The “Stella” awards

December 31, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not sure if all these are factual — but I remember reading some of them in the news

Now it’s time again for the annual “Stella Awards.” For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald’s in New Mexico, where she purchased coffee. She took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving away. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right?

These are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S.. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head and say WT#$@. So keep your head scratcher handy.

Here are the Stellas for the past year:

Kathleen Robertson of Austin , Texas, was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.

Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles , California , won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. This all came about as Carl apparently didn’t notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor’s hubcaps.

Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, had just burglarized a house and was exiting through the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he couldn’t get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn’t re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for EIGHT days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner’s insurance company claiming undue mental anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish!

Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor’s beagle — even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner’s fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun…

Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, got a jury to order a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. Hmmm.

Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware, sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Ms. Walton acknowledged that she sneaking through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. Despite that, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000 — plus dental expenses.




Odd news from around the world

British government issues divorce calculator: “A ‘divorce calculator’ to work out the cost of splitting up has been put online by the government leading to fears it will further erode the institution of marriage. The ‘My Divorce And Separation Calculator’ by the Consumer Financial Education Body quango is the first of its kind and helps couples draw up budgets, a review of debts and post-split financial scenarios. Users must enter their wages, outgoings, ingoings, mortgage payments and debts. They can also add their partner’s financial information to work out who will benefit most from the divorce. The calculator is specifically designed to help individuals assess the financial affects of divorce, separation or civil partnership.”

Turkey among odd items seized at Welsh airport: “A Christmas turkey, a goldfish, a butcher’s knife and a briefcase filled with bricks were named by security officials at Wales’ Cardiff Airport as the oddest things found in passengers’ hand luggage. The 10-pound turkey was set for a Spanish Christmas dinner table when officials found it in a passenger’s hand luggage. Although the flyer’s primary concern was whether the turkey would defrost in time, it was the last of their worries when the bird was confiscated and destroyed because it is illegal to take perishable foodstuffs abroad without prior permission. Another passenger’s attempts to take a goldfish on board were also thwarted. When they were told the fish would not be allowed on the plane as hand luggage, the person asked to check the animal in. Their request was declined. And travellers’ hold luggage did not fare any better. Security at the airport said odd items found included a chainsaw, two armchairs, a palm tree and five one litre cans of paint.”

Snail-pace police chase: “Police pursuits are more often than not at high speed. But when the cops spied an allegedly drunk driver near Newcastle this morning the chase barely got out of first gear. Officers were responding to reports of a noisy car being driven in Warners Bay about 1.30am (AEDT) when they latched onto a Mazda proceeding east on Charles St. As they approached on foot, the driver reversed the car in an apparent attempt to get away. That sparked a car chase through local streets at speeds of up to 40km/h in the 60km/h zone. The car finally stopped in a Charles St driveway where officers forced the driver out. Police allege a breath test showed him to be three-and-a-half times the legal drink-drive limit. They also say it is the third time he has been caught drink-driving in the past five weeks.”

New York snow: workers accused of go-slow in revenge for spending cuts: “Workers clearing the piles of snow that have paralysed parts of New York were told by bosses to “take their time” in revenge for public spending cuts, it has been alleged. Dan Halloran, a city councilman, said he had been approached by five city employees unhappy at the “go-slow” protest being mounted by some of their colleagues. The workers, whose identities Mr Halloran would not disclose, claimed some managers who were demoted to save money wanted to “send a message” to Michael Bloomberg, the city’s mayor. “These supervisors gave ploughers the green light to not tackle the storm aggressively,” Mr Halloran told The Daily Telegraph. “They were told ‘take your time and don’t rush’.”

New York snow: woman charged after giving teenagers rum: “A woman in New York has been accused of a criminal offence after giving rum to two teenagers who helped her shovel snow. Silvia Deleon, 41, was charged with two counts of unlawfully dealing with a minor after the pair, aged 17 and 18, were discovered in a “highly intoxicated state” and their parents called the police. David Chong, the public safety police commissioner in White Plains, New York, said the teenagers were passing and saw Ms Deleon struggling to clear the snow left by the blizzard earlier this week. They offered to shovel her driveway and dig her car out “as a good deed,” according to a police report on the incident. Ms Deleon shared a bottle of rum with the teenagers after they completed the work. She then drove them to a nearby liquor store where she bought another bottle, which they also shared, Mr Chong said.”

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

A touch of realism

December 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment




Odd news from around the world

TX: Man crusades against speed traps: “Three years ago, when Lakeway resident Lance Mitchell launched his website,, he didn’t hide his intentions. “Not a lot of people flash their lights to warn others nowadays,” he wrote. “But, I DO! And when I see a speed trap, I go back up the road a bit, and stand on the sidewalk, wearing my SpeedTrapAhead T-shirt.” …. According to Mitchell’s video account of the event, a black police cruiser soon arrives. Mitchell asks if he is being detained. When he hands over a card with his name, address and birth date, Debrow demands his driver’s license. As Mitchell begins to explain how, technically, that is not legally required as he was not driving, Debrow abruptly orders Mitchell handcuffed and placed under arrest….. [Judge] Madison found Mitchell not guilty on all counts. A month after the trial, Mitchell filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Lakeway, Debrow, the code enforcement officer and Almaguer complaining that he “was arrested, jailed and prosecuted … and deprived of his First Amendment rights merely because he wore a shirt and sported a decal on his truck with a message that reads” Last month, both sides reached a confidential settlement.”

Detroit: Drug smuggler says heroin was for his sick grandma: “Skip “my dog ate my homework” – how about “my grandma needs my heroin?” One desperate man tried that excuse after being nabbed with $50,000 of heroin at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, telling investigators he smuggled in the illegal drugs for his ill grandmother, federal authorities said in a complaint unsealed late Tuesday. Steven Patong Thao, 53, arrived in Detroit the day after Christmas on a connecting flight from Laos. At customs, inspectors uncovered a pair of full pill bottles in his luggage, including one that had cleared security in his carry-on. His story quickly unraveled. Thao defended himself, saying he was “required to consume 12 capsules daily” for treatment of high blood pressure and diabetes. Told he was being held overnight, he changed his story. “He explained that the capsules were intended for use by [his] grandmother as a form of pain relief, because she was very old,” said an investigator.”

Pennsylvania man steals video games from coffin: “State police in Pennsylvania arrested a man accused of stealing video games from the casket of a 17-year-old boy who was killed in a Christmas Day car crash. Jody Bennett, 37, allegedly took a Game Boy, a Game Boy Light and three games from the open casket of his deceased family friend, Bradley McCombs Jr, at a memorial service in Indiana County on Monday night, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said. Mr Bennett, who has a history of alcohol and drug-related charges, apparently fled the service after the boy’s grieving family confronted him. He was charged with vandalism, theft, harassment, disorderly conduct and abuse of a corpse and is being held on $15,000 bail.”

Woman strangled by neck massager: “A woman has died after authorities say she was accidentally strangled by a electronic neck massager on Christmas Eve. Authorities believe Michelle Ferrari-Gegerson’s necklace got caught in the massager and it quickly tightened around her neck. Her husband found her body on the bedroom floor next to the neck massager and called emergency services. Paramedics pronounced Ferrari-Gegerson, a 37-year-old doctor from South Florida, dead at the scene. According to Broward Sheriff’s authorities, Ferrari-Gegerson spent the evening wrapping gifts and getting ready for work while using the massager to relieve neck pain.”

Hog hams it up in Piggabeen: “A wild pig has been avenging his Christmas ham brethren by wreaking havoc on a small community near Tweed Heads called –– wait for it –– Piggabeen. For the past month, the pig, often seen wandering with a stray dog, has been invading yards, climbing on car bonnets and trawling through bins. Disgruntled locals have tried everything from chasing the troublesome duo away to spraying them with garden hoses, but the pests have so far managed to evade capture. Local banana farmer Ron Dawney said he had seen the pig more than once and even saw one local property owner chasing it off his land with a stockwhip. So far no one has been injured by either Piggabeen’s porker or his sidekick, who seem more intent on scavenging for food scraps than roughing up the locals, though a few car bonnets and wheelie bins have come off second best.”

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

Our non-feminist past

December 29, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

Nevada man reports himself as drunk driver, then speeds off and sparks police chase: “A man who rang emergency services to report that he was driving drunk resulted in parts of Las Vegas Boulevard being closed for eight hours and a wild chase that ended with a crash on the Strip. About midnight, Charles Pilette, 20, of Henderson, Nevada called police to report that he was intoxicated behind the wheel on Boulder Highway, the Las Vegas Sun said. But when Henderson cops arrived, Mr Pilette drove off, leading police on a pursuit that involved two police departments. The pursuit finally came to an end when a police car slammed into Mr Pilette’s vehicle along the Las Vegas Strip near the Wynn. Mr Pilette was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries.”

Stupidity has its inevitable reward: “Five teenagers celebrating a friend’s birthday have died from carbon monoxide poisoning after they left their car running in the garage beneath their Florida motel room. The boys checked in to the motel, near Miami International Airport, around 9pm on Sunday night. The next day at 2pm a maid called 911 to report the five unconscious bodies inside. The teenagers had borrowed a red Kia Optima from a friend for the trip. Ofea, who grew up with the five dead teenagers, said they had left the car running in the bottom floor, single-car garage because they were afraid it wouldn’t start again. But the door at the bottom of an inside staircase leading up to the room was left open, allowing high levels of the odourless, deadly gas to seep into the room. Nearly a dozen friends and loved ones of the victims, who were all apparently of a Haitian background, were gathered outside the hotel on hearing the news yesterday.”

Brilliant at business deals? It’s all in the genes: “For anyone wondering why their brother or sister always beats them at Monopoly, science may have discovered an answer. Researchers believe they have discovered a ‘Midas touch’ gene inherited from our parents which makes some people brilliant at business deals. Those born with the gene variation called MAOA-L are better able to make risky financial choices that will benefit them, scientists have found. The research found that possessors of the gene were happy to take gambles – but only if the odds are in their favour. Previously it was considered that the gene was linked to being impulsive. The gene is linked with the brain chemicals serotonin which affects mood and dopamine which is involved in decisions. In a study of 90 young men asked to opt between 140 pairs of monetary gambles carriers of MAOA-L were more likely to live dangerously – if there was a clear advantage.”

Soldier comes home to find wife has lost 70lb: “A soldier had a surprise present for Christmas when he returned home after six months away to discover that his wife had shed 70lb. Nicola McAvoy, 38, joined a slimming club just before husband Mike, a US Army serviceman, went on duty overseas in June. When he returned on December 21, Mike was delighted to find that his wife was half the woman she had been after dropping from a size 22 to a size 12. Mother-of-two Nicola weighed 242lb at her heaviest and said that she had gradually ballooned thanks to constant snacking in front of the TV. Mike was thrilled to find Nicola cutting a slimmer figure at 179lb after transforming her bad eating habits to three healthy meals a day.”

Man lost for days blames sat-nav: “A grandfather spent three days driving around southern England, before he was found on Christmas Day, after his wife’s flight was switched from Heathrow airport to Gatwick airport during last week’s travel chaos. Mohammed Bellazrak, 72, is believed to have clocked up nearly 2000 miles (3218km) as he desperately tried to find his way home after dropping off his wife at Gatwick on December 23. What should have been a 120-mile (193km) journey lasting two-and-a-half hours became a 66-hour marathon. Mr Bellazrak ended up sleeping in his car before trying again and again to work out his route back to Trowbridge in Wiltshire. He was eventually found on Christmas Day, still at the wheel of his Peugeot 307, when he triggered a police camera armed with number plate recognition and was flagged down. Mr Bellazrak, who had left his mobile phone at home, said: “Three times I went to London and three times I went back to the airport. I had my sat-nav but I was still lost. It kept on taking me all over the place. I blame my sat-nav for what happened.”

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


December 28, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A motorcycle cop was rushed to the hospital with an inflamed appendix. The doctors operated and advised him that all was well; however, the patrolman kept feeling something pulling at the hairs in his crotch.

Worried that it might be a second surgery and the doctors hadn’t told him about it, he finally got enough energy to pull his hospital gown up enough so he could look at what was making him so uncomfortable.

Taped firmly across his pubic hair and private parts were three wide strips of adhesive tape, the kind that doesn’t come off easily — if at all.

Written on the tape in large black letters was the sentence, ‘Get well soon . from the nurse in the Jeep you pulled over last week.’

Kinda brings tears to your eyes doesn’t it?




Odd news from around the world

Man ‘tired of being nagged’ beats aunt to death: “An Illinois man allegedly beat his aunt to death with a baseball bat on Christmas Day because he was “tired of being nagged.” Police in Wilmette, 14 miles (23 kilometers) north of Chicago, told Trib Local that 49-year-old Nancee Rapoport died from severe head trauma and her 24-year-old nephew, Anthony Rapoport, had been charged with her murder. Another relative received a call from Rapoport telling him he had killed someone inside the home he shared with his aunt. Anthony Rapoport fled the scene, but was later captured by police and admitted striking his aunt with an aluminum baseball bat. It was the second time the police had been called to the home recently. On Friday, police were called after Anthony and Nancee Rapoport had a heated argument over the type of donuts Nancee Rapoport wanted her nephew to buy.”

Fat lady demands sex in Australia’s wild North: “A woman jumped into a cab in Darwin, Australia, suggested to the driver that they have sex and when he declined, started kicking the car and then threw a bottle though the rear window, the Northern Territory News reported. The paper quoted the cabdriver, who asked to be identified only as Dean, as saying, “If you saw the girl you’d have to be pretty desperate. She was a very big fat ugly woman, she got in the car and stunk it out.” Dean, 41, who is engaged to be married, said the woman got in his car outside a tavern Sunday night and asked him “Do you want to have sex?” When he said he wasn’t interested, she began swearing, slammed the passenger door and started kicking the cab. Then she picked up a bottle and smashed the rear passenger window. Police arrested the woman a short time later.”

Wheelchair-bound thieves tracked in snow: “Police nabbed a trio of thieves in southern Sweden after they used wheelchairs as getaway vehicles but literally forgot to cover their tracks. Two men and a woman allegedly cleaned out two basement storage areas of an apartment, Swedish news website The Local reported, citing the Kvallsposten newspaper. Police caught up with them after they followed tracks in the snow left by two of the wheelchair-bound suspects. “People had seen them at the spot, but they had managed to escape. However, since two of them were in wheelchairs, they did not get very far. The tracks were not difficult to follow in the snow. We did not even need a dog,” Leif Nilsson, a police officer, told Kvallsposten. The suspects were all previously known to police, but none were known to have used wheelchairs before.”

Research finds Neanderthals ate their veggies: “A US study found that Neanderthals, prehistoric cousins of humans, ate grains and vegetables as well as meat, cooking them over fire in the same way homo sapiens did. The new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) challenges a prevailing theory that Neanderthals’ over reliance on meat contributed to their extinction around 30,000 years ago. Researchers found grains from numerous plants, including a type of wild grass, as well as traces of roots and tubers, trapped in plaque buildup on fossilized Neanderthal teeth unearthed in northern Europe and Iraq. Many of the particles “had undergone physical changes that matched experimentally-cooked starch grains, suggesting that Neanderthals controlled fire much like early modern humans,” PNAS said in a statement.”

Pathetic Britain: “For a nation still slipping and sliding around on snow that fell more than a week ago, it makes sobering – if not galling – reading. Some 30-plus inches of the white stuff fell on America’s north-east as a mammoth blizzard barrelled across the region. But in stark contrast to Britain’s painfully slow and limp clean-up of a few inches, U.S. workmen had their country back up and running within a matter of hours. The fierce storms made the UK’s falls look like a smattering in a snow shaker. Here airports closed for days, disrupting travel plans for hundreds of thousands, and key motorways came to a grinding halt. Some rail users were even forced to spend the night on trains which became trapped barely 30 miles out of London…. Eastern U.S. states mounted a military-style operation to battle the worst that the elements could bring. Remarkably, many cities managed to stage something close to a normal working day by the time the sun set in late afternoon.”

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

Question: What is a bastard exactly?

December 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quite often we ask ourselves hard to answer questions, like: “What is a bastard?” In the photo below, the guy on the right is a member of a bomb squad in the middle of a deactivation. The guy behind him, well, he’s a bastard.




Odd news from around the world

Brazilian woman wakes up in her coffin hours before she would have been buried alive: “The old woman seemed at death’s door when she arrived at the hospital. And after treatment, doctors reluctantly concluded that no more could be done to save 88-year-old Maria Das Dores Conceicao. On Christmas Eve they signed her death certificate, giving the cause as high blood pressure and clogging of the arteries, and sent her off to the funeral parlour. And from there she would have been taken to church for burial but for one significant fact. She wasn’t dead. Workers preparing the body for interment noticed that Mrs Conceicao appeared still to be breathing and was twitching slightly. Doctors gave her emergency treatment while she was still in her coffin, and yesterday she remained clinging to life in intensive care, having missed her funeral scheduled for 5pm on Christmas Day.”

The original playboy still playing: “Hugh Hefner, the twice-divorced founder of pioneering men’s mag Playboy, is taking the marriage plunge once again. Hefner, 84, announced his engagement to Playboy Playmate Crystal Harris – who is 24 – in a Christmas Day posting on Twitter, reports Popcrunch. “When I gave Crystal the ring, she burst into tears. This is the happiest Christmas weekend in memory,” says Hefner, who popped the question to the glee of Harris on Friday. The publisher was first married to Mildred William, who he divorced after a decade of marriage in 1959. In 1989, Hefner wed Playmate of the Year Kimberly Conrad, the mother of his two grown sons. The couple separated in the late 1990s, but didn’t divorce until earlier this year.”

An internet hero: “Daniel Balsam hates spam. Almost everybody does, of course. But he has acted on his hate as few have, going far beyond simply hitting the delete button. He sues them. Eight years ago, Mr Balsam was working as a marketer when he received one too many email pitches to enlarge his breasts. Enraged, he launched a website called, quit a career in marketing to go to law school and is making a decent living suing companies who flood his email inboxes with offers of cheap drugs, free sex and unbelievable holiday offers. From San Francisco Superior Court small claims court to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, Mr Balsam, based in San Francisco, has filed many lawsuits, including dozens before he graduated law school in 2008, against email marketers he says violate anti-spamming laws.”

Drunk didn’t realise he was driving car: “A 30-YEAR-OLD man drove by a Melbourne police highway patrol unit, honking his horn and waving, before recording more than five times the legal blood/alcohol limit. Police spotted the driver at Box Hill at about 8.25pm (AEDT) yesterday. “This was nothing unusual except police attention was drawn to the vehicle as the driver was tooting his horn and waving at police as he drove past,” they said in a statement. The man driving the car was pulled over and breath tested, recording a blood/alcohol reading of .278. The man had his licence withdrawn immediately and will face court at a later date. “When ask why he was driving like that the man told police he was unaware he was driving a car,” police said.” [LOL! What a fool![

Meet Chaser: The incredible border collie who has learned the names for 1022 toys: “Dog owners like to think that their pets understand what they’re being told. Indeed, some owners will talk to their dogs at great length while the animal gazes back at them with what is probably a mixture of affection and bewilderment. However, there is one dog who appears to understand a great deal of what is being said. Border collie Chaser has, according to psychologists Alliston Reid and John Pilley, managed to learn more than 1,000 words. Professor Reid and Dr Pilley worked intensively with six-year-old Chaser for three years to see how large a vocabulary she could command. They made up names for 1,022 toys, including frisbees, balls and stuffed animals, and found she was able to learn and remember them all. Chaser, owned by Dr Pilley, was also able to sort them according to function and shape, something children learn at around three.”

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

A marvellous Christmas story from Australia

December 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I AM not a religious man, but I think I have been the recipient of divine intervention, while a bit player in an amazing Christmas story.

It was last Wednesday afternoon. I was sitting at my desk at Channel Seven’s Today Tonight program, where I work as a producer, when the telephone extension next to mine began ringing.

Should I answer it or not? I’m about to knock off for the day. I’d better answer it. After all, there could be a story on the other end. Little did I know that the story which was about to unfold was not only a great yarn, but a very personal and emotional one.

“I hope you can help me, mate,” came the wavering voice of an obviously pained man. “I was watching your morning program and they are giving away hampers. My wife and I are both in wheelchairs. We live way out in the Mount Druitt area. We have no one, and a hamper would really make our Christmas.”

I replied: “Mate, you’ve been put through to the wrong show. This is Today Tonight, not The Morning Show. You’ll have to call back in the morning.”

But then I had a change of heart. This bloke’s begging for help, I thought. “Forget that,” I said. “I’d be happy to send you a hamper for Christmas.”

“Gee, you’re a good bloke to do that,” he said. “It’s really kind of you. What’s your name?” “My name is Norm Lipson.”

Then came silence. Then weeping over the phone. And through the tears, the caller asked: “What did you say your name was?”

“Norm Lipson,” I repeated. Then more tears before he said: “Norm Lipson, do you know who you’re talking to?”

“No, I don’t,” I replied. “This is Kym Pead,” he wept.

I was breathless, speechless. Tears welled up. Surely not. It couldn’t be Kym Pead. Kym Pead was my best mate as a young boy. We lived in the same block of flats in Coogee. We played together in the backyard and went on holidays together. I hadn’t seen or heard of Kym Pead for 48 years – almost half a century – ever since he and his family moved to Melbourne.

I soon discovered life has been tough for Kym and his partner Michelle. Kym uses a wheelchair, suffering from terminal cirrhosis of the liver. He is under palliative care.

Michelle is also in a wheelchair; she has advanced motor neurone disease. They live in a small flat at Oxley Park, in Sydney’s outer west. If not for Anglicare, they would be completely isolated.

Well, courtesy of Channel Seven and Chrisco, Kym and Michelle received a huge hamper on Christmas Eve. I reconnected with my boyhood mate after almost five decades. And all of this because of a random call to a random extension answered by a random employee.

Even to me, a non-religious man, it had to be divine intervention. Didn’t it?

Original story here




Odd news from around the world

Driver rescued from floodwaters and then prosecuted: “A teenage driver has been plucked from flood waters by a police officer using a rope and then charged with driving without due care and attention. Police were called to the scene shortly before midday after a motorist observed a distressed driver and his vehicle caught in floodwaters on Clark St, at the area known as Black Gully causeway. Queensland Fire and Rescue Service reached the trapped driver with a rope, dragging him to safety, just before the vehicle was washed off the causeway and sank. “This young man could have very easily been swept into the flooded creek and we could have had a tragedy on our hands,” Sgt Smidt said. The 19-year-old is to appear at the Warwick Magistrates Court on January 25.”

Christmas miracle: Missing cat turns up FOUR YEARS after disappearing: “A cat which disappeared four years ago has been reunited with its owners for Christmas. Colin the black cat disappeared in August 2006 shortly after Peter and Maria O’Neill moved to Garstang, Lancashire. He was found in a garden in the town earlier this month and taken to charity Cats Protection, which arranged a microchip scan. The O’Neills had updated the charity with their new address in Ingleby Barwick, Middlesbrough. Mrs O’Neill said: ‘I couldn’t believe it when I got a call to say Colin had been found. It was really the best Christmas present I could have hoped for. ‘When I went to pick Colin up, he was quite nervous and cowering in the corner of a pen. I simply said his name and he instantly recognised me. ‘He bounded up to me and stuck his head under my arm. It was just a magical moment and it left me close to tears.'”

How a dog in class can make reading a pet subject: “Children who don’t like books are being helped to read – by a friendly dog called Breeze who visits their school. One little boy who hadn’t spoken in school for two years has been happily sitting down reading aloud to the pet. The trial of the Read2Dogs scheme, run by the charity Pets As Therapy, has been deemed so successful that it is to be offered to schools nationwide next year. It has been taking place at Westfields Junior School in Yateley, Hampshire, encouraged by head Karine George. Teacher Debbie Jones said: ‘I didn’t know what to think of the idea when I heard it but you just have to see the confidence the children gain when they read to the dog.’”

Secretive lobbying firm that says it can get you a knighthood or peerage for as little as £3,500: “Public figures are paying a secretive lobbying outfit to help them win honours such as OBEs, knighthoods and even peerages. The firm – which says that its DIY honours service has been successfully used by dozens of household names – cites a success rate of more than 40 per cent, and even offers a ‘no-win, no-fee’ guarantee for some awards. But its actions in discreetly orchestrating nominations have angered the Government, which said it was ‘monitoring’ the company. A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: ‘We treat any potential abuse of the UK honours system very seriously.’ Awards Intelligence charges honours-chasing clients £3,000 each, plus an extra £500 if their bid is successful.”

Punch a panda: “Angry enough to punch a defenceless panda? Then come to New York and beat one black, white and blue. Every week this winter, performance artist Nate Hill dons a panda suit, heads onto the streets, and challenges members of the public to take a swing. “Hit me. Hit more hard,” he urged passersby on a freezing afternoon at busy Union Square. “You know you’re angry, you were angry this morning.” A towering figure in white panda paw gloves, bodysuit and a head the size of a prize-winning pumpkin, the panda hopped down the sidewalk like a boxer. Hill, 33, said he thought up the persona of Punch Me Panda as a “community service”. “I knew people were angry. I knew people want to punch things, because I want to punch things,” Hill explained. Many on Union Square rolled their eyes at the sight. Then the idea started to catch. A woman gave a gentle jab. A young man fired a quick left-right. A group of men egged each other on, punching, kicking and shoulder charging the ever-patient victim.”

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

A sexy Santa

December 25, 2010 at 9:55 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More here




Odd news from around the world

Builder finds $350,000 in cash left in former bank building: “A man renovating a property found $400,000 in cash left behind in a safe when the building had housed a bank almost 10 years ago. Ferhat Kaya, 33, had bought the property, a former branch of the Dexia bank, in Ghent, Belgium, for $235,000 to house his accounting firm and before accepting the keys turned down the estate agent’s quote of $4,500 to remove an old safe. Instead he called two close friends, brothers Murat and Hurun Tufan to remove the metal vault, Belgian newspaper de Standaard reported. “When the vault was open it revealed bags of 20 and 50 euro bills,” said Murat Tufan. “The receipts were still there, dated December 31, 2001. We started counting, and it came to some 300,000 euros.” After speaking to his Turkish father, Mr Kaya decided to call the police even though it would have been easy to keep the cash as it had been lost and left unwanted by the bank for almost a decade. Ulrike Pommée, a spokesman for Belgium’s Dexia Bank, said that an investigation had been opened but suggested that no trace of money would ever be found.”

Swedish Santas beat up palace guard, steal gun: “Two men dressed as Father Christmas have attacked a guard outside Sweden’s Royal Palace in Stockholm and escaped with his loaded gun. “A little before 2:00am [local time], the two men, dressed in Father Christmas clothes and masks, entered a restricted area by a guard post, hit him and then ran off,” said Anders Krook, a Swedish police officer. The attackers made off with the soldier’s loaded AK-5 automatic rifle, a standard-issue weapon in the Swedish Army. “It seems it was organised, given the circumstances,” Mr Krook said. He would not comment on how two costumed civilians were able to overpower a guard with a weapon. The Royal Palace is protected by soldiers, but Sweden’s royals live in a castle in the suburb of Drottningsholm.”

Voodoo killings rise in Haiti epidemic: “At least 45 people have been killed across Haiti after accusations they are using “black magic” to spread cholera, the director of a voodoo association said yesterday. Most of the killings are happening in the southern coastal town of Jeremie, where people are being lynched, set on fire and attacked with machetes, said Max Beauvoir, a voodoo priest. But he said killings also have been reported in Cap Haitien and the Central Plateau. Fear and confusion have surrounded the cholera epidemic, which has killed more than 2400 people and could affect another 600,000 or more, experts say. Roughly half of the 9.6 million people who live in Haiti practise voodoo, also known as vodou, a blend of West African and Christian religion. The cholera outbreak hit Haiti as it struggles to recover from a devastating magnitude-7 earthquake that killed 300,000 people and left more than 1.5 million homeless.”

Police kill shooter dressed as woman: “Saudi security forces have killed a suspected militant dressed in women’s clothes after the man opened fire at them at a checkpoint, the interior ministry said. Two men, one wearing a woman’s all-black abaya with the face veiled, were stopped at a checkpoint in the early evening yesterday in Wadi al Dawasir, about 600km southeast of Riyadh, said interior ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki. The one dressed as a woman got out of their vehicle and began shooting at the guards, who shot back and killed him. The other man in the car was arrested. None of the security personnel were injured. “We suspect them to be related to al-Qaeda for the techniques they used to get through the checkpoint,” said Turki”

British council employees are hard at work … on Facebook: “A secret audit of internet use by staff at a UK council has found that their favorite workplace website was Facebook – with more visits to the social networking site than any other address. The survey of “extensive and costly” use of the internet at Waverley Borough Council, in southern England, showed that staff spent three times as long on Facebook as their own local authority website – and spent a significant amount of time on eBay, Yahoo and, a gambling website, the Daily Mail reported Friday. It also showed that one unnamed worker spent more than half the working day on the internet, with 90 hours and 10 minutes racked up in a month. Another user spent 73 hours and 16 minutes on the internet. The report concluded that council workers’ “unfettered” internet usage represented “a significant misuse of staff time and misappropriation of resources.”

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

Women can multi-task

December 24, 2010 at 11:20 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A farmer stopped by the local garage to have his truck fixed. They couldn’t do it while he waited, so he said he didn’t live far away and would just walk home.

On the way home he stopped at a shop and bought a bucket and a gallon of paint. He then stopped at another shop and picked up a couple of chickens and a goose. However, struggling outside the store he now had a problem – how to carry his entire purchases home.

While he was scratching his head he was approached by a little old lady who told him she was lost. She asked, “Can you tell me how to get to 160 Partington Lane?” The farmer said, “Well, as a matter of fact, my farm is very close to that house. I would walk you there but I can’t carry this lot.”

The old lady suggested, “Why don’t you put the can of paint in the bucket. Carry the bucket in one hand, put a chicken under each arm and carry the goose in your other hand?”

“Why thank you very much,” he said and proceeded to walk the old girl home.

On the way he says “Let’s take my short cut and go down this alley. We’ll be there in no time.”

The little old lady looked him over cautiously then said, “I am a lonely widow without a husband to defend me.. How do I know that when we get in the alley you won’t hold me up against the wall, pull up my skirt, and have your way with me?”

The farmer said, “Bloody hell, love, ! I’m carrying a bucket, a gallon of paint, two chickens, and a goose. How in the world could I possibly hold you up against the wall and do that?”

The old lady replied, “Put the goose down, cover him with the bucket, put the paint on top of the bucket, and I’ll hold the chickens.”




Odd news from around the world

Maine: Anonymous Santa hands out $100 bills: “Christmas arrived early yesterday when an anonymous Santa delivered $100 bills to Mainers in need. A man dressed as Saint Nicholas handed out envelopes with $100 bills at a food pantry in Sebago. He planned to give out $20,000 over three days at food pantries, a Goodwill store, a Salvation Army store, and a bus station in southern Maine to bring joy to those less fortunate.”

China bans English words and phrases: “Chinese newspapers, books and websites will no longer be allowed to use English words and phrases, the country’s publishing body has announced, saying the “purity” of the Chinese language is in peril. The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), which announced the new rule on Monday, said the increasing use of English words and abbreviations in Chinese texts had caused confusion and was a means of “abusing the language”. English abbreviations such as NBA (National Basketball Association), GDP (gross domestic product), CPI (consumer price index) and WTO (World Trade Organisation) are commonly used in Chinese publications. The Global Times quoted an editor at a Beijing publishing house as saying finding translations for globally used acronyms would be time-consuming and confusing. “I wonder how many people understand ‘guoji shangye jiqi gongsi’, when IBM is instantly recognisable,” the editor said.”

British stores put security tags on turkeys to stop shoplifters: “Supermarkets are putting electronic tags on their turkeys in an attempt to beat thefts triggered by hard times this Christmas. The stores have taken the drastic action in direct response to a rise in shoplifting of food caused by the squeeze on family budgets. In the past, stores reserved the tags for high value items such as drink and CDs. However, increasingly, the electronic tags are being put on meat, and the security measure will be extended to turkeys for the first time this year. Turkeys and turkey crowns can cost well over £30, which means shoplifters can get a good price on the black market. Several types of tag are used. Initially, stores relied on bright yellow easily identifiable tags, but now more are using smaller versions, including some that are little bigger than a grain of sand.”

Man faces jail after kissing wife’s bottom: “A Hobart man who drunkenly kissed his estranged wife on the bottom has been warned he may face a jail term. The man pleaded guilty to indecent assault in the Hobart Magistrates Court today. The court heard the unemployed 48-year-old – who cannot be identified – had been drinking when he went to his wife’s Hobart home in June 2009 to talk with her. She was lying on a bed and he twice asked her to turn over on to her stomach. When she refused he forcibly rolled her over, straddled her, pulled down her pants and kissed her on the bottom as she screamed “No, no!”. When the couple’s children ran into the room, the victim explained she had been tickled, but the man made a vulgar comment, the court heard.”

Reindeer eat magic mushrooms to escape winter boredom, scientists claim: “It’s no wonder Rudolph and his reindeer pals can fly: scientists say they have found that the animals regularly eat magic mushrooms to get high, The Sun reported today. Scientist Andrew Haynes says reindeer deliberately seek out the mind-bending fungi to escape the monotony of dreary, long winters. Writing in the respected Pharmaceutical Journal, Haynes said: “They have a desire to experience altered states of consciousness.” “For humans a common side-effect of mushrooms is the feeling of flying, so it’s interesting the legend about Santa’s reindeer is they can fly,” he continued.”

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

Sometimes things are less than they seem

December 23, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

Scientists breed a mouse that sings: “Japanese scientists have produced a mouse that tweets like a bird in a genetically engineered “evolution” which they hope will shed light on the origins of human language. A team of researchers at the University of Osaka created the animal in their “Evolved Mouse Project”, in which they use genetically modified mice that are prone to miscopying DNA and thus to mutations. “We checked the newly born mice one by one… One day we found a mouse that was singing like a bird,” he said, noting that the “singing mouse” was born by chance but that the trait will be passed on to future generations. The laboratory, directed by professor Takeshi Yagi at the Osaka University’s Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences in western Japan, now has more than 100 “singing mice” for further research.”

Drunk shark killer hoax: “A drunken tourist became a worldwide sensation after it was reported he killed a shark that had been terrorising swimmers at the Egyptian resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh. Serbian Dragan Stevic threw himself into the Red Sea and landed bottom-first onto the head of the man-eating shark, killing it instantly. Stevic was hailed a national hero for saving the tourism season and was even nicknamed “Shark-el-Sheikh”. Except that he wasn’t. The whole story was in fact a hoax. The US website pointed out that the picture accompanying the MINA report was actually taken from their website and showed a basking shark, which only eats plankton. And instead of the Red Sea, the shark in question actually washed up thousands of miles away off the coast of Duck in North Carolina.”

New ancestor found: “A 30,000-YEAR-old fossil finger bone found in a Siberian cave belonged to a previously unknown strain of human, scientists said today. The surprising discovery came after researchers analysed unusually well-preserved DNA from the bone. The findings, reported today in the journal Nature, confirmed that the specimen came from a young girl who was neither “modern human” nor Neanderthal. Instead she belonged to a separate, now extinct, branch of the human family tree scientists have named Denisovians, after Denisova Cave in southern Siberia where the fossil was found… Like the Neanderthals, they appear to have interbred with modern humans. The evidence came unexpectedly when Denisovian gene sequences turned up in the DNA of modern Melanesian Pacific islanders.”

Monkey breaks into man’s home, bites his ear: “Police were investigating how a monkey broke into a man’s home and bit his ear as he was cooking dinner. The monkey, which has an apparent history of escaping, broke free from its owner’s home yesterday evening and crawled into a neighboring residence, WSVN-TV in Miami said. The man inside was cooking dinner when the monkey landed on his shoulder, sources told the station. When he tried to fight the animal off, it bit his ear. The monkey then fled the scene and headed to the roof of the building, where it was coaxed down by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials wielding a banana.”

Penthouse Pet shot: “The woman shot through the leg at a luxury Broadbeach Waters house is believed to be former Penthouse pet and Miss Universe finalist, Emma Gibbs. A close friend of Ms Gibbs’ family confirmed to the Gold Coast Bulletin, the 26-year-old model was recovering in Gold Coast Hospital from a gun shot wound to the upper thigh. Ms Gibbs, who is a former Queensland aerobics champion was a finalist in the 2007 Miss Universe competition before going on to be named Penthouse Pet of the Year in 2009. She now tours around Australia performing stripteases and pole dancing at nightclubs and adult functions”.

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

Nelson at Trafalgar, 2010

December 22, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This is an extended version of an old one:

Nelson: “Order the signal, Hardy.”

Hardy: “Aye, aye sir.”

Nelson: “Hold on, this isn’t what I dictated to Flags. What’s the meaning of this?”

Hardy: “Sorry sir?”

Nelson (reading aloud): “England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability.’ – What gobbledygook is this for God’s sake?”

Hardy: “Admiralty policy, I’m afraid, sir. We’re an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil’s own job getting “England ” past the censors, lest it be considered racist.”

Nelson: “Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco.”

Hardy: “Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free working environments.”

Nelson: “In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the main brace to steel the men before battle.”

Hardy: “The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. Its part of the Government’s policy on binge drinking.”

Nelson: “Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we’d better get on with it — full speed ahead.”

Hardy: “I think you’ll find that there’s a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water.”

Nelson: “Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow’s nest, please.”

Hardy: “That won’t be possible, sir.”

Nelson: “What?”

Hardy: “Health and Safety have closed the crow’s nest, sir. No harness; and they said that rope ladders don’t meet regulations. They won’t let anyone up there until proper scaffolding can be erected.”

Nelson: “Then get me the ship’s carpenter without delay, Hardy.”

Hardy: “He’s busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the foredeck Admiral.”

Nelson: “Wheelchair access? I’ve never heard anything so absurd.”

Hardy: “Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier- free environment for the differently abled.”

Nelson: “Differently abled? I’ve only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn’t rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card.”

Hardy: “Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under- represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency.”

Nelson: “Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons.”

Hardy: “A couple of problems there too, sir.. Health and safety won’t let the crew up the rigging without hard hats. And they don’t want anyone breathing in too much salt – haven’t you seen the adverts?”

Nelson: “I’ve never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy.”

Hardy: “The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral.”

Nelson: “What? This is mutiny!”

Hardy: “It’s not that, sir. It’s just that they’re afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There are a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks.”

Nelson: “Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?”

Hardy: “Actually, sir, we’re not.”

Nelson: “We’re not?”

Hardy: “No, sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn’t even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation.”

Nelson: “But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.”

Hardy: “I wouldn’t let the ship’s diversity coordinator hear you saying that sir. You’ll be up on disciplinary report.”

Nelson: “You must consider every man an enemy, who speaks ill of your King.”

Hardy: “Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it’s the rules. It could save your life”

Nelson: “Don’t tell me – Health and Safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?”

Hardy: As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there’s a ban on corporal punishment.”

Nelson: “What about sodomy?”

Hardy: “I believe that is now legal, sir.”

Nelson: “In that case………………. Kiss me, Hardy.




Odd news from around the world

UK: 103-year old gran oldest Facebook user: “A 103-year-old grandmother is believed to be the world’s oldest Facebook user. Lillian Lowe, from Tenby in Pembrokeshire, regularly keeps her online friends updated about her life using her iPad. … Despite some of the Facebook goings on that would shock many her age, Lillian says she isn’t fazed by any of her grandchildren’s ‘antics.’ She said: ‘I have seen a few things over the years, so nothing really shocks me these days anyway.'”

Outrage over reporter’s bunny costume: “A journalist for national Ukrainian television sparked a scandal today by turning up at work in parliament dressed as a bunny in protest at the sometimes farcical behaviour of MPs. Dressed head-to-toe as a white bunny with two huge ears comically sprouting from his head, Roman Vintoniv somehow managed to keep a straight face as he conducted lobby interviews with besuited lawmakers. He said his action was a protest against the sometimes comic behaviour of lawmakers in the Verkhovna Rada who last week exchanged blows in a bloody punch-up that wounded several lawmakers. Ukrainska Pravda said the parliament press service tried to have him expelled on the grounds that his external appearance was not in line with the rules. But his colleagues then pointed out that the parliament has no dress code and he was able to carry out his work, carrying out interviews with some MPs, video footage posted on the Internet showed. However some of his normal contacts refused to talk to him, Ukrainska Pravda said.”

Oldster finds romance: “70-year-old Kevin King may well be Tasmania’s oldest new father. His wife Katja is less than half his age at 31. They have a beautiful baby, Pierre, have been married for three years and have a zest for life. Mr King has had two heart attacks and a stroke, and there is a chance he won’t live to see his son go to school. When Mr King’s heart condition became serious doctors gave him just three years to live. So he sold up his house, bought a caravan [trailer] and went travelling around Australia. Through a chance encounter in a Berriedale caravan park he met Katja, from Germany, who was 27 at the time, and they became travelling partners.”

Row over snow: Muslim kills German neighbour with shovel: “A row over snow clearing has ended in death after a man smashed his neighbour over the head with a shovel, killing him on the spot, police said on Tuesday. Following what police described as “years of arguing”, the two neighbours, aged 45 and 49, got into a heated discussion over who was responsible for removing snow from the joint entrance to their properties, authorities said. The 45-year-old then whacked his older neighbour over the head with the shovel. “He was so badly injured that he died on the spot,” Lutz Flassnoecker, a police spokesman, said. The attack took place in the tiny town of Schnellenbach, in western Germany. Police declined to give out the names but the mass-circulation daily Bild named the 45-year-old as father-of-eight Abdulbah I. and the 49-year-old victim as Wolfgang K.”

French village which will ‘survive 2012 Armageddon’ plagued by visitors: “The mayor of a picturesque French village has threatened to call in the army to seal it off from a tide of New Age fanatics and UFO watchers, who are convinced it is the only place on Earth to be spared Armageddon in 2012. Bugarach, population 189, is a peaceful farming village in the Aude region, southwestern France and sits at the foot of the Pic de Bugarach, the highest mountain in the Corbières wine-growing area. But in the past few months, the quiet village has been inundated by groups of esoteric outsiders who believe the peak is an “alien garage”. According to them, extraterrestrials are quietly waiting in a massive cavity beneath the rock for the world to end, at which point they will leave, taking, it is hoped, a lucky few humans with them.”

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

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