Not exactly wrong …

February 28, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Royal Mail bans delivery on whole street after dog bites postman: “Postmen are refusing to deliver letters to 60 homes on the same street because of an ‘unacceptable level of risk’ after one of them was bitten by a family’s pitbull. Residents of Worcester Road, a cul-de-sac in Whitebirk, Blackburn, Lancashire, have been told they must now collect their post from the local delivery office. It comes after a seven-stone American pitbull belonging to one of their neighbours bit a postman because the child holding his lead was not strong enough to restrain the animal, police said. Worcester Road locals have branded Royal Mail’s decision to stop deliveries ‘disgusting’ and ‘ridiculous’, while the dog’s owner said it was ‘out of order’ to punish the entire street. After the incident last Thursday, residents were ironically informed by letter that deliveries to their street had been suspended with immediate effect.”

Towering flames from coalmine blaze which has been burning for three weeks: “A wall of fire has transformed a coal mine into a scene reminiscent of a volcano eruption, as rescue operations escalate at the Australian town of Morwell. Dramatic photographs have emerged of an out-of-control fire at Hazelwood open-cut coal mine, which has left a town of nearly 14,000 people exposed to smoke and ash. Sick and elderly people are being urged to leave the town, amid mounting concern over the health risks associated with rising carbon monoxide levels. Fresh fears of potential landslides have emerged, as firefighters pour tens of thousands of water on the out-of-control fire at the mine pit. While firefighters do their best to contain the blaze, there are new concerns that the mine’s walls may not be structurally sound with cracks opening up along the mine’s southern walls.

Police dog locks teeth around chef’s leg causing FOUR-inch wound: “A police dog left an innocent man with an inch-deep wound in his leg after attacking him on his own doorstep. Azmat Farooq, 37, was bitten when he returned from his job as a hotel chef to his home in Longsight, Manchester, at the same time as police were hunting a wheel alloy thief. As a friend dropped him off the dog attacked – leaving him with a wound four inches long which put him in hospital for four days. The dog’s future is uncertain after it was dropped immediately from police use, and the conduct of the officers involved is being reviewed. Police have not confirmed what will happen to the dog but it is thought it may be put up for rehoming instead of being put down. Mr Farooq, who works at the Manchester Airport Marriott Hotel, said: ‘At the time I thought I was going to die, it’s a very big wound. ‘Although I was angry at the time I have appreciated the police efforts since. They have been asking how I am, checking up on me and an officer came to see me in hospital.'”

Murderer identified by parrot: “An Indian journalist managed to catch the person who killed his wife after getting a tip off – from their pet parrot. Vijay Sharma, the editor of a Hindi daily newspaper in Agra in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, returned home to find both his wife Neelam Sharma, 45, and her pet dog, had been murdered. The house had also been ransacked and jewellery and cash stolen. Police had no obvious leads, but that changed when Vijay’s nephew Ashutosh visited their house after the murder. Mr Sharma said: ‘The parrot that was unusually quiet suddenly started shrieking and flapping around the cage. ‘It was clearly distressed about something and only calmed down when Ashutosh left. ‘Then when I spoke to other people, every time I mentioned Ashutosh’s name the parrot would start screeching. ‘This made me really suspicious and I decided to call the police.’ Police spokesman Shalabh Mathur said they looked at Ashutosh’s phone records after being told he may be a suspect and found cause to bring him in for questioning.”

Four-year-old boy with ‘psychic powers’ predicted his mother’s miscarriage after ‘speaking to his dead grandparents’: “The parents of a four-year-old boy have told how he has incredible psychic powers. Greg, 40, and Heather Howell, 38, from Naples, Florida, said they noticed their son, Elijah’s unusual behavior from a young age. Indeed, he started talking in full sentences at ten months old and would speak to his dead grandparents. Mrs Howell said that the infant went on to correctly predict her miscarriage and that she would later give birth to twin boys. ‘I found it so spooky, but not in a negative way,’ she exclaimed. Recalling the incident, she continued: ‘While I was pregnant Elijah said, “Mommy, your baby is going to go with God.” ‘I did miscarry a couple of days later and he kept stroking me and telling me it was going to be OK. ‘A while later he said, “Don’t worry mommy, you’re going have two babies and they’re two boys”, and in my head I thought he just wanted brothers. ‘Months later we ended up finding out we were having twins – and that they were boys.'”

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

Coming to an airport near you

February 27, 2014 at 8:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“They’re paid for and I want everyone to appreciate them!”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

NY Post reports capture of largest handgun ever made!: “It never ceases to amaze me that reporters aren’t ripped to shreds by their editors for outlandish claims like this. Ariane Raymondo-Felton – who recently filed for divorce – brought the Belgian-made pistol, an FNH Five-Seven 28mm handgun to the 20th Precinct on the Upper West Side. A 28mm? Say, that’s impressive! If any one of the three journalists had bothered to follow their own link, they’d wind up at the FN-USA web site, where they would discover that the FN Five-SeveN pistol fires a 40-grain 5.7mm diameter bullet, roughly the same size as .22LR bullet used to train five-year-olds how to shoot. 28mm is not the diameter of the bullet, but the length of the case. Far from being “one of the largest made,” the 5.7x28mm is a scrawny thing, just a little longer that the common 9mm and .45 ACP pistol cartridges, and not even as effective in most types of targets. Layers of editors and fact-checkers, indeed.”

Scientists stunned to discover a new state of matter – in a chicken’s EYE: “A new state of matter has been discovered in the eye of a chicken. Never before seen in biology, ‘disordered hyperuniformity’ is an arrangement of particles that allows material to behave like both a crystal and a liquid. Along with eggs, soup and rubber toys the list of the humble rooster’s most lasting legacies may eventually include optics that can transmit light with the efficiency of a crystal and the flexibility of a liquid. Materials in this state are like crystals in the way they keep the density of particles consistent across large spatial distances. But these systems are also like liquids because they have the same physical properties in all directions. Researchers say this may be the first time disordered hyperuniformity has been observed in a biological system. Previously it had only been seen in physical systems like liquid helium and simple plasmas. For chicken eyes, the researchers speculate this cone arrangement allows the birds to evenly sample incoming light.”

Horny old Spaniard: “A Spanish politician has been busted staring at pictures of naked women when he should have been focusing on a political debate. Miguel Angel Revilla, former President of the Autonomous Community of Cantabria, was photographed ogling over a guitar-playing beauty during a regional parliamentary session on Monday. The 71-year-old was snapped by photographer Andres Fernandez from the local El diario Montañes newspaper. He appears to be covering up his copy of the magazine Interviu, which often features scantily-clad models, with official binders. Red-faced Revilla, however, has played down the incident. The Regionalist Party of Cantabria leader claimed he was simply flicking through the pages to find a specific article about the fate of former Caja Madrid bank President Miguel Blesa.”

Delicate British troops: “British soldiers are being banned by health and safety rules from training at a military base in the Arctic circle – because it’s too cold. Locals at the Allied Training Centre in Porsanger in Norway said they were stunned that while Norwegian troops were out in -25C weather, the Brits were being kept in the warm because of the army rules. The base commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Trond Thomassen confirmed: ‘British officers are not in a position to train with large divisions at Porsanger, where the temperature drops to 25 degrees below zero. ‘Basically, it’s a waste of time if they go there as it’s too cold. The British have rules for health and safety. ‘They would be sitting in the barracks, and receiving no training at all, whenever the mercury dropped below -20C.’ Local politician Ida Kathrine Balto from Porsanger where the military presence is a mainstay of the local economy said: ‘I have to admit I was stunned by the news. ‘I wonder what the British would do if there was a war in winter.”

British Keystone Kops spend more than four hours in armed stand-off outside EMPTY HOUSE: “Police spent more than four hours besieging a house in an armed stand-off before realising that it had been empty all along. Dozens of firearms officers, police dogs and a trained negotiator surrounded the building in Plymouth, Devon yesterday afternoon after reports of a man wielding a knife. They cordoned off the quiet cul-de-sac and stopped neighbours from going into their homes. But after several hours, the suspect was found in a supermarket car park a mile away, and officers quickly left the scene. The siege began at 2.30pm yesterday when Devon and Cornwall Police received reports that a gas worker had been threatened with a large knife.”

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

Is this possible?

February 26, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Bungling British spooks: “British MI6 chiefs tried to protect notorious Cambridge spy ring double agent Kim Philby as they thought he ‘couldn’t possibly be a traitor’. Tim Milne, an MI6 spy who was Philby’s oldest friend, has revealed the extraordinary lengths to which intelligence officials went in order to protect the notorious figure. Philby came under suspicion when two other members of the Cambridge spy ring fled to Moscow – but despite a 12-year investigation, he was never brought to justice and was eventually allowed to defect to the USSR himself. MI6 chiefs refused to believe that he could be guilty because of his apparently distinguished service and Establishment background, and shielded him from an MI5 probe. Milne was a childhood friend of Philby’s after the pair attended Westminster School together, and they travelled across Europe as students in the early 1930s.”

California couple uncover rare gold coins worth $10 million while walking their dog: “A California couple out walking their dog on their property stumbled across a modern-day bonanza: $10 million (£6m) in rare, mint-condition gold coins buried in the shadow of an old tree. Nearly all of the 1,427 coins, dating from 1847 to 1894, are in uncirculated, mint condition, said David Hall, co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service of Santa Ana, which recently authenticated them. Although the face value of the gold pieces only adds up to about $27,000, some of them are so rare that coin experts say they could fetch nearly $1 million apiece. Mr Kagin, whose family has been in the rare-coin business for 81 years, would say little about the couple other than that they are husband and wife, are middle-aged and have lived for several years on the rural property where the coins were found. They have no idea who put them there, he said. The pair are choosing to remain anonymous, Mr Kagin said, in part to avoid a renewed gold rush to their property by modern-day prospectors armed with metal detectors”

Worlds smallest e-vehicle revealed: “It is billed as the world’s smallest electric vehicle – and can even be folded up for commuters to take on the train. The Urb-E can reach speeds of 15mph, and even has space for a handbag or briefcase. When not in use, the tiny trike can be folded – and pulled on its wheels like a piece of luggage. The URB-E is small enough to be wheeled onto a train when not being ridden. ‘The URB-E Commuter is the perfect vehicle for the highly congested urban environment,’ the firm boasts. ‘Its three wheel trike design allows for added stability and greater lower speed maneuverability, perfect for navigating pedestrian traffic. The trike has disc brakes, and comes in two versions a normal and a GP, which is faster.”

Cuttlefish dream like us and gorillas need as much kip as teenagers: “From suffering with nightmares to sleepwalking, humans might think we have the strangest sleeping habits. But a new documentary will shed light on the contrasting sleep patterns of animals, from giraffes’ quick naps to lions’ marathon sleeping sessions, as well as dolphins’ strange one-eyed night swims. Sleep experts spent a night a Bristol Zoo with hi-tech cameras to spy on the animals through the night. The BBC Four documentary will show that octopus and cuttlefish dream, The Times reported. While it is impossible to know what they dream about, scientists have found that the creatures display rapid eye movement during sleep, which in humans, shows that we are dreaming. Giraffes typically slumber for just two hours a night and penguins for an average of four hours. But lions and gorillas sleep for more than eight hours – making their sleep patterns comparable to human teenagers’.”

Cambodian necrophiliac arrested after falling asleep in the COFFIN: “A man who tried to have sex with a corpse after digging into the grave was arrested when he fell asleep in the coffin, police in Cambodia confirmed today. The 47-year-old man, named as Chin Chean, was caught when villagers saw his foot sticking out of the grave and told the family of the teenage girl whose body lay in the coffin. Chin Chean told police that he started digging up the coffin at 10pm, the day after he had attended the funeral of the 17-year-old girl. The Cambodia Daily reported that after digging down through the earth he reached the coffin and managed to open it. He then admitted to police that he had tried to have sex with the body but because the coffin was too small he was not able to do so. Then, he admitted, he fell asleep on top of the body.”

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

The photo craze

February 25, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Woman suffers five-day erection of the clitoris: “A woman suffered a painful, five-day erection of the clitoris that left her barely able to stand. The 29-year-old had been taking medication to boost her libido, but had recently upped the dose, according to a medical report of her case. She was part of a clinical trial group taking the anti-depressant medications wellbutrin (bupropion) and trazodone. When she began experiencing pain and swelling in her genital area, she stopped taking the drugs – but the symptoms got worse and worse. The condition is where a penis or clitoris becomes engorged with blood, causing a painful, long-lasting erection. ‘The pain had become debilitating, as she was unable to walk, sit, or stand without significant worsening of the pain,’ according to the case report. When she was examined, doctors discovered her clitoris had become a purple colour and swollen. Doctors gave the woman a dose of Sudafed every six hours. A day later, the woman was discharged from hospital and recovered soon after.

Budget brands ‘do dishes best’: Lidl and Aldi dishwasher tablets clean up in tests: “Lidl and Aldi have cleaned up in tests to find the best dishwasher tablets. Own-label tablets from the budget supermarkets came second and third respectively in the tests by consumer watchdog Which? – and they were among the cheapest at 10p per wash. Lidl All in One scored 80 out of 100 and Aldi Magnum All in One 77/100 in the tests, which rated 13 tablets and four powders on things such as price and efficiency in cleaning. They were beaten only by Fairy Platinum tablets, but these cost 40p per wash. Both Lidl and Aldi’s tablets scored better than every other supermarket own brand as well as more expensive makes such as Persil and Finish. Which? said: ‘We calculate you could save over £100 per year by opting for one of these budget brands over the market-leading tablet.’

Police warn off ‘treasure hunters’ after container filled with a MILLION cigarettes washes up on Devon beach: “Police have been forced to patrol a beach to warn off treasure hunters after a shipping container stuffed with a million cigarettes washed up on the Devon coast. The 40-foot box – which contains 14 tonnes of cigarettes – was washed off of a tanker along with 516 others during a fierce storm in the Bay of Biscay earlier this month. It is thought the Danish container which landed at Seaton, Devon, could be the first of many to wash up on the Lyme Bay coast in the coming days. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is arranging recovery of the Maersk container which landed in the early hours of this morning, but have been delayed by the high tide. Police officers who have cordoned off the beach issued a stern warning to anyone hoping to pick up any free loot.

Magnet man: “For any ordinary person, a fork, a spoon and a bland set of kitchen utensils would not generate much excitement. But for Muhibija Buljubasic, the items present a chance for him to show off his special talent – of sticking random objects onto parts of his body. The 56-year-old from Srebenik, Bosina and Herzegovina, says he discovered the unusual talent five years ago. He has not had any practice and has not trained his body in any way, but believes his body gives off a ‘special energy’ which means the items stay attached to his skin. At first, he began placing metal objects on his face and body, but soon realised plastic gadgets, such as mobile phones and remote controls, worked too.

Jet propelled train: “Don Wetzel, an engineer for the New York Central Railroad, was given the task in the mid-1960s of trying to make trains safer, less expensive and faster. His solution: strap two jet engines to the roof of a locomotive and see what happens. The M-497 Black Beetle was developed by Wetzel in 1966. It was comprised of an existing Budd Rail Diesel Car (RDC-3) with an added, streamlined front cowling covering the car’s blunt nose, and a pair of second-hand General Electric J47-19 jet engines. The engines were bought from the United States Air Force for a price of $5,000 for the pair. The engines previously were used as boosters for the Convair B-36 intercontinental bomber. ‘They were the cheapest 5,000 horsepower engines we could find,’ Wetzel tells GE Reports. ‘They were also the most reliable…the engines could be easily adapted to burn diesel as opposed to jet fuel.’ During testing, the train reached speeds of 183 mph, which is still the record for a self-propelled light rail car in America.”

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

Too old

February 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Scientology wedding is a legal win: “A pair of newlyweds have made history by becoming the couple first to marry in a Church of Scientology chapel, hailing their wedding as a ‘victory’ over ‘inequality and unfairness’. Louisa Hodkin and Alessandro Calcioli, both 25, walked down the aisle in the historic ceremony after winning a landmark legal battle at the Supreme Court to exchange vows at the church. Guests applauded and threw confetti over the newly married couple from East Grinstead, West Sussex, as they walked out of the Church of Scientology in Blackfriars, London following the service, which was broadcast live on the internet. The new Mr and Mrs Calcioli were allowed to marry in the chapel after the Supreme Court ruled that it was a ‘place of meeting for religious worship’. Guests intoned Scientology’s ‘prayer for total freedom’, saying the words: ‘May the author of the universe enable all men to reach an understanding of their spiritual nature. ‘May awareness and understanding of life expand, so that all may come to know the author of the universe.

Gem found on Australian sheep ranch is the oldest known piece of Earth: “Scientists using two different age-determining techniques have shown that a tiny zircon crystal found on a sheep ranch in Western Australia is the oldest known piece of our planet, dating to 4.4 billion years ago. Writing in the journal Nature Geoscience on Sunday, the researchers said the discovery indicates that Earth’s crust formed relatively soon after the planet formed and that the little gem was a remnant of it. John Valley, a University of Wisconsin geoscience professor who led the research, said the findings suggest that the early Earth was not as harsh a place as many scientists have thought. To put that age in perspective, the Earth itself formed 4.5 billion years ago as a ball of molten rock, meaning that its crust formed relatively soon thereafter, 100 million years later. The age of the crystal also means that the crust appeared just 160 million years after the very formation of the solar system. The finding supports the notion of a “cool early Earth” where temperatures were low enough to sustain oceans, and perhaps life”

Silicone-free topless dancers sought for Rio Carnival: “Wanted: topless Carnival dancers. It sounds like a simple request in a city known for steamy nightclubs, Bacchanalian beach parties and Carnival parades featuring nude starlets donning only a “tapa-sexo,” a leaf-sized patch of fabric that serves, literally, as a sex covering. But there was a hitch in the recent casting call. The women wanted by Mocidade Independente Padre Miguel, one of Rio de Janeiro’s best known Carnival troupes, had to be silicone-free. In salute to a bygone era, Mocidade wanted Carnival dancers without the globular breasts and “bumbum,” or buttocks, that now dominate the annual spectacle, a week-long party meant to purge sin before the Catholic season of Lent. “It wasn’t easy,” says Paulo Menezes, the artistic director for the group, one of the 12 top-tier troupes that will march in Rio’s Carnival starting on March 2. “Most of the women who want to take part in something like this have all had some surgery.”

Must not show where meat comes from: “For more than 100 years, butchers in the market town of Sudbury have proudly displayed their meats in their shop windows. But now one has been forced to stop hanging game such as pheasants, partridges and rabbits in his shopfront after a vicious campaign, blamed on ‘townies’ who have recently moved in. Staff at JBS Family Butchers, which has sawdust on the floor and takes great pride in its link to local suppliers and the countryside way of life, spent hours every week perfecting their window displays featuring meat and game. Unplucked birds and the occasional pig or deer head were hung up in its shopfront in a small precinct in the Suffolk town. But it has reluctantly had to remove the display after it became the target of a campaign including anonymous hate mail and people hurling abuse in the shop.”

Government health insurance at work in Britain: “A total of 1 in 10 patients cannot get a GP appointment, figures show. There were 340 million occasions last year when patients were unable to book a slot when they needed to. The Royal College of GPs claims this is up by three million compared to 2011/12 and blames a lack doctors, nurses and receptionists. Some surgeries are now so busy that there are queues of patients down the street waiting for an appointment – at one they have even resorted to bringing along stools from home. It is partly due to the rising population as well as increase in elderly who tend to take up more of GPs’ time as they have a range of complex conditions. But senior family doctors say they are not being given enough funding from the Government to hire extra staff to meet this demand. Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the RCGP said: ‘People do need to see a GP as soon as possible for right action to be taken and the right treatment to be delivered.

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

Thinker

February 23, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Personality is far more important than looks when it comes to marriage material: “Guys, have you found your crooked nose and receding hairline holding you back when it comes to finding romance? According to researchers, you may have trouble getting girlfriends but you’re top of the list when it comes to husband material. For women, personality is far more important than looks when choosing a man to marry, says a study. The US research found that while they may choose the most handsome men to cohabit with, women prefer marriage partners with ‘character’ and don’t mind a few physical imperfections. The study followed 13,034 people and their relationships over 15 years, to the age of 34. Participants were rated on attractiveness, personality and grooming. Men rated as having an above-average personality were more likely to get married, while those with above-average looks were more likely to live with their partner but remain unmarried.”

5-year-old British coin already valuable: “Examples of a rare 50p coin are being listed at £495 on online marketplace eBay, and several uncirculated or ‘mint’ pieces have been sold for £180 – 360 times the coin’s face value. The commemorative coin was produced just five years ago with a limited run of 210,000 to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Royal Mint says around one in 300 people are likely to have the coin, and recent coverage of its growing worth sent hopeful coin-sellers scrabbling through their spare change. London Coin Company have three left in stock priced at £299.95, having sold four examples at £150-180. Other commemorative 50p coins have had a far higher mintage.”

From the Bolivian rainforest: Exotic fruit achacha: “A fruit which originated in the Bolivian rainforest and is now grown in Australia is on sale on the UK high street for the first time. Marks & Spencer has introduced the achacha, a small orange-coloured fruit in the same family as the mangosteen that has a melon-like taste and soft texture. The retailer said the achacha can be eaten at room temperature, cold or even frozen and the skin can be turned into a ‘thirst-quenching’ drink. Its nutrients include calcium and vitamin C and less sugar than many other fruits, M&S said. The retailer said the farmer of the fruit grew up eating the achacha in Bolivia and, on moving to Australia, missed it so much that he spent four years cultivating it to be grown successfully and sustainably.”

Sinkhole swallows car with driver in it: “A 69-year-old woman was pulling into her driveway when the ground suddenly opened up and swallowed her car yesterday afternoon. Gayle Sorrentino’s white Subaru plunged head-first into the 15-foot sinkhole as she returned to her Driscoll Ave, Rockville Centre home. The Long Island retiree called 911 from her cellphone, nervously watching as dirt steadily slid down around her trapped car. ‘There was no sound. The car just slid into the ground,’ Sorrentino, of Rockville Centre, told New York Daily News. Newsday reported Sorrentino was able to climb out of a window because she was standing straight up in the vertically-propped vehicle. ‘I guess because I’m short and small, I ended up standing up so I didn’t hit anything,’ she said. Incredibly, Sorrentino was not injured and her car was not damaged.”

Computers are getting creative: “Humans and machines have traditionally had clearly defined areas of expertise. We have the ideas, and they do the dangerous, complicated or boring parts. If we write a poem, a computer can check the spelling, but it can’t write the poem in the first place. Or can it? Computers are getting better at things we’ve always considered to be uniquely human abilities, from writing prose and composing music to evaluating art. Mark Reidl, of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Interactive Computing, works in what’s called “narrative intelligence” – programming computers to comprehend and generate cohesive stories. Professor Reidl wants computers to be “better entertainers, educators, trainers and communicators”, but, as he knows better than most, even a robot with eyes, ears, a perfect memory and a command of language isn’t the complete package. Despite these inherent differences between man and machine, computer programming has come an awful long way… machines that evolve to independently write, paint, draw or sing could arise from the groundbreaking area of machine learning.”

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

A marsupial viewpoint

February 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Forty men left without TESTICLES due to botched medical care in British government hospitals: “Almost 40 men have won compensation claims against the NHS in the last two years after botched medical care meant doctors needlessly removed one of their testicles. In the majority of cases, surgeons had to remove a testicle that could have been saved if a man had been diagnosed earlier. But in a handful of horrifying cases, doctors have removed the wrong testicle in a surgical blunder and then have to operate again to remove the other one when the mistake is discovered – leaving the man with no testicles. The NHS typically pays out around £20,000 when it admits it is at fault for leaving men as monorchid – the medical term for having just one testicle. But payments for removing a man’s only healthy testicle in a surgical mix-up can be around £70,000 as the individual gets compensation for being left infertile.”

Wife Fights Back Against Abusive Husband, Yields Best Mugshot Ever: “Police in Oklahoma say a domestic violence victim managed to fend off her husband’s vicious assault by roughing him up in return, resulting in this priceless mugshot of the suspect. Derrick Maynard, 32, of Bartlesville, was drinking whiskey and likely drunk when he began throwing objects at his wife and verbally attacking her. Maynard’s wife told police her husband then grabbed his unloaded pellet rifle, pumped it several times, aimed it at her, and said, “you deserve to die.” A court affidavit states that after Maynard began punching his wife in the head, the woman defended herself by kicking him several times in the face. Maynard then lost his balance, reportedly due to his inebriated state. Police soon arrived and arrested Maynard on suspicion of aggravated assault with a weapon and threatening to kill.”

Dumb black tries to rob bank: “Robert Williams, 42, was arrested by police on Wednesday for stealing $20,650 from a PNC Bank in Laurel, Maryland in the US, after a series of setbacks delayed his getaway. Things started to go wrong for Williams as he tried to leave the bank after robbing it. First he managed to drop the stolen cash all over the floor. He then wasted valuable time furiously trying to scoop up the money and shovel it into an upturned umbrella which he found on the floor in the corner of the bank. When he eventually left the crime scene he managed to slip on ice outside and cut his head open. By the time he was finally able to make good his escape in a green minivan, multiple bank customers had called already police and described his appearance and vehicle. The police caught up with his minivan, stopped him and arrested him for robbery.”

Smart Asian girl, 13, capitalizes on the munchies and sells 117 boxes of snacks outside medical marijuana clinic: “A Girl Scout is in high demand after she started selling cookies outside a medical marijuana clinic. Thirteen-year-old Danielle Lei was certainly ‘thinking outside the box’ when she set up her cookie stall outside The Green Cross marijuana dispensary in San Francisco. Entrepreneurial Miss Lei sold 117 boxes of Tagalongs and Thin Mints in two hours, the proceeds of which benefits charitable organisations. Miss Lei’s mother Carol said her daughter sold dozens more boxes outside The Green Cross than at other locations – and sold out of Dulce de Leches. Both Danielle and her older sister Nikki have been selling cookies outside medical marijuana clinics before, and their parents see it as a way to learn about the difference between using the drug as a medicine compared to recreation, Mrs Lei told Mashable.”

Rare vintage Rolls-Royce found gathering dust in a Welsh barn could be worth £150,000 when fully restored: “A Rolls Royce has been found in a dusty barn in Wales and is now going on sale for £30,000 in an auction in Leominster. The car, a 1922 Goshawk prototype is thought to be the most ancient 20 horsepower Rolls Royce of its kind in existence, and could be worth £150,000 if it is properly restored. The owner initially bought the car in 1982, but sold it a few years later without realising its importance. After spotting it 14 years later, the original owner noticed something peculiar about the chassis, and upon closer investigation found it was the oldest Rolls-Royce 20 in existence. The car, whose chassis number is 6G2, is one of seven experimental models built in 1922 by Rolls-Royce, who were attempting to develop a new, smaller car. The Goshawk’s engine is a 4118cc 4 cylinder, a 20 horsepower engine. With the 6G2 light frame, this puts its top speed at between 47 and 50mph, (between 76 and 80kmh) on a road with stable conditions.”

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

More: Tourists’ dumbest questions

February 21, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“How long does it take to get to Australia?” a taxi driver in America asked. “It’s about a 14-hour flight,” I responded.

“Oh,” he said, thinking about this for a while. “How long does it take to drive?”

I still shake my head when I think about that conversation, especially as it transpired the man had BEEN to Australia, during his time in the NAVY. Clearly it had escaped him that the country is surrounded by water.

For those who work in the travel industry, tongue-biting is part of the job when faced with questions such as “what time does the nine o’clock tour leave?”

Industry veteran Mark Sheehan, who spent many years on the road with tour company TrekAmerica, says he has been asked everything from what is the elevation at sea level to “do these stairs go up?”

Sheehan, who is the author of Are Those Your Underpants on the Conveyor?, says a favourite was a person on a white water rafting trip who asked if they would end up where they started.

A traveller who saw a “deer crossing” sign asked how the deer knew where to cross, while a tourist travelling on a cable car passed a car travelling in the other direction and asked with surprise: “Where are they going?”

Sheehan says he worked with a guide who used to leave an extension cord sticking out of the bushes when in the middle of nowhere, to see who would plug into it. “Sadly, there were many,” he says.

I preface the following stories by saying that those who provided them prefer to think of their customers as “misguided” rather than stupid.

Ryan Sanders of New Zealand’s Haka Tours says the company was once asked to include the Sydney Harbour Bridge in a customised itinerary for the North Island of New Zealand.

Another customer wanted to know if they could drive a people mover to the top of Mt Cook, which at 3754 metres is better accessed by mountaineers and helicopters.

Bruce Tepper, who works as a travel industry consultant in California, says one of his clients had a traveller wanting to fly from Minneapolis to Tokyo on a flight that went “as far north as possible”.

When quizzed on his request, the man said he was pressed for time and needed to go around the International Date Line rather than over it, as he couldn’t afford to lose a day.

“An assurance that he would get it back on his return was insufficient,” Tepper says.

Then there are those who think they can drive across water.

There are many reports of tourists planning to drive to Hamilton Island (or Stradbroke) or between islands in places such as Hawaii.

An Aussie travel wholesaler had a customer who wanted a direct train from Helsinki to London and repeatedly refused to accept there were several bodies of water between the two.

Eventually running out of patience, the company sent her an invoice for 100 billion euros, to cover the cost of building a rail tunnel.

In Southern Utah in the US, visitor information centre staff say they have been asked who painted the rocks in the colourful Bryce Canyon National Park and, in relation to an ancient volcano: “Who dumped all those lava rocks up on the mountain?”

Bonnie Char Hallman of the Cedar City – Brian Head Tourism Bureau says many people have become so used to a fabricated environment they are shocked to discover that some attractions are provided by nature.

“I was told by a ranger at Yosemite that one visitor asked “what time do they turn off the falls?” she says.

In case you’re wondering if that could possibly be true, Deb Hickok of the Fairbanks visitor bureau in Alaska says she has been asked what time they turn on the northern lights.

Sandra Potter of the London-based Frontier Travel says her favourite was a man on his honeymoon who contacted her staff from the air to ask where he and his new wife were staying when they landed.

When the confused staff member explained it was the hotel listed on his itinerary and hotel vouchers, the man replied: “Oh, did I need all that paperwork? I threw it in the bin.”

At lastminute.com.au, a staff member was asked if the toilet paper at a certain hotel was scented, because the traveller was “highly irritable down there”.

An Australian wholesaler recalls telling a traveller headed for Uzbekistan that there were very strict visa conditions and he needed to declare if he had ever been charged with any kind of offence.

Two days before his departure, he mentioned in passing that he had once been arrested on drug charges, “but that should be okay, right?”

Some travellers might be better off staying close to home.

The customer service centre at Wotif.com says a lady booking a two-bedroom apartment for her family asked to have the second room changed from a twin to a double because her children were not twins.

Back in Southern Utah, a prospective visitor ringing up for information was most indignant to be told that the desert was hot and dry. “Am I going to need a chap stick?” she asked.

Escape Travel reports being asked by a traveller if they had to use their real name on their airline ticket, while Mark Sheehan says he got an earful who from two travellers who thought they should have been told the sun was hot.

Finally, Windermere Lake Cruises in the English Lake District says questions from travellers have included “what do the boats do?”, “do the islands float?” and “how long does the 40 minute cruise last?”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

NY: McDonald’s fires longtime worker who bought firefighters’ breakfast: “A McDonald’s restaurant in New York fired a worker after 8 years because she ‘opened a whole bee’s nest’ by buying food for firefighters after they put out a house fire, she said this week. Heather Levia, 23, told WIVB that she was working as a manager when the group of firefighters came in and ordered 23 breakfast sandwiches after fighting the blaze. It was a cold day so Levia covered the $83 cost of the meals herself. ‘Just because I appreciate everything they do,’ she said.”

‘Slow emails’ behind ‘Guru’s’ death: “Police allege Brisbane- based Trung Ma, 35, murdered self-proclaimed “spiritual counsellor” Hugo Bonham, 63, and then bought a toolbox from Bunnings before hiding the body. Ma was arrested on Monday and faced Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with murder and interfering with a corpse.Mr Bonham, a father of three, was finalising the purchase of a house in the Gold Coast hinterland when he disappeared from his rented home at Tallai on February 3. Police say Ma liquidated funds for the deposit but Mr Bonham told him he was not happy with the service provided. Ma allegedly drove to Mr Bonham’s house to discuss the issue but the two men had an argument. Mr Bonham accused Ma of being “particularly slow” in responding to emails, police allege. Ma allegedly picked up a hammer from a bookshelf and struck Mr Bonham on the head three times. Ma is then alleged to have put Mr Bonham’s body in a sleeping bag he found in the bedroom and used his dead client’s bedding and chair cushions to mop up the blood. Police say Ma then took Mr Bonham’s wallet and phone, put the body in his car boot and drove back to Brisbane"

Graphic video shows how justice is dispensed on the streets of Brazil: “THIS is how street justice is handed out on the streets of Brazil, and it stings. Shocking footage has emerged of vigilantes punishing a would-be thief who attempted to break into a home in the Dirceu neighbourhood of Teresina. The teenager, dressed only in shorts, is first hog-tied before being carried over to an ants’ nest and placed on top of it. He can then be heard screaming loudly in pain as the insects begin biting and stinging him and is unable to move or getaway. It is not known how badly he was injured, or if he was charged with any offence, but the footage was posted onto YouTube by Apoio Policial organisation. On its Facebook page, the group said residents were fed up with a lack of police support and decided to take punishment matters into their own hands. The group added the punishment was a sign that law-abiding citizens would no longer put up with crime and social disorder.”

Blondie Bennett, Barbie-Obsessed Woman, Uses Hypnotherapy To Make Herself ‘Brainless’: “A California woman who describes herself as Barbie-obsessed says she uses hypnotherapy sessions in the hopes that it will decrease her IQ. “I just want to be the ultimate Barbie. I actually want to be brainless,” Blondie Bennett, 38, told Barcroft TV. “I don’t like being human, if that makes sense… Natural is boring… I would love to be like, completely plastic.” Bennett has had five breast augmentations and other procedures in the hopes of attaining her goal. But now she says she’s undergoing hypnotherapy sessions two-to-three times a week in order to dumb down her thoughts. She says it’s working. “I’ve had 20 sessions and I’m already starting to feel ditzy and confused all the time,” Bennett told the Daily Mail.”

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

Strange rider (other captions have been suggested)

February 20, 2014 at 11:30 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Mad African strangles bus passenger in front of him with scarf: “A bus passenger travelling to his first day in a new job was attacked by a man who strangled him with a scarf and told him: ‘I want to kill you’, a jury heard today. Homeless Eric Mjola, 33, throttled security guard Reynolds Quadjovie, who was heard choking by another passenger and passed out, Isleworth Crown Court was told. n Mr Quadjovie had just asked another passenger if they were near the Tesco where he was starting work when Mjola said to him: ‘Are you crazy?’. The jury were shown CCTV footage of the defendant springing towards him and then placing his scarf around Mr Quadjovie’s neck. ‘He was killing me, there’s no doubt about that,’ Mr Quadjovie told the court. ‘He meant it and he meant what he was doing. ‘At that time I was completely in his hands.’

Daredevil photographer escapes security guards to climb up the world’s most famous buildings: “Adventure photographer Lucinda Grange surveys the Manhattan skyline – perched hundreds of feet up on the edge of the Chrysler Building. In a picture that looks more Hollywood CGI than real life, the 25-year-old from Hartlepool, UK, sits one of the iconic eagle heads 61 floors above street level. For the past six years the daredevil snapper has travelled the world scaling famous buildings and structures and taking pictures from the top. Among her impressive list of climbs is the Great Pyramid of Giza, Firth of Forth Rail Bridge in Scotland and New York’s Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. But despite the very real risk of injury and constant threat of detection by security guards, Lucinda takes these challenges in her stride. As well as scaling buildings and bridges, Lucinda and her friends have delved below cities exploring hidden rivers, abandoned subway stations and labyrinthine sewage systems.”

Reluctant bride agrees to be transported to her wedding on a COW: “As romantic gestures go, providing a cow to take his bride to the wedding is not one of those that is likely to catch on. While most women dream of arriving for the biggest day of their lives in a vintage car or horse-drawn carriage groom Zheng Fu, 37, had other plans for when he wed Yi Yang, 35, in China. The groom said he had always been fascinated by the love story of the poor cowherd Niulang from ancient mythology and wanted it to feature in the ceremony. He said: ‘I wanted to have the cow bring her to our wedding because I will be her Niulang, and I will love her for all eternity with my heart and soul.’ According to the legend Niulang was told by a cow where he would be able to witness the Emperor of heaven’s seven daughters come down to earth to bathe.” The beautiful woman on a cow is one of the images of the Chinese Valentine’s Day but it is never really taken off as a means of transport to the wedding”. Chinese Valentines Day, known as Qi Xi, takes place on a different day each year but always around the middle of August.”

Pretty girl defends her man: “Till Bechtolsheimer was allegedly shoved by reveller Daniel Kurkowski after he accidentally bumped into him on the dancefloor. Mr Bechtolsheimer’s girlfriend Julia Kadioglu is alleged to have retaliated by smashing a bottle of Stella Artois lager over Mr Kurkowski’s head, leaving him with a nasty gash. Miss Kadioglu was apparently arrested and led away in handcuffs but her lawyer said she did nothing wrong and is ‘indignant she was even arrested.’ The 32-year-old is said to have been defending the honour of investment banker Mr Bechtolsheimer, who is the grandson of Karl-Heinz Kipp, the billionaire owner of the German department store chain Massa. The incident happened late on Saturday night – according to the criminal complaint filed at the Manhattan Criminal Court the assault took place at 4.15am on Sunday the 19th of January.

China’s Lego hotel: Resembles the famous toy bricks and has 6,668 rooms: “It may look childish, but this Lego-looking hotel is showing the world how it’s done. Sitting in a haven of rivers and mountains, the 500-acre complex has a record number of 6,668 rooms – and it still manages to fit in a shopping plaza, street of bars and theatre. It has won the owners of Sanya Beauty Crown Hotel, in Sanya, south China, a catalogue of local and international awards since opening in late 2012. And the nine buildings that look like huge trees with hanging fruit, branches, and roots made from the infamous toy blocks are the heart of its success. Constructed by some of the world’s top architects, the ‘Nine Beautiful Trees’ consist of one 7-star hotel, one platinum 5-star hotel, one hotel-serviced apartment and six property hotels. The little compartments that jut out to create the unusual tree structure almost double the space normally available in a building of that height.”

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

Tequila goggles

February 19, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

The rise of PENIS cancer: Cases soar by 20%: “The number of men being diagnosed with cancer of the penis has soared by 20 per cent in the last 30 years, according to new figures. Experts believe the main reasons for the increase may be changes in sexual behaviour, greater exposure to sexually transmitted HPV (human papilloma virus) and decreasing rates of childhood circumcision. HPV-related genital warts are associated with a six-fold risk of penile cancer and the incidence of them has rapidly increased in men between 1970 to 2009, with a 30 per cent rise during 2000–2009. Cancer charities are now urging men to be aware of symptoms of the disease – which are often confused with signs of a sexually transmitted infection. Penile cancer has a high cure rate if detected early”

‘Song from Hell’ on 500-year-old painting is played for the first time: “Dutch master Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings are packed full of vivid imagery and complex meanings. And The Garden of Earthly Delights, which depicts the Biblical narrative of creation, heaven and hell is one of his most intricate. So it may come as no surprise that not one person had tried to play a tiny piece of music tattooed on the bottom of a man languishing in hell in the triptych painting until now – 500 years after the work was created. In the painting, a choir sings from the score inscribed on the man’s buttocks that have been described as ‘musician’s hell.’ A student called Amelia, who describes herself as ‘a hard of hearing music and information systems double major’ at Oklahoma Christian University is said to be the first person to play the hellish ditty. Amelia tapped it out on a piano, but it does sound quite melodic for a tune that is rumoured to be a chant that opens the gates of hell, according to Classicalite.”

Tattoo artist jailed after inking 40cm-long penis on victim’s back: “A man who thought he was getting a tattoo of a Chinese symbol on his back was in fact being inked with a 40cm-long penis. The cruel prank in Australia, cost a backyard tattoo artist and his assistant jail time and left the victim a broken man. On Friday Christopher William Lord, 23, was sentenced in Ipswich District Court after pleading guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm while armed and in company. He was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment with a parole release date of March 12.” Starting the tattoo, Brady’s design was wildly different from what they agreed on, drawing a penis, testicles and a misspelled slogan under it implying the man was gay. The Sydney Morning Herald reported the victim was horrified by the tattoo at the time it was done in 2010.”

Admired: Garbage truck driver’s amazing act of kindness to boy with autism: “The garbage truck driver who made a five-year-old autistic boy’s day by giving him a toy version of his vehicle has been identified. Manuel Sanchez had noticed Daniel Mulligan, from Ojai, California, whose favourite activity is to watch the garbage get picked up at his home. The video showing Mr Sanchez’s surprise for Daniel has now gone viral, with more than 750,000 views. His hero: Mr Sanchez is Daniel’s ‘favourite’ garbage man, his mother revealed, and the little boy was left speechless after the kind gesture. ‘You’re not going to believe it, but he had one like this and it broke,’ said the boy’s mother, Ms Newberger. Daniel was so overcome by the gift that all he could say was a quiet, ‘thank you.’ ‘One man, one moment, touching the life of an autistic child…our hearts are overflowing,’ Ms Newberger wrote in a Facebook message to Autism Speaks.”

Plan to stuff the roof of British Parliament with WOOL to stop all their hot air from escaping: “Sheep’s wool is to be used to insulate the roof of Parliament under plans revealed to peers. For years voters have thought the Commons is stuffed with sheep who blindly follow everyone else. Now MPs have decided to stuff the roof space of Parliament with sheep’s wool, to stop all of their hot air from escaping. A major programme of work to drag the Palace of Westminster into the 21st century will deploy the centuries-old technique of using sheep’s fleeces for insulation. The building is now so dilapidated it would be demolished were it not one of the most famous landmarks in the world. For the most ambitious work to be carried out, the Commons and Lords could be closed with MPs told to pack their bags and move to another site to hold debates and votes.”

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

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