Ashamed grass

May 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Why men with classic ‘hard man’ faces are actually big softies because they are willing to make sacrifices for family and friends: “Tough guys are really softies at heart, a study suggests. Psychologists found that men with a more aggressive appearance – typically those with wider faces – were more likely to sacrifice themselves to help friends or colleagues. The researchers, at the University of St Andrews, gave students money to play a game in which they could either enrich themselves or risk their cash to assist their group. Dr Michael Stirrat said: ‘It was surprising… our participants with wider faces were more co-operative than the other men.’ Previous research had found that men with wide faces are judged to be aggressive and dishonest, while facial masculinity has also been commonly associated with a perceived lack of warmth and co-operation. The university said the study, published this week, lends greater understanding to masculinity and male group behaviour and overturns previous theories that masculine looking men are ‘bad to the bone’.”

Marmalade with British breakfast dying out: “Sales of marmalade are in decline in a bitter blow to breakfast traditionalists. The proportion of families who dollop the orange spread on their morning toast is down from 36per cent 40 years ago to just 7per cent today. The figures from retail analysts Mintel show marmalade giving way to US-style imports such as chocolate spreads and peanut butter. Originally a thick paste made from quince, the recipe was modified by a Dundee grocer in the 1700s using oranges and sugar syrup. However, generations of kids have been put off by the bitter taste from the use of Seville oranges from Spain and the chewy bits of peel. The result is that the market has become limited to the over 45s, which means that sales seem set to fall further unless it gets a major image overhaul. However, Britain’s biggest food manufacturer, Premier Foods, is trying to build a revival with innovations aimed at the young.” [They should try kumquat marmalade. Yum!]

Neon light left on for 77 years discovered during renovation of landmark restaurant: “Renovation of a landmark Los Angeles restaurant has revealed a neon lamp that has been left on for around 77 years. The light, forgotten for decades, was discovered burning brightly behind a dusty wall in the woman’s restroom in Clifton’s Cafeteria. The surprising discovery was made as the building’s owner, Andrew Meieran, as he undertakes a multimillion renovation of the historic building. Mr Meieran told the Los Angeles Times that the light was likely installed in 1935, after the building was bought and converted into a forest-themed dining establishment. Much of the restaurant featured translucent, hand-painted forest murals that were backlit by neon panels such as the one found. He told KTLA that it was nothing short of ‘staggering’ that the light has survived from the end of the Great Depression until now. ‘The fact it’s been tucked away and it’s so simple in its construction has kept it going all these years – it’s just neon, gas, and glass.’ He also hypothesised that the bulb generated more than $17,000 in electrical bills.”

Women ‘are left feeling hot and bothered by meeting men’ as even simple social contact can raise body temperature: “Meeting a man really can get a woman hot under the collar. Psychologists used thermal imaging to show that even simple social contact triggers a rise in body temperature. They found women’s facial temperature rose more during interactions with a male than a female. Scientists measured a small but significant increase in the facial temperature of female volunteers. A two-second touch on the face and chest, described as ‘high-intimate locations’, had a bigger effect than touching arms and palms. Physical contact also stimulated more warmth when it came from an experimenter of the opposite sex.”

Bottleneck on Mount Everest as dozens of climbers try to reach summit: “Peak time on the world’s highest peak, and the queue of climbers snakes back down Mount Everest’s snowy wilderness. The crowds are a far cry from the splendid isolation Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Norgay Tenzing experienced as they pitted themselves against one of nature’s fiercest challenges to become the first to reach the 29,029ft summit. How times have changed since then …. the 150 or so climbers here could almost be thrill-seekers waiting in line for a white-knuckle ride at an amusement park. The extraordinary image of the throng — taken the day before the worst disaster on Everest for 16 years — will fuel fears of perilous overcrowding on the mountain. Experts say the sheer numbers exacerbate the already substantial dangers of climbing Everest, which has claimed more than 220 lives — half of those in the past 20 years. The tailback shown here was captured on camera by German mountaineer Ralf Dujmovits as climbers shuffled along at around 25,000ft on the Lhotse Face stage of the ascent.”

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

She’s still got it

May 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Dutch firm creates ‘Divorce Hotel’ service, aiming to help couples separate during a two-day stay: “A Dutch entrepreneur has offered couples the chance of a weekend away with a difference – by staying in a hotel where he will help them finalise their divorce. Jim Halfen’s ‘Divorce Hotel’ allows pairs intent on breaking up to get quick divorces by staying for two days in their accommodation and coming out as two all-but-separated people. The Netherlands-based firm aim to talk couples through alimony, splitting assets, visitation rights for children and any other outstanding marital issues to help finalise a divorce. Their two-day process of drawing together documentation by having the two parties, lawyers, and mediators all in the same hotel for a weekend aims to quicken a process which can normally be drawn out for weeks or months.”

Queen to make William Knight of the Thistle to mark his 30th birthday: “The Queen has awarded her grandson, Prince William, one of her highest orders of chivalry to mark his 30th birthday next month. The future king is to be made a Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle. Appointments to the Order of the Thistle are entirely in the personal gift of The Queen and are not made on the advice of the Prime Minister, as are most other Honours. It is another sign of the prince’s gradual introduction into becoming a full-time senior working royal, although for the time being he will continue to work as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot in North Wales. Revived by King James VII, the Order has a complement of 16 Knights, who have the letter KT after their name. In 1987, The Queen decided that ladies should also be eligible for the Thistle in the same way as men. William, 29, who is known as The Earl of Strathearn north of the border, will be formally welcomed into the order in a ceremony at Holyroodhouse Palace in Edinburgh in the next few weeks.”

The ‘chained wife’ whose Orthodox Jewish husband refuses to allow her to divorce him – despite FOUR YEARS of separation: “A woman has spoken out about how her Orthodox Jewish husband refuses to divorce her despite being separated for four years. In keeping with strict religious beliefs, Rachel Balassiano, a 35-year-old from Brooklyn, New York, is fighting to convince her husband to give her a Jewish divorce which is known as a ‘get’. The mother of three, who has been separated from Maurice Balassiano, 50, for four years, is considered to be an ‘agunot’ women, a name given to those who are ‘chained wives’. According to traditional Judaism, husbands can withhold a ‘get’ from their wives for as long as they like as only men have the ability to end a religious marriage. If she was to remarry without receiving a ‘get’, the new marriage would be considered adultery by the Orthodox Jewish community. Any future children would be regarded as bastards. She would also never be able to marry another Orthodox Jew.”

Keen gamers at the BBC: “THE BBC apologised to viewers after mistakenly showing a graphic from the hit computer game Halo in place of the UN Security Council logo. In a report last week on the continuing deadly unrest in Syria, the British public broadcaster ran a large graphic behind presenter Sophie Raworth as she read the news, The Guardian reported. Unfortunately, instead of the Security Council logo, viewers were shown the badge of the United Nations Space Command, the military agency depicted in popular interstellar war game Halo.A BBC spokesperson said: “BBC News makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all images broadcast, however very occasionally mistakes do happen. “Unfortunately an incorrect logo was used during a segment on last week’s News at One bulletin and we apologise to viewers for the mistake. “The image was not broadcast in our later bulletins.”

Waterfront property owner gets $150,000 in back rent after 22 years: “IN a story spanning three continents and 22 years, a real estate agent has tracked down the mystery owner of a Sydney waterfront property. The US-based woman will receive about $150,000 of rental income from the past two decades and the proceeds of tonight’s auction – the property is expected to go for more than $550,000. Ray White Drummoyne principal Chris Wilkins said the apartment had been on his books since he bought the agency 10 years ago. It was part of a deceased estate left to a young woman after her mother died suddenly. The agents continued to collect rent and maintain the home from a trust account but were unable to make decisions about the property. After the Public Trustee of NSW was unable to intervene, managing partner Tim Eakin decided to take action. “I took the matter into my own hands and hired a private investigator in the US,” he said.”

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

Some surprising word origins

May 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nerd: We live in the age of the nerd, with one-time computer programmer Mark Zuckerberg raking in £12billion last week from his Facebook shares.

But Cat In The Hat writer Dr Seuss coined the word in 1950 children’s classic If I Ran The Zoo – as the name of an ANIMAL.

The young narrator, who reckons his local zoo’s creatures are boring, declares: “And then, just to show them, I’ll sail to Ka-Troo and bring back an It-Kutch, a Preep and a Proo/A Nerkle, a Nerd and a Seersucker too!”

Bump: One of 1,700 words that William Shakespeare gets credit for inventing – although many of them may just never have been in print before he used them. He used it in Romeo And Juliet, when Juliet’s nurse, recalling her hitting her head as a youngster, says she had: “a bump as big as young cockerel’s stone.”

Swagger: Another one down to Shakespeare, first used in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Puck comes across a group practising amateur dramatics and exclaims: “What hempen homespuns have we swaggering here?”.

Chortle: Courtesy of Lewis Carroll, who combined the words “chuckle” and “snort” in the poem Jabberwocky in Through the Looking-Glass in 1872. The line, about a hunter, goes: “‘O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’ He chortled in his joy.”

Galumphing: This is another one from Jabberwocky, when the hunter kills the scary Jabberwock: “He left it dead, and with its head he went galumphing back.” It is at this point that he chortles in his joy.

Cyberspace: First used by American sci-fi writer William Gibson in short story Burning Chrome in 1982. A computer geek says of his mate’s computer: “I knew every chip in Bobby’s simulator by heart; it looked like your workaday Ono-Sendai VII, the ‘Cyberspace Seven’.”

Two years later he expanded the idea in novel Neuromancer, where he describes cyberspace as “a graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system.”

Yahoo: Name invented by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels in 1726 to describe filthy, greedy human-like creatures the adventurer comes across while exploring. Gulliver says they are “deformed” and “hairy” and concludes: “I never beheld in all my travels so disagreeable an animal.”

Gargantuan: Comes from a series of novels about a very hungry giant called Gargantua written in the 1530s by French monk Francois Rabelais.

Rabelais, known for his bawdy jokes, is also responsible for coining many terms for bedroom romps — including “playing the two-backed beast” and “rubbing the bacon together”.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

CA: Trailer trash plotted to kill mom over curfew: “Chris Stalinski heard screams and couldn’t imagine what was happening in the mobile home next door, where a mother lived with her teen daughter. When Stalinski learned what law enforcement officials unraveled, it was hard to comprehend: The mother’s 13-year-old daughter and two friends allegedly tried to kill her in her bed. Law enforcement officials now suspect it was the third time in a matter of hours the teens — two girls and a boy — had tried to kill the mother, possibly because she was strict with a curfew and critical of the girl’s friends.”

Robber betrayed by ringing phone: “The robber first drew police attention when UGA officers traveling along Finley Street saw him running north toward Parkview homes carrying a gun. Shortly after police saw him, two 23-year-old men flagged them down and said that a someone matching the runner’s description had just robbed them at gunpoint, according to the report. Officers from the UGA and Athens-Clarke police departments searched through Parkview and set up a perimeter along surrounding streets, police said. Police found a discarded handgun on the ground near a trash bin on Florida Avenue, according to the report. As an officer stood by waiting to take pictures and collect the gun into evidence, he heard a cellphone ringing inside the trash bin, police said. Officers opened the trash bin’s lid and found Zachariah Henry Garrett, 17, of Colbert hiding inside. They searched Garret and the trash and recovered two stolen cellphones and $37 in cash, according to the report.”

California goons nearly burn down family’s home as officers arrest the wrong people: “A California family’s house nearly burned down on Thursday when police stormed the wrong address and ordered the residents out at gunpoint, leaving food cooking on the stove. San Diego Sheriff’s Department deputies surrounded Willie and Christine Houston’s Spring Valley house around 9pm after receiving a tip that a man who robbed a medical marijuana delivery provider had run inside holding a gun. Despite informing police they weren’t involved in the robbery and pleading with them to turn off the kitchen stove, Mr Houston was arrested and the rest of the family was forced to leave the house. Within minutes, a fire broke out in the kitchen, trapping two women and a seven-year-old girl on the second floor. ‘I said, “Wait a minute, there’s food on the stove, my grandbaby is upstairs, Cherie is upstairs,” and then all of sudden all hell breaks loose,’ Ms Houston said. ‘All the smoke started coming out of the house.’ Police used a skateboard and a fire axe to break the windows to get the people out as black smoke billowed through the second floor window. Everyone was evacuated by the time the fire crews arrived.”

Sentenced to death for singing and dancing at wedding: “Four women and two men have been sentenced to death in northern Pakistan for singing and dancing at a wedding, police say. Clerics issued a decree after a mobile phone video emerged of the six enjoying themselves in a remote village in the mountainous district of Kohistan, 176km north of the capital Islamabad. Pakistani authorities in the area said local clerics had ordered the punishment over allegations that the men and women danced and sang together in Gada village, in defiance of strict tribal customs that separate men and women at weddings. “The local clerics issued a decree to kill all four women and two men shown in the video,” district police officer Abdul Majeed Afridi said.”

Bad chins: “From Captain Hook to Dick Dastardly and Cruella De Vil, their faces portray evil. Now scientists have worked out what scares us most about a cartoon baddie – their pointy chin. Warwick University researchers found a downward pointing triangle can make us feel threatened in the same way as an angry face. They believe it is no coincidence the ultimate baddies often have a sinister sharp chin and eyebrows sloping towards a downward point in the middle. Thirty volunteers were asked to rate hundreds of pictures of faces appearing on a screen as good or bad, kind or cruel, pleasant or unpleasant. Each picture was flanked by a large picture of a triangle on each side, which, without the participants’ knowledge, worked as a ‘distractor’. When a face was surrounded by downward pointing triangles, people were slower to identify it as positive and quicker to identify it as negative.”

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

Some Darwin awards

May 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TWO bank robbers who blew themselves up trying to make a sizable withdrawal from an ATM have been declared the 2009 winners of the Darwin Awards – while the first woman to be nominated came in third.

Organisers say the annual “prize” is given to “those doing the most to improve the human gene pool … by removing themselves from it”.

This year the dubious first place went to the pair of bungling thieves in Belgium who wildly overestimated the amount of dynamite they needed to rob a bank.

They both were killed when the blast demolished the entire building the ATM was housed in.

Police only found the body of the second robber some twelve hours after digging through the debris. They had initially assumed he had made a getaway.

The bankrobbers just edged ahead of Florida man Shawn Motero, who was stuck in a traffic jam when nature called.

He got out of his car and jumped over a concrete wall to find a more secluded spot.

Unfortunately, the 30-year-old had not realized he was on a bridge and fell 65ft (19.8m) to his death.

Award organisers said the accident proved you should “look before you leak”.

Police revealed Mr Motero had been drinking at a bar in Pompano Beach before his tragic death, adding: ‘He probably thought there was a road, but there wasn’t.’

The first woman to be nominated for the award came in at third place.

Rosanne Tippett drove her moped through a police road block – straight into a flooded river.

After being rescued by police she jumped back into the water to rescue her vehicle – and drowned.

Before embarking on her final journey the 50-year-old had phoned her mother and told her: “My moped has two rubber wheels, Mom, I’ll be fine.”

Her mum later admitted: “She loved that thing.”

Other nominees for the 2009 awards included an armed robber who used gold spray paint to disguise his face as he raided a convenience store.

The paint released toxic fumes and Thomas James, from South Carolina, collapsed and died shortly after the robbery.

To add insult to injury, the disguise didn’t work – with witnesses having no problem identifying the 23-year-old.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Naked man found eating face: “A MAN has been shot dead by US police, and another man is fighting for his life after his face was half eaten by a naked man. According to police sources, a roadside-assistance truck driver saw a naked man chewing on another man’s face and shouted on his loudspeaker for him to back away. A woman also saw the incident and flagged down a police officer. The officer, who has not been identified, approached and, seeing what was happening, also ordered the naked man to back away. When he continued the assault, the officer shot him, police sources said. The attacker did not stop after being shot and the officer continued to shoot, killing the naked man. The other man was taken to hospital with critical injuries, according to police. Their identities have not been released. Investigators believe the victim may have been homeless and was on the ground when the crazed man pounced.”

Jet-injected drugs may mean the end of needles: “MIT scientists are developing a needle-less injection that could make getting a flu shot as painless as a mosquito bite. The device shoots a tiny, high-pressure jet of medicine through the skin as fast as the speed of sound. According to the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention, hospital healthcare workers incur about 385,000 needle-related injuries every year. Meanwhile, fear or discomfort from needles prevents many patients from complying with doctors’ orders. MIT isn’t the first institution to experiment with needle-less injections that may help solve these longstanding problems. The concept has been around since the 1860s. The US military developed high-speed models in the 1950s for use in mass-vacination programs. And modern pharmacists have long offered needle-free flu shots. The prototype injection system that MIT has created, however, allows for more precision in needle-less injections than has previously been possible. According to MIT News, it allows healthcare workers to adjust a range of doses at various depths.”

Stray dog completes 1,000 mile race: “This remarkable mutt completed a 1,000-mile journey across China — after joining a cycle race. The stray dog, nicknamed Xiaosa, started running alongside the cyclists after one of them gave him food. He ran for 20 days covering up to 37m (60km) every day and climbing 12 mountains from Sichuan province to Tibet. More than 40,000 fans have followed a blog written by cyclist Xiao Yong about Xiaosa’s adverntures. Yong now hopes to keep him as a pet.”

The rise and rise of the sideboob: “FROM Miley Cyrus to Nicole Scherzinger, this week’s celebs have been all about the sideboob. Where once stars tackled the need for cleavage head-on – now the big names just love a bit on the side. Whether playing peekaboob from the middle of a slashed dress or making a bid for freedom to the east or west, sideboobs are everywhere.” [More pix at link]

I’ve had sex with 5,000 men in 3,285 days: “A beauty therapist, 25, has claimed to have slept with 5,000 men in just nine years – or 3,285 days. Nikki Lee also boasts about having a ‘personal best’ of four men in one night and she claims she has never had sex with the same conquest twice. In an admission that will shock most people, the blonde Essex girl has told how she has had casual sex in nightclubs, alleyways, parks, cinemas and teen discos since losing her virginity at 16. Miss Lee, who also works as a model, admits to going on regular sex holidays, where she sleeps with men in clubs, on beaches and on balconies. She averages having sex with two men every day and has kept the details of each of them in a little red notebook – all with scores. By the time she was 21, Miss Lee claims to have had sex with 2,289 men. ‘I put a star beside the lads who were best in bed. By the time I was 18, I had moved out of home and in with friends and there were nearly 800 in my book,’ she said.”

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

May 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DIFFERENT WAYS OF LOOKING AT THINGS

Two guys were discussing popular family trends on sex, marriage, and Family values. Bill said, ‘I didn’t sleep with my wife before we got married, did you?’ Larry replied, ‘I’m not sure, what was her maiden name?’
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A little boy went up to his father and asked: ‘Dad, where did my intelligence come from?’ The father replied. ‘Well, son, you must have got it from your mother, cause I still have mine.’ ___________________________________________

‘Mr. Clark, I have reviewed this case very carefully,’ the divorce Court Judge said, ‘And I’ve decided to give your wife $775 a week,’ ‘That’s very fair, your honor,’ the husband said. ‘And every now and then I’ll try to send her a few bucks myself.’ ___________________________________________

A doctor examining a woman who had been rushed to the Emergency Room, Took the husband aside, and said, ‘I don’t like the looks of your wife at all.’ ‘Me neither doc,’ said the husband. ‘But she’s a great cook and really Good with the kids.’ ___________________________________________

An old man goes to the Wizard to ask him if he can remove a curse he has been living with for the last 40 years. The Wizard says, ‘Maybe, but you will have to tell me the exact words that were used to put the curse on you.’ The old man says without hesitation, ‘I now pronounce you man and wife.’ ___________________________________________

Two Reasons Why It’s So Hard To Solve A Redneck Murder: 1. The DNA all matches. 2. There are no dental records. ___________________________________________

Two Mexican detectives were investigating the murder of Juan Gonzalez. ‘How was he killed?’ asked one detective. ‘With a golf gun,’ the other detective replied. ‘A golf gun! What is a golf gun?’ ‘I don’t know. But it sure made a hole in Juan.’ ___________________________________________

Moe: ‘My wife got me to believe in religion.’ Joe: ‘Really?’ Moe: ‘Yeah. Until I married her I didn’t believe in Hell.’ ___________________________________________

A man is recovering from surgery when the Surgical Nurse appears and asks him how he is feeling. ‘I’m O. K. But I didn’t like the four letter-words the doctor used in surgery,’ he answered. ‘What did he say,’ asked the nurse. ‘Oops!’ ___________________________________________

While shopping for vacation clothes, my husband and I passed a display of bathing suits. It had been at least ten years and twenty pounds since I had even considered buying a bathing suit, so I sought my husband’s advice. ‘What do you think?’ I asked. ‘Should I get a bikini or an all-in-one?’ ‘Better get a bikini,’ he replied. ‘You’d never get it all in one.’ He’s still in intensive care.
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The graveside service just barely finished, when there was massive clap of thunder, followed by a tremendous bolt of lightning, accompanied by even more thunder rumbling in the distance… The little old man looked at the pastor and calmly said, ‘Well, she’s there’

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Do men like dumb-looking women? “When it comes to finding a mate, men may not be looking for charm and intelligence, but rather a woman who looks dumb and sleepy enough for a one-night-stand, according to a new study… when it came to reading the more psychological and contextual cues—pictures of silly or childish-looking women, or of women who looked sleepy or drunk, men rated them as being easy to ‘score’ with. More importantly, the dumb-looking and inert women were also perceived as being more attractive than their more lucid or intelligent-looking peers, but only when it came to short-term relationships. When the men were asked to judge the same liquored-up, silly-looking women in the photos as potential girlfriends and wives, they had entirely lost their appeal on them.

Public toilets must only have two flies: Extraordinary order from Chinese bureaucrats: “Public lavatories in Beijing must contain no more than two flies per stall, according to a bizarre new directive issued to washroom attendants. The two-fly limit is one of a series of measures aimed at improving toilets in the Chinese capital. The Beijing Municipal Commission of City Administration and Environment issued the rule as a ‘new standard for public toilet management.’ Xie Guomin, the official in charge of the initiative, said that the two-fly rule was not compulsory, but was a new benchmark to improve the Chinese capital’s notoriously unpleasant public restrooms. ‘We will not actually count fly numbers. The regulation is specific and quantified, but the inspection methodology will be flexible,’ Guomin said.”

Australian Hospital to save money by using paper bed sheets: “PATIENTS would sleep between paper sheets under a secret cost-cutting plan by a major hospital. The Sunday Times can reveal Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital has been pushing to use disposable paper bedsheets, patient gowns and other articles in general and other wards. Clinicians said the move was designed “to save money” and had been proposed to start after July 1 but had been kept “under wraps” because the hospital knew it would cause an “uproar”. Staff said hospital bosses knew that though the plan might save on washing costs, the hospital would face other issues, including increased landfill, how to transport the extra waste, the cost of disposal, and disharmony over lost laundry work.”

Schoolboy ‘genius’ solves puzzles posed by Sir Isaac Newton that have baffled mathematicians for 350 years: “A 16-year-old has managed to crack puzzles which have baffled the world of maths for more than 350 years. Shouryya Ray has been hailed a genius after working out the problems set by Sir Isaac Newton. The schoolboy, from Dresden, Germany, solved two fundamental particle dynamics theories which physicists have previously been able to calculate only by using powerful computers. His solutions mean that scientists can now calculate the flight path of a thrown ball and then predict how it will hit and bounce off a wall. Shouryya only came across the problems during a school trip to Dresden University where professors claimed they were uncrackable. Modest Shouryya began solving complicated equations as a six year old but says he’s no genius. After arriving from Calcutta four years ago without knowing any German, Shouryya is now fluent in the language.”

Revealed: Hundreds of words to avoid using online if you don’t want the government spying on you: “The Department of Homeland Security has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor social networking sites and online media for signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S. The intriguing the list includes obvious choices such as ‘attack’, ‘Al Qaeda’, ‘terrorism’ and ‘dirty bomb’ alongside dozens of seemingly innocent words like ‘pork’, ‘cloud’, ‘team’ and ‘Mexico’. Released under a freedom of information request, the information sheds new light on how government analysts are instructed to patrol the internet searching for domestic and external threats. However they insisted the practice was aimed not at policing the internet for disparaging remarks about the government and signs of general dissent, but to provide awareness of any potential threats. In a letter to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counter-terrorism and Intelligence, the centre described the choice of words as ‘broad, vague and ambiguous’.

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

Good to know

May 26, 2012 at 11:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

French wine pretending to be BRITISH? “A British winemaker has accused the French of trying to pass off their wine as British by wrapping it in a Union Jack. Bob Lindo has written to Home Secretary Theresa May to vent his anger over the scam to trick foreigners into buying a ‘British’ souvenir when they come to watch the Olympics or Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. Mr Lindo, who owns the Camel Valley vineyard at Wadebridge, Cornwall, forced the World Duty Free shop at Gatwick Airport to remove a sign heralding French champagne as the ‘Best of British’ following an incident on Tuesday night. The Lanson champagne bottles were wrapped in Union flags which Bob says is ‘unacceptable’.”

The Easter Island heads also have BODIES: “The enduring image in the public’s mind of the mysterious heads on Easter Island is simply that – heads. So it comes as quite a shock to see the heads from another angle – and discover that they have full bodies, extending down many, many feet into the ground of the island. The Easter Island Statue Project has been carefully excavating two of 1,000-plus statues on the islands – doing their best to uncover the secrets of the mysterious stones, and the people who built them, as best they can. Project director Jo Anne Van Tilburg said: ‘Our EISP excavations recently exposed the torsos of two 7 m tall statues. ‘More important, however, we discovered a great deal about the Rapa Nui techniques of ancient engineering.'”

Giant killer mice: “Millions of ten-inch-long mice have colonised a 25-mile-wide island – and are decimating local bird populations. Gough Island is a remote British colony between the tips of South America and South Africa – inhabited by 10 million birds, in 20 rare species.But mice, introduced 150 years ago, are now eating their way through 1.25 million chicks a year – and scientists are calling for the invaders to be exterminated.”

Jesus ‘died on Friday, April 3, 33AD’ claims study: “The investigation, from the International Geology Review, looked at earthquake activity around the Dead Sea, which is around 13 miles from Jerusalem. The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 27, says that as Jesus lay dying on the cross, an earthquake shook the area, scattering graves and making the sky go dark. Now researchers have looked at textual accounts, geological records and astronomical data to find the most likely date for Jesus’s death. Geologist Jefferson Williams of Supersonic Geophysical, and colleagues from the German Research Center for Geosciences, studied soil samples from the beach of Ein Gedi Spa, next to the Dead Sea. Researching the deeper layers of the soil, two earthquakes were detected by looking at the layers of built-up sediment, called varves, which built up each year. A widespread earthquake is known to have happened in 31BC, and another one was detected which must have occured between 26AD and 36AD.”

The oldest hookers in town: The 69-year-old twin sisters who are both prostitutes: “A candid documentary about a pair of 69-year-old prostitute twin sisters is to make its debut at New York’s Film Forum festival this summer. Louise and Martine, who are veterans of Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District and have a century of experience between them, star in Meet the Fokkens. In a trailer, released today, they describe how times have changed since they started their career in the early Sixties, and how they feel about the public perception of their trade. Comparing the early days of the prostitution world with the present day, she recalls: ‘In the old days, the local copper would tap on the window if a girl was showing too much ankle, now the girls deal coke from their cubicles.'”

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

Look before you leap

May 24, 2012 at 8:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Historic Swiss building on the move: “In Zurich, a 120-year-old building is being relocated in its entirety using hydraulics and railways tracks in order to save it from demolition. The operation to translocate the 6,200 tonne former factory began on Tuesday with two hydraulic pressers, 500 rollers and six sections of railway line being utilised to help push the building roughly 60 metres to the west at speeds of around three to five metres per hour. The Machine Factory Oerlikon (MFO) building was facing demolition in 2010 due to the expansion of nearby railway lines but it was saved when the Swiss real estate company, Swiss Prime Site (SPS), decided to buy it. The physical work freeing the foundations of the old factory and putting it on rolling tracks started last summer. So far SPS have spent roughly $12.7m (£8m) so far on the operation in order to preserve the Zurich landmark.”

New York City parking spot goes for $1 million: “In many parts of the country, a million bucks will buy you a mansion. In New York City, you can get a 12-foot by 23-foot slab of concrete. Yes, Manhattan’s first $1 million parking space is scheduled to go on the market this fall. This seven-figure private garage is in an eight-story, prewar loft building in the city’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. It previously had been converted into a parking garage and is now being turned into half a dozen new luxury condominiums, according to the New York Post. The largest unit in the building will be an 8,000-square-foot penthouse with a 3,000-square-foot terrace that will be listed for just under $39 million, the newspaper reported. Only buyers of that penthouse or another 8,000-square-foot unit in the building will have the chance to buy the parking space.”

Lost ring swiftly reclaimed: “When an 11-year-boy dug up a wedding ring in Norway at the weekend, he could scarcely believe the swiftness with which the mystery unraveled and the gold band was reunited with its owner 13 years after it disappeared. Martin Rissmann was out hunting for treasure with a group of adults and other children on Bjørkøya, a small island off the south coast of Norway, when his metal detector suddenly started beeping, newspaper Verdens Gang reports. Digging in a patch of ground where a caravan had once stood, the delighted young forager pulled out a ring with the inscription: “Your Hans Jakob 19/7-85”. Keen to trace its origins, Rissmann immediately showed the ring to Ida Kjellemyr, the tour guide leading the expedition. Kjellemyr, 20, described how she gave an excited leap on reading the inscription. “I saw that it said Hans Jakob, and that’s my dad! I knew mum had lost her wedding ring when I was small.”

Mortician sees what cops didn’t: “Detroit police and EMS workers said Leslie Brooks died of natural causes during the weekend. But when his body arrived at a funeral home, the mortician saw it differently. As she prepared to embalm the 59-year-old Brooks on Saturday morning, mortician Gail Washington peered at a small burned area on his skin, right above his heart. Her assistants had pointed it out, and Washington now agreed: This was no natural death. Brooks had a small-caliber gunshot wound in his chest. And now Detroit police are scrambling to figure out what happened. That may be tough, since their initial determination ruined a possible crime scene in the east-side basement where Brooks was found. Police technicians did not scour the room or take photos until later. There was no immediate preservation of possible clues.”

The £3.49 supermarket wine that tastes as good as vintage bottles costing TEN times the price: “A bottle of supermarket plonk has earned its place amongst vintage wines costing £30 a bottle. Aldi own-brand wine Toro Loco Tempranillo 2011, which costs £3.49 per bottle, won a top award at the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2012. The Spanish wine, made in the Utiel-Requena region, is described as ‘fruity, rounded and appealing with nice bright cherry fruit’ flavour. The Aldi wine won a Silver medal at the awards alongside a host of Grand Cru French reds, a £31.15 Costa di Bussia Barolo Riserva DOCG 2005, and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvingon 2009, which costs £30. Bosses at the supermarket are now expecting a sales rush.”

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

Another picture gallery

May 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I have just put up my selection of the “best” pictures off this blog during March and April. You can access them here

Muslim beggar has it figured

May 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hassan and Habib are beggars. They beg in different areas of town

Habib begs just as long as Hassan but only collects $2 to $3 every day. Hassan brings home a suitcase FULL of $10 notes, drives a Mercedes, lives in a mortgage-free house and has a lot of money to spend.

Habib says to Hassan, ‘I work just as long and hard as you do but how do you bring home a suitcase full of $10 notes every day?’

Hassan says, ‘Look at your sign, what does it say ?’ Habib’s sign reads; ‘I have no work, a wife and 6 kids to support’.

Hassan says, ‘No wonder you only get $2- $3!’

Habib says… ‘So what does your sign say?’

Hassan shows Habib his sign…. It reads: ‘I only need another $10 to move back to Pakistan ..’

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Whistler fined for damaging caller’s hearing: “A GERMAN woman has earned herself a criminal record for blowing a whistle down the phone so hard that it damaged a cold caller’s hearing. The 61-year-old resorted to the whistle after a stream of bothersome calls from marketing companies, German news website The Local reported. Her high-pitched blast was so powerful it left a female call centre employee with hearing problems and tinnitus. The whistler told a court in the western city of Pirmasens she had merely intended to deter future cold callers. But a judge found her guilty of bodily harm and she agreed before a hearing overnight to pay a fine of €800 ($US1000), the website said.”

A pubic university: “The University of Texas at Austin’s public affairs assistant dean has issued an apology after a commencement listing for the program’s forthcoming graduates contained a typo citing the Lyndon B. Johnson School of ‘Pubic’ Affairs. Even the best writers, reporters and editors fall prey to the occasional typo. And it’s probably bad karma to revel in someone else’s unintentional mistake. But media critic Jim Romanesko reports that the LBJ school issued an apology via Twitter, reading, “Our deepest apologies to our 2012 graduates for the egregious typo in our program. We are working to distribute corrected programs.” Susan Binford, assistant dean for communications at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, tells Romanesko that students will be issued new copies of the commencement program. “Obviously, we are mortified. It’s beyond embarrassing,” Binford said.”

Jumping shark: “When marine researcher Scott Sheehan saw an object launch itself out of the water, he assumed it was a dolphin feasting on a school of baitfish. After motoring over to the spot off Jervis Bay, camera at the ready, Mr Sheehan hoped for a second glimpse. “We saw this crazy-looking shark explode from the water, it was at least 2m in the air before it smashed down on to the surface in this massive belly flop. “What Mr Sheehan, who said the shark was between 3.5 and 4m long, had photographed last Saturday was a thresher shark, one of the most enigmatic of the ocean’s prime predators. “Threshers are the only sharks that use their tails to herd and stun their prey in a unique predatory behaviour,” Dr Vic Peddemors, head of the shark research section of the NSW Department of Primary Industries, said. “Half of its length was the top lobe of its tail, they don’t look like any other shark.”

Bikini booster blamed for Swede’s burned boobs: “A Swedish woman who went on a sun-soaked retreat sporting a newly acquired bikini and came back with serious burns under her breasts is suspecting that the underwiring in her bra caused her bust injury. Before jetting off, the woman, from Malmö in southern Sweden, had purchased the new bikini bathing suit at her local Kappahl woman’s fashion store. But having arrived at her holiday destination, she found that wearing the bikini in the sun gave her serious burns just below her breasts. And according to her, it is the boosting metal underwiring of the bra that is the culprit of her burned boobs. At Kappahl they are appalled that one of their products may have caused a customer bodily harm. “We treat the fact that we have a customer who has been caused injury very seriously,” said head of information at Kappahl, Charlotte Högberg, to news agency TT. The bra has since been taken away for testing and the company is awaiting results before they take any other precautions. The bikini is still on sale in Kappahl stores.”

Handshake outdated? “The age-old custom of greeting with a handshake could be on its way out as many of us prefer to meet with a hug or even a kiss, a survey suggests. Almost 50 per cent are using alternative ways to greet, with 16 per cent preferring a continental-style peck on the cheek and nearly a third opting for a hug. One in five feel shaking hands is ‘too formal’, while 42 per cent said they would only do it in a business context. A further 42 per cent of those surveyed said they would never shake hands when greeting friends. One in 12 said they prefer not to do it in case germs are passed on. The typical hand has about 150 different bacteria living on it. Nearly a quarter claimed that the firm handshake is an outdated display of masculinity. An expert today said it’s unlikely reserved Brits will ever be able to completely let go of the handshake.”

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

Wise Scotsman

May 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Scotsman walking down the street sees a woman with absolutely perfect breasts.

He approaches her and says, “Miss, would ye let me bite ye breasts for $100?”

“Are you nuts?!!!” she replies, and keeps walking.

He turns around, runs around the block and gets to the corner before she does. “Would ye let me bite ye breasts for $1,000 dollars?” he asks.

“Listen; I’m not that kind of woman! Got it?”

So the Scotsman runs around the next block and faces her again. “Would ye let me bite ye breasts just once for $10,000 dollars?”

She thinks about it for a moment and says, “Hmmm, $10,000 dollars; OK, just once, but not here. Let’s go to that dark alley over there.”

So they go into the alley, where she takes off her blouse to reveal the most perfect breasts in the world. As soon as he sees them, he touches them and starts caressing them, fondling them slowly, kissing them, licking them, burying his face in them, but not biting them.

The woman finally gets annoyed and asks, “Well? Are you gonna bite them or not?”

“Nah,” says the Scotsman. “Costs too much.”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Brainiac runs foul of the law: “The title of Darwin’s Dumbest Drink-Driver of the Month has been awarded to a 25-year-old man who was pulled up after speeding past a marked police car. As an officer held out a breathlyser to him, he said: “I’m going to melt that thing.” The man recorded a blood-alcohol reading of .170, more than three times the legal limit. When asked why he was speeding along the Stuart Highway at Stuart Park on Saturday night, he said he had just got a new battery and wanted to give it a run. Senior Sergeant Garry Smith said: “He’s not the smartest drink-driver police have ever met.”

Tons of marijuana found floating off California: “More than 3,500 kilograms of marijuana has been found bobbing in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast, on a maritime smuggling route increasingly used by Mexican drug traffickers. It is one of the largest known seizures of its kind. The United States Coast Guard received a call on Sunday about suspicious bales spotted floating about 19 kilometres off the coast of Orange County, south of Los Angeles. The Coast Guard, Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Border Patrol responded and recovered 180 bales of marijuana weighing 3,660 kilograms. The California coastal strip has become a common corridor for Mexican smugglers who, trying to beat beefed up security on the land borders, haul marijuana and even illegal immigrants north by sea from Mexico in fishing boats. While tossing drug loads is common off the Caribbean coast of Central America, where traffickers in fast boats frequently hurl cocaine loads into the sea when challenged by the US Coast Guard, finding such a large load is a rare event in California waters.”

Obama mugs given Mafia farewell: “Faulty coffee mugs made to celebrate US president Barack Obama’s Australia visit have been destroyed in a “mafia-style execution”. The Department of Parliamentary Services had 200 coffee mugs made to sell in the Parliament gift shop during Mr Obama’s visit two years ago. But somehow the mugs were ordered with Mr Obama’s first name wrongly spelled – with two Rs. A total of 198 of them were subsequently destroyed, but not before a journalist could purchase two. Bronwyn Graham from the Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) used Estimates to explain to Labor Senator John Faulkner how and why the dud mugs were crushed. “The mugs were destroyed into fragments,” she said. “They were then disposed of onsite into a planned concrete pour.” “They ended up in a concrete pour? That’s got a touch of the Mafioso about it doesn’t it Senator Hogg?” Senator Faulkner said.”

Woman fired from LINGERIE company for having big breasts: “A woman is suing the lingerie company where she used to work over claims she was fired for being ‘too hot’. Lauren Odes, 29, said today that managers at Native Intimates – which is owned by Orthodox Jews – told her to wear baggy clothes and suggested she tape down her breasts. She was then fired over the phone while shopping for a more modest outfit, she claims. She said she started working at the Manhattan-based lingerie firm as a data entry temp in April, but lasted less than a week before being sacked. ‘She was told by supervisors, “You are just too hot for this office. Maybe you should wear your boyfriend’s T-shirt and sweatpants,”‘ Ms Allred said, according to the New York Post. Her manager then apparently suggested: ‘Lauren, try taping down your breasts to make them appear smaller.’ When Ms Odes tried wearing less revealing clothes to work, she was nonetheless told that her outfit was still too racy.”

British man crushed under own gym weights: “A man has died in Portslade after being crushed to death by his own weight training equipment. Chris Bailey was working out in the garage of his landlord, Oliver Steer, in Mill Close, Portslade, in the early hours of the morning. The next day Mr Steer, 57, woke in the morning and found the lounge light on, the front door open and the garage light on and the body of his lodger in the garage trapped under weight lifting equipment. Mr Steer said he and Mr Bailey had been drinking until 3am on Saturday when Mr Steer decided to go to bed. He said that Mr Bailey who was originally from Nottingham had only bought the work-out bench six weeks ago as a way to keep fit without having to join a gym. Mr Steer described his lodger, aged 28, as “a lovely kid”. He said: “I found him on the bench with the bar across his chest. “I tried to wake him but I knew he was dead.”

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

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