The past is a different country

August 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not only did RR smoke but he also wore lipstick and a brown suit!

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

TX: Woman suing Dallas Cowboys over “burned buttocks”: “A Texas woman is suing the Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones, saying her buttocks was severely burned when she sat on a bench outside Cowboys Stadium. In a lawsuit filed last week in Tarrant Count, Jennelle Carrillo said the black marble bench was in direct sunlight on a hot August afternoon before a Cowboys scrimmage last year. A weather official says the high temperature on that day was 101 degrees. … The lawsuit claims there were no warnings about sitting on the benches in hot weather.”

Australian fishermen get a toothy visitor: “A Karratha man has captured footage of a 3m tiger shark which cruised around his boat for about 15 minutes. Brent Ebert and a friend were fishing about 40 nautical miles off the coast of Dampier, in the state’s North West, on Monday last week when the 3m tiger shark started circling the boat. “It followed one of our fish up and sort of hung around the boat after that,” he told PerthNow. “It was actually really placid.” Mr Ebert said the shark swam by the boat for about 15 minutes before they started the engine, which spooked it. He said he often boated off the coast of Dampier but had never seen a tiger shark there before. “It was awesome,” he said.”

World’s oldest Ferrari is unveiled following restoration: “With its small, low body and thin tyres, this sports car doesn’t look anything like the powerful, expensive models of today. But this stunning vehicle is most likely their inspiration as it is believed to be the world’s oldest Ferrari. The 1947 166 Spyder Corsa has recently been unveiled for the first time since being completely restored. It was built just after the Second World War by manufacturer Enzo Ferrari and has now been restored for $500,000 by one dedicated owner. Capable of speeds of up to 100 miles-per-hour, which was enough to win the model the 1947 Turin Grand Prix, this 12-cylinder classic car is a one-of-a-kind. The motor – numbered 002 – was the first sold by Enzo Ferrari in December 1947, after his first build crashed.”

Value of your home enters top 10 list of things that should never be discussed at dinner parties: “The food is good and the conversation is flowing as freely as your host’s wine. But if you feel the urge to turn the subject matter to house prices or – heaven forbid – sex, think again. A survey suggests they top the list of taboo topics not to be broached at any polite dinner party. Meanwhile, religion or politics, the discussion of which was once seen as the epitome of poor etiquette, can now be talked about with barely a frown from your friends. The survey of changing British values and habits found that almost a third of respondents claimed they would be uncomfortable discussing their sex lives or infidelities with even their closest friends. That knocks money down to a close third place, with over a quarter saying they would refuse to talk about their finances with those who are close to them.”

A clue to CIA mystery that has defeated the world’s codebreakers: “A cryptic puzzle known as the Kryptos, located outside the CIA’s headquarters, is testing the world’s finest code crackers. There is at least one secret that remains stubbornly safe in the leak-plagued global superpower. Indeed, the enigma stares the spies of the Central Intelligence Agency in the face each day. Twenty years after it was unveiled in the main courtyard of the CIA headquarters in the USA, a sculpture of curving copper panels still contains an encrypted message hidden in a bewildering jumble of 1,800 characters. Three passages were unravelled in 1999. But the fourth and toughest remains defiantly obscure, to the surprise of nobody more than Jim Sanborn, the sculptor who created the enduring puzzle. And Mr Sanborn, who was an encryption neophyte when he was first commissioned by the CIA, has now offered a clue to Kryptos enthusiasts by divulging six of the 97 letters in that last phrase. But for now, despite the best efforts of codebreakers and their computers algorithms, the cipher that will identify the other 91 characters in the correct order has not been cracked.”

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

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The Ole Prospector

August 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An old prospector shuffled into the town of El Indio, Texas leading a tired old mule. The old man headed straight for the only saloon in town, to clear his parched throat. He walked up to the saloon and tied his old mule to the hitch rail.

As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, “Hey old man, can you dance?” The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, “No son, I don’t dance… never really wanted to”

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, “Well, you old fool, you’re gonna dance now!” and started shooting at the old man’s feet.

The old prospector, not wanting to get a toe blown off, started hopping around like a flea on a hot skillet. Everybody standing around was laughing.. When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.

The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled 12 gauge shotgun and cocked both hammers. The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air.

The crowd stopped laughing immediately. The young gunslinger heard the sounds too, and he turned around very slowly. The silence was deafening. The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old timer and the large gaping holes of those twin 12-gauge barrels.

The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man’s hands, as he quietly said; “Son, have you ever kissed a mule’s ass?” The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, “No sir… but…. I’ve always wanted to”

There are a few lessons for all of us here: *Don’t be arrogant. *Don’t waste ammunition. *Whiskey makes you think you’re smarter than you are. *Always make sure you know who is in control… *And finally, Don’t screw around with old folks; they didn’t get old by being stupid….

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Another head-fertilizer? “A cure for baldness may be available on the market sooner than previously thought after a breakthrough in negotiations between scientists and drugs companies. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania believe they have discovered the reason for baldness, an enzyme which shuts down hair follicles. Dr George Cotsarelis announced this week that he is in talks with several pharmaceutical companies about developing treatments which could be available in two years. Drugs that block the protein are already available on the marked as they are used to treat asthma and allergies. Dr Cotsarelis and his dermatological team at the University of Pennsylvania, discovered that enzyme Prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) prevented hair follicles from maturing. But when the team analysed the scalps of balding men, they found levels of PDG2 to be three times higher in areas in which the hair was thinning. Earlier work by the same team found bald men have cells capable of making hair; they have just failed to mature. It is thought that PGD2 prevents the cells maturing – and stopping it from working would allow hair to grow again.”

Mirror fasting: “Women fed up with the constant pressure to look good are embracing a new trend – ‘mirror fasting’. They are trying to avoid the obsession with youth and beauty by not looking at their reflections for anything from a few days to a year. Participants avoid reflections in shop windows, wing mirrors and even mobile phones – and those who try it report feeling liberated. The trend is believed to have started when New York beauty writer Autumn Whitefield Madrano, 36, tried it for a month last year and wrote about her experience. She said she realised she had developed a ‘mirror face’, sucking in her cheeks and posing when she looked at herself, and added: ‘It made me feel really vain.’ ‘I was surprised at how quickly I stopped worrying about how I looked, and if I wasn’t thinking about it. I assumed no one else was either, which is actually true.’”

The happiness that only a baby can bring: The mother’s smile says it all: “Like most new mothers, Katie Brown readily admits she is besotted with her baby son. But the 29-year-old has more reason than most to feel blessed by Ethan’s safe arrival – because he is the child she was afraid it would be impossible for her to have. Following a routine smear test, Miss Brown was diagnosed with cervical cancer and warned she could die without a hysterectomy. But, distraught that she would never be able to have children of her own, she was offered the chance to undergo pioneering surgery to save both her life and her fertility. The operation, which has been performed on just a handful of British women, was a success. To her doctor’s amazement, Miss Brown became pregnant six months later and Ethan was born by Caesarean section weighing a healthy 7lb 11oz. Miss Brown, a dental hygienist, said: ‘Holding Ethan in my arms for the first time was the most amazing feeling ever, it was the best day of my life. It was very, very emotional. I was in tears, Adam was crying, even some of the doctors and nurses were blubbing, it was very special.”

Wet dog shake highly efficient: “DON’T curse your wet dog too loudly next time it shakes itself all over you. High-speed video has been used to track the methods different animals dry themselves with – and the wet-dog shake comes out on top. It can shed 70 per cent of the water on its coat in a fraction of a second. The Georgia Institute of Technology study seeks to understand the physics behind how the dog sprays off water in order to improve washing machines, dryers, painting equipment and other devices. But don’t think a quick shake will speed up drying off after a shower or a day at the beach. The secret is in the loose skin that mammals with fur tend to have, the study published in the Interface Journal of The Royal Society says. This loose fat and skin “whips” around the body as the animal changes direction, increasing acceleration. It is the frequency of this “whipping” which is the key to effective water-shedding. And that frequency is different according to the size and weight of each animal, the study finds.”

Japan’s ‘last ninja’ reveals his training secrets: “A 63-YEAR-old former engineer may not fit the typical image of a dark-clad assassin with deadly weapons who can disappear into a cloud of smoke. But Jinichi Kawakami is reputedly Japan’s last ninja. As the 21st head of the Ban clan, a line of ninjas that can trace its history back some 500 years, Kawakami is considered by some to be the last living guardian of Japan’s secret spies. “I think I’m called (the last ninja) as there is probably no other person who learned all the skills that were directly” handed down from ninja masters over the last five centuries, he said. “Ninjas proper no longer exist,” he said as he demonstrated the tools and techniques used in espionage and sabotage by men fighting for their samurai lords in the feudal Japan of yesteryear. Mr Kawakami said training ranged from physical and mental skills to studies of chemicals, weather and psychology. Just before he turned 19, he inherited the master’s title, along with secret scrolls and special tools. Mr Kawakami says much of the ninja’s art lies in catching people unawares, rather than in brute force.”

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

Disappointed owls

August 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Watching re-runs of old TV shows can be good for your health: “All those hours spent on the couch watching old episodes of Friends were not wasted after all, according to a new study. Watching reruns actually has a beneficial impact and can increase your self control, according to research from the University of Buffalo. Psychologists have long believed that people have limited amounts of impulse control are more likely to give in to temptation later. For example if you avoid sweets during the day you may succumb to having an unhealthy dinner later in the day. In order to stop this happening and to restore sense of self-control we need to boost be in a good mood, which is where re-watching favourite TV shows works. Psychologists say we think of these characters as friends or family. In the study, the results showed that people found it easier to maintain their self-control if they had also been asked to describe a favourite television show during experiments.”

New study finds the SUN could be the roundest object ever measured: “A mystery surrounds the shape of the Sun – it is just too perfectly round, say scientists. In fact the Sun turns out to be one of the roundest objects ever measured. Scaled down to the size of a beach ball, the difference between the Sun’s widest and narrowest diameters would be far less than the width of a human hair. Having no solid surface, the Sun’s rotation should make it slightly flattened. But the new measurements show that the flattening is much smaller than expected. Scientists analysed data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite which is studying the Sun. Previously it was thought that the shape of the Sun varied in cycles, but the new findings show it is remarkably constant.”

Oldster discovers ‘miracle cure’ for arthritis after glueing copper coins to the inside of his shoes: “The medical world has long debated whether copper can help ease the pain of arthritis. While some sufferers swear by a bracelet, others use expensive insoles. Johnny Franks, however, reckons he’s found the cheapest aid of all – 2p pieces glued to the inside of his shoes. The 85-year-old has been crippled by arthritis for 15 years and could barely bend his knees without feeling excruciating pain. But he had a flash of inspiration after reading about the apparent benefits of walking on copper. Unable to afford the £30 cost of specially made insoles, he came up with his own version by glueing four 2p pieces to a cheap shoe protector. Those 2p coins minted before 1992 are 97 per cent copper. Only four weeks later, the father of two – who was an entertainer during World War Two – claims he has been ‘cured’. ‘Now walking is a pleasure and I can move around unlike before. ‘I am walking without any pain and I can lift my leg half way up my body and kick out.'”

£2 million statue found on shelves of Nottingham town museum: “An Egyptian statue that has been part of a museum collection in Northampton for 150 years has been valued at £2 million. The 30 inch high limestone figure of Sekhemka, a high official in dynastic Egypt in around 2400 BC, was brought to England by a 19th century aristocrat. Its value was only discovered after Northampton borough council carried out an insurance assessment. The statue is thought to have been brought to the country by Spencer Joshua Alwyne Compton, the second Marquis of Northampton. A founding member of the Royal Archaeological Institute, he is believed to have picked up the piece on a trip to Egypt in 1850, shortly before his death the following year. The statue shows Sekhemka holding a papyrus inscribed with a list of offerings for the dead, including bread, beer, cakes and incense.”

A flatpack HOUSE (beat that Ikea!): “It’s the ultimate flatpack to challenge even the keenest DIY enthusiast – a kit of wooden pieces that can be clicked together without nails or concrete to create an entire two-bedroom house. And if you ever felt like just packing up and moving away – you could do with this home. Architects created this flat-pack 1,250-square-foot ‘property’ that can be simply slotted together. London-based architecture specialist Facit Homes partnered up with a pair of Danish architects to make the impressive villa – which took just six weeks to build. The parts were produced in a rapid-prototyping machine, Fast Code Design website reported. The Villa Asserbo was built using huge blocks of Nordic plywood blocks that had been specifically cut to fit together – similar to a 3D puzzle. It is named after the small Danish town 50 kilometers outside of Copenhagen, where the house now stands. Frederik Agdrup who designed the house with his colleague Nicholas Bjørnda told Fast Code Design that each lightweight piece needed only two men to carry it and they did not need to use cranes, which made the process far more friendly to the environment.”

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

Lush lawn

August 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s actually a river clogged by water hyacinth — the 200m wide Tuoniang River in Baise, southern China’s Guangxi Province

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Genetics “expert” declares war on sex: “99.9 per cent of higher animal species reproduce themselves sexually. Species capable of reproducing themselves without contact between male and female are in the distinct minority. But a research geneticist from Imperial College London, Aarathi Prasad, has tried to do the next best thing. Not only has she written a celebration of those eccentric creatures who are capable of reproducing by themselves without sexual contact, she controversially claims that sexless reproduction is the way of the future for humans, too. A generation ago, test-tube babies were the stuff of science fiction: now, we accept these things as realities. In the same way, suggests Prasad, we could well be looking at a future in which human babies could be born without any sperm donors, let alone contact between the sexes. The future is sexless. But her book, Like A Virgin, is exploring a fundamentally serious theme, and one at the heart of Western liberal thinking. It is that we human beings are in control of our own destiny, and there is nothing sacred or special about life itself.”

Would-be politician hits campaign trail with her three-day-old baby: “Claudia Bowman feels so strongly about giving young families a voice, she hit the streets to campaign for a seat on her local council yesterday – with her three-day old son strapped to her chest. Just 75 hours after giving birth, Ms Bowman hit the hustings, talking to voters about issues that matter to them. But they mainly wanted to talk about little Sunday Charles, with his 29-year-old proud mother of three saying to passers-by in Kings Cross: “Yes, I have a newborn in here” as he slept peacefully in his baby sling. Running on Clover Moore’s independent [Green] team for Sydney City Council, she said it was vital families were represented. “I’m not a political animal. We actually need change. Young families have to be spoken for,” she said. “You don’t sign up for a career – it’s because you are passionate about change.” She said Sunday Charles had taken to the campaign well. “We’re in the honeymoon period. They’re programmed to just sleep 20 hours a day – and eat,” she said.”

Tap water straight from the mains sold on shelves at British supermarkets: “Supermarkets are selling bottled tap water to millions of unsuspecting customers. Bottles of Tesco ‘Everyday Value Still Water’ and Asda ‘Smartprice Still Water’ are sitting on shelves alongside big brands of mineral water such as Evian and Perrier. However, there is no explanation on the label of these supermarket brands that the contents are simply tap water. On the face of it, the supermarket water, which costs 17p for a two-litre bottle, offers remarkable value compared with the big brands. In reality it is no more than a filtered version of the mains water that comes out of the tap at a cost of just a third of a penny a litre. This means the supermarkets and their suppliers are enjoying a mark-up of around 2,500 per cent for filtering the water – something the mains suppliers say is unnecessary. They then put it into plastic bottles and ship it to thousands of stores across the country.”

Ukrainians say SpongeBob Squarepants is a little queer: “Morality police in the Ukraine are trying to get Disney cartoon SpongeBob Squarepants banned because of its perceived ‘promotion of homosexuality’. The ‘evidence’ that points to SpongeBob’s homosexuality seems to extend to the fact that he regularly holds hands with a pink starfish called Patrick, who is also his best friend. Equally sustect, apparently, is the fact that SpongeBob lives in an underwater pineapple and receives boating lessons from a teacher called Mrs Puff – ‘puff’ being both a derogatory and affectionate term to describe a gay man. Creator Stephen Hillenburg has defended his creation in the past, saying: ‘I always think of him as being somewhat asexual. The Wall Street Journal reported in the past that some of the cartoon’s reported $500m merchandise sales have come from gay men purchasing branded toys, lunch boxes and even thongs.”

Woman had ladybird in her ear but British doctors couldn’t find it: “After 11 fruitless visits to her doctor over three years, Danielle Eccles was beginning to think that her severe earache would never be cured. Over that time, the 28-year-old, an NHS administration manager, was prone to temporarily losing all hearing in her blocked and swollen right ear, and bouts of ‘unbearable’ pain that caused her to take time off work. Then, one day, while putting in yet more eardrops as prescribed by the doctor, a ladybird’s head fell out of her ear. This time, however, she was finally referred to hospital, where an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist removed the rest of the perfectly preserved ladybird. Yesterday Mrs Eccles, who is making a formal complaint to the surgery, said: ‘It sounds funny but I thought I was going mad. ‘It’s made my life a nightmare. I just can’t believe no one saw it. After all, it must be the brightest, spottiest bug in the UK.'”

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

Cool cats

August 17, 2012 at 9:01 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pic taken on the edge of the Serengeti, in Tanzania, Africa, early one morning

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Picasso too naughty for Scots: “Edinburgh Airport reinstated a print of Picasso’s Nude Woman in a Red Armchair in the international arrivals lounge after it was covered up following complaints by some passengers. The airport covered the print, which promotes an exhibition of Picasso and Modern Art at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, with white vinyl last week. “The initial decision was a reaction to passenger feedback, which we do always take seriously,” said a spokeswoman for Edinburgh Airport in an e-mailed statement. “However on reflection we are more than happy to display the image in the terminal and we apologise, particulary to the exhibition organisers, for the confusion.”

World’s most valuable car?: “A 1930s Mercedes may sell for more than $US16 million in California this month as classic-car auctioneers test the market with an unprecedented line-up of big- ticket cars by names such as Ferrari, Bugatti and Bentley. The Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster is one of only 30 built. It may exceed an auction record of $US16.4 million, set by a Ferrari last year, and comfortably beat the price of a Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder convertible, one of three included in the series of sales, which is estimated at $US9 million. “I’ve never seen so many expensive cars come up for auction at one time,” says Tom Hartley Jnr, a UK-based classic car dealer. “A lot of the major collectors of the last 30 years are getting old and other owners have seen prices rise and want to cash in. What happens this month is going to say a lot about the market.”

Rich Italians selling off their supercars: “A crackdown on luxury goods combined with budget cuts that have pushed Italy deeper into its fourth recession since 2001 are souring demand for sporty cars and other symbols of the country’s carefree lifestyle. The number of second-hand high- performance cars exported from Italy nearly tripled to 13,633 vehicles in the first five months of 2012, from 4,923 a year earlier, according to auto industry group Unrae. The exodus reflects weaker overall demand for supercars in the home of Ferrari and Maserati, Fiat’s most profitable brands. Italy has become a declining source of supercar profits after Monti raised ownership levies on high-performance vehicles as part of his budget reforms. After the changes, owners of the 316,000-euro ($370,000) Lamborghini Aventador pay about 8,400 euros ($9800) a year in taxes, an increase of 6,600 euros ($7700). On top of the extra levies, supercar owners are being scrutinised in efforts to flush out tax evaders.”

A real pig-pen — for people: “Campers are being offered a glamorous way of enjoying the great outdoors… in these holiday homes inspired by pig shelters. The Pig-Pod concept was dreamed up by Roger Hill, who runs farm holidays on his land near Tiverton, Devon. They measure just 8ft x 10ft and incorporate an arched corrugated roof similar to those used on farmyard accommodation for porkers. The pods can be fitted with either a double bed or two singles and can even be converted into a home office. Each pod features a stable door at the front, a window at the back and electric hook-ups for lighting and heating. They can be fitted with either a double bed or two singles and can even be converted into a home office. The £5,995 pods, which take around six weeks to build, are made to order by the trio and vary in colour, size and style. It is hoped that the new style of accommodation will take off with campsite owners hoping to give their customers a luxury stay.

‘Herbal remedies’ containing poisonous plants, cow urine and tiger claws from India are seized by British customs officials: “Herbal remedies and massage oils containing ground tiger claws, poisonous plants and cow urine have been seized by border officials at a UK port. Forty-five large boxes containing the products had been illegally imported from India and were bound for an address in Birmingham before being stopped by officials at Felixstowe Port in Suffolk. It is the first time ground tiger claws, which may have come from tigers that were illegally poached, have been found by customs in the UK, Border Force said. Cow urine, poisonous plants, and goat meat were also found in the ingredients of the 450ml herbal remedy and five-litre massage oil bottles. Officials examining the load also found several large cockroaches that had fermented in the boxes.”

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

Some British towns and villages

August 16, 2012 at 10:22 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Charming names

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

No cubicle blues for IT gurus: survey: “YOU might think decades of “never mind, I’ve just realised it wasn’t plugged in” might have turned the average IT worker off his fellow office inmates. But a new survey of nearly 1000 Australian tech gurus reveals most would rather be in the office than working remotely from the beach, and their biggest pet peeve is pointless meetings, not inane troubleshooting queries from colleagues. The August poll from recruitment firm Ambition found 58 per cent of IT workers count meetings that achieve nothing as their top office annoyance, while 21 per cent list unrealistic expectations from managers as their greatest gripe. Nearly a third – 31 per cent – said they felt most productive in open-plan offices, compared to 14 per cent who said they were most productive working from home. Andrew Cross, managing director of Ambition’s technology division, told AAP growing tech literacy meant IT professionals faced fewer agonising queries about why the mouse is doing that squiggly thing again, or how to un-send the highly personal pic that just hit 300 inboxes across the building.”

German, 70, rescued after week in glacier crevasse: “Austrian mountain rescuers on Tuesday extracted a 70-year-old German man claiming to have been stuck for around a week in a glacier crevasse, police said, calling it incredible that he was still alive. The climber, who has not been named, was only slightly injured after his ordeal although he was very cold and exhausted. He was airlifted to hospital in Innsbruck in western Austria by helicopter. He told rescuers that he had set off around a week ago without crampons and that around 3000 metres up he had slid into the 20-metre crevasse. Other mountaineers were eventually alerted by his cries and called in rescuers. “It is a sensation that he survived there for a week,” police said. “He was very lucky.”

Rome police bust cannabis farm in old tunnel under city: “Police in Italy have found a large and flourishing cannabis factory in an abandoned metro tunnel built beneath Rome during the fascist era of Benito Mussolini, a senior police officer told Reuters on Tuesday. Police raided the tunnel, which is 1 km long and was officially being used as a mushroom farm, after detecting the pungent odor of marijuana around its entrance last week. The tunnel is close to the Italian central bank’s vaults in southeastern Rome. Underground passages in the area are often used for mushroom growing, but on Saturday police discovered that this particular farm was also cultivating rows and rows of marijuana behind a wall at the back. Italy’s financial police said they had confiscated 340 kilos of the drug worth an estimated 3 million euros – one of their biggest ever cannabis busts. The 57 year-old owner of the farm has been arrested.”

Squatter gets stuck in a chimney for 10 HOURS after trying to hide from police: “A squatter attempting to hide from police got himself into a tight situation when he became stuck in a chimney for 10 hours. The unidentified man was reportedly trying to evade police who were responding to reports of squatters in a Fresno, California, neighbourhood on Thursday night. Concerned residents alerted authorities when they heard whimpering and cries for help coming from a supposedly empty home in the early hours of Friday morning. Firefighters had to work for half an hour to rescue the man who had become trapped at the point where the chimney took a right-angle turn above the fireplace, according to the Fresno Bee. ‘We couldn’t gain access to the patient in order to put a harness on him or attach the line so we communicated with him and instead told him to do that for himself,’ Thomas Cope of the Fresno Fire Department told CBS47. The man was taken to hospital suffering from dehydration, cuts and bruises, and neck and back injuries.”

Antisemite disacovers he is Jewish: “As a rising star in Hungary’s far-right Jobbik Party, Csanad Szegedi was notorious for his incendiary comments on Jews: He accused them of “buying up” the country, railed about the “Jewishness” of the political elite and claimed Jews were desecrating national symbols. Then came a revelation that knocked him off his perch as ultra-nationalist standard-bearer: Szegedi himself is a Jew. Following weeks of internet rumours, Szegedi acknowledged in June that his grandparents on his mother’s side were Jews – making him one too under Jewish law, even though he doesn’t practice the faith. His grandmother was an Auschwitz survivor and his grandfather a veteran of forced labour camps. Since then, the 30-year-old has become a pariah in Jobbik and his political career is on the brink of collapse.”

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

Just dangling

August 15, 2012 at 11:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One way to enjoy the sunset on the Greek island of Kalymnos

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

PA: 110-year-old widow finally gets WWI benefits boost: “A 110-year-old Pennsylvania widow is getting a benefits boost because of her husband’s World War I service. Family members say Alda Collins is now getting about $1,000 a month to assist with her stay at a nursing home near Ebensburg. She had been getting $36 a month. Her son tells the Daily American of Somerset that Collins lived by herself in a trailer until she was 106. She can use a walker, feeds herself and knows the Pirates are in second place. For years, she taught in a one-room schoolhouse. Her husband, William, served in the Army in World War I. He died in 1976 at age 81.”

‘Drowning’ victim was sleeping in river: “A MAN found floating in a river in the United States was mistaken for a drowning victim – until he sat up. A forensic team arrived to investigate the “drowning” including Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. While authorities decided on the best means to retrieve the body, something no one imagined happened. The “dead” body sat up. Turns out Joseph DeAngelo was not a drowning victim but fell asleep while watching the clouds. He was unaware of the scene developing nearby. He was not that far off shore, and yet no one went out to check on him to see if he needed help. “Let me tell you, it was quite a shock for us,” Kiessling Jr. told the Sun-Gazette. “He was bobbing up and down in the water and he really looked like he was dead.” DeAngelo says he had no idea what was going around him until a dragonfly landed on his nose. Then he sat up. He apologised for the confusion, but says he was living life the best way he knows how.”

Big baby: “For a free-range hen that has just laid an egg three times bigger than normal, Jessica looks surprisingly unruffled. The egg weighs a hefty 6ozs – which is a staggering a quarter of a pound heavier than the average 2oz gram egg. Couple Steve and Annie Egginton from Chew Magna, Somerset, were amazed when they saw what their one-year-old white Sussex hen had produced. Steve, 60, said that despite keeping chickens for more than three decades he has never seen anything like it. ‘We’ve got three hens at the moment, all of them laying around two eggs a day, but they’ve never laid an egg like this before.’ Instead of keeping the giant egg, thought to be the ‘world’s largest egg’, they have since tucked into the extra large produce for breakfast. Steve added: ‘We used the egg to make scrambled egg on toast for the both of us for breakfast. ‘It was very tasty and a rather substantial meal for us both.'”

Unpopular war re-enactment in Britain: “It was meant to give the public a taste of life in wartime Britain. But onlookers were left horrified after a Second World War festival saw volunteers take to the streets in Nazi uniforms with swastikas flying from their cars. One open-top vehicle fitted with an SS registration plate was driven by a grinning man wearing a senior SS uniform flanked by a woman with a machine gun. Jewish leaders and anti-fascism campaigners yesterday attacked the ‘disturbing’ event. The ‘Yanks’ festival, which attracts up to 5,000 visitors each year, sees hundreds of volunteers dress up in traditional military uniforms to re-enact life in Uppermill, Saddleworth, near Oldham, during the 1940s. But Bury Councillor Michelle Wiseman said that although it was illegal in Germany and France to display Nazi insignia, no such law exists in Britain. ‘It’s difficult because when you start banning things where do you draw the line?’ she added.”

Roofless car costs nearly a million: “Mining billionaire Clive Palmer already had one of the country’s biggest car collections – and he’s just added 17 more cars to the list. Palmer sent a team of bidders to the RM Auctions sale in Denmark, where he snapped up $2.5 million worth of vintage cars from the Aalholm Automobile Museum sale. Palmer’s purchases included the star of the show, a 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost[above]. It was expected to sell for 2,225,000 Danish Krone ($350,000), but the winning bid was kr5,264,000 ($830,000).”

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

And it’s not even in India

August 14, 2012 at 8:24 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s in Argentina

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Terror alert over empty boat found bobbing just six miles from British nuclear plant: “A mystery ‘Mary Celeste’ yacht found floating close to a nuclear plant has sparked an international police alert. The empty 28ft-long vessel was discovered drifting just six miles from the heavily guarded Sizewell plant on the Suffolk coast, where security has been extra-tight during the Olympics. The yacht was towed to nearby Orford Quay where a UK Border Force investigation began. After initial fears that the vessel was part of a terrorist plot, officials now say it is more likely to have been used to smuggle drugs or illegal immigrants into Britain. Local historian Stuart Bacon said: ‘It is an absolute mystery – there are no identification markings on the boat at all and no clues in the cabin, which is very clean and tidy.”

Baby saved anorexic’s life: “The wedding guests stared in disbelief as the gaunt bride walked down the aisle weighing just six stone. But Laura Wilson didn’t care that her ‘skin and bone’ figure was revealed in a strapless size four dress because she was suffering from the crippling eating disorder anorexia. Now five years later she is healthy and puts her cure down to a new man in her life – her 14-month-old son Matthew. The boy is a medical ‘miracle’ says Laura, now 28, who had been told she would never be able to have children because of the damage done to her body by starving herself. She said: ”I feel like Matthew’s birth was divine intervention. He’s such a sunny, happy little boy and I adore him. My miracle baby is saving my life every day.’ She told how she had become obsessed with looking slim for her big day after her fiance Philip proposed in August, 2006.”

Lake bleach: “They call it the Blue Lagoon, and people come from far and wide to cool off in its clear waters. Yet the flooded former quarry is so polluted that its contents are almost as toxic as bleach. Signs close to the shoreline warn that not only is the water known to contain abandoned cars, dead animals and human waste, but it has a pH level of 11.3 – compared with 12.6 for bleach and 11.5 for ammonia. The water in the disused quarry gets its blue and turquoise appearance from the Limestone hills surrounding it. The water looks like something from the Mediterranean. They state how the water is toxic enough to cause ‘skin and eye irritations, stomach problems and fungal infections’. Yet parents have been spotted pulling their babies around in rubber rings on the water, while families, groups of youths and even stag parties all regularly make the trek to the lake.”

Britain’s hemline economy: “The lengths of skirts have historically been an indicator of economic downturn and if what is on offer on the high street is anything to go by, the economy is in a dire state. Hemlines have hit their lowest since the 1929 Great Depression, with celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Katie Holmes and Christina Aguilera sporting skirts as long as 33in, below the knee. Last time the fashion industries reported maxi skirts on trend was in the early nineties when inflation hit 15 per cent. This is compared to financial highs such as the 1960s, the time of the creation of the mini skirt and the later nineties where the economy boomed and 18in skirts were the norm. The double-dip recession of the tens has seen hemlines move further down and maxi-length pencil skirts are in shop windows everywhere, from Selfridges and Harrods to high street giants such as River Island and H&M.”

Live bombs in British museum: “Museum staff got a shock when they learned they had been letting visitors walk past a display of live bombs for nearly two decades. Now the Army has blown up the unexploded World War Two cannon shell and a military flare which were hastily removed from the display at Dorking museum in Surrey. The bomb squad was called in after they were checked during a stock assessment. Kathy Atherton, from the museum, said staff would investigate how they got there but suspected they were historic donations from souvenir collectors. They were discovered by volunteers two months before the end of the museum’s three-year refurbishment programme. ‘A volunteer took photos and sent them off to the Imperial War Museum, and they came back, identified them and said ‘You can’t be sure with these things, even if they’re old they may still be explosive, you really need to get some advice on this.’ ‘At that point we contacted the police who got the bomb squad in from Aldershot’ she said.”

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

Two at once

August 13, 2012 at 9:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An Osprey captures both an appetizer and a main course in one dive

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Raft of floating rocks bigger than area of Israel: “AN undersea volcanic eruption has created a raft of porous volcanic rock in the Pacific Ocean that’s larger than the surface area of Israel, but navy officers say the phenomenon is not a danger to shipping. The area of floating pumice is 250 nautical miles (463km) in length and 30 nautical miles wide (55km), and covers 25,465 square kilometres. Israel’s surface area is about 20,700 sq km. Spotted by a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion, the raft was located about 85 nautical miles west to southwest of Raoul Island and investigated by the HMNZS Canterbury, the New Zealand Defence Force says. Raoul Island is part of the Kermadec Islands and is 1100km northeast of New Zealand. The rock appeared to be sitting above the surface of the waves and when lit up looked like the edge of an ice shelf. “As we moved through the raft of pumice we used the spotlights to try and find the edge – but it extended as far as we could see.”

Shower doors (?), coasters and cocktail forks stolen from world-famous Waldorf Hotel: “COUPLES who stay in the Waldorf’s Royal Suite pay $10,000 a night for a room once occupied by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Across the hallway, 42 floors above Park Avenue, is the residence of the US ambassador to the United Nations. Guests rest their heads on pillows embroidered with images of the Duchess’s pugs, and in the morning many decide to steal something. “We lose items out of that suite quite regularly,” said Matt Zolbe, a spokesman for the hotel, who was discussing this delicate matter over an iced tea in the hotel bar. “The framed photographs of the Duke and Duchess walk ridiculously easily, but that’s representative of what we are talking about.” Now though, the hotel would like its history back. Last month it announced an amnesty for items taken from its rooms. Some surprisingly large items are still missing. Mr Zolbe is appealing for the return of a 60cm-tall fluted crystal vase, commissioned in 1913 for the hotel’s 30th anniversary, and the shower doors from a suite once occupied by Frank Sinatra. Removed during a renovation, they vanished around the time that a longtime resident left.”

A walk through Missouri’s valley of meth: “WHEN police from Stone County in southwest Missouri raid a meth house, they always find something curious along with the drug paraphernalia, the shell-shocked children and the filth. Shoved into drawers will be toasters, remote controls and mobile phones, all torn into bits. And almost always, rock collections. Something in the fixated mind of a methamphetamine addict drives him or her to examine the inner working of electronics, or to fascinate over rocks. “I had buckets of rocks,” says Savella Elmore, 30, a recovering meth addict of Joplin, Missouri. “I thought they were Indian arrowheads. It turned out they were just rocks.” Missouri, in America’s mid-south, is known as the world’s home-cooked meth capital. This is the Ozarks, a mountain plateau that stretches through Missouri down to Arkansas. The population is white and poor. The Ozarks is rugged and beautiful and people live on small farms or on heavily wooded rural blocks. “Hillbilly” is a term people once fought off as an insult, but finally have finally embraced as a point of pride. It is hillbilly central.”

Topless model kicked off ride: “Supermodel Kate Upton has been kicked off California’s famed Santa Monica pier during a photo shoot, after showing too much skin. The Sports Illustrated covergirl stripped down to a one-piece bathing suit at the popular tourist attraction for a feature with men’s magazine GQ, but when the crew opted to take a short break and hop on a thrilling fairground ride, Upton suffered a wardrobe malfunction when her barely-there outfit snapped. Upton, 20, reveals security bosses were far from thrilled about her flesh flash and promptly asked her and the photo crew to leave. Recalling the incident, she says: “We were on that ride where the seat spins while the actual ride is spinning, and I’m wearing a one-piece. And all of a sudden the whole entire top falls off! “I’m holding myself, laughing, turning bright red, but a lot of people are watching, so they kicked us out of the Santa Monica pier. “It was so embarrassing. You wouldn’t think that would happen with a one-piece!”

Doggy dental work catching on: “Pet owners are spending up big on orthodontic braces, cosmetic dental work, root canal fillings, polishes and mouth washes to give their pooches dazzling, no-gap smiles and “kissable breath”. Veterinary surgeon Kevin Cruickshank said: “There is a big shift in how pet owners look after their pets. They want them to fit in with the family, and many are treated like children.” Image-conscious owners wanted their pets to look good – and there is nothing fun about “doggy kisses” by an animal with severe gum disease, said Dr Cruickshank, who runs the Gold Coast Vet Surgery, which has a specialist dental suite. “I have come across pet-owners who have braces put on their dogs because the teeth are crooked, or get teeth fixed for cosmetic reasons to avoid gaps. “Those cases are referred to specialists, but the majority of people who bring their animals to the dental suite simply want their pets to live a long life and be pain free. “Pet-owners understand dental work is not a luxury. It can add years to a pet’s life.”

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

The ultimate cool cat

August 12, 2012 at 9:19 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WordPress are a bit mean about embedding videos so if the above doesn’t work, go here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Druggie prank on police goes wrong: “Police had the last laugh when a pair of drug dealers who parked their amphetamine-filled van in an officer’s space for ‘a joke’ were caught red handed. Daniel Burton, 43, and friend Neil Collinson 34, from Hull and East Riding were arrested after they pulled up at Beverley Police Station with a £490 stash of illegal drugs. The dopey duo said they decided to stop in the spot belonging to superintendent Andy Foster for a prank. However, when Supt Foster spotted the rusty white vehicle in his spot, he went outside with two colleagues to challenge the pair. When officers searched the van they discovered the £490 drug stash in the glove box.”

Orthodox Jewish men given a new weapon in the war against sexual temptation: “It may seem a short-sighted solution but blurred glasses are their latest tool available to ultra-orthodox Jewish men who want to stop eyeing up beautiful women. The specially-designed out of focus glasses are proving popular among so-called ‘Charedi’ men in religious areas of Israel. The anti-ogle goggles can be snapped up for just a few pounds and feature a sticker on the lens which makes them poorly focused when looking anywhere except for the space in the immediate vicinity. The glasses provide clear vision for a few metres, but anything anything further away becoms blurry. The glasses are on sale in religious neighbourhoods of Jerusalem such as Mea Shearim.”

Fat passengers throw a pajama tantrum: “Two Melbourne-bound Qantas passengers from hell refused to fly last night after they were told there were no XL-sized first-class pyjamas on their LA flight. The crew’s offer of business-class jim-jams failed to placate the duo. Their luggage was offloaded after they elected to spoil their own pyjama party and they were left behind. But despite the storm breaking out in a teacup the captain still landed in Melbourne on time at 8.20am today. QF094 business-class passenger Angela Ceberano told mX the cabin erupted in laughter when the captain announced the reason for the delay. International business-class passengers receive Peter Morrissey pyjamas on “selected flights” while first class passengers get “soft and luxurious pyjamas and slippers”.”

Chinese woman has spider removed from ear after five days: “The urban legend of being infested with spiders came horribly true for a woman admitted to China’s Changsha Central Hospital. She had woken five days earlier after a hard round of home renovations with an itchy ear. She didn’t know why. The itch got worse. Much worse. Eventually, she took herself to hospital to find out the cause. She was diagnosed as having a case of arachnid – that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her. Luckily, Dr Lie Sheng told local media, she had avoided making things worse by giving into the temptation of scratching her itch. The eight-legged hitchhiker was eventually evicted after a saline solution flooded her ear canal. When given the good news, the patient burst into tears of gratitude, the doctor said.”

Big Jet lands on very cold Antarctic ice shelf: “AUSTRALIA has broken new ground in the history of human interaction with Antarctica after successfully air lifting a sick American expeditioner from an iceshelf runway in minus 35 degrees [C] and at twilight. A medical retrieval team coordinated by the Hobart-based Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) today arrived home after successfully retrieving the American from a hastily cleared runway of compacted snow at McMurdo station. AAD’s Hobart-based Airbus A319 went to the American’s aid after a request by the United States National Science Foundation, successfully airlifting the patient to Christchurch yesterday. Pilot of the AAD’s A319 passenger plane, Garry Studd, said the rescue on Thursday involved what is thought to be the earliest winter landing of such a large wheeled jet aircraft in Antarctica. Good weather and a two-hour window of twilight allowed the operation to proceed smoothly and after an hour on the iceshelf runway the A319 left for Christchurch, New Zealand, arriving about 7.10pm last night.”

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

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