A question of definition

July 31, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

..

..

THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Ring of fire in Australia’s wild North: “Alex Bowden, 23, of Wagaman, Darwin, put a spinning “flying bee” winged firework in his butt crack during a party at on Saturday night and his mate lit the fuse. “I had a few lads up from Queensland and I had to put on a good show,” he told the NT News from his hospital bed. “I just had a few beers with the boys and let off a few firecrackers. “And I put one in my arse.” The cracker burned his butt cheeks, and his index, middle, and ring fingers on his right hand – which he used to pull the cracker from his crack. Mr Bowden was not bleeding after it and he could walk afterwards.”

Girl, 12, steers speeding car to safety after grandfather dies at the wheel: “A 12-year-old girl saved her own life after her grandfather died suddenly at the wheel of their car leaving his foot on the accelerator. Speeding out of control down a Millville, New Jersey road at 80mph, Miranda Bowman’s quick thinking prompted her to climb into the driver’s seat where she managed to steer the vehicle off the road and into some bushes. The Burlington Township native said that despite being terrified, she had remembered seeing similar situations on television and snapped into action when her attempt to dial 911 failed. A combination of Miranda’s attempts to slow down the car by hitting the brake and the shrubbery into which she drove eventually slowed the car down enough that when it collided with a tree the impact was minimal. Though she admitted to screaming hysterically as she tumbled from the car, the brave girl survived the ordeal unscathed and without having injured anyone else.”

Man with balloon fetish: “National Geographic’s Taboo series charts the ‘strange passions’ and obsessions shared by people across the country, but none quite as unorthodox as Dave Collins’ fetish for balloons. The 27-year-old piano teacher from Little Rock, Arkansas, revealed that he rescues most of his prized balloon at car dealerships where it’s hard to drive by because ‘you just want to get these beautiful things’. Favourite pastimes with his inflatable friends include hiding them under his shirt, kissing them and curling up with them at night. Collins is commonly referred to by those in the know as a ‘looner’. Defined by most as a sexual fetish, Collins however insists that he keeps his relationship with the balloons as ‘pure’ as the rest of his life. ‘The best way to protect it is underneath the shirt and you feel the balloon right there with you,’ he explains, wincing and unable to finish his sentence. ‘It feels so close and you feels so warm and you feel so…and your heart just reaches out to this beautiful beautiful balloon.’”

The collapsing Colosseum: “The Leaning Tower of Pisa is more than a degree straighter than it used to be when it got its name. But luckily, there is another iconic Italian landmark ready to take its place in the wonky hall of fame. Rome’s world famous Colosseum is now around 40cm (16 inches) lower on the south side than on the north. Concerned authorities are investigating whether it needs urgent repairs, after experts noticed the incline about a year ago. Rossella Rea, director at the 2,000-year-old monument, revealed in Italian daily Corriere della Sera on Sunday that officials have been monitoring it for the past few months. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, another of the country’s most popular attractions, was reopened in 2001 after being shut for more than a decade as engineers worked to prevent it from falling over and to make it safe for visitors. Restorers’ efforts to clean off centuries of grime from the Tuscan landmark helped stabilise the historical building by removing soil from beneath one side of its foundations… The Colosseum – famous for hosting bloody gladiator fights in the days of the Roman Empire – attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists and is usually packed with visitors.”

Best-selling author invented Bob Dylan quotes: “A staff writer for The New Yorker has resigned and sales of his latest book suspended after he admitted to inventing quotes by Bob Dylan. Jonah Lehrer released a statement today through his publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt saying that some Dylan quotes which appeared in his book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, did ‘not exist’. Others were ‘unintentional misquotations, or represented improper combinations of previously existing quotes’. Lehrer said he acknowledged his actions after being contacted by Michael Moynihan of the online publication Tablet Magazine. Earlier today Tablet released an in-depth story on the Dylan passages in Imagine. Among Lehrer’s inventions was a quote that first appeared in the famous documentary from the mid-1960s, Don’t Look Back, in which Dylan told a reporter about his songs: ‘I just write them. There’s no great message.’ In Imagine, Lehrer adds a third sentence – ‘Stop asking me to explain’ – that does not appear in the film.”

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

Tiny monkey

July 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s a young Marmoset

..

..

THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Woman having her hair done ‘storms out of salon, attacks stranger then returns to finish haircut’: “A Florida woman was arrested after she allegedly interrupted her hair appointment, walked out of the salon and hit a complete stranger in the face several times before finishing her haircut. The victim was sitting in her car at a service station in Naples on Wednesday evening when a woman later identified as 26-year-old Dorys Leidys Quintana approached her and punched her in the face three times, according to an arrest report. The unidentified victim told police she did not know Quintana. However, an attendant at the Jiffy Lube service station recognized her as his ex-girlfriend. Following the attack, Quintana returned to a salon across the street where she was having her hair done, the report cited by the Naples Daily News said. Police who arrived on the scene arrested the 26-year-old in the salon and took her to the Naples Jail Center on a battery charge.”

Florida boat captain who lost his hand to an alligator is charged with illegally feeding the beast: “A Florida airboat captain who has his hand bitten off by an alligator has now been charged with unlawful feeding of the reptile. Wallace Weatherholt was jailed after officials decided to press criminal charges over last month’s incident. The 63-year-old lost his right hand after an alligator leaped out of the water and bit off the limb. The alligator was tracked down and killed, but doctors were unable to reattach the hand. Holidaymakers on the airboat told wildlife officials Weatherholt had been dangling a fish over the water to entice the alligator. It is a criminal offence to feed alligators. Despite losing his hand he was able to steer the airboat back to the base where he was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery. Feeding gators is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida.”

Who knew Japan had horsemen? “Clad in samurai armour, Ishin Takahashi was among thousands who took part in an ancient festival at the weekend in the shadow of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. With an evacuation order following last year’s atomic crisis and rampant fears about radiation, the 1,000-year-old ‘Soma Nomaoi’, or wild horse chase, was all but cancelled following the March 11, 2011 quake-tsunami disaster. But a year later, Takahashi and others wearing 10th Century period costumes hope that reviving the traditional festival will help lift spirits in their disaster-struck community — and inspire the younger generation. This is a symbolic first step to recovery,’ the 69-year-oldsaid as a scorching sun beat down on Minamisoma, a small community around 12 miles from the nuclear plant that went into meltdown after it was swamped by the giant tsunami. But on Saturday its street came alive with locals – many of them returning just for the festival – galloping triumphantly on horses around a specially-built hippodrome for the three-day festival.”

World’s most expensive cupcake goes on sale for a staggering £645: “With a name like The Golden Phoenix, it’s anyone’s guess that this is no ordinary cupcake. At a staggering £645, this is the world’s most expensive cupcake. The treat, which is on sale in Dubai’s Bloomsbury’s Cupcakes store, is made from the finest chocolate and wrapped in edible gold. It is certainly a sweet fix for those whose sweet tooth is stronger than their common sense. The dessert boasts a whole 23 carats of edible gold sheets, Doves organic flour from the United Kingdom, Rachel’s organic butter, Premium Amedei Porcelena. The Golden Phoenix was unveiled on a Villari 24-carat gold plated Maria Antoinette Princess Tea Trolley and presented on 24 carat gold painted Empire Morning Cake Stand to eager pastry enthusiasts.”

VERY odd socks: “They are never likely to become fashion items but these kevlar-made socks are designed to replace shoes and make the user feel barefooted. Worn instead of shoes, the Swiss Protection socks even have spaces for each of your toes – in the same way fingers fit in a glove. Designed by the Swiss Barefoot Company, the ultra durable footwear is reinforced by PVC soles which helps make them cut-resistant. The Swiss company believe the socks are ideal for ‘people who like to go barefoot’ and could be used for outdoor activities such as rock climbing.”

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

Cat has a two-dog night

July 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For warmth

..

..

THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Burglar snared by dog bite: Criminal attacked by Rottweiler caught after police take DNA evidence from its teeth: “A family dog helped snare a burglar after biting him so hard that police were able to use blood left in the dog’s mouth to trace him. Missy, an 11 year-old rottweiler sank her teeth into the crook as he reached his hand through the cat flap at the home in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. The usually mild-mannered pet did so much damage that police were able to take DNA samples from blood left at the scene – including on Missy’s teeth. The attempted break-in happened at Pauline Cunningham’s home last week while the family were away dealing with an emergency. A neighbour who was looking after the house found the back door covered in blood and called the family back. Daughter Amanda, 25, said: ‘The burglar must have reached through the cat flap trying to reach the door handle. ‘Because the lights were off he wouldn’t have seen Missy coming. ‘It looks like she grabbed hold of his arm and tried to pull him through.’

Liars are far better at spotting lies than ‘normal’ people: “Human beings are surprisingly bad at spotting deception – perhaps because we do so much of it – but one group are VERY good… liars themselves. In a speaking test, liars were able to spot other liars far more accurately than people who told the truth – which might explain why poker players are good at both. Oddly, the ability ISN’T related to IQ or emotional intelligence – the ability to lie is a separate thing. University College, London, researchers graded 51 volunteers simultaneously on their abilities to tell lies – and spot other liars. Graphing the results, it’s clear that people who are good at TELLING lies can also spot them far more easily than ‘normal’ people. There are clear ‘tells’ that people are lying – such as the fact that they tend to take longer to start talking, which the research confirmed, but liars pick up on these more easily.”

Rambo-like Taliban fighter: “This Taliban seem to be channelling Rambo as he fires two heavy machine guns at once completely unaided. A video clip surfaced online of the man holding up two PKM machine guns and firing them – not unlike Sly Stallone’s infamous character in the Rambo films. The unnamed Taliban fighter is showing incredible strength as these weapons are so heavy they normally demand a tripod to hold them up. The man is thought to have died in a raid on a US base in Afghanistan.” [No wonder -- If he fires standing up like that]

Man, 48, killed in explosion sparked when he sawed an oil drum in half to make a home-made BBQ: “A middle-aged man died in an explosion after accidentally igniting gas residue when turning a disused oil drum into a barbecue. Ian Simpson was constructing a makeshift grill in his brother’s garden in Horspath, Oxford, yesterday and was using an angle grinder to cut the drum in half when sparks ignited left-over gasoline. The 48-year-old suffered fatal head injuries and later died in hospital. He had been cutting open the 40 gallon oil drum when the explosion happened, sending the barrel shooting over a 4ft high fence. The force of the drum exploding sent Mr Simpson reeling backwards and he struck his head on a concrete patio. He suffered massive head injuries and his heart stopped.”

Feral girl, 5, found living with a herd of cows can ‘only communicate by mooing’: “A five-year-old child has been found living with cows in the Russian countryside – unable to speak and only capable of communicating through mooing noises. The ‘feral’ girl was rescued by Russian police after a neighbour in the Solikamsk district in the Ural Mountains raised the alarm. The unnamed child does not know how to eat properly, preferring to drink milk from a saucepan, police officials have said. When she was found she was allegedly wearing next to nothing and was living with the livestock on the farm. She had also been locked in a storage room from time to time by her parents. After first being sent to a rehabilitation centre the little girl has now been placed with a foster family.”

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

Sunbathing crustacean

July 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spotted soaking up the sun on the shore of California’s South Lake Tahoe

..

..

THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Man “prints” a fully operational gun: “A FULLY operational pistol and assault rifle have been “printed” from plans posted on the Internet. Australian Popular Science reports an amateur gunsmith using the name “HaveBlue” has made a fully operational 0.22 caliber pistol and parts of an AR-15 assault rifle. He announced in online forums that he had tested the pistol – made from a chunk of plastic feedstock into a commercially-available 3D printer – by successfully firing over 200 rounds. He also has posted video on Google videos of the test firing of an AR-45 variant of an AR-15 assault rifle assembled largely from printed components. 3D printers have exploded in popularity over the past year or two as the devices – once solely the domain of large commerical operations – entered the home domestic market.”

Dangerous icecream in Britain: “An ice cream seller was attacked by an axe-wielding rival in a suspected turf war. Moss Irsan, 29, almost lost his arm in the incident which was witnessed by dozens of families. He suffered serious head, arm and leg injuries and was airlifted to hospital. His friend, 21-year-old Caner Sanli, was attacked too but escaped unharmed. The pair were set upon by a group armed with baseball bats, a crowbar and an axe after they stopped at a popular park in Grays, Essex. As itinerant traders, they are allowed to stop in a spot for a maximum of 15 minutes before moving on. A council official asked them to do so but shortly after they drove a short distance away they were attacked by three men. Mr Sanli’s mother, Elma, who also owns an ice cream van, said Mr Irsan was lucky to be alive. ‘I was told that he would have been dead if one of the injuries to his head had been one inch deeper,’ said the 43-year-old. ‘He almost lost his arm, which needed 28 stitches after it was hit by an axe. Describing the start of the attack, she said: ‘One of them came up to my son and said “What are you doing in our area?”

British Council worker awarded £9,000 compensation for tripping over a mop: “A council worker who tripped over a mop has been awarded thousands of pounds in damages. The 61-year-old cleaner, employed by Rotherham Council, South Yorkshire, was paid £9,128 after stumbling over a mop handle, falling and pulling a groin muscle. Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed that since 2007 the same council has paid out a whopping £1million in compensation to other workers for minor slips, trips and falls. A teacher, carer, administrative assistant and a weed sprayer received £26,867 between them after falling off chairs. A 53-year-old town hall admin assistant tripped over a ‘protruding’ dining table leg in 2010 and was handed £14,452. The same year, a labourer was given £10,450 after he was working in the garden of a council house and fell into a hidden pond. A watersports instructor, 25, was given £14,000 compensation after he slipped in a gap in a jetty walkway at a country park. Claims by council employees have cost ratepayers in the town an average of £193,558 a year over the last five years”

Bungling burglar who nearly died stealing £50 worth of metal from an electricity substation: “A hapless thief who almost died trying to steal just £50 worth of metal from an electricity substation during an inside job has been sent to prison for three years. The bungled burglary left one small business with a bill of £100,000 and almost led to the loss of 40 jobs. Martin Gavin, 47, was almost killed when he suffered a huge electric shock of 11,000 volts, causing severe burns and loss of blood which put him in hospital for a month. The court heard how in the early hours of June 16 last year, Gavin and accomplice Michael Seward, 52, both on a curfew following a previous metal theft offence, tried to break into the substation that was being used by a small tile factory. Gavin then tried to open up the equipment in the substation using a small spanner from a DIY kit – but was struck by the shock.”

Teenager with Tourette’s beaten unconscious for inadvertently making Nazi salute on a train: “A German teenager who can’t help making Nazi salutes because he suffers from Tourette’s syndrome was beaten unconscious by a black man who thought he was insulting him. Gerrit Oeller, 16, was with two friends who tried to explain to the enraged man that the salute was not meant as an insult, and that he could not control his arm. But when the Tourette’s led the teenager to grin insanely at the man as well, he went mad, hitting Gerrit so hard that he ended up unconscious. The attack happened on an underground line in the Dulsberg district of Hamburg in northern Germany.”

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

What big ears you’ve got!

July 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

..

..

THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Wife burns $15,000 hidden in oven: “A SYDNEY man who hid $15,000 in cash in his oven has told of his torment after his wife unknowingly burned the cash while cooking a snack. The Merrylands father thought the money – from the sale of a car over the weekend – would be safe in the oven, believing his wife did not use it. He said he was too embarrassed about the incident to have his identity made public. His distraught wife said she was in tears when she told her husband what had happened. “I struggled to breathe, I said ‘I burnt the money, I burnt the money’,” she said. The man had intended to make a mortgage payment with the money. He is talking to his bank in an effort to have the damaged money replaced. “It was everything I had,” he told Ninemsn.”

New religion in Sweden: “People everywhere are file sharing these days, using computers to download music or other materials, often ignoring copyrights. In Sweden, however, it is a religion. Really. Even as this Scandinavian country, like other nations across Europe, bows to pressure from big media organisations to stop file sharing, a Swedish government agency this year registered as a bona fide religion a church whose central dogma is that file sharing is sacred. “For me, it is a kind of believing in deeper values than worldly values,” said Isak Gerson, a philosophy student at Uppsala University who helped found the church in 2010 and bears the title of chief missionary. “You have it in your backbone.” Kopimism – the name comes from a Swedish spelling of the words “copy me” – claims more than 8000 faithful who have signed up on the church’s website. It has applied for the right to perform marriages and to receive subsidies awarded to religious organisations by the state”

Giant hole in the desert which has been on fire for more than 40 YEARS: “At first glance, it could be a dramatic scene from a science-fiction movie. But this giant hole of fire in the heart of the Karakum Desert is not the aftermath of an attack on Earth, launched from outer space. It is a crater made by geologists more than 40 years ago, and the flames within have been burning ever since. Welcome to Derweze in Turkmenistan – or, as the locals have called it, ‘The Door to Hell’. Soviet geologists were drilling at the site in 1971 and tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas. But the ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a hole with a diameter of 70 metres. Fearing that the hole would lead to the release of poisonous gases, the team decided to burn it off. It was hoped that the fire would use all the fuel within days, but the gas is still burning today. The flames generate a golden glow which can be seen for miles around Derweze, a village with a population of about 350.”

Matching Chinese porcelain fish bowls found in barn — worth thousands: “It is a find that would have bargain hunters swooning with envy. After being smothered in dust and forgotten in an old barn, this pair of beautiful bowls were discovered by an eagle-eyed expert looking around a house. The giant Chinese porcelain fish bowls had been ignored for so long that they were discovered languishing in dust and containing a mummified mouse. The matching yellow pair were made in the 19th or early 20th century for the last dowager empress of China, Cixi, to keep her goldfish in. They are now to be sold at auction and have been given a conservative estimate of £10,000, but are likely to sell for much more. They come with their original, decorative hardwood stands and were spotted by an expert doing a routine valuation at a house near Colchester, Essex.”

Always have room for a dessert? “It is a truth universally acknowledged that however full you are, there’s always room for pudding. And now there’s a scientific explanation – courtesy of Leon Trotsky’s great granddaughter. Dr Nora Volkow says that our junk food culture means the chemical signals produced by the stomach to say we are full can no longer override the brain’s pleasure centres. Throughout evolution, these two systems have co-existed to control fullness. But today, when we are surrounded by sugary desserts and junk food, the balance is disturbed. Describing the stomach-based system, Dr Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Maryland, said: ‘The feeling of satiety, which is a central component of this system, is triggered when the stomach is stretched beyond a certain threshold. The second, highly-complex system, is in the brain and controls our motivation to eat and the pleasure food gives us. The two systems constantly talk to each other and long co-existed in harmony, keeping calorie intake, and so weight, in check. But today, when we are surrounded by desserts and junk food, the balance can be disturbed”

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

England’s green and pleasant land

July 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ranworth Broad in Norfolk

..

..

THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Bungling British officials let 11-year-old with no pass onto plane to Rome: “An 11-year-old schoolboy flew from one of Britain’s busiest airports to Europe on his own without a passport, ticket or boarding pass. Liam Corcoran slipped away from his mother at a shopping centre three miles from Manchester Airport before catching Flight LS791 to Rome after a series of blunders by staff. He passed through several security checkpoints before boarding the Jet2.com flight. The extra passenger was only detected when holidaymakers raised concerns about the boy during the two-hour flight. The captain radioed back to Manchester, where police told his mother that he was safe and well but on a plane to Italy. Crew accompanied Liam on a return flight to Britain later that day.”

Customer who took old stove to be recycled watches in horror as bungling British workers mistake his van for scrap: “He had gone to the recycling plant to do the environmentally responsible thing, help a friend out, and maybe get a little cash in return for his efforts. But Ben Forrer would soon rue the moment he pitched up at the depot with an old cooker in the back of his van. The 33-year-old fireman unloaded the unwanted oven before going to talk to the manager in his office. He had been there for just three minutes when he came out to find his £5,000 Citroen Relay van was not where he had parked it. And then, puzzlement turned to horror. He looked up and saw his 12-year-old vehicle dangling from a crane above a huge crushing machine. ‘Obviously I was more than a little bit taken aback so I just started shouting “stop!” and running through the yard.’ Staff – who had mistaken the van for scrap – immediately lowered it to the ground, but it was already a write-off.”

Giant Chinese dam now fully operational: “The giant and controversial Three Gorges Dam in China has launched the last of its generators, just as it hits its annual flood peak. The final 32 generators went into operation this week, making it the world’s largest hydropower project, built on the Yangtze River in the Hubei Province. It is designed to decrease the risk of flooding during the current peak rainfall season, as well as store and distribute water during the dry periods. A series of incredible photos show the sheer force of the flood water released from seven spillways after heavy downpours in the upper reaches of the dam caused the highest flood peak of the year. Water from the Yangtze River upper gushed at up 70,000 cubic metres per second into the dam’s reservoir yesterday. The dam is working to take the edge off the fierce flood and reduce its impact on the river’s lower reaches by storing at least 26,000 cubic meters of flood water every second”

Man living in ‘terror’ as his home is overrun by venomous spiders: “An Omaha man is desperate to move out of his home after an army of venomous spiders have invaded. Dylan Baumann is cautiously moving around his small apartment after seeing at least forty brown recluse spiders crawling up the walls and across the floors. A single bite from a brown recluse can hospitalise victims. Baumann has not yet been bitten after taking special precautions. He has moved his bed away from the wall and pulled up the skirt of the bed to try and avoid being attacked in his sleep. Every day he shakes out his clothes before putting them on and makes sure none of the dangerous arachnids are hiding in his shoes. After a shower, he shakes his towel before drying off. Although he is following a peaceful method of co-existence Baumann admits to being ‘terrified’ of being bitten…. Baumann says he plans to move out of the apartment in September.”

How a tick bite can turn you vegetarian: “A steak may never seem as appetising again after a tick bite, warn researchers. Being bitten by one of the spider-like bugs can trigger a severe allergy to meat, scientists have learned. Three cases of the strange reaction were identified in the US. The patients suffered severe symptoms several hours after eating red meat. Experts traced the delayed allergic response to bites from a tick – specifically the Lone Star tick. A carbohydrate compound injected into the bloodstream by the bite is also present in meat. The initial bite is thought to prime the immune system to react next time it encounters the substance. The result when the unsuspecting victim tries tucking into a steak can be an outbreak of hives, or even life-threatening anaphylactic shock.”

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

Baby cages

July 25, 2012 at 7:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

These incredible pictures taken in London in the 1930s show ‘baby cages’ which parents who lived in high-rise flats used to ensure their child was exposed to fresh air and had room to play

..

..

THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Husband was ‘raped to death’ by five wives: “A wealthy businessman – and husband of six – has died after allegedly being forced into a marathon sex session with his ‘jealous’ wives. Nigerian Uroko Onoja was having sex with the youngest of his spouses when the remaining five are reported to have set upon him with knives and sticks – and demanded that he have sex with each of them too. Mr Onoja went on to have intercourse with four of his wives in succession, but ‘stopped breathing’ as the fifth was making her way to the bed in Ogbadibo, according to Nigeria’s Daily Post. Two women have been arrested following the incident in the state of Benue last week, said the report, which used the term ‘raped to death’ to describe the businessman’s fate.”

Thief who stole ICE CREAM and a LOBSTER walks free from court after claiming he only took ‘essentials’: “A discerning thief who pinched a lobster and some ice cream from Marks & Spencer walked free today after insisting he stole only ‘essentials’. Corey Thomas, 24, was followed by in-store security after being spotted ‘acting suspiciously’ in the chain’s flagship branch in Oxford Street, central London. Jero Pipiazza, defending, told the court Thomas was temporarily homeless and had not eaten for two days when the theft took place at around 6.30pm on July 23 this year. Interrupting him mid-flow, chair of the bench Stevie Dee asked: ‘Why lobster? It could be a sandwich if you’re that hungry.’ Mr Pipazza replied: ‘The items were not luxury items – they were essentials.’ He added that Thomas had previously studied cookery at Shoreditch College and was due to start an apprenticeship in ‘cleaning and caretaking’ at Hackney Council. Sentencing him to a £55 fine or a single day’s imprisonment, deemed served, Ms Dee told him: ‘We’re giving you a chance now.”

Too much light at night causes depression: “Sleeping in a room with too much light can cause depression, psychologists claim. Even just the glow from leaving the television on while you sleep can be enough to trigger the effect, say scientists. Lack of darkness during sleeping hours can cause changes to the brain and depressive symptoms, according to animal studies. Leaving the television on while you sleep can be enough to trigger the effect, say scientists. But the evidence also suggests the effects can be reversed by switching the lights off at night. Hamsters used in the studies were exposed to dim light at night for four weeks. Behavioural tests showed that hamsters exposed to light at night lacked energy and motivation. They showed depressive symptoms, such as having less interest in sugary water which they normally enjoy. Within two weeks of returning to a standard light-dark cycle, the hamsters appeared to have made a full recovery.

Man looks too much like Santa: “Administrators at Disney World were not feeling particularly jolly when they told a visitor that he had to look less like Santa in order to stay in the park. Thomas Tolbert has a bushy white beard, ruddy red cheeks and a ever-present smile that helps him at work when he is hired to portray Santa Claus at events and shopping malls back home in Atlanta, Georgia. During a recent family vacation to Disney World, however, park officials got upset that children approached him asking for his autograph, prompting them to ask Mr Tolbert to look less like the well-known character or else he would be asked to leave. Mr Tolbert told local Orlando station WKMG that the problem didn’t lie in his clothes, but in his overall attitude which is something that he wasn’t willing to change for a trip to the most magical place on earth. ‘I never had a red suit on, I never wore a hat, I didn’t have fur boots on, but that doesn’t make Santa,’ Mr Tolbert told the station. ‘The face and the persona and the heart is what makes a Santa.”

A shotgun that kills flies: “Fundraising websites – which raises funds for products through crowd-sourcing – have raised money for some very noble causes. Whether this is one of them or not might depend on how you feel about killing insects, for avowed fly-hater Lorenzo Maggiore is seeking $15,000 for his ‘Fly Shotgun’, which uses nothing more than common table-salt to blast those pesky creatures into the next life. He is using fundraising site IndieGoGo to get his product on the shelves, with a fully-featured ‘BugASalt’ prototype already proving its worth in the age-old Man vs Fly battle. Using salt for the water-pistol-like weapon means the gun is effectively harmless against people – in the video, even a plastic bag survives a close-up blast. But for flies, the attack is deadly, with a video montage showing fly after fly perish thanks to a bit of salt.”

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

Planes that scoop up water

July 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dash air tankers are collecting water from a reservoir and using it to fight the wildfires which have devastated large parts of the border area between France and northern Catalonia in Spain

..

..

THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Mutineers’ descendants have lowest rate of short-sightedness ever found : “Descendants of the famous Bounty mutineers who now live on an isolated Pacific Island could hold the key to a ‘cure’ for short sightedness locked in their DNA. The mutineers have among the lowest rates of myopia – short-sightednes – on Earth. A quarter of the world’s population, 1.6 billion people, suffer from the disease. The small population of Norfolk Island has been isolated after Fletcher Christian led a mutiny in 1789 against Captain William Bligh. Some 60 years after arriving on Pitcairn, almost 200 descendents of the original mutineers relocated to Norfolk Island to avoid famine. A study of residents on Australia’s Norfolk Island, 1,000 miles northeast of Sydney, showed the rate of myopia, or short-sightedness, among Bounty descendants was about half that of the general Australian population. The mutineers settled in Tahiti but later fled, along with their Tahitian women, to remote Pitcairn Island to escape arrest. Mackey said there may be genetic differences in the Norfolk Island population that could lead to breakthroughs in the causes of short-sightedness”

Some smart strippers in Canada: “One popular Toronto strip club owner says his stable of exotic dancers include more than a dozen college or university students. The well-known Toronto businessman, who did not want to be publicly identified, said two of his dancers are studying to become doctors; four are attending law school and six are taking classes to become chartered accountants. “They just do their job and go home,” the owner said. “They are very intelligent and always show up on time and don’t perform extras.” Club owners have created a six-point plan of action to recruit strippers as foreign dancers are becoming scarce as their visas can’t be renewed under a new federal law.”

Navy radio cripples garage doors: “A radio signal being transmitted out of a submarine base is likely behind reports of garage doors failing to open and close in southeastern Connecticut, the U.S. Navy said. The signal is part of the Enterprise Land Mobile Radio system, which is used by the military to coordinate responses with civil emergency workers, said Chris Zendan, a spokesman for submarine base in Groton. The problem, first reported by The Day of New London, is that the same frequency is used at very low levels by the manufacturers of garage door openers. The signals from remote controls to open or close the doors are blocked by the signal from the base. Sondra Tuchman, of Montville, told the newspaper she has to get out of her car, stand in front of the door and press the remote for the opener to work. She said an installation company told her she would have to pay about $US300 to change her system to another frequency.”

Holiday beach cordoned off after landslip sends more than a THOUSAND Second World War bombs and rockets tumbling onto the sands: “A bomb disposal team has been called in to an East Yorkshire coastal landslip that revealed hundreds of Second World War munitions. The weapons, including rockets, mortars and 25lb (11kg) shells, could take days to clear. The missiles had buried themselves in the earth cliffs after missing their target when the area was used as a practice bombing range from the war until the early 1970s. Although many are practice rounds they still contain explosive detonators and coastguards fear they may be highly volatile after being buried in the cliffs for so many years. A cordon was lifted yesterday morning by Humberside Police who planned to seal off the beach again when the tide went out and the clear-up operation could resume.”

Scientists discover bizarre flatworm with 60 eyes: “Scientists today revealed an entirely new species of flatworm. The unique animal has 60 eyes, all crammed into a body just 12mm [1/2"] long. The creature was found in grassland near Cambridge despite the area being described as the most ‘documented place on the planet’. The peculiar invertebrate is thought to be of antipodean descent, but also a close relative of a species found in Northern Ireland called Kontikia Andersoni. Biologist Dr Hugh Jones, an expert in the field, believed it was a ‘completely new, undescribed species’. Dr Jones, a scientific associate of the Natural History Museum, said he had only seen one other example of a similar worm, a single specimen discovered in the Netherlands in April. ‘New Zealand seems to be the centre of diversity for land flatworms worldwide, and its climate is very similar to Britain.”

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

Telling secrets?

July 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

..

..

THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Shoes for high-tech security: “WANT high-tech security? Forget those irksome digital eye scans. Meet the biometric shoe. A new lab is working to perfect special shoe insoles that can help monitor access to high-security areas, like nuclear power plants or special military bases. The concept is based on research that shows each person has unique feet, and ways of walking. Sensors in the bio-soles check the pressure of feet, monitor gait, and use a microcomputer to compare the patterns to a master file for that person. If the patterns match the bio-soles go to sleep. If they don’t, a wireless alarm message can go out. “It’s part of a shoe that you don’t have to think about,” said Marios Savvides, head of Carnegie Mellon University’s new Pedo-Biometrics Lab, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The lab, which has $US1.5 million ($1.4 million) in startup funding, is a partnership with Autonomous ID, a Canadian company that is relocating to several U.S. cities. Todd Gray, the company president, said he saw the potential when his daughter was in a maternity ward decorated with representations of different baby feet all along a wall.”

Bungling British justice — court uses a translator who could not translate: “A murder trial turned into a farce when an interpreter confessed half-an-hour into vital evidence that he was a fake, filling in for his busy wife. The judge halted the trial of Rajvinder Kaur, who killed her mother-in-law with a rolling pin, when the court realised interpreter Mubarak Lone was leaving out key words and phrases in his translating. Mr Lone was interpreting for Kaur’s husband, Iqbal Singh, who spoke Punjabi, but struggled to even get the oath right for the Sikh witness at Winchester Crown Court in Hampshire. He was finally caught out by junior counsel Sukhdev Garcha, who also spoke the language, half-an-hour into the the faltering evidence. In the absence of the jury, Mr Lone was forced to confess to Mr Justice Barnett that he was not a qualified translator and was awaiting the results of his interpreter test.”

‘Vile and tasteless’ toy?: “A luxury department store has apologised for selling wooden toy versions of Soviet-era rocket launchers. London store Liberty was forced to pull the £23.50 toy from is shelves following a number of complaints, with some describing it as ‘vile’ and ‘tasteless’. Available in baby pink, yellow or natural wood, the design appeared to be marketed at younger children. The toy was based on Katyusha rocket launchers which were first used in the Second World War by the Soviet Union. Recently, they have been used by Hezbollah militants to fire rockets into Israel and during the Libyan conflict last year.” [Toy guns are common so why not this one?]

Balding software engineer claims generic version of Propecia hair growth pills turned him into a WOMAN: “A man who took pills to help cure his baldness has claimed they turned him into a woman. While William McKee’s hair failed to grow back the father of one said he developed breasts and his hips began to widen. Months after he sensed his shape was changing he became a cross dresser and went by the name of Mandi as he wore woman’s clothes. The former Silicon Valley entrepreneur said he did not have any hidden desire to be a cross dresser before taking a generic version of the hair growth pill called Propecia. He claims the pills, which he took once a day for nine months, radically changed the hormonal balance of his body and he now is now considering a full sex change. He said his baldness was hereditary and hoped the pills would restore his thinning hair. But after almost a month on the pills he said his hair growth was ‘minimal’ but the feminine effects were ‘pronounced.’”

Boys give seagulls laxatives at crowded beach: “This video shows a group of boys pulling a prank involving a flock of hungry seagulls, crisps – and laxatives. The results? Less than delightful. In the video, filmed with a mobile phone, a group of young boys are huddled over a tray of crisps where they are adding laxatives to what looks like some form of dip. The lads mix the sticky substance and the crisps and turn around to give the crowd on the beach an unwelcome surprise. The esplanade is full of revellers enjoying the seafront, people on roller-skates and families with picnic blankets. The boys grab their tray of prepped crisps and throw them at the seagulls before running for cover. They film the not-so-clean results as nature kicks in within seconds and although it’s meant to bring fortune, the gulls’ victim’s don’t look like they believe in the saying. Two women who have spread out their blanket on the grass nearby quickly gather their things and run for cover.” [Video at link]

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

Before the “obesity war” was thought of

July 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

..

..

THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

British bungledom endangers Olympic safety: “Olympic chiefs have launched an urgent investigation after stewards responsible for the safety of thousands of spectators were told to forge exam qualifications. Whistle blower Claudia Blunt, the daughter of Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt, today exposes how lives could have been put at risk after students recruited to help at the Games were fed the answers to a crucial safety exam instead of doing the 12 months of study it normally takes. And the Cambridge student reveals how: In a dimly-lit nightclub, around 80 recruits were given bogus documentation bearing the name of a college that does not even offer the safety qualification; The would-be stewards were told to exaggerate their experience if questioned by Olympic organisers; None of the students was subject to criminal background checks; The recruits were told that even though they had no first aid training, they might have to provide medical attention. The scandal at an independent firm contracted to provide stewards raises urgent new questions over London 2012, just days after security firm G4S admitted it could not provide enough guards to patrol the Games.”

Vast 10,000-year-old reservoir with enough water to last four centuries found under thirsty area of Africa: “One of the driest areas in sub-Saharan Africa is set to benefit from a newly discovered water source capable of supplying the area for 400 years. According to scientists the aquifer could bolster development in Namibia with the water thought to be cleaner to drink than many of its alternative sources. For many of the 800,000 residents living close to the Namibian and Angolan borders, the only source of water has been a solitary canal. But the amount stored in the new source, believed to be enough to cater for north Namibia for 400 years, has been discovered after going unnoticed for up to 10,000 years. The government has long been trying to deal with the issue by calling in supplies from countries across Europe but have now identified the new aquifer, called Ohangwena II, which flows under the boundary between Angola and Namibia.”

British civic centre charges college £18 ea [c. $24] for bowls of nuts: “A council-owned civic centre is under fire after charging an astonishing £18 for a single bowl of nuts. The centre in Trowbridge, Wilts., recently re-opened after a £5million refit and a private contractor was brought in to run the catering facilities. But several users have complained of sky-high prices, including a delegation from Wiltshire College who hired a function room for a celebration event. They forked out £240 for a selection of snacks – but arrived to find just handful of bowls filled with peanuts and crisps, working out at £18 per portion. Crown Catering fended off strong competition to win the contract to provide food and run the bar, with 40 per cent of the profits going to the council. But the company could now lose the contract following a string of complaints.”

Acid from drain cleaner leaked through boy’s bedroom ceiling as he slept: “A five-year-old boy has been left scarred for life after an acidic drain cleaner leaked through his bedroom ceiling as he slept. Boyd James woke up in the early hours of the morning screaming that his face was ‘on fire’ after the powerful liquid dripped onto his bed. The occupant of the upstairs flat [apartment] in Blandford, Dorset, had earlier poured the sulphuric acid-based cleaner down his kitchen sink in an attempt to unblock it. But the liquid was so strong that it melted the pipes, floor and ceiling before leaking onto Boyd. The acid in the cleaner, called ‘One Shot Instant Drain Cleaner’, melted his pillow and caused the five-year-old’s skin to bubble and blister. Horrified mother Kayleigh, 24, splashed cold water over the youngster’s face in an attempt to relieve his pain. The five-year-old is expected to be left with chicken pox-like scarring to his face but has been told he was fortunate not to have been blinded or even killed. The male occupant of the upstairs flat is believed to have bought the cleaning fluid from a local hardware store. The label of the cleaning fluid states that it contains 91 percent sulphuric acid.”

Huge USAF jet lands at tiny island airport: “A huge Air Force cargo plane unexpectedly landed at a tiny island airport yesterday, screeching to halt within just 10 feet from the end of the runway. The 174-foot-long jet was supposed to land across Florida’s Hillsborough Bay at MacDill Air Force Base but instead touched down at the Peter O.Knight Airport. Although very different in size, the runways at the two locations are aligned in the same direction and it is not clear if the pilot landed at the civilian airport accidentally or whether there was a technical problem. The C-17 Globemaster III, arriving from U.S. Central Command operations in southwest Asia with 23 passengers and a crew of 19, touched down on Davis Islands near downtown Tampa about 1.20 pm, authorities said. To the amazement of onlookers, the military plane landed on the 3,405 feet long, 100 feet wide runway stopping within 10 feet of the end of the stretch. The runway at MacDill’s is 11,421 feet long and 151 feet wide.”

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

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. | The Pool Theme.
Entries and comments feeds.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29 other followers