Why men die first

August 31, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Funeral-goers told to ‘fasten their seat belts’: “It could have been mistaken as a sign from the heavens above. But the mysterious voice heard through speakers during a funeral service was in fact a stewardess on a passing plane telling passengers to prepare for landing. Friends and family of Brendan Duffy had gathered at St Edward’s Church in Windsor, Berkshire, to pay their final respects after the Dublin-born grandfather-of-four died on August 8, aged 78. But as his nephew Joe Duffy was reading the eulogy, everyone was suddenly told to ‘fasten their seat belts’ and ‘prepare doors for landing’. It is believed the gaffe happened because the church’s wireless microphone and the plane’s radio were on the same frequency. Luckily mourners saw the funny side and burst out laughing during the service much to the priest’s embarrassment. The church happens to be directly under the flight path into Heathrow Airport.”

Man uses a bow to fire marijuana into a prison, wrapped around an arrow… then tells police he was aiming at a squirrel: “A 36-year-old man took a bow out of his pickup truck at the Whatcom County Courthouse in Bellingham, Washington, USA, attached a baggie of marijuana to an arrow and fired the arrow at the second-floor recreation area of the county jail, according to news reports. David Wayne Jordan was later arrested, and claimed he had been aiming at a squirrel, the Bellingham Herald reported late on Wednesday. ‘He had no explanation as to why squirrel hunting requires attaching marijuana to an arrow,’ Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo told the newspaper. If fired at a perfect angle, the sheriff added, an arrow might squeeze through the screen. However, it landed on the roof. As Jordan sped off, the employee took down his license plate number. He was later arrested at his home with the bow still sitting in the pickup truck.”

Would you spend £11 on the world’s most expensive toilet roll?: “If you’re wanting to give your derriere the treatment that’s fit for an Emperor, you might wish to try this overtly lavish Japanese toilet paper. The brand, known as Hanebisho, comes at a price, of course. A three-pack will cost you 5,000Yen (around £32), meaning a single roll works out at about £11 – many times more expensive than your average supermarket brand. Hanebisho paper, considered the world’s most expensive, is made using the finest wood fibre pulp from Canada and treated with water from the Nyodo River, which was ranked Japan’s cleanest in 2010. Production is a delicate operation similar to making pancakes that uses heat at just the right temperature to make sure the paper doesn’t burn and comes out wonderfully soft.”

Brave turtle: “This lazy terrapin decided to catch a ride across a pond – on the back of a deadly alligator. The brave terrapin was pictured at Sea World in San Antonio, Texas, relaxing on the predator’s back as it made its way across the pond. The cheeky turtle even tried stretching to grab a piece of moss hanging down from the branch during its ride. Photographer Shawn Miller, 41, was completely gobsmacked to see the unusual friendship during a recent visit. The father-of-two said: ‘I was looking out on the pond and noticed this particular alligator with the red-eared terrapin on his back. He was swimming around the pond slowly and the turtle was simply hitching a ride. He added: ‘Of course this is not normal behaviour for these two animals, but I think since they live in the same pond year round that they must have become very accustomed to each other and considered it no big deal to share the same space.’

The shark that WALKS: “A newly discovered species of shark that ‘walks’ along the sea floor to hunt for its next meal, has been discovered and filmed by scientists. In the intriguing video, the spotty fish, which is a type of bamboo shark, uses its front four fins to crawl along the sea floor in a clever technique to sneak up on its prey off the islands of Indonesia. It has been named hemiscyllium halmahera after the group of sharks it is closely related to and also the place it was found, the eastern Maluku island of Halmahera. The shark, which is harmless to humans, grows up to 27 inches in length and two specimens, which differed slightly in colour, were spotted hugging the sea floor to search for small fish and invertebrates to feast on at night. Its unusual wriggling ‘walking’ action could help scientists understand how some of the first animals evolved from living in the sea to walking on land.”

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

What could go wrong?

August 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Scare culprit easily traced: “AN angry pensioner sparked an evacuation scare after he allegedly sent a letter to Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart with 10 teaspoons of white baker’s flour inside. Police alleged Riederer put 10 teaspoons of white flour inside the envelope before sealing it and addressing it to the police commissioner at his Brisbane office. It was alleged Riederer put his own return address at Caboolture on the back on the letter, however. Police alleged the letter was delivered to Police Headquarters on Roma St in the Brisbane CBD when some of the flour spilt onto a desk on June 12. The incident caused a scare and the evacuation of 25 staff on numerous levels of the building. Detectives quickly tracked Riederer down using the address on his letter.”

Hairy cat: “HE may not look like he’s been near a brush for some time, but this cat has actually been groomed to be a record breaker. Colonel Meow, a Himalayan-Persian cross-breed from Los Angeles, is officially the world’s hairiest feline. The two-year-old, whose nine-inch coat has to be brushed three times a week, will appear in Guinness World Records 2014 after three vets analysed samples of his fur to crown him hairiest of all. The Colonel has already experienced fame – he has his own Facebook page with more than 178,000 fans – but not on the world scale he is now expecting.”

Saggy pants not so smart: “A Brooklyn man who tried to make a getaway on foot after swiping a woman’s cell phone was caught by police when he tripped and fell over his own sagging pants. Police and eye witnesses say Joel Donaldson, 21, punched his victim Maria Soccoro, in the face Wednesday then snatched her phone and took off running. But as he ran, his ill-fitting jeans kept tripping him up until they were completely around his ankles. Officer Donovan Hunt was directing traffic nearby saw the struggling thief and heard Soccoro’s screams. With Donaldson handicapped with pants at his ankles, Hunt was able to tackle him to the shock and amusement of passers by. Donaldson was hauled away by police just blocks away from Brooklyn’s criminal court. He’s since been charged with robbery. Soccoro’s iPhone, meanwhile, has been returned safe and sound.”

The ultimate answer to telephone nuisances: “An ingenious entrepreneur has turned the tables on nuisance-callers by setting up his own premium rate number that makes him 10p a minute when they ring. Lee Beaumont, from Leeds, spent £12 on a personal 0871 number and has since made £300 from people telephoning about PPI or personal injury claims. The blogger said that he took the decision when cold-callers persistently rang him during his favourite TV shows. ‘I was getting annoyed with the PPI calls when I’m trying to watch Coronation Street for instance, so I’d rather have an 0871 so I can make 10p a minute,’ he said. ‘I thought there must be a way to make money off these phone calls.’ Mr Beaumont said he gave out the 0871 number when he needed to talk to utilities companies but had a separate line for his friends and family to call him on.

The world’s most dangerous slide: Chinese factory instals children’s toy on the roof which leads to 40ft drop onto concrete: “At first glance, this slide looks like a fun playground toy for children. But anyone who tried it out would get a nasty shock – when they plummeted 40ft down the side of the building. The slide has horrified locals in eastern China who are concerned that kids might reach the roof where it is located. The frame is placed on top of a three-storey factory in Heze, Shandong province, where the slides are manufactured. It is located so that the end of the slide leads straight off the building, so that any foolish thrill-seeker would drop directly onto a concrete car park. Neighbours have voiced fears that the colourful object could prove irrestible to teenagers. ‘We worry that our children might get in there at weekends and try to play on it,’ one said. ‘You’d have to be mad to put a slide there.’ Factory managers say the slide is meant to advertise the company’s wares, and is not intended to be used by anyone.”

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

Keep your senior citizens clean

August 29, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Mystery of missing bicycle saddles: “JAPANESE police have got to the bottom of a mysterious crime wave that saw 200 leather bicycle saddles vanish in a matter of months, reports say. Joji Kondo, 35, confessed to police that he would steal the saddles, and then sniff and lick them when he got home, the Sports Hochi reported on Sunday. He told officers that he liked the texture and smell of leather and that he particularly “likes saddles sat on by women”, the newspaper said. Police in Yokohama, near Tokyo, had been receiving regular reports since January that bicycle seats were going missing, the paper and other media said. Kondo told police that he knew by the aroma whether the bike he was targeting belonged to a man or a woman, the paper said.”

Hospital patient ‘carried 15 miles in luggage hold of Irish bus after getting locked in while trying to retrieve her bag’: “A hospital patient is said to have been carried more than 15 miles in the baggage compartment of a coach after becoming trapped inside as she tried to retrieve her bag. Bus Éireann has launched an investigation into how the middle-aged woman became locked in the luggage compartment as she arrived home in Ballyvaughan, Ireland, after a hospital appointment. It is believed that the woman, who does not wish to be named, tried to reach into the baggage compartment to pick up her small bag which was hidden behind larger luggage. It is thought that she may have fainted after climbing into the compartment. The hold door then closed and the bus continued on its journey. The woman, who had travelled more than 30 miles from a hospital in Galway, in the West Region of Ireland, to her County Clare home, was not discovered until the coach stopped some 15 miles down the road in Doolin.”

Chinese boy, five, blasted eight foot into air by jet of water as he played in fountain: “A five-year-old boy was blasted about eight foot into the air by a jet of water as he played in a public fountain in China. The child’s clothes were torn to shreds by the high pressure water and he suffered a bloody nose and cuts after he landed face first on the concrete. The little boy was cooling off with his parents at the Xinjian Cultural Centre square’s musical fountain, which is visited by scores of people every night. The hi-tech water and lights show shoots strong blasts of water straight from jets set into the pavement. The child’s father Wan Lu is furious at the lack of signs warning people about the dangerous jets. However, local media said the fountain is cordoned off and warning signs have been installed telling people that the jets are dangerous. Town Hall officials have blamed the parents of the youngster for his injuries.”

It’s official: A woman’s beauty really IS the most important thing to a man – but for women, it’s all about social status: “It may seem like an obvious statement that men value beauty in women while women prefer men with a high social status. But in recent years, a number of studies have undermined this view by claiming that men and women really want the same thing in a romantic partner- even if they say they don’t. Now researchers believe they have finally got to the bottom of what men and women really want, and their findings support traditional stereotypes. Published in this month’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the study is the first to demonstrate experimentally that the sexes differ in the way they choose mates in real-life contexts. Norman Li, associate professor of psychology at Singapore Management University, Oliver Sng, a doctoral psychology student at Arizona State University, conducted various experiments using online chatting and speed-dating methods. Unlike past studies, these experiments were set up to include men and women with low social status and low physical attractiveness.”

Man who oversaw world’s most painstaking scientific experiment dies without ever seeing it in action: “A professor of physics who oversaw one of the world’s longest and most painstaking experiments has died without ever seeing it in action. John Mainstone, former head of the department of physics at the University of Queensland, was custodian of the Pitch Drop Experiment for 52 years. The experiment began in 1927 by Thomas Parnell was designed to show that pitch, although it feels solid, will act like a fluid and flows through a glass funnel over time. Only eight drops have fallen in the 83 years since the pitch began dripping, and no-one has ever seen one fall. Earlier this year Professor Mainstone, who died last week aged 78 following a stroke, said he expected the next drop would fall by the end of this year. ‘It’s got a mind of its own and in blink of an eye it can drop,’ The experiment is now under constant surveillance, with three webcams trained on it to capture the ninth drop’s fall on camera.”

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

THE LEMON PICKER

August 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sally Mullihan of Coral Springs, Florida decided to take one of the jobs that most Americans are not willing to do.

This woman applied for a job in a Florida lemon grove and seemed to be far too qualified for the job.

She had a liberal arts degree from the University of Michigan and had worked as a social worker and a school teacher.

The foreman frowned and said, “I have to ask you, have you had any actual experience in picking lemons?”

“Well, as a matter of fact, I have.” she said.

“I’ve been divorced three times, owned 2 Chryslers and I voted for Obama.”

She got the job immediately!!!

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Acupuncture patient abandoned by doctor in treatment room: “AN ACUPUNCTURE patient was forced to phone 911 when the doctor left for the day – while the patient was still in a treatment room, with needles in her. “Yes, I’m locked in someone’s business establishment,” the unidentified woman told the 911 operator. “I don’t hear anybody. The music went off. The door is locked and his car is gone.” “Are you a patient?” the flabbergasted operator reportedly asked. “Yes,” the woman replied, according to WFAA Channel 8. “I was in the middle of a treatment…I had to pull the needles out of me in order to, you know, find out what’s going on. I’m yelling for help for about five minutes or so.” The doctor – Jeff Tsing, who is licensed with the Texas Medical Board and has a spotless record – later told WFAA he was ashamed of what had occurred and “baffled” how he had inexplicably forgotten a patient was still in his care when he left.

VA Paid $11K Bonus to Surgeon Who Left Op Room Before End of Surgery: “The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) paid an $11,189 performance pay bonus to a surgeon who left the operating room before a surgery was completed, leaving residents to continue the procedure without him, according to a Government Accountability Office report released on Friday. The “[s]urgeon who was supervising residents left the operating room and medical center before the surgery was completed, allowing residents to continue the surgery without supervision until another surgeon was found to supervise the residents,” said the report.” The surgeon was suspended without pay for 14 calendar days.” Despite this particular performance, the VA still gave the surgeon an extra $11,189 in “performance” pay. This surgeon was not the only doctor the VA gave a performance pay bonus after the doctor had engaged in poor performance. –The VA paid a $7,500 performance pay bonus to a doctor who was reprimanded after refusing to see assigned patients in an emergency room”

Woman steals bike back from thief who advertised it: “A WOMAN who stole back her bicycle from a thief after seeing it advertised online has earned widespread notoriety. Kayla Smith, 33, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation her $1060 bicycle was taken from a rack in Vancouver’s oceanfront Olympic Village – constructed to host athletes during the 2010 Winter Games and now a bustling neighbourhood. The Vancouver resident filed a police report but the next day spotted an ad on the classified advertisements website Craigslist for a bike suspiciously like hers. She contacted the seller and arranged to meet him in a nearby McDonald’s parking lot, posing as a buyer. The woman asked the seller if she could ride it around the parking lot and took off. As news of her daring dash spread online, police cautioned against confronting thieves but her actions continued to draw praise.

Man, 57 who misses every appointment he makes is diagnosed with a medical condition – ‘CHRONIC LATENESS’: “A man who has been late for everything in his life – from funerals to first dates – has had his chronic tardiness diagnosed as a medical condition. Jim Dunbar has been late for work, holidays, meals with friends, left women waiting on first dates and even had to sneak into funerals long after they’ve begun. The 57-year-old said that his poor timekeeping is down to medical condition which he was diagnosed with at an appointment at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee – which he was 20 minutes late for. Mr Dunbar, of Forfar in Angus, still struggles to arrive on time despite his diagnosis of chronic lateness. It is thought that the condition is caused by the same part of the brain affected by those who suffer from Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and means Mr Dunbar cannot properly gauge how long things take to complete.”

Mystery of the ancient kingdom where thousands of caves are carved 155ft off the ground: “Hidden within the Himalayas, 155ft from the ground, these man-made caves are one of the World’s greatest archaeological mysteries. Thousands of holes are carved into the fragile, sandy-coloured cliff in a gorge so large it dwarfs the Grand Canyon. The astonishing number of caves, some dug into the cliffside, others tunnelled from above are thousands of years old but who built them and why remains a mystery. It is also not known how people climbed into the caves which are dug into a cliff 155-foot above the valley floor. An estimated 10,000 of these mysterious human-built caves have been found in the former Kingdom of Mustang in North, Central Nepal. Those who have seen the mysterious caves say the effect of them on the cliff face makes it look like a giant sandcastle.

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

Remembering Bob Hope and his one-liners

August 27, 2013 at 10:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tribute to a man who DID make a difference

ON TURNING 70
“I still chase women, but only downhill.”

ON TURNING 80
“That’s the time of your life when even your birthday suit needs pressing.”

ON TURNING 90
“You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.”

ON TURNING 100
“I don’t feel old. In fact, I don’t feel anything until noon. Then it’s time for my nap.”

ON GIVING UP HIS EARLY CAREER, BOXING
“I ruined my hands in the ring. The referee kept stepping on them.”

ON NEVER WINNING AN OSCAR
“Welcome to the Academy Awards or, as it’s called at my home, ‘Passover’.”

ON GOLF
“Golf is my profession. Show business is just to pay the green fees.”

ON PRESIDENTS
“I have performed for 12 presidents and entertained only six.”

ON WHY HE CHOSE SHOWBIZ FOR HISCAREER
“When I was born, the doctor said to my mother, ‘Congratulations, you have an eight-pound ham.’”

ON RECEIVING THE CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL
“I feel very humble, but I think I have the strength of character to fight it.”

ON HIS FAMILY’S EARLY POVERTY
“Four of us slept in the one bed. When it got cold, mother threw on another brother.”

ON HIS SIX BROTHERS
“That’s how I learned to dance, waiting for the bathroom.”

ON HIS EARLY FAILURES
“I would not have had anything to eat if it wasn’t for the stuff the audience threw at me.”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Belgian fries are the fastest: “After a late night, there’s little that satisfies a craving for greasy food more than a portion of French fries. Now, thanks to an ingenious invention, you can satisfy your craving without even leaving the pub – thanks to a new vending machine which serves up portions of fries while you wait. The intelligent machine registers an order and immediately gets to work, dropping a portion of frozen French fries into some piping hot oil until cooked. It even adds a splash of beef dripping to make the fries extra tasty. While the new coin-operated apparatus in Belgium is not the first of its kind, it is said to be the only one that uses beef fat to cook its chips. The beef fat used in the cooking process is considered by many Belgians to be the premiere frying sauce, lending a hearty taste to the crispy potatoes. It takes just 90 seconds for the machine to cook the £2.20 portion of chips and customers can choose from a selection of sauces to accompany their tasty snack.”

Fatty’s breakfast eaten by a journalist: Unhappy fatty (above): “On Monday morning, the president of the Liberal party’s Northern Tablelands state electorate conference, James Ellis, hosted a breakfast at the Armidale Bowling Club. The star attraction was NSW energy minister Chris Hartcher. Attendees were charged the modest ticket price of $40 per head, with breakfast thrown in. The event was significant enough for the local paper, the Armidale Express, to send cadet reporter Samantha-Jo Harris to cover. But things turned decidedly ugly when Harris made the fateful decision to devour a plate of bacon, eggs, sausage and tomato placed in front of her while listening to Mr Hartcher’s speech. Harris says no-one took umbrage at the time but clearly Mr Ellis was not impressed, firing off a terse email to her boss, Express editor Lydia Roberts. The problem, Mr Ellis explained, was that the Liberals “had paid for strictly 40 seats at this event. Everyone paid – including senior cabinet ministers who were present (as this was a fundraiser). This meant that I forwent a meal so that somebody else wouldn’t”.”

Topless reporter surprises Canadian mayor: “The mayor of Kelowna, British Columbia, is taken aback when a talk radio presenter chatting with him about women’s rights removes her top mid-interview. Mayor Walter Gray asked interviewer Lori Welbourne what she was doing when she told him to hold the microphone, took off her halter neck top and asked about his views on women baring their breasts in public. Ms Welbourne, host of On the Rocks Talk, began by citing the case of a New York City woman who took off her blouse in a restaurant, only to be told by the owner that her actions were against the law, except on the street. Mayor Gray said that if a woman in Kelowna did the same thing, someone would probably phone the police thinking it was illegal, although bylaws against women baring their breasts have been repealed. The interview ended with the surprised Mayor declining the offer of a drink with Ms Welbourne.” [Video at link]

Hot-air balloon ‘scared horse to death: “Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin hot-air balloon flights firm was accused today of terrifying a horse to death by flying too low over her paddock. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin hot-air balloon flights firm was accused today of terrifying a horse to death by flying too low over her paddock. Eighteen-year-old thoroughbred mare Della bolted as the huge balloon’s burners ignited overhead and she fell to the ground. A vet was called but could do nothing to save Della, who had to be humanely destroyed. Her distraught owner Liz Jones, a 52-year-old accountant with the town council in Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, said seven other horses in nearby fields also stampeded in terror when the red Virgin balloon passed low overhead after aborting a touchdown at Henley Rugby Club. Mrs Jones, of St Mark’s Road, Henley, criticised the balloon pilot, saying he shouldn’t have used the burners when that low over livestock. She said there was a ‘massive roar’ as the flames came out of the gas canisters to make the balloon rise. “Horses are flight animals – such a sight and sound will immediately put them into a panic. It is pure instinct.”

Advanced technology in Ancient Rome: “A Roman goblet could be an 1,600-year-old example of nanotechnology, according to experts. The mysterious Lycurgus Cup is made of dichroic glass and appears green when lit from the front and turns bright red when a light is shone on it from behind. The chalice, which is on display at The British Museum, London, uses similar techniques to ‘modern’ nanotechnology – the manipulation of materials on an atomic and molecular scale. Scientists only solved the mystery of the colour-changing chalice in 1990, after being baffled by its behaviour for decades, Smithsonian Magazine reported. After putting broken fragments of glass under a microscope, scientists found the Romans had impregnated it with particles of sliver and gold, which they ground down to tiny proportions – around 50 nanometres in diameter – a thousand times smaller than a grain of salt. The precise amount of metals has lead experts to hail the Romans as ‘nanotechnology pioneers’ who really knew what they were doing.”

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

Dogged driver

August 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Man charged with possessing imitation firearm after confronting British police with a windscreen SPONGE: “A man has been charged with possessing an imitation firearm – after threatening police with a windscreen sponge. Marc Carpenter, 33, is said to have brandished the ‘weapon’ in a busy children’s play area in Exeter and allegedly told armed officers that he had a gun in his holdall. It was later found that the fake gun was in fact a squeezy sponge for car maintenance, Exeter Crown Court heard. The incident took place on July 10, just hours after Prince Edward had opened an nearby activity centre at Haven Banks, Exeter. A member of the public reporting that a man was brandishing a gun next to a children’s playground on the quayside, and half-a-dozen armed policemen swooped in on the scene. Carpenter, from Exeter, was remanded in custody and will return to court in a week after the charge is reviewed by prosecutors.”

Sacred deer in one Japanese city: “The city of Nara in the centre of Japan is home to a herd over 1,000 Sika Deer, who roam the streets seemingly unperturbed by traffic jams and passing pedestrians. Amateur video from Japan shows a city streets overrun by a herd of deer, with buses and cars inching their way past the animals. While some pedestrians stop to take photographs of the deer, others walk past without giving them a second glance. The footage was captured in the city of Nara in central Japan, which is home to over 1,000 Sika Deer. The deer were once considered sacred messengers of the gods by devotees of the Shinto faith and killing them was a capital offence, but they are now classed as a national treasure.

Muslim ignorance overturned: “A 15-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped by her stepfather, has had her sentenced quashed after it caused a global outrage. She was due to receive 100 lashes for having pre-marital sex with another man. The sentence for ‘fornication’ back in February sparked a petition by global campaing network, Avaaz, and anger from the country’s opposition and women’s rights groups. The petition to have her sentence commuted was signed by two million people worldwide. Last week, the Maldivian High Court overturned the sentence, which was hailed as a victory by Avaaz. There were calls for a moratorium on all flogging sentences in the Maldives, which is under he Islamic government of President Mohammed Waheed Hassan.”

Children’s hospital installs pirate-themed CT-scanner: “A New York children’s hospital recently purchased a a pirate-themed CT scanner to make the medical tests less of a ‘horrible, scary chore’. Child patients lay down on a mock plank which then slides into the scanner, a hoop in the shape of a ship’s wheel. Swash-buckling pirate animals decorate the walls to distract the children from the test. GE provided the scanner to New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. And so far the reaction has been positive. Registered nurse Naomi Hawkins told Buzzfeed that the best response she’s gotten is a patient saying: ‘Hurry up and get out so I can play’. Although the test only lasts a minute, it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to get children prepared for the test, which can be stressful. ‘It allows children to imagine all sorts of things,’ Dr Ruzal-Shapiro told the New York Daily News. ‘So it doesn’t seem like a horrible scary chore.'”

Dogs are people too? “For many pet owners, their dogs and cats are as much a part of the family as the human beings. So much so that when it comes to deciding what to call them, traditional choices such as Fido and Felix have given way to fashionable baby names. A study of more than 50,000 pet names has found that the most popular for both cats and dogs was Poppy – which was also the 13th most popular name for a baby girl last year, according to the Office for National Statistics. Gone are the days of naming pets Spot, Mutt and Patch. In their place are Charlie, Alfie and Ruby – three names that appear in the top 20 list for both babies and pets. The decline of traditional names is demonstrated by the fate of Rover and Fido, which were both in the top ten in the 1970s but have fallen to 840 and 1,480 respectively in the study by John Lewis Pet Insurance.”

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

Lots of polticians kiss babies but it takes Boris (Mayor of London) to kiss a baby crocodile

August 25, 2013 at 6:13 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

‘First world problems’ revealed in study: “Earphones becoming tangled in your bag, Weetabix not fitting into a round breakfast bowl and being in-between dress sizes after losing weight have been named on a list of common ‘first world problems’. Other issues which plague us daily amid our hi-tech, pampered lives include Pimms not being sufficiently chilled, the cleaner taking a day off and the glare of the sun affecting the screen of our laptops, phones or tablets. Snagging designer clothing, the area we live in being too nice for a corner shop which sells cheap wine and having to stand up to reach for a cup on the coffee table also made the list. Another area of ‘first world problems’ includes motoring – with problems such as the car’s leather seats becoming too hot in the summer – and too cold in the winter. The car stereo not being MP3 compatible is also listed as a problem as is needing a second family car, but not having room for it on the driveway. A spokesman for paid survey website, OnePoll, which carried out the study, said: “Sometimes we forget just how good we’ve got it.”

“Germans were banned from eating sausages during WWI because intestines of 250,000 cows were needed to make each Zeppelin: “Germans were banned from eating sausages to help with the First World War effort, researchers have said. Zeppelin airships were a key weapon for the Central Powers during the 1914 to 1918 war but production placed a huge demand on cow guts, used to make gas holding cells. It took more than 250,000 cows to make a single airship and the animals’ intestines became so precious that making the popular bratwurst and other sausages was temporarily made illegal in areas under German control. ‘For the best part of two years, these things were able to fly over Britain, dropping bombs and causing havoc.’ Conceived as a way to break British civilian morale, the Zeppelin raids never caused enough casualties to alter the course of the war. But for civilians who witnessed them, the attacks, which began in January 1915, were a shocking experience.”

Hapless gang of thieves take all night to smash through a concrete wall… only to steal an EMPTY safe: “A gang of thieves took days to chisel their way through a concrete wall to get their hands on a company safe and hid their progress with plasterboard during the day. The crooks broke through the wall at Best Quote Screens Ltd in Romford, Essex in the hope of stealing cash from the family run business. But despite their best efforts after working through the night to get their hands on it, the safe was almost empty when they took it. Though there was no cash in the safe, details of a post-office account held by Mr Vilka were stolen and the little money it held was drained.

Magistrates throw out drink drive case against skater who rode a battery-powered board home after a night out after court rules he wasn’t a road user: “A reveller accused of drink driving has escaped punishment after magistrates ruled he wasn’t a ‘road user’ – because he was on an electric skateboard. Remi Barban, 33, was picked up by police officers after they spotted him dangerously weaving from side to side on the road riding his battery-powered board. Mr Barban knew he had had one too many, but was convinced he was not breaking the law by hoping on his skateboard home. Magistrates deliberated for 90 minutes before deciding Barban was not a ‘road user’ and as a result could not be found guilty of any driving offences. Presiding magistrate Stephanie Challinor said: ‘We’re not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that a reasonable person would say one of its users would be a road user.'”

Diver puts her hand inside shark’s MOUTH to remove a fishing hook: “A renowned diver who is known as a skilled ‘shark whisperer’ has been filmed putting her hand inside a shark’s mouth to remove a fishing hook lodged in its gullet. As sharks swarm all around her and fellow divers in clear blue waters off the Bahamas, Italian-born Cristina Zenato fearlessly reaches into the predator’s mouth and pulls the hook out. The fierce fish seems totally at ease with her, and even as she reaches deep into its throat it doesn’t attempt to bite. Nevertheless, in addition to her wetsuit she is dressed in chainlink body armour. Ms Zenato was able to put the shark into a trance-like state using a little-known technique of rubbing the ampullae of Lorenzini – the name given to hundreds of jelly-filled pores around the creature’s nose and mouth. This causes induces ‘tonic immobility’, where the shark enters a natural state of paralysis for up to 15 minutes and appears to be asleep in her hands.”

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

Small brain = big …?

August 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Bag containing thousands in cash dumped on doorstep: “A householder in York got a surprise as she went to put her rubbish out, only to discover a bin bag full of cash on her doorstep. The bag, which was crammed with thousands of pounds of used bank notes, had been left on the doorstep of a former vicarage in the city. The occupants of the property immediately contacted police to let them known of the discovery and detectives are not appealing for help to locate who the money belongs to. It is not clear whether the cash is the result of a crime or whether the person it belongs to lost the money by accident. Police are not saying how much cash was contained in the bag, but confirmed that it was thousands rather than hundreds. The discovery was made on Tuesday morning at around 10am and police believe it was dumped at some point earlier that morning. It also coincided with bin day in the local area, but it is unclear whether the timing was simply a coincidence.”

British bureaucratic mentality infects British McDonald’s: “Alistair Thompson had promised to buy his four-year-old son Edward a McDonald’s meal as a treat. So when he found that his trailer bike was too big for the bicycle rack at his local branch he had what seemed like a bright idea. He rode the bike into the restaurant’s drive-thru. But when he reached the payment window staff refused to serve him, saying that the bike was a health and safety risk and that only motorised vehicles were allowed in the drive-thru. ‘The staff claimed they couldn’t serve me because I was not in a motorised vehicle. I asked them why and they said because of health and safety reasons,’ Mr Thompson said. ‘I was baffled. If my bike is safe enough for the road, surely it is safe enough for a drive-thru in a car park with a 5mph limit? It’s a daft policy. ‘It struck me as showing a complete lack of common sense, especially as they serve people on mopeds and motorbikes. I was so cross I rang the Health and Safety Executive and they said it was nonsense.’”

Italian factory owner moves company to Poland while staff are on holiday: “Earlier this month, the owner of an electrical components factory in the north of the country waved his employees off on their summer holidays. Then, without informing them, he moved the entire operation, lock, stock and barrel, to Poland. Fabrizio Pedroni, 49, said he was driven to the drastic course of action because his factory, located near the city of Modena, had not turned a profit for five years and he was being strangled by high salaries, crippling taxes and dismal rates of productivity. Moving the factory to Eastern Europe was the only way of saving his company, which was founded 50 years ago by his grandfather. ‘I had to make a choice. Our competitors in Romania and Poland offer much lower prices. I had three options – either close, move the factory, as many other businesses have done, or shoot myself in the head.” Labour costs were high because firms like his had to pay generous social insurance, health insurance and pensions, he said. “An employee who is paid €12,000 a year in fact costs the company €30,000. It’s unacceptable. We haven’t made a profit since 2008.”

Anglo-Saxons don’t understand French bread: “These Anglo-Saxon “experts” tell us that une baguette pas trop cuite – as I regularly request from my excellent bakery on rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré – is in fact a travesty of what your proper crusty baguette should be like. It’s not been baked enough. It’s white, doughy, soggy, tasteless. It is, as Monty Python would say, an ex-baguette. To which I answer: “Piffle!” The truth is that baguettes are like wine: all differ depending on the baker. You patronise the one whose product you like best. And the sheer gall of trying to compare any kind of French baguette – not least the heavenly petits pains served in Michelin-rosetted restaurants such as Ducasse or Arpège – to the terrifying, sickly hued, sugared-up, watered-down, plastic-wrapped, rubber-like objects that pass for bread in Britain or America makes my temper rise like Poilâne sourdough.”

Forget sleep walking – now people are TEXTING in the night: “Many people rely on their smartphone throughout the day to surf the web, check their email and send messages to friends. But what about during the night? A sleep expert has said an increasing number of people have started to use their phone and send text messages while they are asleep and often don’t remember writing them. Dr Josh Werber warned sleep texting could have embarrassing consequences as well as leading to health problems as people are not getting enough quality sleep. Sleep specialist Dr David Cunnington, of Melbourne Sleep Disorder Centre in Australia said daily stress is to blame for the rise of sleep texting. Dr Cunnington described sleep texting as the result of people having too much to do during waking life. He said: ‘People are doing so much during a normal day that it can mean that they feel like they’re “on call” even at night.

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

Cute: An albino squirrel

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

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Keeping it in the family: How nepotism in the workplace helps the rich stay wealthy: “A Canadian economist has demonstrated that it really is who you know rather than what you know that helps some sons of wealthy fathers get jobs. Wealthy people hire their children as a way of holding onto their money, the study said. Social mobility expert Miles Corak said the strategy enables money and power to stay within a family instead of being distributed to others. He found sons with rich fathers are more likely to work for the same firm at some point in their lives than sons with less wealthy fathers. The study examined elite businessmen in Canada and Denmark and found the proportion of sons sharing an employer with their father is high. The Professor of economics at Ottawa University, studied workers in Canada and Denmark, but noted the pattern is very probably applicable to the composition of workplaces in more places, including the U.S.”

Dented teapot used by family for years turns out to be 1879 prototype design worth £20,000: “A family were stunned when their dented family teapot which they thought was virtually worthless turned out to be a Victorian designer prototype worth almost £20,000. Antique experts told them the silver pot is one of just six prototypes made by controversial designer Christopher Dresser in 1879. The angular design was considered too modern for the time so the teapot was never produced on a large scale. But despite its rarity an expert told the family not to expect more than £5,000 as it was badly dented after one of them dropped it. But it sold at Reeman Dansie auctioneers in Colchester, Essex, on July 31 for £19,000 – four times the guide price. Managing director James Grinter said: ‘It’s a very rare thing – It was so space-age and so advanced for its time that nobody thought it was very commercial.”

Edison’s famous ticker tape machine gets a modern makeover: Web developer invents gadget that prints TWEETS: “A technophile has put a modern twist on Thomas Edison’s famous ticker tape machine – by creating one that prints tweets. Adam Bautham replicated Edison’s invention – launched in 1869 to print stocks and shares – by using old clock parts, before putting it to a different use. The 32-year-old from Cumbria, who has long been fascinated by old ticker tape machines, linked his mechanical contraption to the internet and his Twitter feed to print 140-character updates. Ticker tape was used to transmit stock price information over telegraph lines from 1870 to 1970. The device uses paper similar to a receipt roll in a supermarket till but instead of using ink, it burns the text onto the paper. The device can link up to any Twitter feed, including those owned by celebrities and companies”

Enormous military hovercraft docks on crowded Russian beach: “FORGET sharks, sunburn and surf rage. Russian beachgoers have much more serious things to worry about than all that. Like unbelievably huge, scary military hovercraft appearing out of nowhere. This scene from a Russian beach near the city of Kaliningrad is unbelievable. One minute people are soaking up the sun in the all-too-brief northern summer. The next, an enormous steel beast slinks out of the water and up onto the sand. The vessel in question is called a Zubr, and is the world’s largest hovercraft. Russia designed these evil-looking 550-tonne grey behemoths to transport troops and military equipment from ship to shore. But why was the 60m craft docking on a crowded beach? Well, according to a Russian defence spokesperson quoted on tech website Gizmodo: “Docking at the beach … is a normal event. What people were doing at the beach on the territory of a military [base] is unclear.” [Video at link]

Meet the ‘super agers': The 80 and 90-year-olds with much younger brains and memories: “They’re called ‘super agers’ – men and women who are in their 80s and 90s, but with brains and memories that seem far younger. U.S. researchers are looking at this rare group in the hope that they may find ways to help protect others from memory loss. Neuroscientists have become excited, as imaging tests have revealed unusually low amounts of age-related plaques along with more brain mass related to attention and memory in these elite seniors. Special MRI scans have yielded other remarkable clues, Dr Rogalski said. They show that in super agers, the brain’s cortex, or outer layer, responsible for many mental functions including memory, is thicker than in typical 80 and 90-year-olds. Deep within the brain, a small region called the anterior cingulate, which is important for attention, is bigger than in many 50 and 60-year-olds.”

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

Getting back to that ol’ hillbilly lifestyle

August 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Is your LAUNDRY making you ill? 30°C cycles breed bacteria: “Your washing might smell fresh but don’t be lulled into a false sense of cleanliness. The move away from the high-temperature washes and harsh detergents of our grandmothers’ era may be kinder to fabrics, the environment and sensitive skin but it could costing us our health. Research has shown that potentially harmful bacteria in our laundry is not being killed off in low-temperature washes, turning the average spin cycle into a breeding ground for germs. The levels of bacteria found by microbiologists in our washing machines and on supposedly ‘clean’ laundered clothes has led leading hygiene expert, Dr Lisa Ackerley, to call for an increased awareness of what is being termed the ‘Sick Laundry Cycle’. Dr Ackerley said: ‘Consumers believe that normal laundering produces ‘clean’ clothes but this does not necessarily translate to ‘hygienically’ clean.”

Seriously injured cyclist, 16, did not wear helmet because he ‘did not want to mess up his hair’: “A teenage cyclist left in a coma after an accident was not wearing a helmet because he did not want to mess up his hair, his father has said. Ryan Smith, 16, was seriously injured when he was in collision with a van as he rode to work last month. He has remained in a coma since. His father Mark, a paramedic, is now urging all cyclists to wear a helmet and is demanding a change in the law. Mr Smith, 44, said: “I always wear a helmet, I always told Ryan to wear a helmet but he is 16, his hair is his life and sadly he has the ‘not going to happen to me attitude’. He’s like any young lad, they just think they are invincible. He is currently on a respiratory ward but is on a waiting list to be moved to the specialist neurology Abbey Ward at Lincoln County Hospital. It is currently not compulsory to wear a helmet when cycling in the UK although there have been calls from some safety campaigners for one to be introduced. However opponents say it would lead to a drop in the number of people cycling.”

Double bad luck kills man: “A 21-year-old man was arrested today on suspicion of manslaughter after a pedestrian was killed by a lorry [truck] moments after being involved in a dispute near a car wash. The victim, aged 26, was struck yesterday by the HGV in Quarry Bank, West Midlands, just seconds after he was involved in an argument with a man at the Formula 1 Hand Car Wash, police said. Eyewitnesses revealed that the man, who has not yet been named, had been fleeing an attacker wielding a hammer before being struck by the seven-ton vehicle at around 3.30pm. Paramedics were called to the scene but despite their best efforts the man was pronounced dead at the scene. It was a steel lorry – he had no chance, even though he was only going at about 30mph.’

Yes men DO notice a woman’s breasts the first time they meet her (but not until after they have appreciated her eyes and smile): “Eyes, smile and breasts are the first things a man notices in a woman, in that order according to a new survey. The check list emerged amid a look at men’s impressions of women they meet for the first time, or pass in the street and vice versa. The results show that the stereotypical guy with eyes for only one thing seems to be disappearing, and a more soulful modern man is taking his place. As many as 70 per cent of the 1,000 men who took part in the study revealed eyes are what they gaze at first. Smile was second, and breasts were third, while hair and weight were also among the first things men notice.”

Identical twin brothers who can’t be told apart by their DNA are both in court accused of rape: “Mohammed and Aftab Asghar were arrested after DNA evidence allegedly linked one – or both – of them to the crime. Prosecutors will almost certainly need to use other evidence to build their case. Identical twins have matching DNA, according to the Forensic Science Service, so a case based solely on such evidence may well fail because prosecutors would be unable to isolate who was responsible for the alleged rape. Police and the Crown Prosecution Service are still trying to determine whether they should continue to pursue the case against both men. The twins, 22, appeared at a preliminary hearing at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday when prosecutor Sandra Beck requested more time for the Crown to pursue lines of inquiry. ‘There is further work due and there is an indication which would tend to support that one was not at the location. ‘It may mean that only one of the defendants faces trial.’ Neither defendant entered a plea and both were granted bail.”

Football manager wakes up from a coma after hearing his team had won its opening game: “A football manager who was in a coma following an horrific car crash only woke up after hearing his team had won its opening game. Wayne Thorne, 33, suffered a catalogue of horrific injuries when he was involved in a head-on collision on his way home from work. He underwent a number of operations – including major heart surgery – before doctors placed him in a coma. Intensive care nurses told his devastated family to keep talking to him in a bid to bring him around. Mr Thorne had been in the coma for a week when wife Mandy, 32, and brother Gary were gently speaking to him last Saturday. During the chat they told him his Larkhall Athletic side had won their first game of the season in the Western Football League Premier Division. Seconds later football-mad Mr Thorne opened his eyes for the first time to the amazement of his family. ‘It was brilliant to see, because he absolutely loves his football and is so dedicated to Larkhall Athletic.'”

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

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