A small ambiguity

June 20, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton is touring the countryside in a chauffeur-driven car.

Suddenly, a cow jumps out onto the road, they hit it full on and the car comes to a stop.

Hillary in her usual charming manner, says to the chauffeur: “You get out and check – you were driving.”

The chauffeur gets out, checks and reports that the animal is dead.

“You were driving; go and tell the farmer,” says Hillary.

Five hours later, the chauffeur returns totally plastered, hair ruffled with a big grin on his face.

“My god, what happened to you?” asks Hillary.

The chauffeur replies: “When I got there, the farmer opened the his best bottle of malt whiskey,

The wife gave me a slap-up meal and the daughter made love to me”.

“What on earth did you say?” asks Julia.

“I knocked on the door and when it was answered, I said to them:

“I’m Hillary Clinton’s chauffeur and I’ve just killed the cow”.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Fat NY woman rescued after being jammed in garbage chute: “A full-figured woman was rescued after getting stuck between floors in a garbage chute for at least 30 minutes. Firefighters had to break down a wall to save Jewel Matthew, 36, who was stuck inside a residency building for SUNY Downstate Medical Center in East Flatbush, New York. Ms Matthew, the daughter of a medical-center staffer, somehow went down the chute feet first. Investigators suspect that it might not have been an accident, the New York Post reported. She was pulled out and taken to a nearby hospital in serious condition. New York Fire Department Battalion Chief Butch Brandes suggested that Matthew’s weight – more than 200lb (91kg) – might have saved her life after she fell from a sixth-floor chute opening. “If she wasn’t as big as she was, she would have ended up falling to the basement,” Brandes said.” Instead, Ms Matthew got wedged in the two-foot-wide (60cm) shaft between the fifth and sixth floors.”

Dumb crook lands on his head: “Syracuse Police Sgt. Tom Connellan said police attempted to arrest Ormond Harrison, 36, of Highland Stree, around 4:30 p.m., but Harrison ran from police and into the home of an acquaintance at 1041 Highland St. When police entered the home to apprehend Harrison, he loosed two Rottweiler dogs on them, Connellan said. Officer Daniel Rathburn was bitten on the hand and leg by one of the dogs, before he shot it dead with his gun, Connellan said. The other dog retreated. Harrison fled the house, jumping from a second story window and landing on his head, Connellan said. Harrison and Rathburn were both taken to Upstate University Hospital. Harrison was listed in serious condition.” [The head concerned obviously wasn’t much use anyway]

A spectacular wedding: “Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, heir to the country’s throne, married her former personal trainer, the gym owner Daniel Westling today at Stockholm Cathedral. About 250,000 people lined the streets of Stockholm as the country celebrated its ‘fairytale royal wedding’. The couple exchanged vows in front of nearly 1,000 royals and dignitaries from across the world while four ministers conducted the service. Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and his wife Sophie, wearing a grey silk dress with cape, represented the British Royal Family. They were among a host of European royals there. The princess was escorted up the aisle by her proud father, King Carl Gustav VI, and was then met by her long-term boyfriend – now titled Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland – who kissed his bride on the cheek while she responded by kissing his hand.”

The “music of the spheres” is real after all: “The sun has been the inspiration for hundreds of songs, but now scientists have discovered that the star at the centre of our solar system produces its own music. Astronomers at the University of Sheffield have managed to record for the first time the eerie musical harmonies produced by the magnetic field in the outer atmosphere of the sun. They found that huge magnetic loops that have been observed coiling away from the outer layer of the sun’s atmosphere, known as coronal loops, vibrate like strings on a musical instrument. In other cases they behave more like soundwaves as they travel through a wind instrument. Using satellite images of these loops, which can be over 60,000 miles long, the scientists were able to recreate the sound by turning the visible vibrations into noises and speeding up the frequency so it is audible to the human ear.”

Bye bye bifocals, hello electronic spectacles: “Traditional bifocals could become a thing of the past with the invention of electronic glasses that automatically adjust to let their wearer view objects at different distances. The electronic glasses, developed by US firm PixelOptics, can be adjusted manually to view objects at different distances by pressing a button on the side of the frames. The spectacles, which are due to be launched in the US this year and the UK next year, use lenses that change their strength when a small electrical current passes through them. A layer of liquid crystal sandwiched inside each lens alters its refractive properties according to the current applied, adapting the focal length according to where the wearer is looking.”

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

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Senior health care solution

June 19, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So you’re a sick senior citizen and the government says there is no nursing home available for you – what do you do?

Our plan gives anyone 65 years or older a gun and 4 bullets. You are allowed to shoot 2 congresscritters and 2 illegal immigrants!

Of course, this means you will be sent to prison where you will get 3 meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating, air conditioning and all the health care you need! New teeth – no problem. Need glasses, great. New hip, knees, kidney, lungs, heart? All covered. (And your kids can come and visit you as often as they do now).

And who will be paying for all of this? The same government that just told you that you they cannot afford for you to go into a home.

Plus, because you are a prisoner, you don’t have to pay any income taxes anymore.

IS THIS A GREAT COUNTRY OR WHAT?

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Human race ‘will be extinct within 100 years’, claims senile scientist: “Professor Frank Fenner has warned that the human race can not survive As the scientist who helped eradicate smallpox he certainly know a thing or two about extinction. And now Professor Frank Fenner, emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University, has predicted that the human race will be extinct within the next 100 years. He has claimed that the human race will be unable to survive a population explosion and ‘unbridled consumption.’ Since humans entered an unofficial scientific period known as the Anthropocene – the time since industrialisation – we have had an effect on the planet that rivals any ice age or comet impact, he said. Fenner, 95, has won awards for his work in helping eradicate the variola virus that causes smallpox”

VT: Proposed cat leash law sparks hissing match: “A clause in a city law that requires cats to be on leashes has sparked a hissing match among fans of free-roaming felines. A City Council meeting with cats on the agenda drew an unusually large crowd of about 30 people Tuesday night, including one woman who brought three large signs, one of which said, ‘Arrest criminals, not cats. Can Barre afford a jail for cats?’ City officials cited complaints from some residents about a roaming cat that turned a neighbor’s garden into a litter box. Barre resident Sue Higby called a leash law for cats ‘a bad idea … unless you want to have the police department chasing cats around for a million dollars an hour.’”

Chef fancies a swan curry: “A drunken chef found covered in blood and feathers after strangling a wild swan escaped being sent to jail yesterday. It is believed that Mohammed Miah, who has worked as a curry chef, intended to cook the bird. Yesterday he was given a three-month suspended jail sentence after admitting intentionally killing a protected bird. Miah, 29, throttled the sleeping swan on the banks of the Great Ouse river in Bedford in the early hours of the morning last month. He was spotted by two night porters at a nearby hotel, who called police.”

Sweden hosts Europe’s biggest royal wedding since Charles and Diana: “Sweden will host the biggest European royal wedding since the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana when Crown Princess Victoria marries a former fitness trainer she met in a gym. Thousands are expected to line the streets of Stockholm to see the princess, 32, marry her “commoner” boyfriend, Daniel Westling, 36, who will assume the title HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland. Swedish national flags and 40,000 roses, carnations, lilies and hydrangeas have been used to decorate the streets, which will be patrolled by 8,000 soldiers and police officers. Shops have been selling mugs, plates and embroidered pink slippers bearing the couple’s smiling faces. The marriage ceremony will take place in the afternoon at Stockholm Cathedral, after which the newly-weds are expected to be driven through the city centre in a horse-drawn carriage.”

Ratty is making a comeback: “Water voles, one of Britain’s best loved creatures and the inspiration for Ratty in Wind in the Willows, are making a comeback after being pushed to the edge of extinction. The population of water voles plummeted from 1.5 million in 1990 to just 200,000 in 2000 due to pollution and the diverting of water courses. In some areas of the country the river dwelling animal went extinct. But thanks to conservation projects around the country ‘ratty’ is making a return. Farmers have cut down on chemicals, the invasive American mink has been bought under control and riverbanks have been cleared of rubbish. The Environment Agency has identified 30 ‘hot spots’ where the mammals are thriving from a survey of 36,000 individual water vole surveys. Sites include the Somerset Levels, grazing marshes and ditches in Yorkshire and the Wye Valley.”

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

Israel?

June 18, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Airlines lose 25 MILLION bags a year: “More than 25 million items of luggage goes missing at major airports every year. Flight Centre has just finished analysing the latest figures in the 2010 Air Transport Industry Baggage Report, which shows one in 100 passengers globally at a major airport will experience the sinking feeling of staring at an empty carousel, realising their luggage hasn’t made it to their destination. Flight Centre found that of 25 million mishandled bags, more than half went missing between transfers, around 16 per cent weren’t loaded onto flights and 13 per cent went astray as a result of passenger bag switching, poor ticketing and failed security. Flight Centre’s Colin Bowman says it’s important to have the right travel insurance policy because most people don’t factor in the cost of replacing all their clothes in their travel budget. Mr Bowman said some airlines don’t offer compensation for lost, stolen or damaged luggage, and even if they do it could take weeks for a reimbursement to come through.” [That sure is a LOT of bags to lose. How can they be so thick?]

Women are ruled by hormones (Who knew?): “Members of the fairer sex are more sensitive to a key stress hormone with even small amounts sending their emotions into a whirl, research shows. Men, in contrast, are relatively immune to even high amounts of the chemical. This perhaps explains why they often take a more laid-back view of potential crises infuriating the women in their lives in the process. Researchers say the US study could help explain the differences in the way men and women control their emotions. Women have higher rates of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety problems than men. The study focused on a stress hormone called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) which helps control the body’s reaction to stress. CRF is known to play a role in human psychiatric conditions.”

Naughty Donald: “Big, sexually-aggressive domestic ducks are “raping” Australia’s native ducks and putting them at risk of extinction, it’s been claimed. Victoria University Research Fellow Dr Patrick-Jean Guay said the problem of feral domestic ducks – mallards – mating with native Pacific black ducks and producing hybrids was now happening in the bush as well as on urban waterways. The Daily Telegraph reports usually cross-breeding can be a genetic dead end, but hybrid ducks are fertile and can mate successfully. “This means the hybrids can also mate with pure-bred Pacific black ducks and this also reduces their unique genetics,” Dr Guay said.”

Atlanta babysitter jailed for giving wine to nine-month-old baby: “An Atlanta babysitter was jailed after admitting she gave a potentially lethal amount of wine to an infant in her care. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said Tammy Denise Truitt, 41, confessed in court to giving the nine-month-old baby boy wine in a sippy cup to make the infant fall asleep. The baby was taken to hospital with a blood-alcohol level of .33 – more than four times the legal limit for an adult. Truitt, who pleaded guilty to aggravated battery, was sentenced on June 2 to eight years in prison and four years of probation. The incident occurred in July 2009 when Truitt was asked to babysit the child, along with his four siblings, when the baby’s mother left town on a family emergency, the Times-Georgian reported. The children’s grandmother arrived five hours later to discover the baby in an apparently lifeless state.”

Tourist savaged in monkey madness: “A Tourist has been savaged by a pack of monkeys while on a tour to cure her phobia of the animal. Dee Darwell, 56, from Cambridgeshire in southern England, was bitten and grabbed by several macaques on a tour to Monkey Island in the Andaman Sea, near Phuket. She collapsed with blood “pumping out of a deep, deep hole” in her arm as the monkeys were pulled off her by Thai fishermen. “The monkey took my wrist and pounced on my right arm, sinking his teeth in and hung off it,” Ms Darwell said.”

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

Gov. Charlie Crist checks a Florida beach for signs of oil

June 17, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Great eyeball control there

(Pic from here)

THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

British council sent out FIVE vehicles just so that two of its workers could pick up litter: “How many vehicles do two men need to pick up some litter? The answer appears FIVE manned trucks to protect the pair under strict health and safety regulations. Motorists couldn’t believe their eyes when they passed the convoy of council vans to find no roadworks but just the couple of workers picking up rubbish on a grass verge. The mundane operation involved an astonishing total of seven men, four safety trucks and the workers’ own vehicle. Drivers on the A35 dual carriageway in Poole, Dorset passed four high-visibility vehicles indicating the lane ahead was closed as well as the litter pickers’ van itself. Purbeck District Council said it was simply complying with the present laws to ‘maximise the safety of the workforce’.

Plastic Jesus statue burns to ground: “A 60ft statue of Jesus with his arms raised along a motorway was struck by lightning in a thunderstorm and burned to the ground, police said. The “King of Kings” statue, one of Ohio’s most familiar landmarks, had stood since 2004 at the evangelical Solid Rock Church along Interstate 75 in Monroe, just north of Cincinnati. The 62ft tall 40ft wide sculpture, showed Jesus from the torso up and was nicknamed Touchdown Jesus because of the way the arms were raised, similar to a referee signaling a touchdown in a game of football. It was made of plastic foam and fiberglass over a steel frame, which is all that remained early Tuesday. The fire spread from the statue to an adjacent amphitheater but was confined to the attic area, and no one was injured, police Chief Mark Neu said.”

German schoolgirl faces court for drawing rabbit: “A German teacher is suing a student for teasing her about an alleged phobia of rabbits and drawing one on her blackboard. The teacher, named only as Marion V, fled in tears when she saw the chalk drawing at a school in the northern German town of Vechta, Der Spiegel reported. Her 16-year-old tormentor had told classmates that Marion V. was terrified of rabbits and would “flip out” is she saw one, according to court documents. The victim, who teaches German and geography, has refused to say whether she is afraid of the animals but is suing the youngster for defamation and for “infringing her rights.” She has been off work since the incident.” [Is such a loony fit to teach?]

Stung to death: “Authorities say a 55-year-old man went into cardiac arrest and died after being stung more than 500 times by bees as he cleared brush from a property in Southern California. The man was operating a backhoe in San Diego County when he was attacked by the bees late yesterday morning (local time). Deputy Fire Chief Scott Henry says the man ran about 180m to an outhouse in an attempt to escape. Chief Henry says firefighters found the man inside in full cardiac arrest. Firefighters began CPR and took the man to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.”

Prisoner on parole breaks back into jail: “A Mozambican prisoner who had been released on parole broke back into jail after discovering he didn’t like life on the outside, state media reported on Wednesday. Camilo Antonio, 28, was released from the Manica Agricultural Penitentiary in central Mozambique after serving half the 10-year prison sentence he had received for the 2004 murder of his stepfather, Noticias newspaper said. But Antonio had trouble finding work and feared his stepfather’s family would try to kill him. So he broke back into jail by tearing down part of the prison wall. He was then arrested for destruction of property and received a one-year sentence. “To me, prison is the safest place,” Antonio told Noticias. “I don’t want to live in jail, but at this stage in my life it’s the best place I’ve found.”

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

Goddam bird can’t read

June 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

British policeman jailed for waiving women’s traffic tickets in exchange for sex: “A former policeman was jailed today for having sex with women drivers in exchange for letting them off driving offences. Married father-of-two Jamie Slater, 33, from Port Talbot, South Wales, was jailed for three-and-a-half years after Cardiff Crown Court heard the former traffic cop pulled over six women and told them he would not give them tickets if they had sex with him. Two of the women agreed and had sex with Slater in his patrol car – with one even hiding in the official vehicle when Slater was called to an emergency incident, thisisSouthWales.com reported. Slater was dismissed after eight years service in December 2009, following an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). The court heard Slater’s reign of “predatory sex” ended when one woman complained to senior officers.”

Princes scare snake: “Britain’s royal brothers Prince William and Prince Harry were a bit nervous when game wardens asked them to hold an 2.6m African rock python – but the snake was even more so. As Prince Harry and his older brother settled the snake onto their shoulders, with Harry near the head and William near the tail, the frightened creature urinated on the floor of the education centre at a Botswana nature reserve, just centimeters from Prince William’s hand. John Aves, education director at the reserve, said the snake “was nervous and scared”. “It was an automatic reflex to urinate,” Mr Aves said.”

Shy guys switching on to text message courtship : “For guys, asking a girl out for a first date has always been a daunting prospect. Which may be why more and more are abandoning face-to-face contact and resorting to texting their intentions to the girl of their choice. And, if they’re feeling lucky, adding a winking emoticon. Uncovering the nation’s technology habits has also led to the discovery of an entirely new set of dating rules according to research conducted by Telstra. The findings have shown that one in two Aussies said it’s OK to ask someone on a first date via a text message but more than half said it’s not acceptable to break up with someone via text message, email or phone.”

German student hurls puppy at Hell’s Angels, flees on stolen bulldozer: “A German student created a major traffic jam in Bavaria when he made a rude gesture at a group of Hells Angels, hurled a puppy at them and then escaped on a stolen bulldozer. The 26-year-old drove into the grounds of the motorcycle gang members’ clubhouse north of Munich on Sunday, according to reports in local media. The man, who was not identified, then dropped his pants, threw the puppy, and then fled. After making his getaway, he stole the bulldozer from a construction site, and attempted to drive it to Munich. However, it was not fast enough, and his snail-like pace caused a 5km traffic jam near the southern town of Allershausen. Police said it was unclear what motivated the man.”

Scientists show a man’s strength is revealed in the sound of his voice: “You can tell whether someone is physically weak or strong simply by listening to their voice, a study shows. In tests, volunteers accurately judged a stranger’s strength after hearing a brief snippet of speech. Although both sexes give clues to their strength every time they open their mouths, male voices are much easier to judge than female ones, the researchers found. The deepness of a voice is not an accurate guide to whether someone is muscular or weedy. Instead, people rely on a subconscious, mysterious ‘x-factor’ in the voice to work out someone’s physique. Dr Aaron Sell, of the University of California, Santa Barbara, believes the ability to assess strength from voices evolved to help our ancestors avoid picking fights they were likely to lose.”

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

Noah and the dinosaurs

June 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

British bank left door open: “Police in Hampshire were called in to guard an unlocked high street bank after a member of the public found the door open. Officers were called to the HSBC branch in Tadley and remained on guard until the keyholder arrived, reports the BBC. Police said everything inside the branch appeared to be in order and nothing had been taken. A spokesman for HSBC said it was not clear whether the bank had been left open all night. He said: “We are still investigating the chain of events. It’s hard to say how long the door was open – but unlikely it was open all night. A spokesman for Hampshire Police said: “There was nothing suspicious about it apart from the fact that the door was open.”

British vodka? “It may be a drink more associated with Russia and Poland, but the UK can now lay claim to making the best vodka in the world. Chase Vodka – produced in Hereford – has beaten 115 rivals from around the globe to win an international competition. The accolade was handed to William Chase who started making the drink two years ago after selling his Tyrells crisp brand for £30million. The 45-year-old entrepreneur had no distilling experience but decided to aim for the gourmet end of the market and invested £3million building a distillery. All the potatoes are grown on his Rosemaund Farm near Hereford before being added to water, fermented, and then distilled and bottled – which all takes place on site. The spuds are said to give Chase a ‘natural sweetness’ which tastes better than traditional vodkas made from cheaper wheat or rye grains.”

Londoners to enjoy ‘champagne of water’ with drink fountain restoration: “More than 40 Victorian and Edwardian fountains are to be restored in the capital’s Royal Parks, enabling the public to drink water from them for the first time in decades. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, this morning announced the year-long rejuvenation programme of ornamental and drinking fountains in Hyde Park and the seven other Royal Parks. The programme was launched at the Italian Gardens, which will also be improved, in Kensington Gardens. Mr Johnson said that the Tiffany grant would enable the restoration of a “beautiful and civilised” amenity. He said that the UK was spending £2 billion a year on bottled water and any initiative to bring such wastage down was welcome. “London water is the best in the world; it is the champagne of water,” he declared.”

Villager disrupts nude photo shoot: “A naked photo shoot in China was disrupted when an outraged local villager began attacking photographers. The 20-year-old model and more than 10 photographers descended on the Shenxiandong Forestry Park in central China’s Henan province to shoot a series of arty nude pictures. They were accidentally discovered by a local villager who quickly informed other residents to come and look. Unsurprisingly it wasn’t long before a group of male ‘art’ lovers had gathered at the scene to watch. Then several hours into the photo shoot a local pensioner, armed with a tree branch, made his disapproval clear when he attacked the photographers. The man, Shen Guoxian, 60, said: “These people are here to shoot naked pictures, which is too dirty and polluting to the environment. It damaged the family bonds in the village.”

Builder’s amazing escape from mixer: “A construction worker had an amazing escape in China after he fell into a working concrete mixer. Xu, 20, was pouring cement into the mixer, in Huangshi, Hubei province, when the bag got caught on a blade, dragging him into the machine. Luckily, a workmate heard his screams and ran to turn off the mixer before it ground Xu to a pulp, reports the Chutian Metropolis News. But he was stuck fast and firefighters had to be called out with hydraualic cutting equipment to free him. “Only his head was outside the blender. His whole body was unmovable,” said one firefighter. Eventually, rescuers managed to cut open the machine from both ends and pull out Xu from the blender. Xu was taken to hospital where doctors treated him for a broken leg and hurt knee but said he would make a full recovery.”

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

How to plug the oil leak in the Gulf…

June 14, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Sample of asteroid comes down to earth: “A Japanese space probe carrying dust samples from an asteroid has landed in the South Australian outback. The probe landed just before midnight (CST) on Sunday night, the Australian Science Media Centre confirmed. After travelling six billion kilometres in seven years, the Hayabusa explorer incinerated on re-entry after jettisoning a capsule expected to contain the first asteroid dust ever collected…. Hayabusa, the $US200 million ($A235.74 million) project launched in 2003, landed on the asteroid in 2005 and is believed to have collected samples of material from the surface that may shed light on the solar system’s origin and evolution.”

Mars was once more like earth: “A vast ocean once covered a third of the surface of Mars, scientists revealed last night. Far from being a dusty red desert, our neighbouring planet was once wet and rainy – raising the prospect that it was home to extra-terrestrial life. The ocean stretched across 36 per cent of the red planet around 3.5 billion years ago and contained 30million cubic miles of water. The discovery is based on a detailed study of the dried-up river deltas and thousands of river valleys that scatter the Martian surface. Scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder are unsure why the water vanished, but many suspect traces of the ocean remain in ice buried deep beneath the surface. Long lived oceans may have teemed with microbes at a time when the life is thought to have also been starting on Earth.”

Girls’ average age to start puberty falls below ten… arriving six years earlier than a century ago: “More and more girls are starting puberty at primary school age, research shows. A study of 1,000 girls found that breast development now begins on average a year earlier than 20 years ago – around the age of nine years and ten months. It underlines a long-term trend that has seen the average age at which girls hit puberty fall sharply. In the 19th century it was around 15. Dr Anders Juul, of Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, which carried out the research, said: ‘If girls mature early, they run into teenage problems at an early age and they’re more prone to diseases later on. ‘We should be worried about this regardless of what we think the underlying reasons might be. ‘It’s a clear sign that something is affecting our children; whether it’s junk food, environmental chemicals or lack of physical activity.'”

Sexy ex-cop: “With one skimpy bikini shoot, men’s magazine ZOO Weekly has done more for Kim Hollingsworth than her former employer the NSW police ever did. So says the former Kings Cross sex-worker-turned-cadet-cop-and-whistleblower, whose life is being portrayed with varying degrees of accuracy by actress Emma Booth in Underbelly: The Golden Mile. “Unlike in the show, I never hesitated to say I had worked as a prostitute and stripper when joining the police,” she told ZOO. “It only became a problem when I reported the corruption (to the Wood Royal Commission).” Hollingsworth was subsequently sacked and fought unsuccessfully for reinstatement until 2007″

Wallaby colony living in Cornwall: “Their natural habitat is the Australian outback, but now a family of wallabies has proved it can survive the British winter after making a home in the wild in Cornwall. A photograph of one wallaby, taken by a motorist near a lane in St Breward, follows several recent sightings of a male, female and baby in the area. The animal seen by the driver is thought to be a male which escaped from a farm three years ago and was never caught. He appears to have found another escaped female, who was later pictured with a joey in her pouch. After they were sighted last year there were fears the animals may not be able to survive the winter, but the new photographs suggest they have been able to adapt to the British climate. A spokesperson for the RSPCA said the animal charity is often called to capture escaped wallabies, but it is rarer to find examples of them living in the wild in Britain. “There are definitely colonies across the country so people should not be surprised if they have seen them.”

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

The way we were

June 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

(Actually, we are probably still much the same but you are not allowed to say so)

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Lawyer’s bra bars her from visiting jail: “A lawyer in Miami was prevented from visiting one of her clients in jail because of the metal underwire in her bra. And when she removed the bra, she was stopped again – because she wasn’t wearing a bra, The Miami Herald reported. Brittney Horstman said that security guards at Miami Federal Detention Centre would not allow her to enter because the metal in her underwire bra set off the metal detectors. Despite the centre’s rules making an exception for underwire bras, the guards still refused Ms Horstman entry. After removing the bra in a bathroom and passing through the metal detectors she was then told that going braless was a violation of prison dress code guidelines. The incident was eventually brought to the attention of Warden Linda McGrew, who conducted an inquiry and promised the same thing would not happen again.

Intruder tangles with retired elite soldier: “A former special forces soldier in his 50s has told how he fought off an intruder half his age during a home invasion. No points for guessing who won the day. Fifty-six-year-old Rudi, who declined to give his last name, said he was “scared” when he and his wife were woken by the sound of breaking glass, then found a man standing outside the bedroom door of their Klemzig home about 11 o’clock on Friday night. But instinct kicked in and the former Hungarian soldier, now a furniture removalist, tackled the stranger to the ground – only to discover it was someone known to him. “The house was dark and he was wearing a beanie and had something in his hand,” Rudi said yesterday. “Of course I was scared, but I’d had military training in Hungary so I grabbed him around the throat and threw him to the floor then took his beanie off. Police arrested the man and have charged him with breaking into the house and assault. Rudi and his wife were not injured.”

Man’s dog stop carjacker’s bid to steal car: “Police say the incident took place about 10.30pm on Saturday when a 22-year-old man was driving his Toyota Corolla along the Bells Line of Road near Bilpin, northwest of Sydney. The young man noticed a red-and-blue flashing strobe light emanating from the dashboard of a dark-coloured Holden Commodore travelling behind him. He pulled over and was approached by a man in his late 20s, wearing black pants, a bomber-style jacket and black gloves. The man ordered him out of the car and struck him in the face, knocking him to the ground. The offender then got in the car but the victim’s dog inside forced him to retreat. A second offender got out of the Commodore and both men fought with the victim who managed to run from the scene and call police. A police spokeswoman said the offenders did not manage to steal the Corolla.”

Plane touches down in US after 68-year delay: “Long Beach, California: A B-17 bomber that lay in a New Guinea swamp for decades after it was shot down during a World War II combat mission has been returned to the United States. Salvagers displayed the forward fuselage of the “Swamp Ghost” at Long Beach in California in an emotional ceremony attended by family of the aircrew. The B-17E Flying Fortress went down during a raid on Japanese forces at Rabaul in New Britain on February 23, 1942. The now-dead crew survived the landing and escaped the swamp.”

Actress gets an imperial honour: ” Catherine Zeta-Jones added a royal honour to Hollywood stardom yesterday when she was made a commander of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen. Forty-year-old Zeta-Jones, born in Swansea, Wales, began her career in British theatre and television before moving to Hollywood and marrying actor Michael Douglas. The actress, who won a best supporting actress Oscar in 2003 for the musical Chicago, can now put the letters CBE after her name. “I am absolutely thrilled with this honour,” Zeta-Jones said. “As a British subject, I feel incredibly proud. At the same time, it is overwhelming and humbling. And my mum and dad are delighted beyond belief.”

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

Some technospeak is now respectable

June 12, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

In 2007 Merriam-Webster crowned “w00t” the word of the year. The word originated in online gamer culture and means, more or less: “Yay!”

Egosurfing: Otherwise known as “Googling yourself”. Added to Oxford Dictionary of English in 2003.

Hacktivist: A hacker who is also a political activist. Added to Oxford Dictionary of English in 2003.

Vlog: A contraction of “video blog”. Blog is a contraction of “web log”. Added to Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary in 2009.

LOL: “Laugh out loud”. Added to New Oxford Dictionary of English in 1998.

BFF: “Best friend forever”. You can thank mobile phones and internet chat for acronyms like this. Added to Macquarie Dictionary in 2008.

Mouse potato: One who spends too much time at the computer. Added to Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary in 2006.

Unfriend: To stop following someone on a social networking website. New Oxford American Dictionary’s word of the year for 2009.

Flame war: Defined by Macmillan Dictionary as “a period during which people send angry or rude emails to each other”. Date of addition unknown.

Original story here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Ferrari accepts 11-year-old in drivers’ academy: “Ferrari has accepted a schoolboy who is five years shy of getting a driving licence as the youngest ever recruit to its drivers’ academy. Lance Stroll, 11, from Montreal, has twice won the Canadian national championship in the Rotax Mini Max category. Last year, he finished sixth in the World finals at Lonato in the Mini Roc category and second in the Rotax Micro Max Florida Winter Tour. Stroll was nominated by the Federation Sport Automobile du Quebec as Rookie of the Year in 2008 and Driver of the Year the following year. Luca Baldisserri, who runs the Ferrari Driving Academy said: “He is very young, but he has already shown in karting that he is exceptionally talented.”

“Phans” haunting the Phantom sequel: “When Andrew Lloyd Webber unveiled Love Never Dies, his long-awaited sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, a curious thing happened. Even before its official opening night, theatre websites were flooded with negative comments. A Facebook group was set up to denounce the “trainwreck of a show”, and false rumours began spreading of its imminent demise. Yet the show is playing to packed houses and standing ovations each night at the Adelphi Theatre, leaving the producers baffled by the online vitriol. Now an explanation has emerged. Investigations have revealed that the negative postings are part of an orchestrated hate campaign run by a handful of obsessive Phantom fans who believe Lord Lloyd Webber should have left the original alone. The architects of the campaign are a husband and wife, Jeff and Rebecca Timmons, who live in Canada. They are die-hard fans – or ‘Phans’, as they prefer to be known.”

Men fall instantly for a girl just because she looks gorgeous: “It’s been the inspiration of countless movies – from 10, in which Dudley Moore’s character falls for a stunning Bo Derek, to just about everything starring Hugh Grant – and dozens of songs. In real life, such men are often accused of being shallow, but scientists now say that is unfair. They are merely following their “ancient” genetic preference to date pretty women and need only milliseconds to decide on a potential partner. Men go for a pretty face because it is a sign of fertility and the survival instinct draws them to women who can carry on their line, researchers say. Women, on the other hand, do not decide whether men will be a good partner on looks. Their survival instinct means they need to find out if the man has a good personality, can provide and is committed.”

Scientific proof that men look at women’s breasts first — and their face is almost last: “Women have long complained that their faces are often the last thing men look at – and now a scientific study has proved them right. Researchers found that virtually half – 47 per cent – of men first glance at a woman’s breasts. A third of the “first fixations” are on the waist and hips, while fewer than 20 per cent look at the woman’s face. Not only are breasts often the first thing men look at, they also glance at them for longer than any other body part, the experts discovered”

Model with the largest fake breasts in Russia sues over mid-air damage: “A woman is suing an airline for $142,000 after her implants were damaged in turbulence. Irene Ferrari said one of her size “F” breasts hit the seat in front of her when strong turbulence hit her Swiss International Airlines flight. The incident caused “bruises and strong pain in her left breast”, with doctors warning her injury could have been much worse if she didn’t have the implants. Ms Ferrari is demanding €100,000 ($140,000) from the airline, saying the uncomfortable plane caused the injury. “It was a strong blow and I hit my left breast. I was in pain. When I went to see a surgeon in Russia I was told I have problems with my breast,” she told NTV in an interview. She said she always flies business class to have more space, but claims the business class seats on the plane were not much bigger than coach seats.”

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

Hearse trading

June 11, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Car nuts with a taste for the bizarre and offbeat are finding each other on the internet.

When it comes to hearses, Robert Dean is a purist. He lovingly maintains his 11 coffin carriers in their full funereal splendour, complete with working rear compartments, curtains and glistening chrome.

But others in the Phantom Coaches Hearse Club are less wedded to history. Some have put seats in the back; one member installed shelves with a television and bar, while another painted lizard scales all over hers.

“We have fewer people now who want to know about their coach,” says Dean, a founding member of the LA-based car club, who is also an avid collector of Cadillacs. “They’re more interested in it being an accessory because they’re into Halloween and stuff like that, which is OK.”

The club, which started in the early 1990s and, according to its website, has members all over the world, is one of several on the US west coast devoted to hearses. It is also one of many car clubs in the US and elsewhere that have sprung up to cater for growing bands of car nuts with a bent for the unusual.

The internet has helped kick-start many of these more recent groups, which are mainly online forums for members to share photos and swap vital statistics. There are clubs for police cars, New York taxis and for a host of celluloid vehicles, ranging from Mad Max, The Dukes of Hazzard and The Blues Brothers to replicas from TV series Knight Rider.

Then there are others that exist purely for the thrill of planting the accelerator. Members of The Slow Car Club, for example, meet once a year to drag-race in their untuned, unmodified plodders (although, according to the club’s website, they have been slow to meet in the past several years).

Getting together is also important for Dean and other members of the Phantom Coaches club. Every January, for example, they pick a quiet spot in Fairhaven cemetery in Santa Ana for one of their regular meetings, presided over by the club president, who they call “the chairman of the morgue”.

Afterwards, everyone piles back in their hearses and heads several clicks up the road, where they then drive around a roundabout in the city of Orange for as long as they can. “We end up going around about 20 times before we exit,” Dean says. “It always draws a huge crowd.”

Club meetings are different every month – they lined their hearses up recently outside the premiere of the new Nightmare on Elm Street film. But often they find themselves at a cemetery. “Actually, we met at another cemetery in March, where we had an early Easter egg hunt,” Dean says.

For most people, being a member of a car club is usually about sharing a passion for one make or model, or one type of car, such as a hearse.

But there are others, such as British club Mille Modello, that turn this idea of mutual interest on its head. In this club, no two cars can be the same – one Aston Martin Mark III, one Renault 2CV and so on – and membership cannot exceed 1000.

Founder Guy Markham says that when he started the club, little more than a year ago, he owned four different cars and couldn’t face the prospect of joining four clubs. “When it comes to cars, I’ve always been a 10-year-old boy with an almost illogical love of them,” Markham says. “I was a bit of a fan of all cars. If I went to a show where there was one marque I would be a bit bored, so I thought there must be a club out there that’s just for people who like cars.”

Attracting members has been a slow process. Markham says he is being choosy because he wants a good variety in the first 100 cars that join but when that number is reached, he hopes the ranks will swell more quickly. “We want a range of originals and a few cars with a story behind them, ones held together with string almost,” he says. “So there’s a mix of everything: a mix of people, a mix of cars and it’s a group of individuals.”

While Mille Modello inches towards 1000 members, the Junky Car Club is riding high on five times that number – although the criteria for joining are a little less rigorous.

For one thing, membership in the Junky Car Club is free – Mille Modello has an annual fee – and it is open to anyone with an old clunker. Members consider themselves a community of drivers, with membership cards, bumper stickers, rallies and bragging about how unreliable or rusty their cars are.

But their motives for joining are more political than automotive. “Our philosophy is junk pride,” says founder and president Mike Foster. “We’re very proud of the fact that we’re not spending our dollars on car payments; we’re spending those dollars to help people and learn to be more generous in our own lives.”

The club encourages each member to sponsor a child or to give money to campaigns, such as one that recently helped homeless people in southern California who are forced to live in their cars.

Foster hit upon the idea for the club four years ago after deciding that too much of his time and money was going into his expensive Infiniti sports car. So he sold it and bought a 1993 Camry instead, which “smells funny in the summertime and has lots of problems”.

Foster started sharing his story with friends and encouraged them to rethink the need for a flash vehicle. Despite occasional bouts of regret, presumably during summer, Foster says he loves writing a cheque every month for the four children his family sponsor.

“My identity should flow from the good things that I contribute to the world, not how shiny my car is,” he says.

Taking it to the Max: If ever there was a movie tailor-made for car lovers it was Mad Max. Its vehicles were brimming with testosterone and driven the way those muscle cars should be — fast. Perhaps the most iconic car of all, Max’s black Interceptor with its brooding metallic headlight grilles and exposed grumbling engine, was built from a rare Ford XB GT.

In the decades since the film came out, this car has been replicated countless times by fans. Most of those — and many others who have built other cars from the films — have posted a picture of their pride and joy on Peter Barton’s website devoted to the Mad Max films, madmaxmovies.com. “If I look at the stats of the site and what parts they go to, more than half of the people go to look up info on the cars,” Barton says.

It is not a car club in the sense that there are monthly meetings and a newsletter but many of the car owners who have pictures of their cars on the site know each other and keep in touch. Those in Australia get together every year or two for events or rallies, or to mark a milestone from the film.

Barton’s car is a replica Big Bopper, the yellow pursuit car from the first film. He last took it for a spin at the film’s 30th anniversary in 2008 at Little River in Victoria, near where he lives — but he usually keeps it in storage.

“I’ve never been a car nut as such, this replica is the first exciting car I’ve ever owned,” he says.

Original story here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

China overturns ban on bald travellers: “China has cancelled a controversial visa restriction on bald Taiwanese visitors. The rule imposed by the southern Chinese city of Xiamen barred bald people from applying for one-year multiple-entry permits before it was cancelled earlier this year, according to Taiwan’s Travel Agent Association. Mr Hsu said that the rule had mainly applied to frequent business travellers, although he did not know how many people had their visas rejected for being bald. The Taipei-based Liberty Times quoted unnamed travel agents as saying that Chinese authorities were concerned that “it was easier for bald people to disguise themselves”.

French government selling off grand buildings: “President Sarkozy’s debt-ridden Government decided yesterday to cash in on one of France’s biggest assets: its desirable property. A total of 1,700 state-owned manors, town houses, army barracks, farms, office buildings and châteaux are to be sold off to raise a few billion euros for the Treasury’s depleted coffers. A quarter of the property, most of which is outside Paris, belongs to the Ministry of Defence. It includes hundreds of decaying, neglected buildings such as military installations and warehouses. But buyers will also be able to choose from a range of grand residences such as the Hôtel de Seignelay in central Paris and a luxurious mansion on Lake Geneva.”

Lost camera hitches 1770km ride on sea turtle’s back: “A traveller was reunited with a camera he had lost in the Caribbean after a sea turtle swam all the way to Florida, US, with it. The camera’s strap caught on the reptile’s shell after Dutchman Dick de Bruin dropped it in the sea during a trip to Aruba last November, De Telegraaf reported. In its efforts to free itself, the turtle accidentally switched the waterproof device on and filmed part of its 1100 mile (1770 kilometre) journey. The camera washed up six months later in Key West, Fla., where it was spotted by Paul Shultz, an investigator with the US Coast Guard.”

Spongebob episode help eight-year-old save drowning boy in New Jersey: “An eight-year-old New Jersey boy saved his five-year-old neighbour from drowning by using a technique he learned by watching kids cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants. Andrew Gentile’s mother allowed him to enter what she thought was a shallow part of a manmade lake in Washington Township, just 2m from the shore. But Andrew began to struggle when he couldn’t touch the bottom, the Daily Record reported. Reese Ronceray, seeing Andrew struggling from the shore, swam out to help his friend. He grabbed Andrew, mimicking what he saw on an episode of the cartoon, and pulled him to safety. SpongeBob SquarePants also helped save a child’s life in April, when a 12-year-old girl from Long Island, New York, saved her best friend from choking by using the Heimlich manoeuver, which she said she learned by watching the show”

Pet snake strangles owner: “A Nebraska man has died after being strangled by his 2.7-metre, 11.3kg pet boa constrictor. Cory Byrne, 34, of Papillion in suburban Omaha, died at a local hospital, just hours after police and paramedics pried the snake from around his neck, police said. Mr Byrne had been showing the snake to a friend when it wrapped around his shoulders and neck and squeezed, Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov said. An officer was called to Mr Byrne’s flat near downtown Papillion at around 5.40pm (local time). The officer found Mr Byrne on the ground with the snake still around his neck. Paramedics soon arrived and helped get the snake off Mr Byrne and into a cage. The Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha has taken custody of the male red-tailed boa constrictor, said spokesman Mark Langan.”

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

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