Sometimes you CAN walk on water

January 31, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Another classic British bureaucratic bungle: “A couple who raised their grandson have been offered child support money almost two decades after they applied – and 18 months after he took his own life. Blundering Child Maintenance Service staff wrote to David and Rosemary Wickenden to say Mitchell, who they took in aged eight in 1995, would finally start receiving cash. But the boy, who had grown up, joined the Army and served in Iraq, hanged himself aged 25 after suffering from depression. The couple from Southampton took in Mitchell and raised him as their own after his parents split up. Mr Wickenden, 74, said: ‘We did all the legwork for child support years ago but never got anywhere, so this just shows what a mess they can make of it. ‘If he was still alive Mitchell would be 27, so how can something like this happen?”

More British bureaucratic bastardry: “A council worker called for police ‘back-up’ after he found a dog poo in a park. The Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officer accused Amber Langtry, 35, of not clearing up after her German Shepherd in Victoria Park, East London, as she was walking with her friend. Miss Langtry denied the allegation, trying to explain that her dog had not been in the area where the attendant found the faeces, but still offered to pick it up to end the confrontation. The council worker issued her with a ticket, which could result in a court hearing and a £1,000 fine, and called officers to the park on New Year’s Day accusing her of ‘non-compliance’. Miss Langtry told the Evening Standard that she and her friend, who recorded the incident, had cleaned up their dogs’ mess earlier in the walk. She also said the park attendant refused to show them the poo she was being challenged over. In the ten-minute video the officer is heard accusing the woman of ‘non-compliance’ and calling officers to the scene…. She was [later] told by Tower Hamlets council, in a five-page letter, that it will not be continuing prosecution”

Handyman firing 3,000 rounds a minute from a machine gun becomes unlikely star of YouTube with 20million hits: “A handyman who is obsessed with guns has become an unlikely online star after a video of him firing 50 rounds a second in a battle roleplay attracted 20million views. Rab Hailstones was filmed deploying his £3,000 ‘machine gun’ filled with plastic bullets during a playful skirmish in a Scottish wood. The video shows an airsoft battle – a growing sport in which participants run around woodland dressed in camouflage shooting each other with plastic pellets from military-style guns. It was posted online via a YouTube channel dedicated to airsoft fights in Scotland, which has received 130million visits. The nine-minute video shows the progress of an entire battle which took place in a forest in Fife – but the undoubted highlight is the appearance of Mr Hailstones with his multi-barrelled machine gun [Gatling gun]. The 40-year-old can be seen spraying enemies with 3,000 pellets a minute from the weapon, which is one of only 30 in the world. Handyman firing 3,000 rounds a minute from an M134 MINIGUN

The fearless workers who stood with their back to a TANK roaring towards them at 40mph to prove its stopping power” “A terrifying way of showcasing the power of the emergency brakes on a military tank has been revealed. Soldiers were recruited as part of the test which was caught on camera in the Netherlands. It shows the men and women lined up in the smart suits with their back to the tank as it speeds down a dirt track towards them.
As they hear it tearing down the path they all look straight ahead, except for one soldier who can’t hold his nerve and quickly peeks around as the tank, which is capable of reaching 42 miles per hour, bears down on them. It stops at the last second in a cloud of dust and the relived soldiers all turn around and clap as the driver pops out the top. The 62.3 ton Leopard 2 tank was developed in Germany in 1979 and has been used by the armies of the Netherlands, Austria, Canada, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Turkey and Chile”

Extremely rare early electric car built during World War Two to overcome petrol shortages: “With its unusual shape and faded paintwork, this vehicle could be an old-fashioned toy car. But in fact, it is one of the first electric cars ever made – and is being put up for auction for more than £20,000. The rare Pierre Faure was discovered abandoned at a car museum in Chatellerault near Poitiers, France. Launched in 1940, the striking car was created by experts in an attempt to overcome fuel shortages during World War Two. Powered by six batteries, it has a capacity of 100 amps at 72 volts – reaching a top speed of just 24mph, with a range of 50 miles. It also features a tubular chassis, an electric motor, front hydraulic brakes and a chain to the rear wheel axle. Despite being put into production, only 25 models were created due to the limited supply of materials during the war. Astonishingly, the surviving model, along with its maintenance book, was discovered in its original state – albeit, with new brakes and replaced tyres.”

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

Another picture retrospective

January 30, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I am slowly catching up. To see what I think were the “best” pictures on this blog in the months of September and October last year click here or here

Magnificent old car

January 30, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It was the first official White House car, A 1909 White Steamer, ordered by President Taft

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Clocks obsolete? “The American mathematician and science fiction writer E.T. Bell famously wrote that time makes fools of us all’. He would probably have been pretty horrified to discover that one in seven Britons admit they can’t tell time on a non-digital watch. A new poll by an online watch retailer has uncovered a worrying trend amongst Britons with regards to telling the time, with many parents not teaching their young children how. The issue hit the headlines during the most recent I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here, where 23 year old TOWIE star Joey Essex admitted he could not fathom the myriad intricacies of the two arms on a clock. All respondents were then asked if they could tell the time on a non-digital watch, with 14 per cent stating ‘no’. However, 32 per cent of these respondents said that they actually owned a non-digital watch, meaning that they wore one but couldn’t properly use it. When asked why they had a non-digital watch if they couldn’t even tell the time, the majority (67 per cent) said it was just a fashion accessory, while 17 per cent said that they planned to get round to learning at some point.

A survivor in remote Australia: “A MAN who was found after going missing in bushland near Chillagoe 28 days ago endured temperatures of almost 40C and survived on butterflies, freshwater mussels and fruit. Shoeless, shirtless and 15kg lighter, Stephen Currie was discovered by locals on a remote track about 10km outside the west Tableland town on Tuesday afternoon, surprising authorities who had abandoned a search three weeks ago. The 40-year-old was reported missing on December 29, sparking an extensive air and land search of the rugged terrain, including the area’s mineshafts and caves. “By all money I thought he was gone,” Mareeba police Det Sen-Constable Vince Marcel said. “It’s unbelievable. “I phoned his mother straight away after (hearing) that. “His family lives in Victoria and they’ve been calling me every couple of days. They were obviously beside themselves.”

Wog thinks he is above the law: “A MAN arrested for amassing almost 500 Sheriff’s warrants for toll road fees faces 916 days in jail if he refuses to pay the $132,000 fine. Santos Bonacci, from Berwick, was bailed from Dandenong Magistrate’s Court yesterday morning on 483 charges for unpaid EastLink and CityLink fees, as well as speeding fines, going back to early 2010. The unemployed 51-year-old spent nine days in custody after twice refusing to apply for bail following his arrest earlier this month. Barrister Peter Pickering, acting for the Sheriff’s Office described Mr Bonacci as being “uncooperative” with police and the court. “At the time of the apprehension of Mr Bonacci he was quite uncooperative. He said the police and court had no right to arrest him,” Mr Pickering told the court. Mr Bonacci was granted bail and must report to Narre Warren police station once a week. He was also barred from publishing offensive comments about Sheriff’s officers on social media after he recently posted a video on YouTube calling a police officer a “c—” and a magistrate a paedophile.”

Teacher arrested after stabbing his friend to death after drunken argument about whether poetry was better than ordinary writing: “A former schoolteacher allegedly killed his friend after a drunken argument about whether poetry or prose was the better form of writing. Investigators in the Sverdlovsk region of Russia said they were looking into the incident today. ‘The literary dispute soon grew into a banal conflict, on the basis of which the 53-year-old admirer of poetry killed his opponent with the help of a knife,’ the regional branch of the federal Investigative Committee said in a statement. The suspect fled his home in the town of Irbit, where the 67-year-old victim was killed after the argument on January 20. He hid at another friend’s house in a nearby village before he was found and detained, the statement said.”

Forget pedal power… this Cozy Coupe does 0-60mph in 17 SECONDS after mechanic created adult version of classic toy car: “A mechanic has created an adult version of classic children’s car the Cozy Coupe. Petrolhead John Bitmead spent five months creating a life-size version of the child’s toy, and copied every detail from the yellow roof, to glassless windows and over-sized drinks holder. And although the kids’ version is well-known for running on pedal power, Mr Bitmead’s newest toy can do 0-60 in just 17 seconds – and has an 800cc engine. Mr Bitmead, who created the car with help from his brother, Geoff, and friend Nigel Douglas, said: ‘I love setting myself a challenge, and once I’d got the idea in my head, I was determined to see it through. ‘We were chatting one day about how more people have probably driven a Cozy Coupe than any other kind of car – and it snowballed from there. The Cozy Coupe toy is made by American firm Little Tikes and in 2004 the company had sold six million of the red and yellow cars.”

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

Wisdom (?) about wives

January 29, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her — David Bissonette

After marriage, husband and wife become two sides of a coin; they just can’t face each other, but still they stay together.. Sacha Guitry

By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll be happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher. — Socrates

The great question… which I have not been able to answer… is, What does a woman want? — Dumas

I had some words with my wife, and she had some paragraphs with me. — Sigmund Freud

‘Some people ask the secret of our long marriage.. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.’ — Anonymous

‘There’s a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking.?? It’s called marriage.’ — Sam Kinison

‘I’ve had bad luck with both my wives. The first one left me, and the second one didn’t.’ — James Holt McGavra

Two secrets to keep your marriage brimming?
1. Whenever you’re wrong, admit it,
2. Whenever you’re right, shut up. — Patrick Murra

The most effective way to remember your wife’s birthday is to forget it once…. Nash

You know what I did before I married?? Anything I wanted to.– Anonymous

My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met — Henny Youngman

A good wife always forgives her husband when she’s wrong.– Rodney Dangerfield

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

NZ man fights off shark, stitches himself: “A NEW Zealand man has survived being attacked by a shark: driving it off with his knife, stitching his own wound onshore and going to the pub for a beer before heading to hospital. Junior doctor James Grant was spearfishing with friends near Colac Bay at the base of the South Island on Saturday when he was attacked by what he believed was a seven-gill shark. The 24-year-old was in about 2m of murky water when he felt a tug on his leg, which he initially thought was a mate playing a trick on him. However, he wasn’t scared. “(I thought) bugger, now I have to try and get this thing off my leg.” He already had a knife in his hand and stabbed at the shark. “I am not sure how effective it was. I guess it let go so something must have happened, put a few nicks in it.” He quickly made it onto rocks on shore. He gave himself stitches using a first aid kit he kept in his vehicle for pig hunts. He and his friends then went to the Colac Bay Tavern, where he was given a bandage because he was dripping blood on the floor. The stitching was finished off when he went to Invercargill Hospital, where he was back at work on Monday.”

Marlboro man dies of smoking disease: “Eric Lawson, who portrayed the rugged Marlboro man in cigarette ads during the late 1970s, has died. He was 72. Lawson died on January 10 at his home in San Luis Obispo of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, his wife, Susan Lawson said on Sunday. Lawson was an actor with bit parts on such TV shows as Baretta and The Streets of San Francisco when he was hired to appear in print Marlboro ads from 1978 to 1981. A smoker since the age of 14, Lawson later appeared in an anti-smoking commercial that parodied the Marlboro man and an “Entertainment Tonight” segment to discuss the negative effects of smoking. Susan said her husband was proud of the interview, even though he was smoking at the time and continued the habit until he was diagnosed with COPD. “He knew the cigarettes had a hold on him,” she said. “He knew, yet he still couldn’t stop.” A few actors and models who pitched Marlboro brand cigarettes have died of smoking-related diseases. They include David Millar, who died of emphysema in 1987, and David McLean, who died of lung cancer in 1995. [72 is not a bad lifespan, though. Many die sooner]

World’s tallest woman saved from paralysis and going blind after doctors remove huge tumour from her brain: “The world’s tallest woman might finally stop growing after doctors removed a tumour from her brain. Siddiqa Parveen, who is estimated to be 7ft 8in tall, travelled nearly 1,000 miles from her village in West Bengal for doctors in Delhi to save her life. Before the operation, the 28-year-old had a spine ‘on the verge of breaking’ and was losing her sight as a result of her continuous growth. Siddiqa suffered from gigantism brought on by the tumour, which was located on the pituitary gland, causing it to produce excess growth hormone. She already had fractures in her spine and has been unable to stand up straight for years – and doctors in India believed if left untreated her increasing weight would cause her back to snap. They also feared the ‘massive’ tumour would cause her to go blind, forcing them to transport her from her remote village in West Bengal to Delhi. Neurosurgeon Dr Ashish Suri, of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, where Siddiqa was operated on, said the operation had been a success.”

?Photos from Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses’ royal tomb three thousand years after its creation: “These colourful images were taken in the final resting place of Ramesses IV, who succeeded to the throne in about 1156 B.C. but reigned for only six years. And more than 3,000 years after its creation, the tomb, located in East Valley of the Kings in Thebes, Egypt, retains its extraordinary beauty. Ramesses IV inherited the throne after the assignation of Ramesses III but took over in a time of economic decline and as a result, while his tomb is large, it is considered relatively simplistic in design and decoration. Photographer Andrey Nekrasov, from Ukraine, was able to obtain permission from the Egyptian Government to special snap the murals using a flash. He added: ‘It is very difficult to get permission to photograph inside the crypt of a Pharaoh in the Valley of the Kings – but I managed it.”

Bobby the cocker spaniel can recognise money… and knows how to spend it too: “Bobby the cocker spaniel has realised that his good looks alone will persuade passers-by to part with their cash. Now the dog from Changchun, the capital of Jilin Province in north-east China, has become a local celebrity for his remarkable talent for recognising money – and spending it. Each day Bobby hangs around the lottery station run by his owner Wang Chun, waiting for generous looking customers. As soon as he sees one taking out cash for tickets, he knows to turn on the charm. If someone gives him a one-yuan note he will pick it up in his mouth and rush to a nearby grocery store to buy his favourite snacks, which include sausages and chicken wings. According to Mrs Wang, the eight-year-old has bought snacks for himself for the past five or six years. She adds that Bobby can’t be fooled. If a piece of paper along with a currency note were put before him he would always pick up the note. And if a small note and a large denomination note were put in front of him he would take the large one.”

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

Don’t look behind you

January 28, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A 7-ton African elephant snuck up behind some unaware tourists in Zimbabwe — but it wasn’t aggressive, just curious

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Google glitch causes man to get thousands of unwanted emails: “A strange combination of a Google glitch and a Gmail outage appears to have led to a random US man receiving thousands of unwanted emails. David Peck, of Fresno, California, was getting about 500 emails every hour on Friday due to a glitch in Google Search. When users searched for “Gmail” and clicked on “Email”, one of the top links, while logged into their Google accounts, lead to a new email compose box that opened up with Peck’s email already entered into the recipient field. As a result, Peck’s inbox was receiving thousands of emails with no text.”

Man runs into fire to save his Xbox games console: “WHAT would you run back into a burning house for? A loved one? A family pet perhaps? One man diced with death for…his Xbox. As reported by American news station ABC15, an unnamed man from Kansas woke up to his house engulfed in flames and proceeded to run outside to safety. Once outside he looked on, gathered his thoughts, and remembered his game console was still inside, at the mercy of the encroaching fire. Much to the shock of fire officials and paramedics, he dashed back into the burning house to rescue his Xbox. He reappeared with the unit unharmed but he did suffer smoke inhalation according to the report. At least his game progress was safe. An electrical junction box was deemed the cause of the fire which caused $80,000 of damage to the home.”

Police slam woman’s ‘reckless’ actions after she jumped onto the open carriage of a freight train: “STARTLING vision has emerged of a woman’s dice with death at a train station in the Blue Mountains. Channel 7 has obtained the footage of a woman jumping onto an open carriage of a freight train as it rolled through Springwood station at roughly 20km/h last Wednesday night. The woman slipped in between carriages and ended up on the tracks but miraculously survived. She was left bloodied and bruised and treated by paramedics at the station. Police said they decided not to charge the woman but slammed her “reckless” actions. “She learnt a lesson the hard way,” Blue Mountains inspector Mick Bostock told Channel 7. Train driver Dave Mathie said he was “absolutely stunned” the woman survived the incident.”

Gastronomic voyeurism is the latest craze in South Korea: “WATCHING someone eat food via webcam is the latest craze in South Korea. A report by Reuters suggests this gastronomic voyeurism is turning on thousands of viewers. One particular star of the scene is Park Seo-yeon, known as “The Diva”, who broadcasts herself eating in her apartment up to three hours every day. Park lays out a buffet of dishes in front of her computer and during a session shows off her courses and shovels down the grub while talking to online guests. Viewers can chat with her or send her gifts that translate into cash. Park earns more than US$9,000 a month from the gobbling gig and has even quit her regular day job as a result of her popularity. Park explains: “People enjoy the vicarious pleasure with my online show when they can’t eat that much, or don’t want to eat food at night, or are on a diet.” One viewer said: “It feels as if I am eating that much food with her. I think that’s what the show is about. And probably, it’s comforting for people who eat alone.”

Be afraid: this super leech can survive at -320 degrees: “WHILE many in the US battle persistent below-zero temperatures, there’s one member of the animal kingdom that wouldn’t have a problem with the frigid conditions: the ozobranchid leech. A team of Japanese researchers recently discovered that Ozobranchus jantseanus is capable of surviving extremely cold temperatures. And while the so-called super leech’s resistance to the cold is remarkable in its own right, scientists are interested in learning how the organism is capable of such a feat since it could hold the key to cryopreservation, the process of preserving cells and tissues at sub-zero temperatures. Scientists first witnessed the parasite’s extraordinary ability when they stumbled upon a frozen turtle with the still-living leech attached. Tested at minus 90 degrees Celsius (minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit) and in liquid nitrogen at minus 196 degrees C (minus 320 degrees F), the ozobranchid was the only type of leech that survived both temperatures for 24 hours. Though the other species all survived a day in a freezer set to minus 130 degrees F, they perished in the liquid nitrogen.”

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

Doggy hug

January 27, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This is a Photo of a Pup being sprung from MACC moments before being scheduled for Euthanasia. If anyone ever wonders why we crazy dog rescuers and crazy dog people do what we do, Just show them this photo, this is what it’s all about! This dog is actually given the rescuer a hug! This dog knows his/ her life has been spared and he/she has been given a second chance.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Airlines passenger uses first class ticket for free meals: “A PASSENGER has been busted using his airline ticket in a rather surprising way. The man used his first-class ticket to score free meals and drinks at a VIP airport lounge nearly every day for a year, the Kwong Wah Yit Poh reported. He changed his flight itinerary more than 300 times within the year so he could enjoy the facilities at the Xi’an Airport in Shaanxi, China. What’s more, he cancelled his ticket for a refund when its validity was about to expire. Staff members were less than impressed to discover what the man was up to, but a spokesman said there was no way to stop this “rare” act.

Cockroach races: “The Story Bridge Hotel in inner-city Brisbane held its annual Australia Day Cockroach Races on Sunday afternoon. Thousands gathered at the Kangaroo Point pub to watch the six-legged critters scuttle towards glory. The races are held in a circular track and the roaches are released from an upturned bucket in the middle of the track. The first roach to scuttle to the track’s edge is the winner. You can buy a roach for $5 or bring your own along. “We do supply cockroaches, we buy them and fly them up from Melbourne,” reads the event details. “But this is often not enough, so patrons are being encouraged to BYO roach.” The winner receives a $200 voucher to the pub and the honour of serving as a ‘Cockroach Racing Ambassador’ for next year’s competition. Second place receives $25 in cash, third place $15.”

Branson’s Virgin Galactic still has NO licence to fly space tourists and NO rocket powerful enough to take them, claims controversial biography: “A new book about business mogul Sir Richard Branson claims his bold plans for a space tourism company are in danger of turning into an expensive ‘white elephant’. Branson Behind The Mask, by Tom Bower, claims Virgin Galactic hasn’t got a powerful enough rocket to take customers into space and no licence from American aviation chiefs to do so, despite the billionaire’s confident claims that flights will begin in Autumn. ‘Virgin Galactic is in danger of turning into a white elephant,’ he told the Sunday Times. He added that Branson had so far only managed to ‘fire a primitive rocket for 20 seconds in the Earth’s atmosphere’. During a test flight in California, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo reached a top speed of Mach 1.4. But the author says more needs to be done to get tourists into orbit”

Scientists develop PURPLE tomatoes to create 2,000 litres of modified fruit juice set to reap multiple health benefits: “Purple tomato juice with extra health benefits is on the way to Britain. The tomatoes, which are genetically modified, have been developed by UK scientists but grown in Canada, where restrictions on GM products are looser. The crop has been produced in an Ontario glasshouse and is set to yield 2,000 litres of tomato juice, for use in research which could pave the way for it to be sold in shops. The purple tomatoes have anti-inflammatory effects and were shown to slow down cancer in mice. They also have double the shelf life. The colour of the tomatoes is derived from high levels of anthocyanins, compounds normally found in blueberries, blackberries and other deeply coloured berries.”

British Catholics lean to Left as Anglicans go Right: “Catholics are more likely to vote Labour while Church of England worshippers most consistently back the Conservatives, according to new research. Think tank Theos said they have carried out the first in-depth analysis into the relationship between religion and politics in Britain. Catholics were found to be the most left-wing of Christian groups and more pro-welfare than Anglicans, who were said to be more authoritarian in their political values. Non-religious people are most consistently libertarian, taking a strong line against censorship and are sceptical about management and the fair distribution of wealth. Nick Spencer, Theos’s research director and co-author of the report, said that while there are clear alignments between religious views and voting, ‘block votes’ do not exist in Britain

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

Train Drivers

January 26, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Train Driver (Royalty of all skilled workers) dies in a car accident on his 40th birthday and finds himself at the Pearly Gates. A brass band is playing, the angels are singing a beautiful hymn, there is a huge crowd cheering and shouting his name, and absolutely everyone wants to shake his hand.

“Totally confused and a little embarrassed, the train driver sheepishly looks at Saint Peter and says “Saint Peter, I tried to lead a God-fearing life, I loved my family, I tried to obey the 10 commandments, but congratulations for what? I honestly don’t remember doing anything really special when I was alive. Is it because I’m a Train driver the Royalty of all skilled workers??”

“Congratulations for what?” says Saint Peter, totally amazed at the man’s modesty. “We’re celebrating the fact that you lived to be 160 years old! God himself wants to see you!” He looks up at Saint Peter and says “Saint Peter, I lived my life in the eternal hope that when I died I would be judged by God and be found to be worthy, but I only lived to be forty.”

“That’s simply impossible son,” says Saint Peter, “We’ve added up your time sheets.”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

High-fliers outsource everyday chores and romantic deliveries: “When a top Sydney surgeon posted a request on the Airtasker outsourcing website, offering to pay a stranger to travel to Texas to collect a bespoke engagement ring, the site’s administrator thought it was a hoax and took it down. After the task was verified, Airtasker runner Alexa Enthoven flew out to Houston on a Tuesday last year, and was back in time for the surgeon to propose to his girlfriend with the custom-designed ring on the Friday. The surgeon paid all her expenses plus a $1000 fee for her time. “It was just a fun adventure [but] it was a bit nerve-racking having such a valuable item on me on the plane,” Ms Enthoven, who is one of Airtasker’s top-rated runners, said. Airtasker chief executive Tim Fung said his service was used by many corporate high-fliers who were too time poor to attend to their personal lives.”

Italian 18th-century oil painting damaged by cork from fizzy wine bottle: “An Italian manager who was asked to crack open a bottle of fizzy spumante was horrified to see the cork sail straight through a valuable 18th century oil painting. The cork shot out of the bottle and left a bullet-like hole in the canvas of the painting, which depicts a battle scene with knights in armour astride prancing horses. The unfortunate incident, which has just come to light, happened a few days before Christmas when Roberto Cassago was asked to open the bottle of sparkling wine during a party held in council offices in Milan. But as he popped the cork, the celebratory mood in Palazzo Isimbardi, which houses Milan’s provincial government, turned to shock as party-goers surveyed the damage to the huge painting, which is by an unknown artist. The damage is now being inspected by insurance assessors, with the repair bill expected to come to at least 1,000 euros (£825). Mr Cassago has said that if the council’s insurance policy does not cover the damage, he will pay for the repairs himself.”

Why you’ll never see a homing pigeon flying over a forest: “Homing pigeons’ ability to navigate relies on hedges and boundaries which makes it unlikely they will ever be seen flying over a moor or forest, researchers have found. They found that pigeons were more able to memorise flight paths when the landscape below had obvious borders, such as rural areas with hedges or copses. They avoided dense areas like forests or sparse areas like moors. ‘We discovered that pigeons’ ability to memorise routes is highly influenced by the visual properties of the landscape in a 250 metre radius below them,’ said lead author Dr Richard Mann of Uppsala University Sweden, formerly of Oxford University where he conducted the study. ‘Looking at how quickly they memorise different routes, we see that that visual landmarks play a key role. “Pigeons have a harder time remembering routes when the landscape is too bland like a field or too busy like a forest or dense urban area. “The sweet spot is somewhere in between; relatively open areas with hedges, trees or buildings dotted about. Boundaries between rural and urban areas are also good.”

An instant way of foiling coffee thefts: Store managers display empty jars because so much was being stolen: “Managers at a Co-op store resorted to displaying only empty jars of instant coffee because so much was being pinched. Shoppers were told they could claim a full one at the till once they had paid. The tactic, introduced in the centre of Blackpool two months ago, was deemed such a good idea a second branch did the same thing. But the practice was stopped this week after the manager of a Tesco store spotted the empty jars and tweeted about them. Matt Ashby sparked a debate by posting a picture of four shelves of empty coffee containers, including a £7.99 200g jar of Douwe Egberts and a £6.79 200g jar of Nescafe Gold Blend. He tweeted: ‘Wow, all coffee in empty jars in Blackpool Co-op.’’ Full jars were back on the shelves on Friday. A shop worker said: ‘We had been losing quite a bit.’ The Co-op said: ‘This is not a central policy.’”

Would you pay £2.40 for a slice of TOAST? New ‘artisanal toast bars’ spring up in San Francisco selling posh grilled bread: “The rich of San Francisco have found a new way to flaunt their wealth – buying artisanal toast. Bakeries and cafes in the city have been cashing in on the wealth of the resident Silicon Valley high flyers by selling gourmet toast made with ‘Josey Baker sourdough’, featuring toppings such as ‘smallbatch almond butter’ and ‘sour strawberry jam’. One San Franciscan blogger for Venturebeat.com complained that he paid a whopping $4 (£2.40) for a single slice of toast coated with the preserve at a café called The Mill, which also offers the nutty butter option. A writer for the Pacific Standard believes the gourmet toast fad in San Francisco can be traced back to a coffee shop called Trouble. From there it spread across the city – but it’s reached Britain’s shores, too. Menu highlights include flour station sourdough toast – £3.50 for two slices – and Somerset salted butter, according to The Guardian.”

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

Only in China

January 25, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Note that the person above is 1102 feet above the ground and is sweeping the dirt off this twenty-first century engineering marvel with a broom that was designed centuries ago and has no safety feature.

Aizhai Bridge in Hunan province is 336 m (1,102 ft.) high and has a 1,176 m (3,858 ft.) span. It connects two traffic tunnels in the mountains, cutting the time needed to traverse the canyon from 30 minutes to 1 minute. Construction took five years.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Dumb cop suspended after a prisoner he was driving goaded him to drive the police car to 140mph – and then reported him: “A police driver accused of being a ‘show-off’ has been suspended after driving at 140mph when a prisoner urged him to go as fast as he could. After egging him on, the criminal passenger complained to Durham Police about being driven at twice the legal limit and the Pc has now had his licence revoked, it was revealed today. The officer put his foot down when he was been taking the prisoner from Leeds to a custody suite in Darlington. The officer was said to have told the passenger ‘I’ll show you’ or ‘Let’s see’ and accelerated away, reaching up to 140mph. The prisoner was dropped off and told staff at the custody desk how fast they had been going.

Would-be mugger ‘drowned in canal after victims fought back and pushed him in’: “A petty career criminal plunged into a canal and drowned as he tried to rob two men on a city centre towpath, it is believed. Steven Cane, 25, was rushed to hospital after falling into the Rochdale Canal, in Manchester, but died two days later. One of the two men he targeted also fell into the water but clambered out and has made a full recovery. The two men who shoved the mugger into the water will be questioned by police about the incident – but officers are not planning to treat them as suspects as it is believed they were victims of crime. A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out but it is thought Cane – who is said to have a ‘catalogue’ of previous convictions – died from drowning. A 17-year-old boy – suspected of being the robber’s accomplice – was arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery and attempted murder following the incident.”

Mad black crashes bus: “A MAN attacked the driver of a Greyhound bus as it travelled on a US highway, causing it to go off the road and injuring 24 passengers, authorities say. Passenger Susana Ordinola says the man got up from his seat, ran toward the driver and screamed, “Everybody’s going to die”. He then began hitting the driver and grabbed the steering wheel. The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) said several of the 41 passengers aboard helped subdue Maquel Morris, who faces more than two dozen felonies. The bus came to a rest shortly before 2am on Thursday in a median, just missing vehicles speeding down the highway at about 120 km/h. Morris, 25, who reportedly was hallucinating, got off the bus and ran into the desert, but he returned about 30 minutes later. Some passengers cursed and threw rocks at him before paramedics intervened. None of the passengers taken to hospitals had life-threatening injuries, according to the DPS. {Morris has a criminal record]

How the googly-eyed mantis shrimp sees the world like no other animal: “They are, by any standard, an astonishing set of eyes. Mantis shrimp, with their large stalk eyes, have stunned scientists with ‘superhuman’ vision receptors far beyond any other animal. Researchers found the animals have 12 different types of photoreceptors – when four to seven are all that is needed to encode every color. A number of tests were conducted, including training the shrimps to respond to certain colours and using a two-way choice test with food as a reward. They believe the animal may have evolved to see in brightly coloured coral reefs – but admit they aren’t really sure why. Researcher Hanne Thoen found that the mantis shrimp (Haptosquilla trispinosa),which has 12 colour channels, has worse colour vision than humans, which have three colour channels. ‘Theoretically, mantis shrimp should be far better at distinguishing colours than we are,’ Ms Thoen said.”

Hairdresser stabs customer in the chest with scissors after he complained he didn’t like his haircut: “A hairdresser in China lost his temper with an unhappy customer and stabbed him in the chest. The unnamed male customer was unhappy with his cut, so the hairdresser pierced him with a pair of scissors at a salon in Beijing. The hairdresser, only named as Bao, can be seen on CCTV footage running over to the customer as he sits in his chair, plunging the scissors into his chest. His colleagues told police that he had only been working in the salon for four days when he attacked the customer, Shanghaiist reports. The victim had to undergo surgery as the scissors caused damage to his lung, but is recovering in hospital. Bao fled the scene, but Beijing police have issued a call for his arrest.”

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

Norway’s men’s curling team in the uniform that they will wear for Sochi’s Winter Olympics

January 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

What happened to Scandinavian good taste?

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Large chunk of Chinese internet traffic redirected to small Wyoming building: “In one of the more bizarre twists in recent internet memory, much of the internet traffic in China was redirected to a mysterious company in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on Tuesday. The China Internet Network Information Centre, a state-run agency that deals with internet affairs, said it had traced the problem to the country’s domain name system. Those servers, which act as a switchboard for internet traffic behind China’s Great Firewall, routed traffic from some of China’s most popular sites, including Baidu and Sina, to a block of internet addresses registered to Sophidea, a company that – until last year – was housed on a residential street in Cheyenne and moved to a two-storey building last year. Sophidea appears to be a service that redirects traffic from one address to another to mask a person’s whereabouts – or to evade a firewall. Some technologists surmised on Tuesday that the disruption might have been caused by Chinese internet censors who attempted to block traffic to Sophidea’s websites but mistakenly redirected traffic to the service instead.

Drop-off, pick-up, go, stop, yes, no: Is this the craziest street sign you’ve seen?: “FORGET taking an IQ test. If you can decipher Sydney’s most confusing street sign within 30 minutes, you’re a genius-level intellect or some kind of parking code robot. The puzzling sign – actually a collection of 11 different signs, all suspended from a single post – presents a blizzard of baffling information to Bathurst St motorists. Some of the signs appear to contradict others. A lawyer might be handy for working out the fine print to discover just when parking is or isn’t allowed. This Rubik’s cube of street signage includes a rare triple-zone feature, variously accommodating loading, taxis and school pick-ups and drop-offs. One of the most recently added signs, a special event clearway warning, includes this droll line: “Normal parking restrictions apply at all other times.”

Commuter chaos after leak fills subway signal control room with quick-drying CEMENT: “Transport in central London was severely disrupted today after a signal control room at one of the capital’s busiest stations was flooded with cement. The leak at Victoria station forced Transport for London to suspend the Victoria Line between Warren Street and Brixton. The incident took place while contractors were working on a long-term upgrade of Victoria Station. Nigel Holness, London Underground’s operations director, said: ‘This afternoon our contractors were working on the new station in an area next to the Victoria line signal control room. ‘These works involved the use of water and cement which leaked into the room, damaging equipment. ‘Our engineers are working hard to resolve the situation as soon as possible to get services back up and running, but the line is expected to be affected for the remainder of the day while repairs are carried out.’

Woman left with 272 needles in her head after a PORCUPINE falls from a lamp post onto her: “A woman was left with 272 needles stuck in her scalp after a porcupine fell on her head. Sandra Nabucco, 52, from Gavea, Rio de Janeiro, was walking her dog when the painful accident took place. The housewife walked under a lamp post when the animal dropped from above. The Brazilian woman was taken to a nearby hospital by neighbours where surgeons removed over 200 needles from her scalp. There, she was given antibiotics to prevent infection. Speaking with Brazilian news site Globo, Ms Nabucco said: ‘It was quite a shock. ‘I felt something land on my head and then felt the spines with my hands. The pain was enormous. ‘I’m a strong woman; an old person or a child would have died. The animal is said to have survived the fall.”

An exhibition of stolen art works in Italy: “ITALY’s cultural police, who have taken a leading role in the fight against the smuggling of antiquities, have put on show a trove of recovered stolen art in Rome from Etruscan funerary urns to Renaissance paintings. Dozens of works are being displayed in the presidential palace in the Italian capital in a special exhibition also intended to show off a police force that is called in to consult on art thefts around the world. “The turnover from the illegal trade in art is fourth in the world after arms, drugs and financial products,” said Mariano Mossa, head of the cultural police force. Last year the police found a painting Le Nu au Bouquet by Russian-born Jewish painter Marc Chagall in a private collector’s home in Bologna that had been stolen from a US tycoon’s yacht in Italy in 2002.”

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

A ladybird bug on a yellow flower

January 23, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

New York McDonald’s cashier punches woman who demanded cheese in a cheeseburger: “A WOMAN was punched in the face by an enraged McDonald’s cashier when she demanded cheese on her young son’s Happy Meal cheeseburger, her lawyer told the court. New York woman Gui Ying Shi, 35, sued a Brooklyn McDonald’s franchise after cashier Marisol Acosta hit her for complaining that her young son’s Happy Meal contained a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger, lawyer Lawrence Glynn said in the Brooklyn Supreme Court trial. “She starts cursing at her, calls her stupid, said, ‘You need to learn to speak English,’ ” Mr Glynn said, reports the New York Post. “Ms. Acosta throws a left cross to Ms. Shi’s right jaw. Knockout! Knocks out a tooth.” The McDonald’s franchise is liable for Ms Acosta’s actions, Mr Glynn said, because none of the three managers present tried to stop the violence.” Fast food franchises in NYC employ a lot of minorities and they do seem to be much less disciplined than franchises elsewhere

Rabbit in ear of Nelson Mandela statue must be removed, South Africa says: “A NEW, 9-metre sculpture of Nelson Mandela is billed as the biggest statue of the South African leader. It also has a tiny, barely visible quirk: a sculpted rabbit tucked inside one of the bronze ears. South African officials want the miniature bunny removed from the statue, which was unveiled outside the government complex in Pretoria, the capital, on December 16, a day after Mandela’s funeral. The department of arts and culture said it didn’t know the two sculptors, Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren, had added a rabbit, said to be a discreet signature on their work. Earlier this week, South Africa’s Beeld newspaper quoted the artists as saying they added the rabbit as a “trademark” after officials would not allow them to engrave their signatures on the statue’s trousers.”

Puzzle geeks help crack coded message left by dying grandmother to her grandchildren: “INTERNET sleuths have united to help a woman crack a decades-old riddle left to her by her dying grandmother. Janna Holm turned to the site Ask MetaFilter to help her crack her grandmother’s “cancer-addled ramblings” – a code written on the front and back of index cards left to her and her cousins when her grandmother died in 1996. “She seemed really confused, but she left these cool codes that I thought I would decipher.” Puzzle geeks took up the challenge and within 14 minutes had solved the back of the card – the first letters of every word of the Lord’s Prayer. Armed with the knowledge the code had a religious theme, forum members began scouring Christian texts, with one member even converting the text of the King James Bible to acronyms. Ms Holm now believes the front of the card was a personal prayer of her grandmother’s and posted the following partially decoded text on the forum. “It’s nice to just have an idea of what it is and what, in general terms, an idea of what she was thinking about in her last couple weeks.

Bleach-bomb idiots who targeted four-year-old girl jailed for a year: “Documents tendered to the court revealed Roan threw a pair of socks out of her car window at an oncoming vehicle because they were “smelly”. Jackson then wound down her window and yelled out “skanks” to two eight-year-old girls walking past, before throwing a full can of V energy drink at a woman on the footpath. The court heard Jackson then threw a bottle of bleach and gel at a mother who was pushing a six-month-old baby in a pram and holding hands with her four-year-old daughter. The bleach splashed onto the four-year-old girl’s clothes, face and eyes, causing her immediate distress and trauma, the court heard. The mother of the injured girl had the foresight to run inside the local childcare centre to flush her daughter’s eyes with water before paramedics arrived. The girl did not suffer any long-term injuries as a result.”

Beating your wife is fine… if you’re a baron – and other rules from 17th century book of women’s rights: “The first ever English book of women’s rights, written in the 17th century, is set to go under the hammer. The revolutionary read is the first book in English to compile laws on the rights of women and is expected to fetch over £3,000 when it reaches sale. The book, entitled The Lawes Of Resolutions Of Women’s Rights: or The Lawes, Provision for Women, was compiled by Thomas Edgar and sold by John Grove in 1632. The work features the laws and rights applicable to women including issues such as divorce, polygamy, marriage and rape. It features such intriguing chapters as ‘What Persons Women May Not Marry’, ‘The Baron May Beat His Wife’ and ‘Of Wooing’.

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

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