Leaping to conclusions

April 23, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

There comes a time when a woman just has to trust her husband. For example….

The wife comes home late at night and quietly opens the door to her bedroom. From under the sheets she sees four legs instead of two. She reaches for a baseball bat and starts hitting the sheet as hard as she can.

Leaving the covered bodies groaning, she goes to the kitchen to have a drink.

As she enters, she sees her husband there, reading a magazine.

“Hi, sweetheart”, he says. “Your parents have come to visit us, so I let them stay in our bedroom. Did you say, Hi?

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

African kid survives flight in the wheel compartment of a jet: “A 16-year-old boy who apparently survived unscathed freezing temperatures and a lack of oxygen after a five-hour flight from California to Hawaii stowed away in the wheel well left medical and aviation experts perplexed and divided on Monday night. While experts questioned how the boy had survived, the FBI said that security camera footage had shown the unnamed teenager scaling the perimeter fence at California’s San Jose airport on Sunday morning and walking towards a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767 that took off shortly afterwards for Kahului airport on Maui island. Five hours later airline officials said the boy was found dazed but otherwise unhurt wandering on the tarmac at Kahului, after flying halfway across the pacific at a maximum altitude of 38,000ft where outside temperatures descended as low as minus 80F.”

The bird that can speak JAPANESE: “Can talking birds speak languages other than English? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’, highlighted in this video where a Common Hill Myna is seen chatting in Japanese. Called Abe Chan, the bird has become an internet sensation thanks to his grasp of the language, although whether it understands what it is saying remains to be seen. The bird can be seen responding to a phone call. Ohno then engages in conversation with the bird, showing off its surprisingly competent grasp of words and phases in Japanese. This particular species of bird it known as the Common Hill Myna. It is an animal of ‘least concern’ in terms of conservation according to the IUCN. The bird is known for its distinctive jet-black feathers in contrast to its orange beak and yellow markings on its head.”

Girl sleeping in bed killed by car: “A 16-YEAR-OLD girl was killed by a suspected drunk driver who slammed his car into her apartment as she slept in bed. It is believed that 20-year-old Roberto Rodriguez was drunk when he slammed into two apartments in Palmdale, Los Angeles, killing Giselle Mendoza, 16. A 14-year-old girl who lives in the adjoining apartment to Giselle had a very lucky escape with her father saying she had fallen asleep on the couch that night instead of in her bedroom, which Rodriguez’s car also slammed into. One eyewitness who called 911 said he helped detain Rodriguez until police arrived. “I saw a car coming down 10th, east, about 80-85 mph, and it didn’t stop or hesitate. Just right into the building. Boom,” James Fisher King said. “You would hear her moaning, kind of, inside the wall. He went through two apartments.”

Cashpoint thieves swarm around middle-aged tourist near Notre Dame cathedral in Paris and take his money: “With the bells of Notre Dame heralding a glorious Easter Sunday morning, a tourist uses a cash point a short stroll from the ancient Paris cathedral. Within seconds he is surrounded by an aggressive gang of Roma sneak thieves, who make no secret of what they want from him. Feeling hands on his back and arms, the middle age man turns around in horror to see the utterly fearless gang casually trying to help themselves to his money. Such scenes have become so common in the French capital that police last week called for the ‘systematic eviction’ of Roma. Groups of thieves, many of them teenagers, swarm around the main tourist landmarks day and night. ‘They respect nobody – they just want money or anything else they can steal,’ said another tourist who witnessed the incident at the cashpoint between Notre Dame and the Louvre museum, in the 1st arrondissement.”

Council slammed by cyclists after bike lane of just 13 FEET is painted on street: “Cyclists have criticised a new bike lane – for being just 13 feet long. The cycle lane was painted in Beetwell Street in Chesterfield earlier this month. But it has already been slammed by the town’s cycling community, some of whom have branded it an ‘embarrassment’. Measuring 13 feet, it means the cyclist has to cycle off the path almost immediately after they have got on. Bike commuter Will Jones, 22, said: ‘It makes the council a laughing stock really. ‘Why on earth would anybody need a cycle lane so short? It’s stupid.’”

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

An expert babysitter

April 22, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Lie detection expert reveals the top ten signs which indicate someone is lying to you: “Sloan is trained in micro face detection; micro expressions are facial expressions that flash onto a person’s face for just a fraction of a second and reveal true emotions. Sloan explains: ‘Typically if your boyfriend is lying his micro-expression will be an emotion of distress, characterised by the eyebrows being drawn upwards towards the middle of the forehead, causing short, deep set lines to appear across the skin of the forehead. When present, the following can also signal deceit; false smiles, holding the smile for too long, mistakes in the timing of expressions, blushing and asymmetry. ‘The main principle is that there is not a face for lying. There are faces that show the subject is uncomfortable, stressed, guilty or doesn’t believe his own story. Symmetry plays and important part, the more symmetrical a gesture the more genuine. ‘The eyes can also be very telling as an increased blink rate is often consistent with telling lies.”

Street lights that make you ill: “Hounslow council had installed LED lamp-heads on the street lights along their quiet residential road. The gentle, golden glow of the old lamps has been replaced by a harsh beam which, they say, makes it impossible for them to sleep. But why are the objections so strong? If the lights can, as Hounslow council promises, be dimmed if necessary — and if they use less energy, save money and reduce crime — what is so wrong with the new system? Rather a lot, it turns out. Because, it seems that in their rush to embrace the new ‘green’ technology, Britain’s councils have ignored several serious health issues. Studies have indicated that LED lights disrupt sleep by suppressing the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone which governs our sleep patterns. Too much ‘blue light’ suppresses our biological clock, resulting in lower-quality sleep. This in turn increases the likelihood of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. It damages the immune system and leaves sufferers vulnerable to depression and anxiety. It has even been suggested that too much exposure to LED light causes blindness.”

Old fashioned apples making a comeback: “There might not be many traditional English apples to be found in your supermarket any more – but you’ll certainly find them cropping up in gardens. Record sales of ‘heritage’ fruit trees have been reported this year – with one of the country’s finest apples, Cox’s Orange Pippin, the most popular. The figures suggest there is still a great appetite for fruit varieties native to Britain, despite claims that supermarkets tend to rely on more consistent varieties from abroad. The latest sales figures from Homebase have revealed a 30 per cent increase in sales of fruit trees this year. According to the retailer, the number one choice was Cox’s Orange Pippin – widely regarded as the finest eating apple in the world. Worcester Pearmain – a small, classic English apple renowned for its strawberry-like flavour – came in second place. It was closely followed in third by Laxton’s Superb, the definitive late-Victorian dessert apple.

Fingerprints may be a flawed way of identifying criminals as they aren’t as unique as first thought: “Human fingerprints may not be unique, according to the Home Office’s first Forensic Science Regulator. This cornerstone of criminal investigation and identification may be flawed, as Mike Silverman claims that human error, partial prints and false positives mean that fingerprints evidence is not as reliable as is widely believed. Mr Silverman, who introduced the first automated fingerprint detection system to the Metropolitan Police, said: ‘No two fingerprints are ever exactly alike in every detail; even two impressions recorded immediately after each other from the same finger. ‘And the fingerprint often isn’t perfect, particularly at a crime scene. It might be dirty or smudged. There are all sorts of things that reduce the accuracy. ‘And not everyone’s fingerprints have been recorded so it’s impossible to prove that no two are the same.”

Stuck dog: “A golden retriever had to be rescued by firemen after getting her head stuck in a hole in a garden wall. Nine-year-old Sunny became wedged in the gap as she tried to greet a neighbour’s new puppy on the other side. Her owner Shelley Jones, 22, found her in the garden of her home in Gelding, Nottinghamshire, with her head through the block at around 11am on Sunday. Sunny was so firmly stuck in the six inch gap that even with Miss Jones, her brother Ivan Bishop, 28, and neighbour Gemma Beck, 30, pushing they were unable to free her. Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service then attended the scene where they spent 20 minutes freeing the stricken pooch by cutting her free. ‘It took about 20 minutes in total and the wall had to be completely taken down. There is just a board up at the moment.”

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

Canadian billboard

April 21, 2014 at 3:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Italian senior, 75, accused in court of being ‘sex mad’ by his wife… 50 years younger than him: “An Italian pensioner aged 75 has been accused of being ‘sex mad’ – by his wife who is 50 years younger than him. Elderly Efisio Manfrin appeared in court in Naples accused by his spouse of being a ‘maniac that wanted sex all the time’. And she told the court that the constant pressure to get into bed was driving her mad. The two of them ended up before judges because police were called to a fight at the family home, and both accused the other of assault. Wife Iglesia Guerero, 25, and originally from Cuba, said the fight was about his ‘non-stop demands for nookie’. But her husband hit back in the court row claiming the fight was over money. He told court: ‘The fight started because I realised she cared more about money than sex and affection.”

The death of soup spoons: “It is the kind of faux pas that not so long ago would have been unthinkable. But it seems today’s families are more likely to eat their soup with – shock, horror – a dessert spoon. In what etiquette aficionados will fear is the death knell for table manners, sales of soup spoons have slumped in favour of the ‘jack-of-all trades’ dessert spoon. And 70 per cent of all cutlery sets sold do not contain a soup spoon either, according to Homebase. Analysts believe the trend may be down to simple cost-saving rather than a loss of etiquette, but as it is a buying pattern prominent in young people, the soup spoon could well be on its way out. Emma Jordan at Homebase said: ‘Many young couples are buying just the bare essentials. Soup spoons are seen as a luxury which they can do without for the time being.’

Rat steals dentures; dog kills rat: “A grandmother who lost her false teeth finally discovered them hidden behind her fridge- after a rodent stole them from her kitchen. Margaret Lowe, 77, put the teeth in a glass of water before going to bed. But the next morning Mrs Lowe was stunned when she could not find the plastic dentures. When her son came to visit, he heard a strange scratching noise from behind the fridge. When Stephen Lowe, 53 pulled out the fridge, at his mother’s house in Grove Park, south east London, he found her dentures hidden. The dirty dentures were buried alongside a knife, tea bags and dog biscuits – and dozens of rat droppings. Mrs Lowe was astounded when she discovered that a rodent was behind the theft. But pet dog Denis, quickly came to the rescue when it killed the rat as it ran across the kitchen floor.

Little lady with a big capacity: “Easter is the favourite time of year for this petite blonde who loves eating Cadbury Creme eggs so much that she can devour 50 in just six minutes and 15 seconds. Miki Sudo, 28, from Las Vegas Nevada, who weighs just eight stone, consumed a staggering 8,100 calories in one sitting by eating the Creme Eggs – the same as four days’ worth of food for a normal woman. Miss Sudo can eat grown men under the table and is ranked as one of the best female competitive eaters in the world-raking in £15,000 by stuffing her face. The blonde American spends her days travelling the world taking part in monstrous food challenges and competitions.

After half a century of golfing, widow, 85, hits her first hole in one: “In failing health and reliant on a buggy to get around the course, pensioner Doreen Banks thought her best golfing moments were behind her. But more than five decades after taking up the game, the jubilant widow is celebrating her first hole-in-one – at the grand old age of 85. The achievement makes Mrs Banks one of the oldest golfers in the country to score a hole-in-one – and the octogenarian triumphed despite the fact she is slowly going blind. Mrs Banks managed the feat on a 110-yard par three hole at Oxley Park Golf Club in Wolverhampton earlier this month. She aced the course’s tricky sixth hole using a five wood, watched by playing partner Pat Rogers, 71. Mrs Banks said she originally thought she had lost the ball until her friend found it in the hole. She added: ‘Fellow golfers will laugh, but I actually used my five wood because I don’t hit the ball very far these days. ‘But it does go straight so I just gripped down the club shaft and hit it more in hope than judgement.”

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

Deceptive

April 20, 2014 at 10:59 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

A really dedicated smoker: “An elderly woman who insisted on smoking while wearing an oxygen mask died after her face was engulfed in flames. Margaret Woodward, 77, suffered severe burns to her face, lips, tongue and neck after the accident on November 20 last year at her home in Reeth, near Richmond, North Yorkshire. An inquest into her death at the Evolution Centre in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, heard how the pensioner used an oxygen tank to help her breathe as she suffered from chronic obstructive respiratory disease. But Mrs Woodward, who was a long-term smoker, had been known to continue to smoke while using the mask. Although highly concentrated oxygen is commonly used to treat diseases that impair the body’s ability to take up oxygen, when it is exposed to a spark it can cause an explosion or fire.”

‘It seems an odd thing to leave behind’: “When the boss of a bedding business hired a van he didn’t realise it came with onboard help. Steve Potter, 40, says he was in ‘utter disbelief’ after finding a 5ft snake in the vehicle outside his office. It is thought that the North American red corn snake, which is not venomous despite its vivid markings, belonged to someone who had hired the van to move house. ‘It seems an odd thing to forget,’ said Mr Potter, 40, from Worsley in Greater Manchester. ‘You can leave a suitcase or some old bedding behind, but not a snake.’ He had a hard time convincing colleagues of his find until workmate Rachel Bettison had a look. ‘Most of the people in the building were alerted by her scream,’ said Mr Potter. He returned the vehicle to Bury Van Hire, who called a reptile expert to catch the snake and are now trying to trace the owner.

Judge rules that Texas inmate still behind bars 34 years after his conviction was overturned is at fault because he NEVER asked for a new trial: “A Texas judge has ruled that an inmate with the critical thinking ability of a first-grader is responsible for spending the last 34 years incarcerated on an overturned murder conviction because he never asked for a new trial. Jerry Hartfield, 56, has been behind bars without a new trial since 1980. But in a recent ruling, Judge Craig Estlinbaum decided that his constitutional right to a speedy trial had not been violated. While Estlinbaum found the state negligent in failing to retry Hartfield, and agreed that the man’s ability to adequately defend himself had sharply diminished, he also found that it was essentially Hartfield’s own fault. The Bay City native was convicted of robbing and killing a bus station worker in 1976, the Daily News reported. Hartfield’s IQ has been estimated at around 51. He has long maintained his innocence, claiming police used a false confession in the case. He was initially sentenced to die but in 1980 the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction

Shopping mall in Sheffield launches fast lane for speedy shoppers: “A shopping centre has installed a new ‘overtaking lane’ for speedy shoppers after receiving a letter from a schoolgirl grumbling about ‘slow walkers’. Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield received the note from Chloe Nash-Lowe, 10, moaning about her biggest bug-bear and as a result they have installed a fast lane for those in a hurry. The schoolgirl wrote to the shopping complex as part of a school project asking if anything could be done to solve the problem, listing a whole host of reasons why sluggish shoppers should be sped up. However, Chloe had no idea that they would enforce a traffic flow system to tackle the problem, and was thrilled to hear they are putting her plan into action. ‘With an overtaking lane, people can walk slowly if they want to but if you want to walk faster you can. Everyone can walk at whatever speed they want.’”

Introducing the CARDBOARD wine bottle! New eco-friendly design: “A new cardboard wine bottle has been created by a Californian-based team that is made from compressed recycled cardboard with a plastic liner inside. PaperBoy is the brainchild of packaging company Ecologic Brands and Truett-Hurst winery, and claims the carbon footprint of their ‘molded pulp’ bottles is 67 per cent smaller than that of its glass cousins, and weighs a whopping 85 per cent less. ‘Campers, hikers, and fishermen can carry this lightweight package and enjoy premium wine from a 750-mL bottle almost anywhere,’ CEO Phil Hurst explains in a statement to Fastco Design. ‘From mountaintops to impromptu pool parties. Heck, even the final frontier – space,’ PaperBoy’s website reads. Mr Hurst adds that the bottle is also collapsible, so it can easily be retained and returned to a recycling site following use.”

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

Elder memory

April 19, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

While on a road trip, an elderly couple, stopped at a cafe in Cornwall for lunch. After finishing their meal, they left the restaurant, and resumed their trip. When leaving, the woman unknowingly left her glasses on the table, and she didn’t miss them until they had been driving for about forty minutes.

By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around, in order to return to the restaurant to retrieve her glasses.

All the way back, the husband became the classic grouchy old man. He fussed and complained, and scolded his wife relentlessly during the entire return drive. The more he chided her, the more agitated he became. He just wouldn’t let up for a single minute.

To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant. As the woman got out of the car, and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old geezer yelled to her, ‘While you’re in there, you might as well get my hat and the credit card’.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

A chocolate hijack: “A Finnish man attempted to ‘hijack’ a plane using a Toblerone chocolate bar, demanding to be taken to Sochi so he could watch the Winter Olympics. Antti Oskari Manselius, 23, from Finland, had wrapped two economy class blankets around his head, wearing a third as a cape when he waved the chocolate bar ‘like a sword’ as he walked towards the cockpit. ‘He said, ‘I am robbing the plane now. I want to see the Olympics in Sochi and I need to get off the plane now,’ attendant Leung Hiu-lun was quoted as telling the court. ‘He was furious. He made me feel like he was trying to endanger the aircraft.’ Leung said the passenger was not violent, only waving the bar as he talked. Leung told him the service was a direct flight and would not stop in Russia. Manselius was later handcuffed under the orders of the captain. Manselius was arrested in Hong Kong and sent to a psychiatric centre”

A real pissed parrot: “He loves beer, red wine, headbanging to Status Quo and kicked out his girlfriend because they kept arguing but this Jack the Lad is a parrot. Six-year-old blue and gold macaw Jack loves popping down to his local pub for a pint of best and once got so drunk on Rioja he fell off his perch. But he is at his happiest when he’s rocking out and squawking all over the world to his favourite band Status Quo. Owner Norie MacKinnon, of East Kilbride, Scotland, said: ‘He loves Quo. He headbangs to them all the time. They’re his favourite band. ‘It’s hilarious when he gets going, his bangs his head back and forward in time with the music. He even tries to sing along to songs like Whatever You Want but it just comes out as a squawk. ‘He likes other music – he’s quite keen on Billy Idol and he likes a bit of jazz – but Status Quo are far and away his favourite.’”

The 200-year-old hot cross bun: “This hot cross bun looks good enough to eat but taking a bite could spoil your Easter – as it’s 207 years old. Andrew and Dot Munson keep the archaic bun in a cardboard box at their house near Colchester in Essex. The treat, which represents the Crucifixion and is traditionally eaten on Good Friday, was given to them by a neighbour 30 years ago. But a distinguished historian has uncovered evidence which suggests it was baked in 1807 and belonged to a medical practitioner by the name of Edward Holdich. ‘I think it’s a miracle it never went mouldy or fell apart in all these years,’ said Mr Munson, 75, from Wormingford. ‘You couldn’t eat it though as it is rock hard – like a ball of concrete.’ The clincher was an old, brown envelope that is still kept with the bun and which states it was baked in Weir Street, Colchester in 1807. Mr Phillips said: ‘The handwriting fits the date given as it is written with a quill pen and is in regency style, which preceded the copperplate of the Victorian era.”

Albino kangaroo gives birth to dark joey at German zoo: “This albino kangaroo has given birth to an adorable dark joey at a German zoo. Alberta, one of the most famous residents at the Marlow Animal Park, was captured carrying her baby joey in her pouch at the reserve. The rare Bennett’s tree kangaroo is one of the star attractions at the park in eastern Germany and stands out due to her snow white coat and bright pink ears. But despite their fluffy appearance, albino kangaroos like Alberta aren’t expected to survive for long if they live in the wild. The marsupials’ startling white coats are believed to attract a higher number of predators, including wild foxes, dogs and even eagles. Albinism – characterised by a lack of the pigment melanin – is extremely rare within the kangaroo species, similar to other species.

Pathetic frog: “Francois Hollande’s chief spin doctor was forced to resign today after it emerged he kept 30 pairs of handmade shoes at the Elysee Palace and had them professionally polished on taxpayers’ money. Details of Aquilino Morelle’s high living plunged the beleaguered Socialist president into yet another sleaze scandal. Mr Morelle, 51, was accused of being a ‘little marquis’ in the way he enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle while working for a left-wing head of state who ‘dislikes the rich’. According to the investigative website Mediapart, PR chief Mr Morelle was not only infamous for his upmarket shoe collection, but helped himself to numerous perks at the Elysee. This included regularly raiding vintage bottles from the palace’s extensive wine cellar, and the use of two chauffeurs to ferry his family around Paris. Mr Morelle is also accused of a conflict of interest in the way that he allegedly breached ethical guidelines for civil servants by working for pharmaceutical companies in 2007 while also a senior official in the ministry for social affairs.

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

A dubious History of the Middle Finger

April 18, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as ‘plucking the yew’ (or ‘pluck yew’).

Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and they began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, ‘See, we can still pluck yew! Since ‘pluck yew’ is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative ‘F’, and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute! It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as ‘giving the bird.’

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Dog called for jury duty in US: “A German Shepherd has been called for jury duty in the US, leaving its owners rather bemused: “Last week IV (pronounced “Ivy”) Griner received a jury summons from Cumberland County court in New Jersey. The five-year-old dog’s owner Barrett Griner believes the confusion took place because his full name is Barrett Griner IV, and the county’s computer must have mistaken the Roman numerals for his first name. “I’m wondering like, What is this? Something from the county office about her vaccinations or something? Like, why is my dog getting mail?” Dennis Moffa, Cumberland County Judiciary Coordinator, told NBC that the county’s jury duty notices are computer-generated and frequently include name errors.”

Daredevil, 20, drags 3tonne fully-laden van using only his jaws while walking on broken GLASS: “Many people say their commute is like pulling teeth, but Yang Dong has more reason to complain than most. The 20-year-old gripped a rope between his jaws and pulled a van laden with nine adults – while walking on broken glass. He began practicing the stunt 10 years ago and now manages to pull a van weighing three tons down the street. Meanwhile, the road under him was laden with a 13ft carpet of shattered beer bottles. Mr Yang managed to pull off the feat last week in Fuzhou, a city of 7million people and the capital of south east China’s Fujian province.

Anonymous altruist posts mystery money through Essex letterboxes: “An anonymous benefactor has sent hundreds of pounds to people in the post. Lesley Quilter, 58, and Doreen Neal, 86, who live in the same street in Colchester, Essex, received £200 and £100 through their letterboxes last month. Mrs Neal, a retired teacher, said she felt uncomfortable at the gesture. Her white envelope had a second class stamp and a south-east post mark, and it was addressed by the same person who sent the other two. She said: “I don’t like mysteries, I think it is a bit creepy actually. “I am sure they did not mean to scare me but why did they do this? “£100 is a lot of money to me but I certainly won’t be spending it — I’ll be keeping it safe.”

A MONKEY herds Indian farmer’s goats: “Mani the monkey helps the unnamed farmer in rural India keep control of his goat herd. The talented monkey jumps from goat to goat to ensure they choose the right path. Mani even manages to work despite caring for her adorable baby monkey. The monkey makes sure that each of the goats makes it home safely after their outing”

Everyone’s a winner! Chinese customs seize more than 1,000 unauthorised replicas of football World Cup (and perhaps England’s best chance of a trophy): “Customs officers have thwarted more than 1,000 shots at glory – by seizing boxes rammed full of fake trophies at a warehouse in China. The 1,020 statuettes were found in the city of Yiwu, Zhejiang province, which has among the busiest export trades in the world. The fakes, which from afar bore a remarkable resemblance to the real thing, were due to be exported to Libya. The General Administration of Customs of China launched a campaign in April to crack down on football-related copyright theft ahead of the tournament in June. Brazil’s World Cup is expected to make huge sums in merchandising, and China has a valuable dog in the fight: its factories have manufactured a million versions of the official armadillo mascot”

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

Children for sale in Chicago, 1948. Some parents sold their children due to poverty

April 17, 2014 at 8:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Indian top court recognises third sex: “India’s top court has recognised the country’s long marginalised transgender community as a third gender and, in a landmark judgment lauded by human rights groups, called on the government to ensure their equal treatment. There are hundreds of thousands of transgenders in India, say activists, but because they are not legally recognised, they are ostracised, discriminated against, abused and often forced into prostitution. The court ruling – which came after hearing a petition filed by a group of transgenders demanding equal rights – recognised the community as a marginalised group and directed authorities to implement policies to improve their socioeconomic status. Due to their lack of access to jobs and education, many male-to-female transgenders – also known as “hijras” – are forced to work as sex workers or move around in organised groups begging or demanding money. [This is a bit misreported. It was eunuchs who were recognized. Eunuchs are a traditional group in India]

Ornament used as a doorstop for 40 years turns out to be a precious Quinlong vase worth £250,000: “An intricate wooden ornament used as a doorstop for 40 years has turned out to be a Chinese relic worth over £250,000. The nine-inch-tall item is a carved brush pot dating back to the late 18th century when it would have been used to store calligraphers’ brushes. It was handed down generations until it reached the unnamed husband and wife, who used it to prop open their living room door. Hoping to buy a car, the pair invited an auctioneer to their cottage home in Hertfordshire to value some other ornaments. But expert Richard Harrison was stunned when he spotted the brush pot on the floor, instantly recognising it as a Chinese masterpiece. ‘As soon as we were able to share the details of this brush pot with our network in China, it became clear that interest in this piece was going to be phenomenal.’ The brush pot, which is 12 inches wide, is a rare example of Zitan artwork and is carved from a single piece of wood.”

Hi-tech ‘super loo’ leaves locals terrified as it unpredicably BLASTS water at them, locks them inside and pushes them off the toilet: “Women are terrified to use a town centre public toilet because they fear the door swinging open while they are perched on the loo. And an automatic ‘arm’ reaches out when it flushes which has already knocked one young woman off the toilet seat. More than four hundred people have signed a petition calling on the council to replace the button-operated WC in Woking, Surrey, with a ‘less frightening’ loo. ‘The risk of the door opening unexpectedly while it is in use, and the toilet’s unisex nature and conspicuous position puts people off visiting it’ she said. ‘And it has an unpredictable cleaning system – people are frightened of it going into a wash cycle and them not being able to get out.”

Pensioner who bought Austin Seven for £140 as a teenager restores it to its former glory 61 years on after finding it in a dusty barn: “After saving for months, 17-year-old Brian Rollings bought the car of his dreams in 1953 – a 1936 Austin Opal Tourer. The young engineer bought the second-hand car for £140, and spent hours polishing the bright red convertible, which even helped him woo his wife-to-be. The famous model – known as the ‘baby Austin’ – was wildly popular when first manufactured, and remains much-loved today. In 1955 Mr Rollings reluctantly traded the car in for a larger alternative, but never forgot about his first ride. Decades after the fateful sale his passion for classic cars led him to strike up a search to see whether he could track down the old car and buy it back. Miraculously, the search was successful and, aged 77, Mr Rollings was able to buy the Austin 7 back for £4,000. In the 56 years since he had seen it the car had decayed considerably, but after three years of loving attention, it has been restored to its formerly glory.

It’s the start of the year 2071 in Nepal: “Their faces covered in colourful powder, this is how Nepalese revellers celebrate the New Year – marking the start of 2071. The Bisket Jatra festival takes place over nine days in Bhaktapur, Nepal, with rituals and dancing – as well as symbolic offerings to god-like figures. During the celebrations, a three-storey wooden chariot carrying the revered idol of Bhairab is pulled through the narrow streets by local men, before a huge tree trunk is erected – representing the union of man and woman. The pole is then torn down in a tug of war during the celebrations, which are also known as Sindoor Jatra. The religious festival – which marks the year 2071 in the Bikram calendar – also sees locals sacrificing chickens for a statue of god-figure Lingam. Bhaktapur is one of three ancient settlements in the Kathmandu Valley, the other two being Kathmandu, the country’s capital, and Patan.”

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

When dinosaurs invaded New York

April 16, 2014 at 3:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fibreglass dinosaurs are transported on the Hudson River to the 1964 World’s Fair

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Italy’s ‘haunted’ island up for auction: “The leasehold of a Venetian island described as one of the most haunted places in Italy is to be auctioned next month as the state desperately seeks to raise revenue. Poveglia, a small, uninhabited island in the Venice lagoon, minutes from St Mark’s Square, is among five prime properties, including a castle and a monastery, that will go under the hammer in an online auction. The 17-acre island was fought over by the Venetians and the Genoese in the 14th century – and still shows traces of being fortified – before it became a quarantine station for ships arriving at Venice in the 18th century. After plague was discovered on two ships, the island was sealed off and used to house people with infectious diseases, leading to legends of terminally ill Venetians waiting to die before their ghosts returned to haunt the island. The Italian government is hoping for offers to transform the hospital into a luxury hotel”

EU to ban beaches: One in ten British resorts could fail tough new safety tests: “Some of England’s best-loved beaches could be turned into no-go zones for swimmers under tough new EU rules. When the new European directive is enforced in May 2015, the rules on water safety will become twice as stringent overnight, rendering dozens of beaches which are currently safe off-limits for swimmers. One in ten of England’s 400 registered bathing beaches will fail the new tests, according to Environment Agency projections. Signposts will be erected at sites that do not meet the tough new standards, warning swimmers against entering the water. Ironically, 39 of those English beaches that could be on the EU blacklist were declared safe by the Marine Conservation Society today. Even more remarkably, seven beaches which could fail next year are deemed to have ‘excellent’ water under the existing rules and are today included in the charity’s Good Beach Guide 2014.”

The magnificent EIGHT keeping farming history alive: Farmer ploughs fields in the way his family has since 1885: “Eight mighty horses toil in a farmer’s field in an image that evokes an idyllic rural Britain at risk of vanishing forever. Robert Sampson is shunning modern machinery and employing old-fashioned horse power on his land in Hampshire. Five generations of his family have used this method to plough the fields since 1885. And the 58-year-old is keen to keep the tradition alive. Every day, he takes his Percherons out to plough his 256 acre plot. The method may take a little longer than using machinery, but he saves on diesel and road tax as his horses are content to munch grass at the end of a day’s labour. He said: ‘I do it because I love it. People think I’m mad … and there are times when I think I am too!’

British amusement park bans men’s bare chests: “An amusement park has ordered men to stay covered up even if it gets hot in a bid to banish beer bellies and bare chests. Bosses say they are copying the majority of American theme parks, which already have a similar dress code, in order to keep the park family friendly. Male visitors to Adventure Island in Southend must keep their shirts on under the new dress code. Marc Miller, managing director of the park, said “We don’t have a strict dress code as such, but would like our male customers to show some decorum. “In recent years, we’ve seen increasing numbers of lads and men whipping their tops off, eager to make the most of the sun – which is understandable, of course, as Southend is the warmest and driest part of the UK. “That’s absolutely fine in the right environment, but we try very hard to be a family-focused business and not everybody is a fan of bare chests.”

US flight attendant entertains passengers with comedy safety speech: “Flight attendant Marty Cobb found a novel way to ensure that passengers listened to safety regulations by turning her presentation into a comedy monologue. On a recent Southwest Airlines flight to Salt Lake City, Ms Cobb grabbed her captive audience’s attention with the following introduction: “If I can pretend to have your attention for just a few moments, my ex-husband, my new boyfriend and their divorce attorney are going to show you the safety features aboard this 737 800 series.” She then instructed passengers to “position your seat belt tight and low across your hips, like my grandmother wears her support bra,” before informing them that “in the unlikey event the pilot lands beside a hot tub” each passenger would get their own “teeny-weeny yellow Southwest bikini” as her colleagues held up yellow life jackets. “One size fits all. To activate the flow of oxygen, simply insert 75 cents for the first minute. If you’re travelling with more than one child, pick out the one that might have the most earning potential down the road,” she quipped. “Basically just do what we say and nobody gets hurt,” she concludes”

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

Future presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush with segregationist Governor George Wallace at a BBQ in 1983

April 15, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Are we over the hill at 24? Study finds cognitive decline begins far earlier than thought: “Our brains start to slow down once we hit 24, researchers have discovered. They analysed thousands of played of the hugely popular Starcraft 2 computer game, and saw a universal slowdown far earlier than they expected. They claim that as soon as players hit the ripe old age of 25, they have already reached their peak in terms of cognitive motor performance. Their performance records, which can be readily replayed, constitute big data because they represent thousands of hours worth of strategic real-time cognitive-based moves performed at varied skill levels. Using complex statistical modeling, the researchers looked at how players responded to their opponents and more importantly, how long they took to react. ‘After around 24 years of age, players show slowing in a measure of cognitive speed that is known to be important for performance,’ said Joe Thompson, a psychology doctoral student who led the study.

SMILE! Diver taking pictures of life underwater gets photobombed by a grinning shark in the Bahamas: “This is the incredible moment a cheeky shark photobombed a diver and even seemed to grin for the camera as it barged its way in to the shot. Photographer Jeffrey Haines, 52, was left stunned by the close encounter while diving in the Caribbean sea off the Bahamas coast. The underwater snapper, from Kerhonkson, New York, was attempting to take a picture of a fellow diver and tiger shark when the ten foot lemon shark swam into the frame. He said: ‘I was actually photographing the diver who was pointing at a rather large tiger shark, that’s why the diver is still in focus and the shark isn’t. ‘But all of a sudden this lemon shark swam into the frame and photobombed the picture. ‘It looked like it was smiling and it almost looked like it was saying ‘hey take a picture of me’. ‘Lemon sharks are really curious and this one was definitely checking me out.”

Free boobs: “Most women who decide on cosmetic surgery save up for years, take out a loan or even a second job. But for Gemini Smith, 23, from Cramlington, Northumbria, it was much easier – in fact all she had to do was sign up to MyFreeImplants.com, where users donated a dollar to her operation every time they sent her a message. After three months, Miss Smith had raised the £4,450 needed to send her from a 34A to a 34DD. Miss Smith, an undertaker, always hated her 34A breasts which, she thought, made her look like a ’12-year-old boy’. She fell into depression, but her hopes were boosted when she discovered MyFreeImplants.com, an American website where strangers donate towards cosmetic surgery.” And the operation has boosted her confidence so much she has since got engaged to a man she was previously chatting to on Facebook.”

Germans love getting naked in public: “Germans are often considered to be more at one with nature than prudish Brits. And now residents of the country’s third-largest city have been given the go ahead to strip off for all over sunbathing sessions in six designated spaces. The six Urban Naked Zones are located in parkland, offering privacy, but also only minutes away from the busy city centre. The city’s huge public park The Englischer Garten has been a nudist hang-out since the 1960s, with it’s Schonfeldweise (‘beautiful meadows’) area being earmarked by nudist travel site naturisttravel.net as one of the must-visit places in the country. ‘Whenever the sun is out, you’ll find Münchner of all ages, shapes and sizes catching some rays as nature intended. It’s considered as much the perfect lunchtime escape from the stresses of a busy day for office workers as it a place for friends and families to gather at weekends, and the atmosphere is always convivial and laid-back.”

‘Rats the size of cats are invading our cities’: Two-foot long giant rodents which are immune to poison are discovered feeding from bins in Britain: “It is the size of a small cat and enough to strike fear into anyone who sees it – but it could become a common sight in cities around the country. This giant rat was caught and photographed in Liverpool and measured two feet long from its nose to its tail. The menacing super rat was caught on an industrial estate by a brave pest controller from Whelan Services, one of the country’s largest independent pest prevention companies. Pest control experts today warned that similar rats are likely to become more common in the UK as more households get careless about how they throw out their rubbish, and discard left-over fast food. Experts say the conventional blood-thinning poison used to kill the rats is not working as it used to.”

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

An Irish billboard?

April 14, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

The great survivor: “A Cardiff hero whose name appears on a monument to the fallen of the First World War actually survived the conflict. Alf Norman fought in the Boer War, the Great War and worked in a munitions factory during the Second World War yet he is on the Grangetown Memorial remembering the war dead. Sergeant Norman went on to live for three decades after the memorial recording his death was built. He was serving with the Glamorgan Yeomanry, believed to be in Mesopotamia, when his wife received two telegrams – one to say he was missing presumed killed and another to say he had been killed in action. His Cork-born ‘widow’ Mary organised a traditional Irish wake in his absence. Later news came through that far from being dead her husband was still very much alive and doing his bit for king and country. For some reason, his name was still put forward in the early 1920s when the Cardiff memorial was built.”

The world’s most complete preserved mammoth will go on display: “The baby mammoth, discovered in Siberia in 2007, will be the centrepiece of a special three-month exhibition at the London museum. It will be the first time is has been shown in Western Europe. The female mammoth is a little larger than a dog and is thought to have died 42,000 years ago when it was only one month old. It was found by Siberia’s Yuribei river, several mammoth remains have been unearthed in the area. Experts believe that its body was buried in wet clay and mud which then froze, preserving it until she was found by reindeer herder Yuri Khudi and his sons while they were searching for firewood along the banks of the Yuribei river.”

Elaborate graffiti: “Mysterious street artist Banksy is thought to have unveiled his latest creation, taking aim at the thorny issue of government surveillance. The guerrilla graffiti artist is believed to be behind the image of three trenchcoat clad agents eavesdropping on a telephone box that appeared in Cheltenham in the early hours of this morning. It is believed the city was chosen for the work because it is where GCHQ, the centre of the UK’s surveillance network, is based. The graffiti is on the side of a house just three miles from the listening post. The trenchcoat clad agents seem to be listening in on the phone box on the street corner in Cheltenham. Although the artist has not officially claimed the work, it is in his characteristic style and carries a political message in line with his previous pieces.”

Super-cheap frock: “At the bottom of a plastic bag lies a very small piece of highly flammable fabric in a colour never dreamed of by Mother Nature. This is budget clothing chain Peacocks’ latest offering: a £1.99 dress. Yes, that’s right, £1.99. Forty-one pence less than a cappuccino from my nearest coffee shop. I’ve bought it online to see just how cheap and cheerful fashion has become. Mint it is, and over the head it goes. At £1.99, a dress doesn’t come with a zip. There isn’t the budget for one. But once on, there is a mini-revelation; the thing is incredibly comfortable, like wearing a comfy T-shirt or a soft nightdress. But after the grim winter, it is a serotonin boost to be back in a silly, jaunty dress. It’s short, skaterish, girlish and it makes me feel oddly … cheerful. The first test is the children. They are most excited by the price. At last they can afford something in the adult world — who cares if they want it or not. They say they quite like it. ‘Pretty!’ is the verdict.”

Sexier stockings?: “The stockings are laced with the chemicals which are designed to increase sexual attraction. The Hush Hush range by hosiery firm Ballerina is laced with female pheromones believed to send men as wild as Hoffman in the 1967 film. A spokesman for Ballerina said: ‘Pheromones send out subconscious signals to the opposite sex.’ But while pheromones are emitted in our sweat glands, style mavens may be relieved to know the stockings’ ones are synthetic.

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

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