Is this what they mean by a fat cat?

May 31, 2013 at 11:04 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Global cooling killing off the humble spud in Britain: “School dinners may never be the same again. The rising cost of potatoes is forcing them from the daily menu. They have more than tripled in price from £91-a-tonne in 2012 to £295 this year, meaning schools can no longer afford to fry, roast or mash them. So instead of featuring in every meal, potatoes will be served up just two or three times a week in some schools. Rain, snow and ice through one of the wettest winters and coldest springs on record led to a shortage of home-grown potatoes, with imports having to make up the shortfall. Nottinghamshire County Council announced the news yesterday, saying potato dishes in its school dinners would be replaced by rice and noodles. Kevin McKay, the council’s head of catering and facilities management, said: ‘The impact for school meals has been the rising price of potatoes, especially jackets, where wholesale prices have doubled and the quality is poor.”

A storm in a coffee cup: “A STARBUCKS cafe in Hong Kong’s posh financial district which used water from a tap [faucet] near a urinal to brew coffee prompted a flood of angry reactions from customers. The coffee shop, in the famous Bank of China Tower, has been using the water from a tap in a toilet to make beverages since its opening in October 2011. Images from local newspaper Apple Daily on Thursday showed the tap with a sign that said “Starbucks only” a few metres away from a urinal in the dingy washroom, which the paper said was in the building’s car park. “Totally disappointed! The initial decision by Starbucks to use water from toilet is a clear sign of your company’s vision and the level of (dis) respect your company has for the health and mind of your customers.” Kevin L wrote on the Starbucks Hong Kong Facebook wall. The water was collected less than five times a day by staff from a tap in a toilet located near the store, Starbucks said, adding that it was dedicated for collecting drinking water. The water from the toilet tap would go through a filtration system in the store ensuring it passed local and World Health Organisation standards, Pang said, adding the store is now using distilled water.” [What does it matter where the faucet is located?]

What happens when turbulence hits during meal service: “THIS is why you need to keep your seatbelt fastened at all times during a flight. A photo posted on Instagram by passenger Alan Cross shows the chaos after turbulence hit a Singapore Airlines A380-800 during breakfast service. Cross said: “Severe clear air turbulence issue on my SIN-LHR flight (SQ 308). A380 suddenly dropped 50-100ft during breakfast.” The flight was travelling from Singapore to London on Sunday when the unexpected turbulence struck about two hours into the flight, sending loose items such as food trays and utensils airborne and making a complete mess of the cabin. “Eleven passengers and one crew member sustained minor injuries when the aircraft experienced a sudden loss of altitude and were attended to by medical personnel on arrival at Heathrow Airport,” A Singapore Airlines spokesperson said. “Seatbelt signs were on at the time and meal services had already been suspended.” The flight landed safely.”

French government selling off its wine: “President Francois Hollande has been accused of selling off France’s national heritage with an auction of hundreds of bottles of fine wine from the cellars of his Elysee Palace. A total of 1200 bottles, including some of the world’s most prestigious labels, went under the hammer on Thursday evening in a sale that has become symbolic of the cash-strapped government’s austerity drive. Some 250 people, some just curious onlookers, were present at the Drouot auction hall in Paris for the sale, which will run until Friday, with hundreds of internet and telephone bidders expected. One of the first to go was a 1985 bottle of Krug Champagne which sold for 1200 euro ($1,600). The conspicuous cost-cutting is in keeping with the tone of Mr Hollande’s presidency, which has been clouded by a gloomy economic backdrop. Mr Chasseuil has written to Mr Hollande to express his regret over the decision to allow bottles “that are part of the heritage of our country to be sold off to billionaires from all over the world”.

US man caught having sex while drink driving: “A New Mexico man faces multiple charges after police say he was having sex with a woman while driving drunk and crashed, ejecting the woman from the vehicle. The Albuquerque Journal reports 25-year-old Luis Briones was found with one shoe on and his shorts on inside-out on Monday night after he wrecked his Ford Explorer in Albuquerque. Police say Briones’ female passenger was found naked outside the sport utility vehicle after being ejected. She had deep cuts to her face and head.Authorities allege Briones tried to drive away after the crash and abandon his passenger, but a witness grabbed his keys from the ignition. He also allegedly tried to hide from responding officers behind a cactus. Briones is charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and evading police.”

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

May 30, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AAARGH!

Daredevil tourists navigate a narrow 700 year old walkway on a sheer cliff face on a mountain in Shaanxi Province, China. Story here plus more gut-wrenching pics. And people DO die there

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Urine trouble: remote-controlled shower installed to stop public urinating in alley: “Tired of the alley outside of their shop being used by members of the public answering the call of nature, two men in the US have come up with a novel approach to ward them off. Reportedly installed by two men outside their locksmith store in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the remote-controlled shower is designed to prevent members of the public from urinating in an adjoining alley. Those responsible for the sprinkler system also installed security cameras to record those caught in the act and have been uploading videos of the soakings to YouTube since May 2012.” [Good video at link]

German man spends 15 years with pencil in head: “A German man spent 15 years with a pencil in his head following a childhood accident. Aachen University Hospital says the 24-year-old man sought help in 2011 after suffering for years from headaches, constant colds and worsening vision in one eye. A scan showed that a four-inch pencil was lodged from his sinus to his pharynx and had injured his right eye socket. The unnamed man said he did not know how the pencil got there but recalled that he once fell badly as a child. The German doctors removed the pencil and say the man has recovered.”

Union president snoozes at his desk, works two hours a day: “UNION heavyweight Mark Rosenthal has a relaxing work routine. Mr Rosenthal sidles into the office at 2pm every day, eats lunch and then goes to sleep at his desk. “Then he wakes up, looks at his watch and says, ‘I have to get out before the traffic gets bad.’ He’s usually out by 4pm after being at the office two hours,” union vice president Marvin Robbins told The New York Post. Mr Rosenthal earns $156,000 a year as president of a local municipal workers union in New York – a job he has held since 1998. He has been in the news before. In 2009, Mr Rosenthal inspired a council bill requiring jumbo-sized ambulances for obese patients after he had a stroke at City Hall. Union officials say the 400-plus-pound (more than 180kg) president racks up $1400 in food bills every month at the union’s expense. Executive board members told The New York Post Mr Rosenthal significantly over-orders at eateries and takes the extra food back to his apartment. “He’s always walking off with a doggie bag or extra boxes of food,” said one board member.”

Absurd portrait of the Queen: “A new portrait of the Queen, commissioned by Royal Mail to adorn a stamp marking the 60th anniversary of the Coronation, has been derided by critics who said it looked more like Margaret Thatcher. The painting, by artist Nicky Philipps, was branded “abominable” by experts who said it did not bear a strong likeness to the monarch. The stamp is one of a series of six released to celebrate royal portraiture and will be available to buy from Thursday. Estelle Lovatt, an art critic and lecturer, said: “It’s Thatcher meets Rumpole of the Bailey meets Hogarth, in Hogarthian England all the worse or perhaps the better for a glug of gin. “It’s surely dreadful, embarrassing, monstrous. It looks more like my neighbour than the Queen.”

American WWII GIs were dangerous sex-crazed rapists who the French feared as much as the Germans, explosive book claims: “Professor Mary Louise Roberts, from the University of Wisconsin, said within months of D-Day ordinary French women came to fear their American ‘liberators’. She tells how, by the summer of 1944, large numbers of women in Normandy filed complaints about rapes by US soldiers. And their arrival prompted a wave of crime all over France, with American soldiers caught committing robberies and petty thefts. Professor Roberts said: ‘My book seeks to debunk an old myth about the GI, thought of as a manly creature that always behaved well. The GIs were having sex anywhere and everywhere. ‘In the cities of Le Havre and Cherbourg, bad behaviour was common. ‘Women, including those who were married, were openly solicited for sex. Parks, bombed-out buildings, cemeteries and railway tracks were carnal venues. The book also claims the US army ‘demonstrated a deep and abiding racism’, suggesting they pinned a disproportionate number of rapes on black GIs. Documents show that of 152 troops disciplined by the army for rape, 130 were black.”

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

Cheeky elephant

May 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Garbage collector stopped truck compactors seconds before it crushed a curious boy hiding inside: “A GARBO stopped his truck’s compactors seconds before it crushed a curious nine-year-old boy who had hidden inside a bin on collection day. Dylan Jones said he was “horrified” when he spotted Connor’s little hands clinging to the rim of a recycling bin as he picked it up on his Monday morning run. The quick-thinking Mr Jones hit the truck’s emergency stop just seconds before its hydraulic pump, which crushes recycling, latched on to Connor. Connor jumped into a 240L bin outside his babysitter’s Yarrawonga home as he saw the recycling truck approach. This time Connor’s curiosity only caused him minor cuts and bruises, but Mr Jones said he feared the worst. “I just saw the two hands out the top of the hopper where the rubbish goes in. It was quite horrifying seeing that. I didn’t know what it was,” Mr Jones said. A sheepish Connor later admitted to reporters he was curious to see how the truck crushed recycling. “I just wanted to know what it looked like inside the dump truck,” Connor said.

The twilight of the gnomes: “It was meant to be a light-hearted attempt to sell garden furniture. But advertisers working for the Swedish furniture giant Ikea clearly underestimated the sensitivities of British gnome lovers. When their TV campaign showed a line up of the garden ornaments being systematically destroyed they received dozens of angry complaints. The advert shows a family replacing their old garden decorations with new products from Ikea. Angered at plans to eradicate them from the garden, the gnomes launch a revenge attack. But they are thwarted by the couple – who find increasingly violent ways to kill them off. Some are shattered into thousands of pieces by a well-aimed jet from a power hose while others are gathered in a hammock and smashed against a garden fence. One scene sees a heartbroken gnome standing over a fallen friend with a tear running down his cheek. The ad finishes with the tagline: ‘Make more of your garden. Say no to gnomes.’”

Clothing retailer Asos forced to withdraw belts after metal studs are found to be radioactive: “Women’s leather belts sold by the fashion website ASOS have been recalled after the metal studs in them were found to be radioactive. About 50 of the belts, retailing at £28, are known to have been bought from the company. They were made using cheap contaminated scrap metal in India. The peplum leather belts, which tested positive for Cobalt-60, could injure people if worn for more than 500 hours – and are currently in a radioactive storage facility, an internal company report said. It said that one of the belts tested positive after being pulled by U.S. border control officers, which led to them being withdrawn across the world reported The Guardian. The report, which was produced by an external regulator, said that the incident is ‘quite a common occurrence’ and that during the refining process of scrap metal, ‘orphaned radioactive sources are sometimes accidentally melted at the same time’.”

British Taxman tells owner of cafe she owes £1 BILLION: “A Caribbean café owner was sent an eye-watering tax bill for almost £1billion, it was revealed today. Florence Coke, 59, owner of Mama Flo’s in Gorton, Greater Manchester, said she ‘nearly fell over’ after opening the £979,092,858 bill from HM Revenue and Customs in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. She was left angry after the taxman threatened to seize her business assets if she failed to pay up – but HMRC bosses have since apologised after realising Ms Coke only owed a little less than £17,000. Ms Coke opened Mama Flo’s three years ago after working on the perfume counter at Selfridges and as a newspaper street vendor. She received the astonishing bill from HMRC in March. The letter, signed by an HMRC debt collector, said: ‘If you do not pay or contact us, we can visit your premises in order to arrange for your assets to be sold by public auction.’ She then had to return to Jamaica after her mother died and, while she was away, HMRC sent a letter apologising for the mistake – saying she actually owed £16,905.”

Kettle that looks like Hitler: “Bemused motorists took photographs of the huge JCPenney billboard advertising the kettle as they drove past it on the 405 Interstate highway near Culver City in California, one of America’s busiest stretches of roads. “That Hitler looks like a kettle,” commented one user of Reddit, one of the several websites where the image was posted over the weekend. “He even has his right arm extended,” wrote another, while a third added: “I’m a little Nazi, short and stout”. The kettle – officially the Michael Graves Design Bells and Whistles Stainless Steel Tea Kettle – retails for £35.08 on the JCPenney website”

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

Educational?

May 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Catholic church says more exorcists needed: “THE Catholic archdiocese in Madrid says it needs more exorcists to help some of its faithful cope with the devil. An archdiocese spokeswoman said on Friday Madrid only has one exorcist priest and that it is considering a plan to train more. “The devil exists. That’s a fact,” she told The Associated Press. Only a priest authorised by a bishop can perform an exorcism and the brief rite involves blessings with holy water, prayers and an interrogation of the devil by the exorcist during which the demon is asked to leave the victim. ReligionenLibertad, a Catholic website, blames the growing secularisation of Spanish society for what it calls an increase in people asking for help with their demons.”

One camouflage deserves another: “Chameleons are famous for their ability to change colour to blend in with their environment. Fortunately this butterfly didn’t give the game away when it came to rest on a reptile’s head in Turkey – as its wings were an identical shade of bright green. The delicate Eastern Dappled White flitted on to the chameleon’s back as it clung to the stem of a plant in Kahramanmaras, before perching casually on the creature’s head. The quirky scene caught the attention of photographer Mehmet Karaca, 28, who fetched his camera after being struck by the creatures’ matching ‘strong green colour’. Mr Karaca took the shots at around 6pm near his home in the Turkish city.”

A man has walked over 300km to be reunited with his dog: “Logan City man Brian Railton, who walked almost 300km over eight weeks searching for his lost dog Benji, has been reunited with his companion. The kelpie-border collie cross escaped his yard at Kingston, south of Brisbane, when he was spooked by a storm on March 24. Every day since then, Mr Railton, 70, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, walked from his home to the council’s animal management centre in the hope of finding his best mate, who would usually be walking by his side. With the help of his son Malcolm, Mr Railton hung posters and searched high and low until receiving the call he had been waiting for last Friday. “I got the call from the pound and dad could hear me on the phone and was so excited to bring him home. “We had a celebration and took him to McDonald’s for an ice-cream and he stole half of dad’s as well.” Benji was bought as an eight-week-old pup and was registered and microchipped. Benji waits by the bus stop for Mr Railton when he takes trips to the shops.”

Chinese lady is the expert on a very British institution: “A freshly baked scone, a layer of fruity jam and lashings of cream – the ingredients for a traditional cream tea couldn’t be simpler. But according to one expert you will also need a tape measure, scales and perhaps a degree in maths. Dr Eugenia Cheng, of Sheffield University, claims to have devised a statistical formula for the perfect combination of jam, cream and scones. The mathematician concluded that the best weight ratio is 2:1:1, which means an average scone, weighing 70g, requires 35g of jam and 35g of cream. Dr Cheng set the ideal thickness of the scone, with all its elements added, at about 2.8cm, allowing a relaxed open width of the mouth when taking a bite. The equation also specifies the thickness of the cream and jam layers. Wrangles over whether it should be jam first or cream, and whipped cream or clotted, have been running for generations, with references to the sweet treat dating back to the 11th century.”


A cream tea

Cheese Rolling competition goes ahead despite health and safety fears: “An international field of daredevils have defied health and safety zealots to take part in the annual Cheese Rolling competition. Rebel cheese rollers staged their own unofficial event after the world-famous competition, which sees people chase an 8lb piece of Double Gloucester down a steep hill, was cancelled in 2010. The first race was won by American Kenny Rackers, who donned a US stars and stripes morph suit, to sprint down the hill. The bizarre annual event, which has been taking place since the 1800s, attracts participants, spectators and media from across the world. Around 2,000 watched as roughly a dozen athletes pursued the “cheese” 200 metres down the 1:2 gradient slope of grass, brambles and nettles today. Competitors slip, somersault and tumble their way to the bottom in spectacular fashion during the races – and the first person to grab the cheese wins.”

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

Great grief for a soldier who did not come back

May 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Memorial Day today

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Man’s nine-year zombie nightmare: “A MAN diagnosed with a crippling condition which left him thinking he was a zombie has been cured. The patient named Graham and believed to be a Brit told how he was convinced he was dead. He spent days in graveyards because it was “the closest I could get to death”. He woke up nine years ago with rare Cotard’s Syndrome, also known as Walking Corpse Syndrome because sufferers believe they have become zombies. Graham, who lost his sense of smell and taste, stopped eating, smoking and speaking. He overcame the condition after months of therapy and help from University of Exeter boffins. He said: “I don’t feel brain dead any more.”

First-time mother was so over protective she made her toddler wear a CRASH HELMET even at home: “The wedding party was almost ready to set off. I took a deep breath, smoothed my ivory lace gown one last time and glanced around me. My bridegroom Cornel looked handsome and dashing in his morning suit, his lilac cravat toning beautifully with the flowers in my bouquet. Our little boy Alex, then 11 months old, toddled behind me, so cute in his tiny suit he was almost edible — a perfect miniature of his father in every way. Every way, but one. On my son’s head sat an ugly brown helmet, fastened tightly under his chin, and Cornel had just spotted it. ‘Oh no, Julie — not today,’ he sighed, rolling his eyes. ‘What about the photos? The guests will think we’re mad!’ ‘The town hall is huge,’ I protested, ‘and it’s full of sharp edges and polished floors. What if he hits his head?’ It’s not as if Alex wasn’t used to it. He wasn’t even a year old, yet he had become accustomed to living in an environment created for him by the world’s most over-protective mother…. With great reluctance, I put the helmet in the wardrobe. Cornel raised an exasperated eyebrow and pointed to the bin. So I threw it away.”

British father-of-two snaps up entire abandoned Spanish village for just £39,000: “British buyers are snapping up entire villages in Spain for a fifth of the price of the average semi-detached home here. Property bargain-hunters are making the most of Spain’s economic crisis to buy homes locals can no longer afford to keep. Most of the tiny villages have been in the hands of the same families for generations, but in many cases their inhabitants have moved away to urban areas and the houses have fallen into disrepair. Unable to afford to maintain or restore them, they are being sold at knockdown prices. Father-of-two Neil Christie bought the hamlet of Arrunada in an idyllic corner of rural north west Spain for just 45,000 euros – or £39,000. Even after he has totally renovated the four dilapidated properties, he expects to have spent no more than £140,000 on the project.”

Burger King robbery foiled when employee steals the getaway car and hides it: “A duo of bumbling hamburglars have been collared after a Burger King employee made off with their getaway car as they robbed the restaurant, police say – giving new meaning to the phrase ‘home of the whopper.’ The mishap began when two men allegedly stormed the Burger King in Stockton, California on Thursday with guns blazing and demanded cash. But while the suspects focused on emptying the register and a safe, a valiant employee was able to sneak out the fast food joint’s back door and found their car – and it was running. The employee then got behind the wheel and drove off, hiding the vehicle around the block, CBS Sacramento reported. The worker’s efforts successfully turned the tables on the slow-witted hooligans. Choiceless, the alleged thieves decided to make a break for it – on foot. As they tried to make their escape through the high grass of a nearby field, police responded to the the scene and slapped cuffs on 23-year-old Jeremy Lovitt and 19-year-old Gabriel Gonzales.

Viagra pill for women: “Women could soon be able to buy their own version of Viagra. The pill, called Lybrido, is said to increase a woman’s desire for sex, and make it more satisfying when it happens. It uses a combination of testosterone and a Viagra-like drug, which work on both the brain and body to boost flagging libido. Libido: Previous attempts to make ‘female viagra’ have failed because women’s low sex drive often stems from psychological factors
With trial results described as ‘very impressive’, it could be on bedside cabinets within three years. But experts warned that the firms which make it will be under pressure to prove that the drug will not turn women into nymphomaniacs. Dutch firm Emotional Brain believes it has cracked the problem with a two-in-one pill, which should be taken three and a half hours before sex.”

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

Pondering the problems of the world…

May 26, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

As I was lying around, pondering the problems of the world, I realized that at my age I don’t really care anymore. ..

If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal. ..

A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, but is still fat. ..

A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years, while .. A tortoise doesn’t run and does mostly nothing, yet it lives for 150 years. And you tell me to exercise?? I don’t think so.

Just grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, the good fortune to remember the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Now that I’m older here’s what I’ve discovered:

1. I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

2. My wild oats are mostly enjoyed with prunes and all-bran.

3. I finally got my head together, and now my body is falling apart.

4. Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded.

5. Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded.

6. If all is not lost, then where the heck is it?

7. It was a whole lot easier to get older, than to get wiser.

8. Some days, you’re the top dog; some days you’re the hydrant.

9. I wish the buck really did stop here; I sure could use a few of them.

10. Kids in the back seat cause accidents.

11. Accidents in the back seat cause kids.

12. It’s hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.

13. The world only beats a path to your door when you’re in the bathroom.

14. If God wanted me to touch my toes, he’d have put them on my knees.

15. When I’m finally holding all the right cards, everyone wants to play chess.

16. It’s not hard to meet expenses . . . they’re everywhere.

17. The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

18. These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter . . .I go somewhere to get something, and then wonder what I’m “here after”.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Scottish garbage collectors are sensitive petals: “A council has ordered its bin men not to go down uneven rural roads because they could suffer ‘whole body vibrations’. Residents in Fife, which recently introduced a new three bin system for rubbish, have been left to drag their own bins, sometimes for long distances, after the local authority instructed refuse workers not to go down roads with ‘too many potholes’. Nearly 500 people have complained about the extra loads they will need to pull so the council workers don’t have to experience the ‘vibrations’. In one road in St Andrews – Prior Letham Road – residents will have to hike 39 bins half-a-mile, to the road-end. Some have questioned the decision, saying postmen travel on the roads every day. Cllr Macgregor pointed out that whole body vibration was a European legislation concept not universally accepted. He said: ‘Tractor drivers, post office workers and others drive up these roads and tracks without any evidence of whole body vibration damage.”

Cyclist pulled over by British cops ‘because he wasn’t wearing Lycra’: “Wearing Lycra has long been considered a crime against fashion. But cyclist Tim Burton was surprised when he was stopped by police who pulled him over for not sporting the stretchy fabric. An officer considered Mr Burton’s preferred outfit of scruffy jeans and a t-shirt not to be the attire of a serious cyclist – and thought he must have stolen the high-end bicycle he was riding. PC Keith James, of Avon and Somerset Police, explained that because Mr Burton was not clad in Lycra or wearing a cycling helmet, he was likely to have pinched the £500 bike. But after checking the serial number on the bicycle which confirmed it did belong to Mr Burton, the officer sent him on his way.”

Damaged Chinese vase still worth £120,000: “A cracked Chinese vase that was delivered by its elderly owner to an auction house in a battered cardboard box has sold for a whopping £120,000. The man, aged in his 80s, had inherited the 11in moonflask vase from a relative many years ago and thought it was of little value because of the damage it had suffered. The top part had once broken off and had been very crudely stitched back together using large metal staples – a technique last used by ceramic specialists in the 1960s. Experts suspected the piece dated back to Imperial China and put a £2,000 pre-sale estimate on it, much to the delight of the owner. Despite the crack and seven staples, Chinese collectors bid on the blue and white vase at Duke’s auctioneers of Dorchester, Dorset, believing if was a rare relic from the Ming dynasty. It was finally bought for £119,500 – but had it not had the hefty crack running through it, it is likely the vase would have fetched £1million.”

Suspect runs away from police… and into a police station by accident: “A man fleeing police ended up inadvertently handing himself in after accidentally running into a police headquarters to hide. The man, who has not been named, was pulled over while driving in Clayton, St. Louis, Missouri, according to television station KMOV.com. Authorities said he got out of his car, pushed a police officer away and ran off. Police chased the man, who was panting heavily and appeared intoxicated, as he ran around the block but were amazed to see him dash straight into the St. Louis County police headquarters. The suspect had run in to hide, missing a sign outside the building that explained what it was. Lieutenant Bryan Ludwig, who was sitting in his office, and colleague, officer Randy Vaughn, jumped up to tackle the man as he sprinted towards them. After a brief chased they blocked him into a corner and arrested him.”

The tallest white elephant in the world: “Reaching more than a thousand feet into the air, The Shard was hailed as one of the wonders of the age when it was completed. Yet Britain’s tallest building is almost entirely empty, as its owners struggle to find buyers and tenants for its offices and luxury flats. As our picture shows, London’s 72-storey skyscraper is largely dark in the early evening, while the surrounding buildings are bright with office lights. Almost a year after it opened at a cost of £500 million, the building’s only occupants are a restaurant on the 32nd floor and a viewing gallery on the upper five floors, which offers visitors stunning views of the capital for £25. Not a single office in the 26 floors devoted to business use has been rented. High rents and economic stagnation have been blamed for the slow take-up – but other experts believe the problem is more fundamental: location, location, location. The Shard is to the south of the Thames, across the river from the financial institutions of the Square Mile who would be its target tenants”

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

Somebody likes bananas

May 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Or are they setting up a banana republic?

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

World’s longest hangover: “IT may be the longest hangover in the history of binge beer drinking. A Glasgow man downed 60 pints leaving him with a four-week super-hangover. When a 37-year old man walked into a hospital emergency room in Glasgow, Scotland last October complaining of “wavy” vision and a non-stop headache that had lasted four weeks, doctors were at first stumped, the British journal The Lancet reported today. But when an eye specialist was called in, the fog began to clear, at least for the doctors. The patient, said the ophthalmologist, had swollen optical discs, greatly enlarged blind spots and what eye doctors call “flame haemorrhages,” or bleeding nerve fibres. This is when the man revealed he had consumed 60 pints – roughly 35 litres – of beer over a four day period, following a domestic crisis. It took more than six months of long-term blood-thinning treatment to restore the man’s normal vision – and to get rid of the headache, the doctors reported.”

Germany named most popular country in world: “Germany is the most popular country in the world, despite well-publicised protests against its insistence on austerity measures within the European Union, an annual poll for the BBC World Service reveals. More than 26,000 people from around the world were asked to rate 16 countries on whether their global influence was “mainly positive” or “mainly negative”. Some 59 per cent of those polled rated Germany as having a positive influence, while at the other end of the spectrum, Iran came last with only 15 per cent looking upon it favourably. Even in Spain, which is suffering from stringent austerity measures due to a German-led financial rescue package, 68 per cent said they felt Germany had “a mainly positive influence in the world”. Germany displaced Japan at the top of the table, with the Asian giant’s popularity falling from 58 per cent last year to 51 per cent. Canada and Britain scored second and third, both with 55 per cent”

Bride-to-be found guilty of killing fiance just hours before wedding: “A US woman [above] who stabbed her fiance to death with a large kitchen knife hours before their wedding last year folded her hands and rocked side to side as a Pennsylvania jury announced it had found her guilty of first-degree murder. The jury of five woman and seven men deliberated for just under three hours before reaching its decision during the third day of Na Cola Darcel Franklin’s trial. Franklin, wearing a black dress and black suit coat, did not cry as she had several times throughout the trial. Instead, she looked into the court audience briefly with tears in her eyes, before focusing back on the jury as the verdict was read on Thursday. Franklin, 32, will now spend the rest of her life in prison without a chance of parole for the slaying of her husband-to-be, truck driver Billy Brewster, 36.”

Another government computer meltdown: “The BBC has admitted it wasted almost £100million of licence fee payers’ money on a failed IT project. MPs branded the debacle an ‘outrage’ as the corporation suspended its chief technology officer and threatened disciplinary action to those responsible. BBC director general Tony Hall has now axed the Digital Media Initiative (DMI). The corporation’s governing body admitted it would be ‘throwing good money after bad’ to finish the project, which began five years ago. The DMI was supposed to allow BBC staff to access the entire archive from their computers, doing away with the need for audio and video tapes. It was expected to save the corporation £18million in production costs because staff could share and download material remotely instead of transporting tapes between headquarters.”

Man [above] tries to un-divorce dead wife! “A husband battling to have his divorce from his wife annulled more than two years after her death has had his hopes dashed by a top judge. Desmond McIntosh, who is dyslexic and has ‘severe difficulty in reading and writing’, insisted he didn’t realise his wife Jennifer had already divorced him as he cared for her during her final days. The carpenter said his literacy skills are so bad he had no idea he had signed divorce papers which left him ‘with absolutely no capital’ following her death from lung and brain cancer at the age of 71 in 2011. Mr McIntosh, 58, told London’s Appeal Court he spent the last two years of his wife’s life ‘caring for her in her dying days’ and was shocked to discover after she died that she had ended their marriage in 2009. He claimed his signature on the divorce document was unfairly procured by his late wife using ‘undue influence’. The court heard the couple, who ran a carpentry business together, married in 1993 and bought a house in Thamesmead, London, where they lived for 16 years. The property, which they bought for £78,000, is now worth around £350,000 and was in Mrs McIntosh’s sole name.”

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

Scottish travails

May 24, 2013 at 10:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Cockroaches quickly lose sweet tooth to survive: “FOR decades, people have been getting rid of cockroaches by setting out bait mixed with poison. But in the late 1980s, in an apartment test kitchen in Florida, something went very wrong. A killer product stopped working. Cockroach populations there kept rising. Mystified researchers tested and discarded theory after theory until they finally hit on the explanation: In a remarkably rapid display of evolution at work, many of the cockroaches had lost their sweet tooth, rejecting the corn syrup meant to attract them. In as little as five years, the sugar-rejecting trait had become so widespread that the bait had been rendered useless. “Cockroaches are highly adaptive, and they’re doing pretty well in the arms race with us,” said North Carolina State University entomologist Jules Silverman, discoverer of the glucose aversion in that Florida kitchen during a bait test.”

Fisherman catches 2m freshwater croc – and gives it the bottom bunk bed: “HE was hoping to catch a birthday barra [barramundi] but instead it turned into crocodile capers for an Innisfail fisherman who spent the night bunked down at home with a 2m reptile. Ashley Sala was fishing in Ninds Creek, a tributary of the Johnstone River, on Tuesday night when a snarly swamp dog latched on to his live bait. Mr Sala pondered what to do next, realising the croc, which he was “starting to feel sorry for”, would almost certainly drown if the line wasn’t untangled. Cr Nolan advised him to keep the croc in a safe place for the night and that he would call the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service in the morning to come and collect the animal. The fisherman did just that, giving his girlfriend a birthday brush-off as he opted to share a bunk bed in a donga at his family’s River Drive Van Park with his prized catch. From his comfy perch on the top bunk, Mr Sala kept the croc secure until rangers arrived yesterday morning to take the croc away for assessment.”

More bureaucratic British bungledom: “A couple have spoken of their disbelief after just one of their disabled identical twin sons, who both have Downs Syndrome, was granted vital disability benefits while the other was refused. Little Arthur and Alfie, both 10 months old, share the exact same medical conditions and need the same round-the-clock care. But a government ruling has found that only Arthur was entitled to Disability Living Allowance of £76 per month. Mum Emma Banks-Lowe, 33, said the decision had left her ‘gobsmacked’ because the boys, born just one minute apart, share exactly the same medical issues and require round-the-clock care. Emma and her mechanic husband David, 45, of Kirkham, Lancs, said the benefits are vital for both of the boys who need daily physiotherapy, and require frequent hospital visits. They have identical heart, lung and eye complications and they are expected to have problems walking as they grow older.”

World’s most expensive coffee pot: “The world’s most expensive coffee set to fetch up to £4.5million when it goes under the hammer. The small jug, which stands little over 10ins tall, will be the most important coffee-pot ever to come to the market when it is auctioned at Christie’s in London next month. Collectors from around the world are expected to spark a bidding frenzy for the Rococo masterpiece by Paul de Lamerie (1688–1751) – the greatest silversmith working in Britain in the 18th century. The George II silver coffee-pot, which weighs 34oz, was created in 1738, for a successful merchant. This coffee-pot is the masterpiece of de Lamerie’s highly developed Rococo period and is a tour-de-force of design and execution. The coffee pot was commissioned by London based trader and fellow Huguenot Sir John Lequesne and tells the story of his flight from France to London”

American tourists having picnic on Iceland glacier rescued after it becomes iceberg and floats away – with them on it: “It was anything but a quiet meal for a group of tourists who stopped to have a picnic on a glacier in Iceland, only to have their vantage point break off and float away. The four Americans had stopped for a Sunday dinner at the Fjallsárlón glacial lagoon in East Iceland over the weekend, setting up a table and chairs for their feast. But suddenly, a gust of wind caused the ice floe they were sitting on to break off and drift out into the water. One of the tourists was able to scramble off the massive piece of ice and call for help. When they were found by first responders, they were about 32 feet off the shore, according to Iceland Review. ‘When we arrived it was quite comical to see them sitting on chairs and with a table on an iceberg,’ Páll Sigurður Vignisson of the Hornafjörður rescue team, told Iceland Review.”

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

GETTING OLDER

May 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor’s office. “Is it true,” she wanted to know, “that the medication you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life?” “‘Yes, I’m afraid so,”‘ the doctor told her. There was a moment of silence before the senior lady replied, “I’m wondering, then, just how serious is my condition, because this prescription is marked ‘NO REFILLS’.”

An older gentleman was on the operating table awaiting surgery and he insisted that his son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation. As he was about to get the anesthesia, he asked to speak to his son. “Yes, Dad , what is it?” “Don’t be nervous, son; do your best, and just remember, if it doesn’t go well, if something happens to me, your mother is going to come and live with you and your wife.”

Ageing: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it. This is so true. I love to hear them say “You don’t look that old.”

The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me! I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve travelled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.

When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

One of the many things no one tells you about ageing is that it is such a nice change from being young.

Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

First you forget names, then you forget faces. Then you forget to pull up your zipper; it’s worse when you forget to pull it down.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Aggressive female driver incriminates herself on Twitter: “A YOUNG driver may have landed herself in trouble after boasting about knocking a cyclist off their bike on Twitter. The woman, whose name is ‘Emma Way’ on Twitter, has been contacted by police in the UK city of Norwich following the ill-advised tweet. “Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier – I have right of way he doesn’t even pay road tax #bloodycyclists”,” she wrote, according to the Guardian. The furore created by her boast resulted in the alleged victim coming forward. Toby Hockley, 29, and a trainee chef, said he was knocked off his bike while taking part in a race with his bike club. In an interview with the BBC, Mr Hockley said: “She hit me hard, really hard. I am lucky to be alive. But I managed to get out of the hedge and stand up. Norfolk police have confirmed that both parties are now in contact with the police.”

Big sinkhole in China: “FIVE people have died after a 10-metre wide sinkhole opened up at the gates of an industrial estate in Shenzhen, the southern Chinese boom town neighbouring Hong Kong. The Shenzhen Longgang district government said on its verified page on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, that five people had died and added that it was investigating the incident. The sinkhole formed just outside the Huamao Industrial Park in Shenzhen on Monday evening, at a time when many factory workers would have been changing shifts, according to the website of Beijing-based newspaper the Guangming Daily. The state-run Shanghai Daily newspaper said that rescuers saved one man.”

Dangerous driver not too clever: “AN unlicensed hoon who allegedly swerved – on purpose – at a father and his baby boy on a suburban Darwin street has been arrested. A photo taken by the victim, who wished to remain anonymous, helped police track down the alleged offender. The man said that he was walking near his house on Wilmot St, at The Narrows, on Monday when he heard a loud “screech” of tyres. “There was a big plume of smoke coming from the back of this car,” he said. “I crossed the road and got my phone out. The car sped down the road and started swerving at us in a threatening way when he realised I was filming.” The black tyre marks left from the burnout were about 30m long. The 24-year-old driver did a lap of the block and then parked his white Ford sedan outside a mate’s house close to the scene of the burnout, at the corner of Fleming St, about 6.30pm on Monday. Police found the alleged hoon at the house about 70m from the burnout. It is unknown whether he was the owner of the car, which was impounded. The man has been charged with driving unlicensed and driving without due care, and faced Darwin Magistrates Court yesterday.”

Wedding dress and dog don’t mix: “There was little this bride could do when she was chased down and tackled to the ground by an overenthusiastic dog. The bride, identified only as Morgan, was making her way across a garden after showing off her dress to her grandmother, when the unfortunate incident occurred. A woman filming Morgan from the terrace warns not to let the dog, named Tess, out of the house – but it comes too late. As the overenthusiastic Tess bounds across the lawn at top speed, Morgan flees across the lawn. She is soon knocked to the ground by the playful pet. Despite her pristine white dress being no doubt covered in pawprints and slobber, the bride manages to see the funny side and bursts into giggles as the dog is pulled off her.”

Internet goes bonkers for mysterious male model Ahmed Angel: “Meet Ahmed Angel, the bright-eyed, unabashedly narcissistic male model from Iraq who is conquering the internet one creepy, sparkling selfie at a time. With his flawless (perhaps slightly Photoshopped) porcelain skin, fair Ahmed looks like a cross between Frodo Baggins and post-transformation Michael Jackson. Which can only be a good thing. And boy, what a personality. Ahmed doesn’t bother with the grating false modesty of most small-time celebrities. Just check out this loving video tribute he made to himself. “He is planet.” We have absolutely no idea what Ahmed means by that but hey, with a face this gorgeous, he doesn’t need to make sense. We know you’ve already fallen for those piercing blue eyes. You and the rest of the world. But worry not, Ahmed loves you back. The Ahmed admirers aren’t just on Facebook. Ahmed’s Imgur album has been viewed almost a million times, and his luminescence has spawned a series of threads on reddit. Sigh. So eloquent. The guy doesn’t have a single flaw. Seriously though, we’re totally creeped out.” [Let's hope he is a Shia Muslim who goes for a walk down a Sunni street in his native Iraq some time]

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

COUNTRY LIFE

May 22, 2013 at 8:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When you’re from the country you look at things a little differently…..

A rancher got in his pickup and drove to a neighboring farm
and knocked at the door. A young boy, about 9, opened the door.

“Is your Dad home?” the rancher asked.

“No sir, he isn’t,” the boy replied. “He went into town.”

“Well,” said the rancher, “Is your Mother here?”

“No sir, she’s not here either. She went into town with Dad.”

“How about your brother, Howard? Is he here?”

“No sir, he went with Mom and Dad.”

The rancher stood there for a few minutes, shifting from one foot to the other and mumbling to himself.

“Is there anything I can do for you?” the boy asked politely. “I know where all the tools are, if you want to borrow one. Or maybe I could take a message for Dad.”

“Well,” said the rancher uncomfortably, “I really wanted to talk to your Dad. It’s about your brother Howard getting my daughter, Suzie, pregnant.”

The boy considered for a moment. “Well Sir, you would have to talk to Pa about that,” he finally conceded. “If it helps you any, I know that Pa charges $500 for the bull and $50 for the hog, but I really don’t know how much he gets for Howard.”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Sinkhole swallows man on forklift in New Jersey warehouse: “A FORKLIFT operator is lucky to be alive after an indoor sinkhole opened up and swallowed him inside a warehouse. The man was working when 2.4-metre deep sinkhole gave way beneath him in a East Rutherford, New Jersey warehouse, reports NBC4 New York. The man was rescued and taken to hospital with minor injuries. Rescuers said the forklift may have saved his life, preventing him from being crushed by shielding him when he fell. The entire warehouse was evacuated after the entire floor sank into a 12-metre by 12-metre sinkhole.

Rare 19th century torpedo discovered — by a dolphin “A rare, antique torpedo that was last fired almost 120 years ago has been uncovered at the bottom of the ocean – by a dolphin working for the US Navy. The bottlenose, named Ten, found the brass relic, known as the Howell torpedo, during a routine patrol and reconnaissance training mission off the coast of California. The US Navy employs dolphins – and some sea lions – to scour the depths for mines, shipwrecks and enemy divers. But 19th century naval weaponry is a particularly rare find, especially one that has lain undisturbed on the ocean bed since 1895. In its heyday, the 11-foot Howell torpedo was considered a masterpiece of innovation and one of the most technologically-advanced pieces of military hardware in the US Navy’s arsenal. Fired from above water or through submerged torpedo tubes, it could cut silently through the water at speeds of 25 knots and sink an unsuspecting enemy warship from up to 700 yards away.”

Breast shaped pizza means the lads are donating to breast cancer charity in their droves: “BREAST-shaped pizzas are the latest menu item causing offence at a Brisbane topless bar. The Grosvenor on George owner Jasmine Robson said she had a special breast-shaped cutter made for the pizzas, with all the flavours named after the hotel’s topless barmaids. “Why not? Life’s too short not to play with your food,” she said. “Guys love them. It’s hilarious watching everyone take ‘selfies’ with their pizzas.” Ms Robson said if people were offended by the pizzas, the solution is simple – don’t buy one. She is also donating $1 from every pizza sold each month to a breast cancer charity. “So it is more than fitting that they are shaped like womens’ breasts.”

Car thief caught by owner: “A US woman who had her car stolen has spotted it going through the Drive-Thru while working at a McDonald’s fast food eatery. According to Washington newspaper Tri-City Herald, McDonald’s staff member Virginia Maiden’s SUV was stolen from her unit complex but she saw it just hours later as its occupants ordered a meal from the store. Maiden then reportedly called the police, who later arrested the 22-year-old driver of the stolen SUV at the McDonald’s on West Canal Drive in Kennewick. According to the report, the car was filled with stolen clothes, and the driver was taken into custody at Benton County jail.”

Big bird: “An Essex livestock owner claims to have reared the biggest cockerel in the world on a diet of popcorn. At more than 2ft (26ins) tall the one-year-old Brahma bird, named Little John, terrifies small children. But it could get even bigger as it is expected to continue growing until its second birthday. Jeremy Goldsmith, the cockerel’s owner, claims it is a world-beater because he also reared the previous biggest, called Melvin and measuring 24ins tall. Little John roams the 10-acre grounds of Mountfitchet Castle in Stansted, Essex., where he is fed crisps and popcorn from visitors. Mr Goldsmith, 45, said: “Little John looks massive compared to the other cockerels and chickens we have on the estate. “I think he has grown so big just because he is treated well and you don’t get more free range than here. “The kids often feed him sandwiches and crisps, but his favourite has got to be popcorn. Brahmas are an Asiatic breed of chicken that originated from birds exported through Shanghai in China and were known as “Shanghai” birds”

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

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