And dog will be with you always

August 31, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Man with his dogs returns to their home after Hurricane Isaac passed through Slidell, Louisiana

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Booze and sugar found in outer space: “Astronomers announced that ‘sugar’ has been found floating freely in space. The simple molecules were spotted floating in the gas cloud around a star around 400 light-years away. The team of astronomers from the Niels Bohr Institute, in Copenhagen, were observing star ‘Rho Ophiuch’ with the new large international telescope, Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) in northern Chile when they made their discovery. Naturally, this is not the granular sugar that you find in white packets in supermarkets, but organic carbohydrates molecules, made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The molecules, called glycoaldehyde, are the simplest of sugar molecules, and can be found on earth in the form of an oderless white powder. With the very high resolution of the new telescopes, researchers now have the opportunity to study the details of the dust and gas clouds, and in addition to the sugar molecules the researchers also saw signs of a number of other complex organic molecules, including ethylene-glycol, methyl-formate and ethanol.”

Russian channel to censor The Simpsons: “A Russian television channel says it will censor The Simpsons cartoon series to comply with a new law banning scenes of violence, drinking and smoking before a late evening watershed. The 2×2 channel, aimed at young adults, told AFP it would cut scenes where the Simpsons family watches a spoof ultra-violent cartoon called The Itchy & Scratchy Show after the law comes into force on Friday. ‘‘Under the new law we cannot show The Itchy & Scratchy Show from The Simpsons’’ before 11 pm, said general director Lev Makarov.”

Men really DO prefer blondes when picking a date: “It is an age-old saying that is regularly contested. But unfortunately for all the glossy brunettes out there, it seems that men really do prefer blondes when choosing a date. The latest survey revealed that men are 3 per cent more likely to opt for a blonde over a brunette. The survey, that analysed what people look for when choosing the perfect date, also found that 27 per cent of men prefer curvy females. Reassuringly for most women, just two per cent of men want someone with a supermodel’s shape. Both men and women would choose a nice face over a great body when picking a partner, the statistics from dating site Twoo.com show. Psychologist Dr Simon Moore, of London Metropolitan University, said: ‘Society has created this blonde versus brunette divide. ‘Far more blondes than brunettes appear on our television and movie screens, so we’re going to be conditioned to finding them more attractive.”

Iceland tourist unwittingly joins search for HERSELF: “A tourist who joined in the search after a member of her bus party went missing was able to help track the woman down – when she realised it was herself they were looking forward. The woman was declared missing from a party touring the Eldgja volcanic region in south Iceland after getting off the party’s bus to freshen up. She only hopped off the bus breifly, but had also changed her clothes – and her fellow travellers did not recognise her when she climbed back on again to continue the party’s journey. Soon the search began for a woman described as Asian, around 160cm, in dark clothing and speaking English well. After a night-long operation involving around 50 people, the ‘missing woman’ eventually realised she was the source of the search and informed police.”

That Chicago charm: “A Chicago father bravely stood up to a stranger who tried to abduct his toddler daughter from their family outing at Daley Plaza in the center of the city on August 25. The man grabbed Myla Davis-Green, 2, shouting ‘this is my daughter, Goldilocks,’ and attempted to run off with her, hitting Kelly Davis in the face and trying to wrestle him away from his daughters. Mr Davis, 31, managed to protect his daughters and chase the man, identified as James Gates [above], 55, through Chicago’s streets for half an hour until he was arrested and Mr Davis could be sure his daughters were safe. ‘We were playing on the Picasso and sliding and having fun,’ Mr Davis said to ABC. ‘And then I noticed that this guy was heading in our direction and his attention was focused our way.’ ‘As he got closer, I realized he wasn’t making eye contact with me,’ Mr Davis said. ‘And he gets even closer and I notice he has this fixation on my daughters.’ ‘I looked over and he was actually stepping up onto the statue and trying to reach around my left side and grab my daughter,’ Mr Davis said.” Mr Davis tried to push the man away, but Mr Gates swung at Mr Davis, hitting him in the face before running off. Mr Davis stayed hot on his heels.”

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

Twin babies that rock

August 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Noah’s flood did happen: “When J Harlen Bretz uncovered evidence of giant floods in eastern Washington in the 1920s, it took most of the 20th century for other geologists to believe him. Geologists had so thoroughly vilified the concept of great floods that they could not believe it when somebody actually found evidence of one. The waters, he eventually realized, could have come from catastrophic drainage of Lake Missoula, an ancient, glacier-dammed lake in western Montana. Recognition of the Missoula flood helped other geologists identify similar landforms in Asia, Europe, Alaska, and the American Midwest, as well as on Mars. There is now compelling evidence for many gigantic ancient floods where glacial ice dams failed time and again”

Man posts himself to girlfriend as a prank – but almost dies when couriers lose delivery address: “A fun-loving boyfriend decided to surprise his partner by posting her an unusual present – himself. But the joke went horribly wrong when the delivery was delayed and he almost suffocated to death. Hu Seng, from Chongqing city in southern China, made a friend tape him into a box that he had paid a courier firm to deliver to his girlfriend, Li Wang. Another friend was waiting at his girlfriend’s office to film the surprise when he jumped out. In a horrifying twist of fate, however, the unsuspecting couriers mixed up the address and instead of 30 minutes in the sealed box, Mr Seng was trapped inside for nearly three hours. the box had very little air inside and was too thick for Mr Seng to make a hole in it. By the time the package had arrived at his girlfriend’s office – where a friend was waiting to record her surprise on camera – Mr Seng had passed out and had to be revived by paramedics.”

Fish that have their reproductive organs on their HEAD: “A new species of fish with a rather unique feature has been discovered in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. The Phallostethus cuulong is just 2 centimetres long, and is part of little known group of fish where the males have their reproductive organs on their chin. The newsly discovered specimen is only the 22nd known priapiumfish, which are named after the ancient Greek fertility deity, Priapus. Researchers say they are baffled as to why the fish has its sexual organs on its head. ‘We don’t know why priapiumfish evolved their peculiar arrangement,’ said Lynne Parenti of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. ‘It’s not just the reproductive organs that are attached to the priapiumfish’s head: so too is its bottom”

Chimps have secret handshakes too: “Chimpanzees pass down a ‘secret handshake’ through the generations, according to a new study. Researchers found that troops of chimps pass on traditions, including the handshake, from one generation to the next – and they differ from group to group. When chimps are cleaning, they adopt a ‘grooming handclasp’ – two chimps clasp onto each other’s arms, raise them in the air and groom each other with their free hand. Previous research suggest this handclasp may be a cultural phenomenon – like how people greet each other – but only some chimpanzee colonies practise this grooming behaviour. Researchers looked at chimps on the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage Trust in Zambia – finding some prefer to clasp hands, while others clutch onto another chimp’s wrist. Edwin van Leeuwen, of the Max Planck Institute, said: ‘We don’t know what mechanisms account for these differences. ‘But our study at least reveals that these chimpanzee communities formed and maintained their own local grooming traditions over the last five years. Observations also revealed grooming behaviours are transmitted to the next generation of potential handclaspers:

Bomb ship in London river: “Officially, this wreck is known as the SS Richard Montgomery but locals have another name for it… When it sank in these waters towards the end of the World War II, the Montgomery was loaded with 7,000 tons of wartime bombs. It’s estimated that anything from 1,400 to 3,000 tons of explosives are still packed in its water-logged hull, and it has been said that their detonation would cause one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions ever — 700 times the size of the bomb which claimed 168 lives in Oklahoma City in 1995. One expert has suggested that it might kill thousands of people in the immediate surroundings, and others that it would create Britain’s first tsunami, and cause shock waves which would blow out windows as far away as East London, 30 miles upriver. No wonder the Montgomery is also known as the Doomsday Ship.”

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

In a far corner of the world people like us deeply mourn their fallen warriors

August 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lives lost in the futile struggle to civilize the uncivilizable. Background on the unusual ceremonies here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Music student, 23, becomes the first one-handed pianist to graduate from College of Music: “A music student, who was born without his right hand, has made history by becoming the first one-handed pianist to graduate from the 130-year-old Royal College of Music. As a child Nicholas McCarthy, 23, was refused an audition and told he would never succeed but went on to stubbornly defy the odds and the pessimists to reach the milestone today. After he was refused an audition at a school for young pianists as a teenager, Mr McCarthy became more determined. He said: ‘It was soul crushing because that’s all I wanted to do – I could feel it would be an uphill struggle, but it made me more determined, I’m quite a stubborn character.’ He taught himself to play on a cheap, electric keyboard from Argos and did not start piano lessons until he was 14.”

Bigfoot hoax turns deadly: “A man who was apparently trying to provoke reports of a Bigfoot sighting in northwestern Montana was struck by two cars and killed. The Montana Highway Patrol says the man was wearing a military style “Ghillie suit” [above] and was standing in the right-hand lane of U.S. Highway 93 south of Kalispell when he was hit by the first car Sunday night. A second car hit him as he lay in the roadway. Flathead County officials identified the man as 44-year-old Randy Lee Tenley of Kalispell. Trooper Jim Schneider tells the Daily Inter Lake that Tenley’s motives were ascertained during interviews with friends. “He was trying to make people think he was Sasquatch so people would call in a Sasquatch sighting,” Trooper Jim Schneider told the Daily Inter Lake.com. “You can’t make it up.”

Luxury high performance cars left abandoned: “They were once status symbols for wealthy Brits living the millionaire lifestyle in Dubai. But now, they are just powerful images showing how the worldwide economic crash has left even the rich financially ruined. These high-performance cars have been left abandoned at the airport by expats who fear being jailed because they are in debt. Instead of facing possible jail sentences under the strict debt laws in Dubai, the Brits have decided to return home, without even bothering to sell on the cars. Luxury cars which have been left at the airport with the keys in the ignitions include Mercedes, Audis and Jaguars. But by far the biggest surprise to police in the wealthy oil-rich state was the discovery of a £1million Ferrari Enzo. Just 399 of the powerful vehicles were built – with four currently on sale in the UK for between £775,000 and £1.5m. Dubai is governed by strict Sharia laws which can see people sent to prison for being in debt. An average of 2,500 people left the United Arab Emirates every month last year because of unpaid debts.”

Taiwan minister says men should sit down to urinate (An alternative idea above): “Taiwan’s environmental minister wants to rid the island of urine-splattered toilet seats by encouraging men to sit down to pee. Stephen Shen, the head of Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), said he himself has adopted the habit, and urged men to follow his lead in the interests of creating a cleaner environment. Despite the fact that the facilities in most men’s restrooms in Taiwan are comprised mainly of urinals, local government officials are to be asked to put up notices in public areas advising men to take a leaf out of women’s books by sitting on the toilet to relieve themselves. Officials behind the initiative have said the more men who sit down to urinate the more likely it is that public toilet seats will be clean and ready for the next user.”

Nude fans back Prince Harry: “Whatever the royal family may think of his exploits in Las Vegas, many Britons can barely hide their support for Prince Harry, posting naked pictures of themselves online in tribute. A Facebook group entitled Support Prince Harry with a naked salute! – featuring people posing in various states of undress saluting the third-in-line to the throne – has won 13,000 members and is still growing. The group sprang up after Harry, 27, was photographed naked with a mystery woman during a game of “strip billiards” in a Las Vegas hotel suite. But supporters have posted a flood of images of themselves saluting while in various states of undress – often with strategically placed props including Union Jack flags, backpacks and teddy bears. The Sun newspaper published photographs on Tuesday of what it said were British soldiers serving in Afghanistan, posing naked and saluting Prince Harry.”

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

The world’s longest bus

August 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

In Germany. How the heck are they going to get the thing around corners? Not to mention backing it!

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Javelin spears judge’s throat in Germany: “A 75-year-old official was in a critical condition on Sunday after being speared through the throat by a javelin at an athletics meet in Duesseldorf. The elderly official at the city’s Wilhelm Unger Games for young athletes is reported to have gone to measure a javelin throw, but was hit by the object as it landed, according to local media reports. Paramedics revived the victim at the scene and an emergency doctor escorted him as he was taken to the city’s University Hospital, where he was operated on after losing a lot of blood from his main artery. Seven spectators in the 800-strong crowd who witnessed the accident were given counselling at the scene as police evacuated the stadium. After the accident, the meet was immediately cancelled.” [He later died]

Still driving at 105 years old: “Motorist Harry Jamieson is always up to speed on Britain’s roads after becoming the nation’s oldest driver – aged 105. Harry, has clocked up more than TWO MILLION miles since being given his driving licence aged 17 in 1924. Today he drives an Eighties red Ford Escort. Harry, has no intentions of parking up for the last time and intends to continue behind the wheel until he dies. In almost nine decades on Britain’s roads, father-of-two Harry, nicknamed Jamie by friends because of his surname, has never had a single penalty point on his licence. Harry said: ‘I love driving and have done it all my working and non-working life, It has been a major part of me. Harry, who retired from working as an electrician aged 70, has had his Escort for more than 20 years and it has never broken down. He added: ‘It is the most reliable car I have ever had. If I had my life all over again I would buy another one.”

The marmot boy: “They are notoriously shy around humans, beating their tails and chattering their teeth to try to warn us off before emitting loud whistles to tell other members of their colony to flee. But when these alpine marmots see Matteo Walch, they scuttle to his side and show him nothing but affection. The eight-year-old built up a remarkable relationship with the creatures since first being taken to see them by his nature-loving family four years ago. The family return to visit the colony in Groslocker in the Austrian Alps for two weeks every year. Matteo’s father Michaela, said: ‘Their friendship has lasted for more than four years now. ‘He loves those animals and they are not at all afraid of Matteo because he has a feeling towards them and they understand that. ‘We go there every year now for two weeks – it’s amazing to watch the connection between a boy and his animal friends.’”

Brits mistake ginger tomcat for a lion: “The three-year-old pet – a Maine Coon which can weigh up to 25lb, be up to 16in tall and 40in long – lives just a few hundred yards from where holidaymakers spotted a big cat at a caravan park near Clacton in Essex on Sunday. Following reports of a wild animal on the loose, armed officers and two police helicopters using heat-seeking equipment, which cost £880 an hour to run, were scrambled. Workers from nearby Colchester Zoo carrying tranquilliser guns scoured the fields and residents were warned to stay indoors. But while the local community was plunged into terror, Teddy Bear’s owner Ginny Murphy watched the drama unfold on television from Liverpool, where she was away. And she immediately had her suspicions. ‘It clicked right away,’ she said. ‘We thought it had to be Ted as he’s the only big gingery thing around there and he does tend to wander into that field.’”

Sex-crazed beauty ‘stabs taxi driver for refusing to satisfy her a third time’: “A Romanian taxi driver claims a sex-crazed Angelina Jolie lookalike passenger stabbed him after he refused to satisfy her for a third time. Nicolae Stan told police stunning Luminita Perijoc, 30, had already forced him at knifepoint to have intercourse and perform oral sex. He claims Perijoc had asked him to help her with his bags but once inside her apartment she demanded sex. When he refused she allegedly pulled out a knife and forced him to undress. Police investigating his claims say the Perijoc’s behaviour may have been down to the fact she was on medication at the time. Mr Stan said that his life has been made a misery by pals ribbing him about the fact that he had turned down the beautiful double of the Hollywood star.”

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

What is that Scotsman doing to his beast?

August 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

He is combing its hair! The pic is from Islay so it’s probably a Highland cow.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Mystery of the pigeon fanciers’ ‘Bermuda triangle’: “It is a mystery that pigeon fanciers have likened to the riddle of the Bermuda triangle, but this time the setting is a rural corner of north east England. Hundreds of racing birds have disappeared in unexplained circumstances after being released in the region. Experts are baffled at the phenomenon, with abnormally high rainfall, high levels of solar activity and even signals from a spy base being blamed. Pigeon fanciers have compared it to the disappearance of ships and aircraft in an area of the Atlantic bounded by Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico. But now the mystery centres on a geographical area encompassing Thirsk, Wetherby and Consett. In the latest episode, only 13 out of 232 birds released in Thirsk last Saturday by a Scottish pigeon racing club made it back to Galashiels in the Scottish Borders. Keith Simpson, of the East Cleveland Federation of pigeon fanciers, said racers across the region had suffered huge losses since the season started in April, with many losing more than half their birds.”

Loudmouth woman condemned: “The police were right to intervene after a South Australian couple’s overly passionate love-making drove the whole neighbourhood wild, our poll has found. An adelaidenow poll taken yesterday found that about two-thirds of 3300 people believed the police did the right thing in clamping down. After repeated complaints about their passionate but noisy love-making, police were forced to step in to give their neighbours some peace and quiet. The SA couple may be the first to be charged with offences under the Environmental Protection Act – as a direct result of their noisy sex. On Sunday night, Ms Angel, 34, allegedly the loudest, was issued with an emergency Environment Protection Order by police. The 72-hour order required her to cease “emanating any and all environmental nuisance” including “screaming, loud moaning, swearing and raised voices”. One neighbour said he was woken by the couple early Tuesday when he “heard screams”. “It was quite loud and they sounded very obscene,” he said.”

Nobody wants a secondhand Volvo: “A Volvo S80 loses more of its value over three years than any other car, research shows. It typically costs £32,229 new but by 2015 will be worth just £6,220, a drop of 80 per cent. The best at holding its value is the £80,000 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, which will lose 45 per cent of its value in three years, making it worth £44,000. The list was based on forecasts by industry experts CAP and car magazine Auto Express. This contained more than 40,000 models, prices, percentages and predictions. The data reveals the winners and losers among cars bought this summer when their values are thrown forward three years. The figures – not normally revealed outside the car industry – show that the least depreciating cars lost less than 50 per cent of their value after three years or 30,000 miles after being purchased new.”

Smart dog: “Bella the dog survived a 100ft cliff fall and then walked to the holiday home she had only been to once before as her owner searched for her. The Labrador’s incredible homing instinct saw her trudge one mile to the unfamiliar property having escaped the near life-threatening fall. Owner Chris Sexton spent 30 minutes desperately scouring the seaside cliffs and beach for his beloved pet before his wife called to say Bella had arrived home safe and well. The 15-month-old black dog plunged off the cliff as she chased after a seagull while out for a walk with Chris, 68, at Peveril Point, near Swanage, Dorset. She bounced down the sloping rock face before coming to rest in one piece on the beach below. She walked along the South West Coast Path and then made her way down several residential streets until she found the family’s holiday home in Swanage. Chris said: ‘She is only 15-months-old. I walked her down to the cliffs from the holiday home last summer but I would never have thought she would have remembered the route.”

Old car only went to church on Sunday: “On the road for almost a century – this is the world’s oldest Morris Minor. The 85 year old British-built classic – with a top speed of 40 miles per hour – has only had three owners. It had been left to rust in a Scottish barn for 35 years before Jock, 72, secured it for a song. The retired hotelier spent ten years restoring the iconic vehicle using original parts and now takes it to vintage rallies. ‘This car and I have had some adventures together. When I drive the Morris Minor though the streets, it always brings a smile to people’s faces. The four seater with a 847cc engine runs off modern unleaded petrol has no modern suspension. In 1983 Jock tracked down the Morris Minor’s original owner, 94 year old former teacher Miss Elizabeth Fraser, to show her the restored car. Jock said: ‘Miss Fraser bought the car in Inverness in 1928, however she found the roads at the time too dangerous to drive on. ‘She only used it to go to church on Sundays, so it was mostly in a garage for the first ten years of its life.”

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

Dumb driver

August 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The fact that it rains a lot in Britain has apparently not got through to all Britons. The driver of the car above is going to regret not closing the roof when he/she parked it just before a downpour

The boss of Granite & Marble International might have something to say to one of his employees

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Rembrandt etching worth $8,600 is lost in the mail after gallery decides couriers are too expensive: “Most people would send valuable items by recorded delivery at the very least. While anyone posting a rare piece of art worth thousands of pounds by one of the world’s greatest painters would almost certainly go to great lengths for it to be protected. But one Norwegian museum’s attempt to save money has come back to haunt them after the had a Rembrandt etching sent in the post – only for it to get lost. The Soli Brug Gallery in Greaaker, about 50 miles south of Oslo, bought from a British dealer a copy of Rembrandt’s ‘Lieven Willemsz, van Coppenol, Writing-Master’ for an exhibition. As days past by without the work arriving through the letter box it became clear that the virtually irreplaceable had been lost. Derje said his gallery, which is displaying works by Dürer, Rembrandt, Goya, Munch and Dali, received notice to pick up the package but when he went to collect it, it was nowhere to be found.”

Australia’s wheel clamp hero: “He’s the wheel clamp crusader, armed with an angle grinder and coming to the rescue of illegally parked motorists in Perth. He hacks open wheel clamps with a battery-powered angle grinder, leaving motorists free to drive off and avoid a $135 release fee. And he does it all free, asking only for a donation which goes to the homeless. While “Wheel Clamp Man” is a hero to motorists, police say he is a menace and want the public to dob him in. He said he began his mission after experiencing the frustration of having his own car clamped. “I got clamped myself. I went to a car park, pulled in, couldn’t see any signs, and I must have walked less than 100m and I was clamped. It was a con because they were watching.” The caped crusader said he had sawn off several clamps across Perth in the past fortnight and he vowed sparks from his grinder would continue to fly as he fought “greedy” councils and wheel clampers. “Depending on the clamp, it takes less than a minute,” he said.”

Australia’s brown sheepdogs: “CANINE instructor Paul Macphail has his pup pupils working like dogs. The Welshpool breeder/trainer has been showing kelpies the ropes for 20 years at Beloka Kelpie Stud education farm. The dogs are trained from a young age to be strong farm performers, working as a team to herd sheep. “It starts when they’re pups with socialising and obedience, then they get started on sheep when they’re a bit older,” Mr Macphail said. “They progress to bigger sheep until eventually they’re qualified working dogs.” He breeds 20 to 30 kelpies each year. Australian kelpies emerged in the early 1800s after collie breeds were brought to the continent. The dogs are renowned for their ability to muster sheep with little human direction.”

The decline of the Aga (Britain’s poshest stove): “At the height of Britain’s property boom, no eye-wateringly expensive farmhouse conversion was complete without a gleaming Aga in the high-spec kitchen. But in 2012, with the country still firmly in the grip of recession, sales of the pricey cast iron cookers are in decline – prompting the manufacturer to target China as a new market for growth. Announcing a sharp drop in half-year profits, Aga Rangemaster blamed the lack of activity in the property market as customers delayed buying big ticket items. The Aga cooker was invented in Sweden in 1922.”

Classic British nut was once a glamour girl: “With a spear clutched in one hand, a bag of bananas in the other and iPod headphones tucked beneath a white and purple turban, Alexandra Aitken cuts a striking figure as she strides along an Indian country road. The look – completed with pale pink glasses, blue espadrilles and a dagger slung over her white tunic – is a far cry from the tight dresses she favoured in her days as an ‘It’ girl around London. The 32-year-old has changed her name to Uttrang Kaur Khalsa and swapped the world of nightclubs and parties for a simple life as a devout Sikh in the Indian state of Punjab. But even in the holy town of Anandpur Sahib, she cuts an incongruous figure. Few Sikh women wear turbans and her decision to carry a spear puzzles many there because only male warriors usually do so.”


As she was

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

The hair of the dog

August 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

It’s a Bergamasco

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Many politicians have deficient fathers: “American politics is overflowing with stories of absent fathers, alcoholic fathers, neglectful fathers and untimely deceased ones. The list is surprisingly long. Take Ronald Reagan, who was haunted by a moment when he discovered his alcoholic father on the front porch “drunk, dead to the world”, his hair filled with snow. The 11-year-old Reagan had to drag him indoors. Or Bill Clinton, whose biological father drowned in a car crash, and who remembered standing up to his alcoholic stepfather and demanding that he never beat Clinton’s mother again. Gerald Ford’s father, an alcoholic, was found guilty of extreme cruelty to his family, and refused to pay child support when Ford’s mother left him. And it hardly bears recounting that Barack Obama built his political persona around a search for his absent dad. This isn’t just cherry-picking. It’s a representative window into the emotional make-up of America’s political class.”

Man with the world’s lowest voice: Record breaker hits notes so low they can only be heard by ELEPHANTS: “The man who holds the record for the world’s lowest voice can hit notes so low that only animals as massive as elephants are able to hear them. U.S. singer Tim Storms can reach notes as low as G-7 (0.189Hz). That’s a remarkable 8 octaves below the lowest G on a piano. So low, in fact, that even Storms himself cannot hear it. ‘I can feel them though,’ he told CNN. ‘I kind of hear them in my head as far as the sound my vocal chords are making but, as far as the frequencies, it’s something more or less that I feel.’ As well as holding the record for the lowest note produced by a human, Storms also has the widest vocal range, with the incredible ability to hit notes across ten octaves. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and raised in Waterloo, Indiana, Storms’s musical affinity appeared at a young age. Just four days after graduating from high school he began his career in Christian music and has since appeared in a number of singing groups.”

The giant ‘wall of wind’ that can simulate a HURRICANE using massive fans: “It is an astonishing sight, and the only place in the world where a man made hurricane can be summoned on demand. Researchers at Florida International University’s International Hurricane Research Center have unveiled the ‘wall of wind’ – an $8m project to help stop the devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew in the area happening again. Researchers plan to use the facility to test new building designs which they hope can withstand a hurricane. Today, it was tested for the first time. Fortunately, there were only two test roofs involved and the wind was confined to a big steel hangar.”

Druggie gets her car into a tight spot: “A woman has been reported for driving without due care after her car became wedged between a house and a retaining wall at Port Willunga. The car veered off the road, went down a steep embankment, over a wall and into a gap between the house and a retaining wall. The woman driver, 24, of Blewitt Springs near McLaren Vale, was reported for driving without due care and police will allege that she also returned a positive drug test. Police claim that drug paraphernalia was also found in the car.”

Dumb British cops too: “This is the moment a police van got into a sticky situation – after getting trapped between two buildings in a narrow road. The vehicle fell victim to the tiny lane in Looe, Cornwall, and became firmly wedged for around 20 minutes. The landlord of The Fisherman’s Arms, where the van got stuck, said it was common for vehicles to get wedged there. Landlord Mick Lee, who wasn’t there when the van got stuck last Saturday, said: ‘They are not the first to get stuck, and I am sure they won’t be the last. ‘People use their sat navs and it takes them down the hill where they just get stuck. ‘I am sure it will happen again, but I will admit it was slightly strange to see a police vehicle there.”

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

Are freckles “in” now?

August 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli portrayed without makeup or photoshopping. Who knew that she had freckles on her face?

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

A pantomime villain: “As far as armed robbers go, James Allan will not be remembered as a criminal mastermind. In what can only be described as a farcical raid on a corner shop, he failed to ensure he had a foolproof disguise and a meticulously planned gateway. For starters, he brandished a toy gun. Then, the dopey 28-year-old unveiled his disguise by whipping off his balaclava in full view of the shop’s CCTV camera. And that was before things went from bad to worse, as he struggled to exit via the one-way door. Not only did staff know him as a regular. As he attempted to leave the shop, Allan, who was pushing instead of pulling the door, then attempted to kick out the glass panel but toppled backwards into a drinks display, sending bottles skidding across the floor. Baffled store manager Angela Croke, keen to see the back of him, even went to his aid and helped him leave the store on March 2 this year. Allan was picked up by police just three hours after his botched robbery, still on the same street and with his balaclava stuffed in his pocket.”

Good ol’ British bungledom again: Railway station access ramp too low: “Mothers with prams and wheelchair users are being forced to make a five-mile rail diversion – because a ramp on a platform was built six inches too low. Network Rail started work on the £1million, 50ft access ramp at Heald Green, in Greater Manchester, last November. But company bosses realised in April a flaw in the design meant it would not sit flush with the pavement on the lane outside. The ramp has now been fenced off while the problem is fixed – meaning travellers in a wheelchair or with a pushchair from Manchester cannot get off at the platform. Network Rail has asked Stockport council to redesign and lower the pavement at Finney Lane to fit the ramp. Peter Burns, a councillor for Heald Green, said it had been a ‘monumental blunder’ not to get the height of the ramp right. He added: ‘It is not rocket science. The road has not moved and the platform has not moved.”

Man bites snake: “A Nepalese farmer who was bitten by a venomous snake took revenge by sinking his teeth into the reptile and killing it. Mohamed Salmo Miya was farming near his village southeast of Kathmandu when he encountered the deadly common cobra, said district police chief Uma Prasad Chatrubedi. ‘The snake bit him while he was working in his paddy field on Tuesday evening and the man chased it and killed it.’ Miya was treated at a local clinic and is recovering at home. ‘I was very angry after the snake bit into me. Then I followed the snake, grabbed it and bit it to death,” the 55-year-old told the Nepali-language Annapurna Post. ‘I could have killed it with a stick but I was mad with anger and wanted to take revenge. I killed it with my teeth.'”

A family snake: “Spare a thought for the Rice family who share their home with a 17-foot-long albino python. Lilly, who lives with her owners in a three bedroom detached house in Guyhirn, Cambridgeshire, has been measured, held and even lined up against the family’s ford focus – which she is bigger than by more than a nose. ‘Lilly has a wonderful personality,’ said Kim. ‘She is very placid and is so laid back that children love her. Lilly is much less trouble to keep than my two dogs to be honest. We can let her wonder around the garden, particularly on the grass on a hot day, which she loves. ‘But we do need to make sure she is watched at all times. If she wandered off she would give someone the fright of their lives.’ ‘We bought Lilly when she was a baby,’ said Kim. ‘She is seven years-old now which means she is still growing. We think one day she will reach about 20-foot-long. ‘She eats about one rabbit every three weeks and does spend a lot of time sleeping.”

A starry wedding photo: “As wedding photographs go, this extraordinary shot is certainly out of this world. A couple were delighted when talented photographer Lakshal Perera managed to capture them with the star-filled Milky Way as their backdrop. Amazingly, the image was taken in a single 71 second exposure, with the camera’s sensor set to extra sensitive to capture the dim light from the distant stars, as newly-married Shirley and Warren Andrews stood very still. It was taken on a farm in Deniliquin, New South Wales, Australia, where ex-pat Shirley lives and works with her new Aussie husband. ‘The owner of the farm had very kindly allowed them to use the back shed which just last week had been filled with tractors and farm tools. The shed was lit with a single string of very dim fairy lights and about 50 candles. It was only one photo and they stood pretty damn still.”

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

The river that died

August 23, 2012 at 9:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

New ‘Gramping’ trend: “They’re the emergency babysitters called upon to help out hard-working mums and dads in school term-time when things get a bit hectic. Now grandparents are putting in extra shifts during their grandchildren’s school holidays – and are even taking the youngsters away with them. Over a third of the 1,000 families questioned in a survey admitted they depend on grandparents to look after youngsters in the school holidays to save on the cost of childcare. It also found that one in four grandparents goes on holiday with their grandchildren. The survey also discovered that budget trips such as camping and caravanning holidays were among the most popular. They said the results pointed to a new phenomenon dubbed ‘gramping’ – when grandparents go camping.”

Crooked fisherwomen in Texas: “Seven participants of the Ladies Kingfish Tournament have been accused of felony fraud, charges which stem from their participation in the competition. Five of the participants were arraigned Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Municipal Court in Port Isabel. The other two will be arraigned by Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2 Judge George Solis. The Parks and Wildlife Department alleges that the participants cheated in bay divisions composed of Redfish, Trout and Flounder and won cash prizes as well as a boat valued at $18,000.” [More here]

Chinese fisherman hooks £300,000 fish: “A Chinese fisherman has netted a fortune after catching a critically endangered, but hugely prized, fish worth £300,000. The fisherman, whose identity has not been revealed, caught a Chinese Bahaba, or Giant Yellow Croaker, off the coast of Fujian province last week. After a bidding war, a local fishmonger paid him three million yuan (£300,000) for the 176lb fish, or £1,700 a pound, according to the Strait News, a local newspaper in Fujian. The fisherman told the newspaper he had found the fish floating on the surface of the sea and had “picked it up”. The size of the fish caught the attention of his fellow villagers, and the specimen was quickly identified. The Chinese Bahaba (Bahaba taipingensis) can reach 6ft 7in in length and weigh more than 220lb. It is particularly prized for its swim bladder, which is used by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine to cure heart and lung ailments. However, it has been fished almost to extinction, and its fisheries, from the Yangtze river estuary to the Pearl River in the south, have also been affected by pollution.”

Sleepy passenger goes on 18-hour round trip after missing stop: “A Frenchwoman endured an 18-hour journey from the Pakistani city of Lahore to Paris and back again after sleeping through her plane’s stop in the French capital, officials said on Wednesday. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) are investigating how ground crew failed to notice the woman during the plane’s two-hour stopover at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. The woman, named as Patrice Christine Ahmed, who is married to a Pakistani, left Lahore at noon on Tuesday to fly to Paris via Milan, but did not wake up to get off the plane, airline spokesman Sultan Hasan said. The woman did not mention her mistake to cabin crew and the matter only came to light when she was stopped by immigration officials on arrival back in Lahore on Wednesday morning – after a 12,000-kilometre round trip.”

Tourists get suspended jail term over kissing statue: “Three French tourists were given suspended six-month prison sentences in Sri Lanka on Tuesday after their holiday pictures appeared to show one of them – a woman – kissing a Buddha statue on the lips. All three — two women and a man — pleaded guilty to desecrating a Buddhist shrine in the central town of Kandy and were also fined 1500 rupees ($A11) each, police said. Officers were alerted to the incident after the visitors tried to get their holiday pictures printed. “The studio employee saw the images and alerted the Galle police who arrested the tourists on Monday and the case was concluded today because they pleaded guilty,” said police spokesman Ajith Rohana. The tourists were free to go as their jail sentences were suspended for five years and the magistrate did not make any order to expel them from the country, he added.”

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

Spelling test

August 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Drunk thief told victim his name after being caught in the act: “A drunken burglar who ‘blundered’ into a house after downing a bottle of tequila and told the homeowner his own name has been jailed. Kier Ruffell stole a Samsung mobile phone worth £100 from the family home in South Shields. Newcastle Crown Court heard how the 21-year-old wandered into the sitting room of the house on Biddick Hall Drive at around 10.50pm on Saturday 23 June 2012. The female occupant of the house was upstairs with her husband and 11-year-old son when Ruffell entered their home. ‘On re-entering the living room she saw the defendant. ‘She asked him who he was and he replied ‘Kier.’ ‘She shouted for her husband and the defendant left the premises.’ It was not until the next day that the householders noticed that a Samsung mobile telephone had gone missing.”

Blind pensioner falls 20ft onto concrete path after builders remove his balcony… then put up a sign warning him of the danger: “A blind pensioner plunged more than 20 feet onto a concrete path after bungling builders removed his balcony… then put up a sign to warn him of the danger. Wheelchair-bound Klaus Ohlmeier, 67, fell from the second-storey of his care home in Hamburg, Germany, as he popped outside for a breath of fresh air. His defenestration left him with serious internal bleeding and several broken ribs and needing intensive hospital treatment. He has now filed a lawsuit against the building firm that made the extraordinary blunder. The company had been contracted to remove all the balconies on the side of the building while they worked on improving its insulation.”

Greek Orthodox priests face pay cuts: “Senior clergy and staff in Cyprus’ Orthodox Christian Church will be given salary cuts because of dwindling revenue. Archbishop Chrysostomos II blamed the island nation’s ongoing financial crisis for the falling revenue. He said those earning more than €2,000 ($2,460) a month are in line for the cuts. The church’s top decision-making body, the Holy Synod, will convene early next month to enact the cuts. He said his own salary as well as that of bishops and other high-income church employees will be the first to be cut in order to ‘set the good example’. But he said the church will forgo cuts to junior priests who ‘earn just enough to get by on.’ Orthodox Christian priests are allowed to marry and many have large families.”

A real hoverbike: “An American firm has finally made a working ‘hoverbike’. Made famous by ‘Return of the Jedi,’ where it flew through woods piloted by Stormtroopers, the real life version has been tested in the rather safer surrounding of the Mojave desert. Created by California firm Aerofex, the vehicle is made from two ducted rotors facing the ground. Changing the angle of the rotors using two control sticks allows it to move. Initial plans to create a hoverbike were thwarted due to a complex control system. However, Aerofex created a system that responds to a human pilot’s leaning movements and natural sense of balance. Pilots use two knee rails to control the direction of flight, simply leaning in the direction they want to travel. Currently limited human flight testing to a height of 15 feet and speeds of about 30 mph”

Chinese Lambo: “It’s made from scrap metal, has a top speed most bicycles can beat, and is currently being used to transport fertiliser. Apart from that, and a few other minor details like paint, this is an exact replica of an £840,000 Lamborghini Reventon supercar. The rusty roadster is a labour of love for mechanic and farmer Wang Jian who lives in the Jiangsu province in the east of China. The 28-year-old, who developed a passion for cars as a young child, began his attempt to build his very own replica supercar in May last year when he bought a secondhand Volkswagen. After first building a small model of the Lamborghini Reventón Mr Wang set to work on a full-sized version by re-welding the chassis and shifting the engine from the front of the vehicle to the back. Although the work is now complete, the auto repair man is unable to cruise down the road in his mean machine because he cannot get a licence and instead uses it to transport fertiliser.”

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

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