Tabby truth

December 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Kuwaiti woman files for divorce after one week of marriage… because her husband eats peas using bread rather than a fork: “It’s not exactly up there with infidelity but poor table manners are clearly grounds for divorce in some parts of the Middle East. Just one week after getting married, a woman in Kuwait has filed for divorce after discovering her husband prefers to use bread, rather than a fork, to eat peas. Traumatised by the ‘shocking sight’, she said she could no longer live with him, owing to his lack of etiquette. In most Muslim countries, Islamic Law allows husbands to divorce their wives without any reason by just saying ‘I divorce you’ three times. However, if a wife wants a divorce – for reasons such as abuse or lack of communication – she must go to court. The non-acceptance of the other is the major reason for divorce in Kuwait, according to legal experts.”

Italy court overturns paedophile conviction because girl, 11, was ‘in love’: “Italy’s highest court has overturned the conviction of a 60-year-old man for having sex with an 11-year-old girl, because the verdict failed to take into account their “amorous relationship”. Pietro Lamberti, a social services worker in Catanzaro in southern Italy, was convicted in February 2011 and sentenced to five years in prison for sexual acts with a minor. The verdict was later upheld by an appeals court. But Italy’s supreme court ruled the verdict did not sufficiently consider “the consensus, the existence of an amorous relationship, the absence of physical force, the girl’s feelings of love”. According to Il Quotidiano, the girl came from a poor family who had known and trusted the social worker. Lamberti was caught naked in bed with the girl after an investigation by police based largely on wire-tap evidence, it said.”

Rain opens up huge sinkhole in England’s green and pleasant land: “Torrential downpours over Christmas have caused a rare sink-hole to appear in the Peak District, which is 130ft deep and growing. Part of the Milldam lead mine near Buxton in Derbyshire caved-in overnight on Sunday and swallowed a field as terrible weather continued to plague most of Britain. Electricity engineers visited the site yesterday to assess how to re-route cables after two poles were left standing precariously either side of the 160ft wide hole, caused when water erodes the earth underneath and causes the whole area to collapse.”

Mystery in the Amazon solved: Miniature towers surrounded by ‘picket fences’ on trees are found to be spiders egg-nests: “The mystery of how the white picket fence structures appeared in the Peruvian Amazon in June has been solved. They are the work of a tiny spider that builds it webs on trails lined by cecropia trees in Tambopata National Reserve, Peru. Researchers had no idea what was making the unique webs until a tiny orange spider hatched from an egg next to them. Arachnologists and entomologists are now working to identify which species the spider belongs to. The first of the structures was spotted in June, by Troy Alexander, a graduate student at Georgia Tech. He discovered the bizarre formation on the bottom of some blue tarpaulin close to the Tambopata Research Center, in southeastern Peru. Although the spider looks similar to a jumping spider, experts have ruled this out because the arrangement of the eyes were different between the families.”

Early U.S. bank notes found in mint condition in a banker’s drawer to sell for 1,700 times their face value: “Rare bank notes once deemed worthless are set to sell for a staggering $5.7 million after they were found in a U.S. bankers’ drawer. The notes, which date back to the 1880s and total $3,500 in the old money, are now tipped to sell at auction for 1,700 times their face value. They have miraculously survived the 130 years in mint condition and one is among the first ever bank notes to be printed in the U.S. and one of only two left in the world. The currency includes three $1,000 notes and one $500 note. The rarest of the collection is an 1882 $500 gold certificate, among the first ever bank notes printed in America and expected to fetch $2.4 million alone. The two 1882 $1,000 gold certificates and an 1890 $1,000 treasury note are estimated to sell for $1.07 million each. Gold certificates were initially issued by banks as proof of a deposit of gold bullion in their vaults but went on to become forms of money in their own right. They circulated as money until 1933 when the U.S. government banned private gold ownership and withdrew the certificates from circulation, making them worthless.”

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

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Redneck togetherness

December 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

The all-time most popular Christmas song? “The names Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber have largely vanished into the annals of Christmas tormentors, but their greatest triumph lives on. “Silent Night,” which Mohr wrote the lyrics for (in German) in 1816 and Gruber put to music two years later, is the most recorded Christmas song in the modern era of the holiday’s substantial oeuvre. To determine this fact, TIME crawled the records at the U.S. Copyright Office, which offers digitized registrations going back to 1978, and collected data on every Christmas album recorded since that time. “Silent Night,” it turns out, is not merely the most popular carol; with 733 copyrighted recordings since 1978, it is nearly twice as dominant as “Joy to the World,” a distant second with 391 records to its name.”

Another art treasure found in Britain: “A painting that hung on the wall of a priest’s home for more than a decade after he bought it for £400 at an antiques shop has been identified as a van Dyck portrait worth a thousand times as much. The work, previously dismissed as a copy, was valued at £400,000 ($740,000) after its owner had it evaluated on Antiques Roadshow and is the most valuable painting to be identified in the 35-year history of the BBC television program. Canon Jamie MacLeod, who took the painting along to a roadshow session in Newstead Abbey, near Nottingham, plans to sell it to buy new church bells. He bought the portrait from a Cheshire antiques shop – which has since closed – 12 years ago. The work was identified after the program’s host, Fiona Bruce, who was making a show about the artist with expert Philip Mould, saw the painting and wondered whether it was genuine. Mr Mould agreed to take a look at it and after weeks of cleaning and the removal of a top coat of 18th-century paint, the painting was verified by Christopher Brown, one of the world’s leading authorities on van Dyck.”

Man drives wrong way down busy highway on red scooter: “A MAN rode the wrong way down a Brisbane highway for almost 30 minutes – on a motorised mobility scooter. About 9.35am Sunday emergency services received the first of many calls concerned for the safety of a man riding a red motorised mobility scooter north on a southbound lane of Deagon Deviation. Police turned on lights and sirens and even chased the man on foot – but he continued to scoot right past them. The man was caught by traffic police and escorted home. Police said the man was disorientated and had gone the wrong way. No charges will be laid.”

Dolphins ‘getting high’ on puffer fish: “DOLPHINS’ well-known smarts appear to have led them to drugs. The brainy mammals have been caught on camera chewing on puffer fish that protect themselves by releasing a nerve toxin which, in low doses, appears to have a narcotic effect on the dolphins, according to the Sunday Times. The two-part series, which begins in the UK on Thursday, includes a segment showing dolphins deliberately passing around puffer fish in an apparent effort to milk them of their defence toxins. “After chewing the puffer and gently passing it round, they began acting most peculiarly, hanging around with their noses at the surface as if fascinated by their own reflection.” Mr Pilley said that the dolphins treated the puffer fish differently to their regular prey, which they usually rip apart.”

Taxpayer funded British art gallery paid £16,000 for heap of sheep dung: “A cluster of Scottish sheep droppings strung across wire is one of the art works among a collection the Tate Modern purchased for more than £200,000 from a Mexican artist. The gallery bought the £16,000 installation entitled ‘S**t Models ‘ along with 17 other works by artist Abraham Cruzvillegas. The taxpayer funded gallery in London describes the 2008 creation on its website as ‘sheep excrement, dung, plaster, cardboard, steel and wood’. Mr Cruzvillega admitted he used discarded items he found on the street or in fields for his works when he spent six months in Scotland creating his exhibition; Autoconstruction. ‘They are unplanned assemblages, made to test new dialogues between odd and contradictory objects and prime matter,’ the artist explained.”

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

A surfer’s prayer

December 29, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Bungling arsonist sets himself on fire as he burns down store: “Captured on CCTV, the man is seen creeping into Supps R Us in Melbourne, Australia, clutching a jerrycan at 4am on Boxing Day. The bizarre footage shows him running to the back of the warehouse out of view – before leaping wildly towards the door, his left leg ablaze. As the camera screen clouds up, the man can still be seen stamping his foot and twisting around. The outside camera then captures him wildly hopping all the way down the street. Police have released images of the CCTV and issued an appeal for information. Supps R Us today tweeted: ‘LOOKING FOR A MAN IN MELBOURNE WITH BURNS TO HIS LEFT LEG. Call Crime Stoppers”. Fire crews called to the site at 4.20am spent an hour fighting the flames, which were continually refuelled by exploding bottles. But they were unable to save the shop, which burned to the ground.

America’s new Irish immigrants: “Ireland may no longer need bailout money as its economy emerges from recession, but a wave of emigration that began in 2008 is continuing. And as in the 1980s, many thousands of those moving to the US may be becoming illegal immigrants. Of America's Irish neighbourhoods the one that spans the border between the Bronx and Yonkers in New York may be the most colourful. Old-fashioned Irish bars line the road. Grocery stores offer boiled bacon, oatmeal and tea. The Shamrock Gift Shop sells woollen sweaters, Waterford crystal, and statuettes of angels holding Celtic crosses. Irish immigrants have been settling in the area for decades, driven by recurring economic crises back home. On the main streets, Irish accents predominate. As immigration controls have gradually tightened it has become harder to make the journey. But unemployment, falling salaries, and poor career prospects have been prompting more Irish people to cross the Atlantic"

Should planes have parachutes?: “Given that there is a life-jacket under every seat on a commercial airliner, it might not seem like a bad idea to stuff a chute under there too. In reality, individual parachutes would be impossible to use in an emergency involving hundreds of people, says Guy Gratton, an aviation research fellow at Brunel University in the UK. After all, what are the chances that some 300 people on a plummeting plane have time to don their chute and leap from the plane in an orderly manner? “Frankly, I think not a chance,” says Gratton. Whole-plane parachutes are arguably more suitable in a crisis because they can be deployed quickly. That’s why about 10% of all small general aviation planes are equipped with a single chute that carries the plane, with its passengers, cargo and all.”

Why do zebras have stripes?: “A team of UK researchers now claims it has uncovered evidence that the stripes are used by the African equines to dazzle predators. The markings, they claim, work as an optical illusion that conceal a zebra’s movements and protect it from being attacked. ‘The stripes don’t just confuse big predators like lions – pests and flies are affected too,’ said Professor Johannes Zanker. ‘The highly visible oriented stripes on a zebra’s flank and the narrower vertical stripes on its back and neck give unexpected motion signals that confuse viewers, particularly in a herd of zebras.’ Humans and many animals have something known as a ‘motion detection mechanisms’ which processes the direction in which something is moving. An example of an illusion that can override this mechanism is the barber-pole effect, where the spiral of stripes on a vertical pole appears to move upwards as the pole spins. Zebra stripes capitalise on this type of illusion to help protect the animals. Broad diagonal stripes on a zebra’s flank and the narrower vertical stripes on its back can also confuse this mechanism.

British Keystone Kops keep crashing their cars: “A single police force had nearly 800 car crashes this year, with repairs costing a staggering £396,000, it has emerged. Thames Valley Police recorded 789 crashes involving its patrol cars, with over half of the incidents deemed the fault of the police driver. Thirty members of the public were injured in collisions with vehicles from the force which covers Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. A teenager was killed in one of the accidents when his car collided with a central reservation while he was being pursued by two Thames Valley vehicles. Matt Seddon’s body was thrown into the road and hit by a police car in the incident which has seen eight officers and a member of civilian staff served with misconduct notices. Thames Valley Police press officers have not responded to requests for comment.”

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

A serious threat

December 28, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Massive python strangles security guard at Bali luxury hotel: “Police on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali have warned tourists to be on guard after a huge python killed a security guard at a luxury beachfront hotel. The four-metre snake is still on the loose after the attack early on Thursday at the Bali Hyatt, which is in the popular Sanur area but currently closed for renovation. The security guard, Ambar Arianto Mulyo, spotted the serpent and succeeded in catching it, a police official said. Mulyo, 59, gripped its head with his right hand and its tail with his left – but the snake proved too strong, managing to wrap itself around his neck and strangle him. He was accompanied by friends but they were too terrified to step in and help, Gusti Ngurah Yudistira, the head of the police criminal investigations unit covering the Sanur area, said. “The victim died on the spot as his neck was crushed and he could not breathe,” he said. The snake is still on the loose”

Indian thief who swallowed a victim’s gold chain is fed 96 bananas by police so they can reclaim it: “Police spent 24 hours feeding a thief 96 bananas to retrieve the gold chain he stole and swallowed. Damu Gupta, 28, had snatched the necklace from a doctor minutes into a long-distance train journey from Mumbai to Gondia, central India, last Saturday. But when Dr Sheetal Kamble started screaming, and passengers ran to her rescue, Gupta put the 11g piece of jewellery in his mouth. Police arrested him in Kalyan, the second stop, and spent days conducting scans and X-rays to find it. Finally, on Christmas Day, an ultrasound showed the chain to be in his stomach. From Wednesday afternoon the accused was fed bananas, a natural laxative, by a doctor. Finally, on Thursday afternoon, it was recovered.”

Farmer’s hens lay more eggs when he plays them hits by Andrew Lloyd Webber: “A farmer has claimed his chickens lay more eggs when he plays them soothing operatic music. Steve Ledsham, 64, says egg production soared when he started playing the hits of Andrew Lloyd Webber within earshot of his 24 hens while building a barn at his farm in Wirral, Merseyside. When Mr Ledsham went to collect eggs shortly afterwards, he noticed there were around double the number he had expected to find. He says the dramatic increase, which saw the hens raise their output from four to eight eggs a week each, is all down to his taste for the classic songs of musical theatre. Mr Ledsham claims his hens only appreciate certain kinds of music however, adding that he doubts ‘modern chart rubbish’ by the likes of One Direction or Miley Cyrus would have had such a positive impact.”

Italian “pimp” goes to the beach in Florida: “The Anglo-Italian showgirl was sentenced in July for procuring and grooming prostitutes for Silvio Berlusconi’s bunga bunga parties. But she seemed to have left the weight of the world behind her when she was pictured enjoying a break in the Florida coastal city over Christmas. The 28-year-old acted as a Madame running a stable of more than 30 young women for the ex-Italian premier’s sex parties, a court in Milan ruled. However, she has been allowed to walk free while she appeals the decision. Minetti, a regional councillor for Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party in Milan, helped to recruit 33 female guests, who were given envelopes stuffed with 500 Euro notes and expensive gifts after the dinners at the prime minister’s luxury villa near Milan.” Files included a telephone tap transcript in which a former police officer told a friend sordid details about the bawdy parties. He said: ‘Minetti was there with her chest out kissing Berlusconi continuously.”

Tourist arrested for giving Heil Hitler! salute in holiday photo in Berlin: “A tourist who thought it was amusing to have himself photographed outside the Reichstag in Berlin giving the Heil Hitler! salute has been arrested. The 30-year-old Canadian was standing on the steps of the German parliament building with his right arm raised as his girlfriend, 29, photographed him in the forbidden pose. Police arrived within seconds, handcuffed him and took the memory card of the camera. He risked being formally charged with making a forbidden gesture, an offence for which he could have been jailed for up to six months. But it is understood he will be let off with a fine and a warning. He was freed after several hours in police custody on Saturday after paying bail money…. Any gestures of the old Nazi regime, or the displaying of any of its symbols, is a s serious crime in modern-day Germany.”

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

Sitting around at Yosemite

December 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Generous stranger pays off $20,000 of customers’ outstanding bills at Walmart: “A secret Santa brought an early Christmas gift to cash-strapped shoppers by spending $20,000 paying off their outstanding bills. Staff at Walmart were stunned when Greg Parady asked if he could contribute towards customer’s Christmas layaway bills. After overhearing another shopper say she may not be able to afford her outstanding bill, Mr Parady wandered over to the layaway department to see what he could do to help. After asking the manager to tally up all the outstanding balances, Mr Parady was shocked to hear that $89,000 worth of gifts hadn’t been paid for, and saddened by how many families were struggling to put presents under their tree. The 40-year-old made a significant dent in the debt however, after swiping a variety of personal credit cards through the machine. He paid the bills of six shoppers who were in the store at the time, as well as paying off half of every bill over $200.

Illiterate fashionistas: “Trendy Californian label Wildfox appears to have a spelling scandal on its hands. The brand, which is known for its acid-wash denim, crop tops, cheeky swimsuits, and ironic script on T-shirts, has been called out for misspelling the word ‘weird’ as ‘wierd’ on one of its $108 sweatshirts. Other designs by the label have also been slammed for grammatical errors such as missing punctuation and improper word choice. Wildfox’s New Year Baggy Beach Sweatshirt, currently available for sale on Shopbop, is covered in text that reflects the New Year’s resolutions of many a millennial-aged girl. ‘Drink Less, kiss more, deep sea dive, tropical vacation, adopt a pet, stay wierd,’ the top reads in white uppercase lettering. The last stanza is where the issue arises. The misspell probably occurred because Photoshop and Indesign programs – which Wildfox likely uses to create these graphics – do not have built-in spell-check features

A sheepish pig: “From a distance, they could be mistaken for sheep – but these cute bundles of wool are in fact pigs. The Mangalitsa is a rare breed of pig which inhabits only a few farms in the UK – living in woodland, farms and even on occasion in homes as they are easily house trained…. “The pigs are much more intelligent than people appreciate so it’s hard not to build a relationship with them. ‘As Churchill said, “Cats look down on you, dogs look up to you, but pigs look you straight in the eye!” ‘All pigs love to have their tummies stroked, but the Mangalitsas especially so. They are worth around £1,000, five times the value of an ordinary pig and are fond of fruit and the odd tipple. Mangalitsa pigs are much hardier than normal pigs and moult in the summer to prevent them getting too hot. Unlike normal commercial pigs, they do not get sunburnt. Hair from the pigs is particularly popular in the U.S. as it retains air bubbles under water, making it ideal for tying fishing flies.”

Police in Florida, hand out scratchies to speeding drivers on Christmas Day: “TO PROTECT and serve … and hand out rewards for dangerous driving. Police in Melbourne, Florida, might want to revisit their charter because their Christmas spirit seems to have flouted the usual process of law and order. On Christmas Day, Melbourne cops handed out scratchies to bad drivers who were pulled over for traffic violations such as speeding. Rewarding the reckless drivers was all in the name of Christmas cheer, apparently. “We’re just doing a little bit of a different technique,” Sgt Jamie Rocque told Florida Today. “When we pull the motorists over, we’re also giving them the scratch-off tickets that the officers bought with their own personal funds. “It’s something good to do in light of the holidays. We’re getting a lot of surprised looks … people don’t know what to say.”

A man is wanted by the Police in Germany for riding his motorbike naked: “POLICE in Germany are on the hunt for a cheeky motorcyclist who rode naked through a crowded marketplace. The mystery man uploaded a video of his stunt to YouTube on December 15 under the name ‘Baller Boyz,’ after earlier promising to complete the daring ride if he got more than 1,000 likes on Facebook. Some shoppers were shocked while others were amused as the naked man did a burn out on his R6 motorbike through Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia according to The Local. “It was not unappetising to watch,” said Birgit Weusthoff-Schulze who copped an eyeful as the man rode past her. Police are investigating but admitted after viewing the video that it was a “petty offence”.

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

Redneck bar

December 26, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Dodgy Australian dentist fined pulling out all patient’s teeth: “A DENTIST who pulled out all of a patient’s teeth without permission has been fined and condemned by a tribunal. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found the rural Victorian dentist engaged in professional misconduct after removing all of the man’s 22 teeth without obtaining informed consent. The dentist – who cannot be named because it could identify the patient – said that in November 2010 the patient came in with a severe mouth infection and in severe pain. VCAT said the dentist was concerned the infection would become widespread without prompt action, and the patient suggested he was a drug user who might be going to jail. The dentist said he had viewed it as an emergency and “was not aware of what dental treatment may be available if the patient went to prison.”

Church keeps £100,000 found in a bin-bag on its doorstep after court rules ‘finders, keepers’: “A church in York has been blessed with a £100,000 Christmas gift, after a court ruled it could keep a bin-bag full of cash left on a doorstep of one of its properties. The bag was found outside a house owned by The Parish Church of Saint Thomas with Saint Maurice in August, prompting a police investigation. The money is two-and-a-half times what the church normally raises in an entire year. It was first suspected that the money was criminal property, but as no evidence of such has been found, the cash has been awarded to the church in the Groves, York. Eleanor Course, from the Diocese of York, said the church would use the money in the local community where it was found, but detailed plans are yet to be drawn up. She said: ‘It’s great news for the church’.

New mother stabbed home intruder to death with a steak knife after he broke in with plans to rape her: “Ken Boonstra was stabbed to death by a 26-year-old woman while her husband attacked Boonstra in their Washington home. The family went out to dinner that night and then went to bed by 10pm after ‘triple checking’ the locks on every door. Hours later around 1.40am, the husband woke when their dogs started barking. When he heard the dogs begin to growl, he ran back to get wasp spray which he used on the intruder with little success. The wife originally came into the struggle armed with a baseball bat but that broke during the altercation. ‘When the husband was fighting with the intruder, the wife was the one that went and got the knife, and stabbed the intruder, trying to help her husband out,’ said West. It took several stabs of the knife to get Boonstra to stop fighting.

Chinese smugglers build concrete tunnel under the border with Hong Kong to smuggle trade: “Smugglers dug a ‘professional’ concrete tunnel into Hong Kong equipped with lights, vents, steel reinforcements and even rails to transport goods. The underground path had ‘one end in a rented garage in Shenzhen and another in a thicket of reeds in Hong Kong, totally concealed’. Semi-autonomous Hong Kong, along with Shenzhen in mainland China, are both important trade hubs for the fast-growing and massive market. But the two have very different tariff systems. The as-yet unidentified smugglers sought to exploit their proximity by building a 40-metre-long underground passage. The tunnel stood about 0.8 metres wide and one metre high, just big enough for an adult to crawl through. The project was estimated to have cost three million yuan ($490,000) and taken four months to build

Pregnant Indian women pay farmer to let them touch his five-legged cow’s extra hoof so they will give birth to a boy: “Raj Pratap’s three-year-old male calf, called Raju, has become famous in Raipur, India, since a woman with four daughters touched the animal’s fifth hoof and begged for her next child to be a boy. When she gave birth to a twin boys in February this year, word soon spread that the calf’s fifth leg – a very rare condition which affects just one in every five million cows – was ‘lucky’. Since news got out about the fifth leg, Mr Pratap, a cattle herder, has been swamped by pregnant women who pay to touch the hoof – with 30 women so far stumping up around 500 rupees, around £5, for the privilege. Amazingly, all 30 women have given birth to boys and Mr Pratap is so confident of his ‘miracle calf’ that he offers refunds if the baby born is a girl. This week, on Monday (Dec 23) the cow celebrated its 33rd baby boy after a woman who touched its ‘magical hoof’ gave birth to triplets….all of them boys.”

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

Sometimes you can’t win

December 25, 2013 at 10:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Santa Claus gets hard time in Russia: “A MAN dressed as Santa Claus was found dead after a work Christmas party. The man had threatened two fellow party goers with a knife at the event in Yakutsk, the capital city of the Sakha Republic in Russia, UPI reporte. The man was subdued and taken outside and his feet and hands were tied with rope. The man’s girlfriend reportedly tied her scarf around his mouth to stop him from yelling. The girlfriend escorted the guests out of the property and it was when she returned to check on her boyfriend that she discovered he was dead, investigators said. Investigators are still trying to establish a cause of death.”

‘Turkeydogs’ shepherd and protect turkeys on British farm: “A British farm has trained dogs to herd more than 40,000 turkeys and keep them safe in the run up to Christmas. Mother and daughter team Pip and Kes spend their days shepherding and protecting the birds at Copas Traditional Turkeys in Cookham, West Berkshire. The collie crosses were trained from puppies and are introduced to the barns as soon as the poults are delivered to the farm to allow the birds to get used to their presence and prevent any distress. As puppies they undertook daily training on herding the turkeys, jumping fences, identifying and retrieving stray birds and catching vermin. Whilst the turkeys roam the cherry orchards and spend their days listening to Radio 2 in their barns (it gets them used to noise, particularly human voices), the dogs are constantly on hand to protect the birds and keep them in order. ‘Tom Copas (who mangaes the firm) saw a need for the dogs early on at the farm, as it’s the perfect method for getting our turkeys in from the Cherry Orchards each night.”

Top British surgeon suspended over claims he ‘seared his initials on transplant patient’s LIVER’: “An experienced surgeon has been suspended amid claims he branded a patient’s liver with his initials. It is alleged that Simon Bramhall, a consultant at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, is being investigated after a colleague said he discovered the letters ‘S B’ on an organ during a follow-up operation. It is said that he used argon gas to burn his initials on the patient. The gas is used to seal vessels, but is not usually harmful. A source close to Mr Bramhall said that he had performed ‘hundreds of transplants’. They added: ‘If an organ has been made available by the family of someone who has passed away, the last thing they would want is to find it has been violated. ‘I am hoping this is just a mistake. I don’t know what would possess someone to do that to another human being.”

African inmate chops off his own penis after telling other prisoners he won’t need it because he is not being released before Christmas: “A Kenyan death row inmate chopped off his own penis after missing out on a presidential pardon. After telling fellow prisoners that he would not need the organ anymore, Francis Karuri chopped off the appendage and then continued his work, before passing out on the floor in his cell. He was discovered by guards and taken to the Kenyatta Nation Hospital to be treated for the wound, and unconsciousness due to loss of blood. But, perhaps due to the fact that the injury was caused 13 hours before, the organ was unable to be attached by medics. The inmate, who has so far served 15 years in prison was following proceedings of the Uhuru ceremony where 50 prisoners were sent free. He was hoping that his name would be read out on a list of inmates which would be released in time for Christmas.”

New Japanese island: “A new volcanic island off the coast of Japan has tripled in size since it formed just over a month ago, experts have said. The land mass, which has now been named Niijima, was first spotted on November 20 in the Ogasawara chain around 600 miles south of Tokyo. Initially, scientists were unsure how long it would last because volcanic islets of that type tend to be reclaimed by the sea after a short time. However, the island has actually expanded to 56,000 square metres (13.8 acres) – around three times its size – as a result of continuing eruptions from the volcano below. According to National Geographic, the Japan Meteorological Agency says it now rises to around 80ft above sea level and Japanese scientists believe it is large enough to last for several years, perhaps for good.”

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

College bar

December 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

US building worth $1 demolished: “The US city of Flint’s tallest building, the 19-story Genesee Towers, was reduced to rubble on Sunday. Crowds of people gathered to watch the implosion which transformed the 45-year-old building into some 30,000 tons of broken concrete in a matter of seconds. Uptown Reinvestment bought the building, that had been empty for years, from the city for just $1 (£0.64). Plans are to transform the site into a family-friendly plaza with a science theme as part of a larger downtown redevelopment.

Outraged Indonesian official orders runway blocked after Merpati Nusantara airlines refuses to give him a seat: “Marianus Sae, head of Ngada district in the eastern island of Flores, wanted to get home quickly to Ngada from the city of Kupang on Timor island so that he could attend a meeting. But state-owned Merpati Nusantara airlines refused to sell him a ticket for a flight to Turelelo Soa airport early on Saturday because it was full. “It is outrageous,” Sae was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Globe newspaper. “I begged for a ticket for five hours to fly to Ngada and their answer was: ‘The flight is full’.” The infuriated district chief ordered public order officers — who have more limited powers than police and come under the authority of local governments — to drive cars onto the runway and stop the plane landing, media reports said. Merpati spokesman Riswanto Chendra Putra confirmed the plane was forced to turn back due to the blockade. However he added that two of the plane’s 56 seats had become available at the last minute — but by then Sae had already bought a ticket to travel with another airline.”

Man flu: it affects manly men, research suggests: “Manlier” men are less resistant to the effects of one strain of the flu, new research suggests. Those in favour of the existence of the dreaded ”man flu” had been supported by previous findings that women have a stronger immune response than men, but the reasons remained unknown until now. By analysing blood serum in 53 females and 34 males, the researchers discovered men with higher levels of testosterone displayed weak antibody responses to the flu vaccine when working with the H3N2 strain – a serious and prevalent strain globally. Those men with low levels of testosterone and females didn’t show a decrease in their antibody response to the vaccine.”

Thug blurts out own name: “A thug was caught after declaring his name in an attempt at a menacing threat after brutally attacking a 15-year-old boy. Martyn Dashwood, 32, knocked out teenager Harry Boucher and then stamped on his head during a brawl at a skate park. As he left the scene, the yob advanced on Harry’s friend, shouting: ‘I’m Martyn Dashwood, I’m in the Mafia, you shouldn’t mess with me.’ But the warning backfired as the boys instantly called the police to give a meticulous description of their attacker. The father-of-three has now been jailed for 12 weeks after pleading guilty to assault.”

Burger King: the hottest new restaurant in Paris: “It’s the capital of the nation perhaps more admired for its gastronomy than anywhere else in the world. But the culinary gossip in Paris this past week has had little to do with Michelin stars or tasting menus. When Burger King opened its doors a day earlier than anticipated last week, the news quickly started to trend on Twitter. And the queues began to stretch a long, long way back from the entrance of the fast-food outlet – Burger King’s only one in Paris – in Saint Lazare train station, a busy commuter hub serving the city’s western suburbs. In the run-up to Christmas, the smart gift shops of the station’s mall – still retaining the sheen of a multi-million pound makeover that finished last year – are bustling with shoppers. But nothing even comes close to the Burger King crowds. If opening a restaurant is about generating a buzz, then the franchise had made a dream start

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

Frank fish shop

December 23, 2013 at 6:59 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Iceland judge halts road scheme because it might have impact on ELVES: “In this land of fire and ice, where the fog-shrouded lava fields offer a spooky landscape in which anything might lurk, stories abound of the ‘hidden folk’ – thousands of elves, making their homes in Iceland’s wilderness. Elf advocates have joined forces with environmentalists to urge the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission and local authorities to abandon a highway project building a direct route from the tip of the Alftanes peninsula, where the president has a home, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer. They fear disturbing elf habitat and claim the area is particularly important because it contains an elf church. The project has been halted until the Supreme Court of Iceland rules on a case brought by a group known as Friends of Lava, who cite both the environmental and the cultural impact – including the impact on elves – of the road project. The group has regularly brought hundreds of people out to block the bulldozers.”

Popular Christmas card: “A very personal Christmas card featuring the Bazley-Jackson living room took on a more comic turn than the family intended after their dog Monty contributed his own set of baubles to the image. The card featured all three of the pets belonging to the family from Shepton Mallet, Somerset. But while Toto was cuddled up in his Christmassy dog jacket and cat Mr Pickles appeared the picture of elegance on a chair, it was impossible for receivers not to have their attention drawn towards Monty. The unfortunate chocolate Labrador had his private parts splayed all over neighbours’ mantlepieces – and it has since become a online hit.

Church of England to lose its vestments? “Vicars could soon be conducting services in shell-suits, shorts or even football shirts under radical plans to overturn centuries of Church tradition. Rules requiring the clergy to don traditional vestments are set to be swept aside as part of a ‘makeover’ designed to make services more relevant to modern congregations. If the Church of England Synod approves the reforms, vicars could wear whatever they deem appropriate for all their services – including weddings, baptisms and funerals …. He added: ‘The time has come to end the blanket requirement for everyone to wear robes, but I would be very sad to see that tradition go entirely. ‘We must be sensitive to the fact that the majority of people still enjoy the fact that priests dress up in this Roman clothing, which is what it is.’ He said clergy had ‘very poor dress sense’ and the idea of them turning up in ‘smart casual’ clothes sent a shiver down his spine.

Pitbull owner whose crazed dog savaged five police officers wins legal appeal because THEY let it out of his house during raid: “A pitbull owner who was jailed after his banned dog mauled five police officers in scenes compared to the Battle of Trafalgar has had his conviction overturned. Appeal judges ruled today that Symieon Robinson-Pierre was not responsible for the officers’ injuries, because it was the policemen themselves who let his doberman-pitbull cross named Poison out of his house. At his initial trial, the jury were told they were not allowed to take into account whose fault it was that the dangerous dog was let out. Robinson-Pierre, 26, was jailed for 22 months in January after being convicted of owning a dog dangerously out of control in a public place following a trial at Inner London Crown Court. However, the Court of Appeal ruled today that the way the crown court judge directed the jury prevented the defendant from having a fair trial.”

Mother and son to spend Christmas in Afghanistan after joining the SAME British army squadron: “While most soldiers in Afghanistan will spend Christmas Day missing their loved ones, one mother and son will be spending it just a stone’s throw from each other in Helmand province. Lance Corporal Sonia Doddrell, 40, and son Mark, who is a private, are not only both serving the same tour in Afghanistan, but work in the same logistics squadron in Camp Bastion. Reservist L/Cpl Doddrell, who works for Royal Mail, joined the Territorial Army two-and-a-half years ago, while her son Mark has been a member of the regular army for five years. His mother, whose job is issuing and bringing ammunition back in to Camp Bastion, said she had wanted to join the forces when she was younger but was not allowed, so when she saw an advertisement for reservists, decided to join up. ‘My gran was chuffed for me, so was my grandad. My dad just thought it was a phase I was going through, my two boys just thought I was mad.'”

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

Even crazier

December 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Compare with post of Dec. 13 here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Irish pharmacist refuses girl a life-saving injection: “A 14-year-old girl died in the street after a pharmacy refused her a life-saving adrenaline injection when she suffered an allergic reaction to peanuts at a Chinese buffet. Emma Sloan was denied an EpiPen shot – a special allergy injection – which by law, cannot be obtained from a chemist without a prescription, the Herald reported. Ireland’s Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald last night called for an inquiry into the death. It was reported on RTÉ that the pharmacy regulatory body, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, is examining the case. The teenager told her mother that she became unable to breathe after eating satay sauce in a Chinese restaurant in Dublin, it was reported. Ms Sloan, from Drimnagh, Dublin, was about to take her daughter to Temple Street Hospital in the city but Emma died on the street surrounded by a crowd, according to reports.”

Happiness in the Hart of Hampshire: “The Hampshire district of Hart has been named as the most desirable place to live in the UK for a third year in a row, it has emerged. Nestled in the north-east corner of the county, residents of Hart have the longest life expectancy in the country – 82.9 years for men, compared with the UK average, 79 – and are considered the UK’s healthiest. People earn an average £843 a week compared with the national average of £616, and the employment rate in the area is 80 per cent – nine percentage points higher than the national average. The region, which is centred around the town of Fleet, described as ‘a step back in time’, has 84 square-miles of green wooded landscape and Hampshire’s largest freshwater lake. But Hart residents do pay for their quality of life – with the average house price costing seven times the annual local wage – much higher than the UK average multiple, 5.8 times.”

Pilot ‘delays flight to New York for more than TWO HOURS waiting on sandwich delivery from five-star hotel’: “A foodie pilot allegedly delayed a New York-bound flight by two-and-a-half hours – for gourmet sandwiches. Pakistan International Airlines’ Captain Naushad reportedly demanded the hoagies after finding out there were only peanuts, chips and biscuits on board flight PK711 from Lahore, Pakistan on Saturday. When crew told him sandwiches could only be ordered from a five-star hotel which could take hours to arrive, he insisted he needed his lunch at any cost. The Nation reported that crew sent the pilot’s request to the national carrier’s catering department and then to PIA’s management office in Karachi. Management ‘directed the catering department to meet (the pilot’s) demand.’ The flight, scheduled to leave at 6.45am, ended up flying out of Allama Iqbal International Airport at 9.15am. Dozens of passengers reportedly missed their connecting flights at Manchester and New York due to the delay.”

Topless protest falls flat on Rio’s beaches: “A much-hyped protest for the right to go topless on Rio de Janeiro’s beaches has fallen flat as only a handful of women bared their chests for the movement. More than 100 photojournalists stampeded across the golden sands of Ipanema beach when the first woman took off her bikini top to flout Brazilian law, but just three or four other women joined in. “A breast isn’t dangerous!” said Olga Salon, a 73-year-old Rio native, as she stripped off her black tank top. “It’s a false-Puritanism and indicative of our macho culture that we have a law forbidding that a woman can go topless.” Internationally, Brazil has a reputation as a nation of liberal sexual mores, where nudity is not only tolerated but enthusiastically embraced during Carnival parades. But under Brazil’s penal code, which dates back to the 1940s, female toplessness is an “obscene act,” punishable by three months to a year in prison”

Europe’s sleeper trains disappear: “The demise of the Paris-Madrid overnight service is a symptom of a wider malaise on Europe’s sleeper trains. Some may think that the first through train between Madrid and Paris, inaugurated in 1969 using ground-breaking Talgo train technology to switch between standard and Iberian gauges, deserves a classier send-off. Yet the last direct train between the two capitals set off on Saturday, December 14 from Paris Austerlitz at 19:45, rolling into Madrid Chamartin at a little past 9am the following day, without so much as an official announcement. This is how the Talgo ends: not with a proud press release, but with whimpered confirmation three days before its last journey. For fans of the units’ en-suite sleeper cabins and nifty gauge-swapping axles, it is a familiar story: the night trains linking Zurich and Milan with Barcelona disappeared earlier this year; now it’s the turn of the trains from Paris to Barcelona and Madrid.”

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

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