tried to cure himself through acupuncture sessions, drinking special fruit juices, visiting “spiritualists” and using other treatments he found on the internet. Some cancer experts have said that Mr Jobs may have extended his life or even survived if he had promptly tackled his cancer aggressively with scientifically proven medical treatments. Walter Isaacson, whose much-anticipated authorised book on Mr Jobs’s life is to be released later this month, said that before he died the 56-year-old had come to realise that he had made a mistake.”

Strongman pulls ’100 tonne’ train: “Crowds gathered at Kadam train station near the Syrian capital Damascus to watch Adnan Ismail al-Awad put his strength to the test. The onlookers came to watch him pull a train which he claimed weighed over 100 tonnes.” “Its length is 20 meters and it weighs 2.5 tonnes. But when we pull something on an incline it becomes heavier. So it becomes more than 100 tonnes.” said Awad. After getting into his harness, and positioning himself over the tracks, he began to tug the train. The wheels moved, and Awad managed to pull it along the rusty line. One of the engineers who works at the train station said the stunt needed incredible power. ”The difficulty is at the beginning with getting the carriages to move, this needs great strength, more than 100 horses,” said Mohamad Youssef.” [Video at link]

A French news-magnet: “The French are seriously existential about their politics and object to it being turned into soap opera but Carla Bruni-Sarkozy seems to turn her life into the stuff of Days of Our Lives with effortless grace. She gave birth to a daughter this week and while her husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy, was in urgent talks with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, about saving the euro, the first French presidential baby in history captured newspaper front pages. She has been the centre of attention in one way or another since she was hired as a 19-year-old model to be a derriere in a pair of Guess? jeans advertisements. The stepdaughter of an Italian tyre magnate and classical composer, Alberto Bruni Tedeschi, and Marisa Borini, a concert pianist, whose extramarital affair with grocery magnate Maurizio Remmert resulted in Bruni-Sarkozy’s birth in 1967, she is independently rich and well educated (in France, where her family fled to escape Red Brigade kidnappings). Her modelling career depended on the covers of women’s magazines (250 even before she met Sarkozy); her subsequent work as a musician and political wife assured a sort of celebrity that refuses to go away.”

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

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