Big tree

November 30, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Send our jihadis to Devil’s Island! French politician demands Paris reopens ‘Papillon’ jail for terrorists: “A senior French politician has called for Devil’s Island to be reopened – as a prison for jihadis returning to Europe after travelling abroad to fight. Nicolas Dupont-Aignan – who stood as a candidate for the French presidency in 2012 – believes that the former penal colony in South America would be a fitting place for ‘the madmen’ who have fought with radical groups such as Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda. The island in French Guiana is notorious as the place where French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was unjustly held at the end of the 19th Century after being accused of treason, and as the location of the 1973 film Papillon, starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. Mr Dupont-Aignan – the founder of the right-wing DLF party and an affiliate to the UMP, the party of the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy – admitted the proposal would ‘cause a stir’, but insisted it had widespread support.”

Dumb British cops overlook a cannabis factory right next door: “Police have ‘sniffed out’ a huge cannabis factory – next door to their own headquarters. The plants were uncovered in an ’empty’ factory unit after officers became suspicious about the smell just yards from the main custody suite at South Wales Police station. Three men were arrested at the scene in Bridgend, as officers seized the marijuana plants. Neighbouring business owners claimed officers’ had described the drugs haul as the ‘biggest they had ever found.’ ‘No-one had a clue, but it could have been going on for a number of years,’ said car maintenance worker Hayley Pells, 33. ‘They appear to have been very professional. They invested heavily in being very secure and very discreet. ‘For a long time we thought it was empty. We didn’t see anybody coming or going for extremely long periods of time. This isn’t unusual as lots of the units are used only for storage.”

British health service tells new mothers to feed their babies junk food from eight months – saying crisps and chocolate can help them overcome feeding problems: “Mothers are being told to feed their babies chocolate and crisps in an advice leaflet from an NHS hospital, it emerged last night., The guidance – given to parents at feeding clinics – recommends giving young children over eight months snacks to help overcome feeding problems. But the leaflet from Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has raised concerns children will be encouraged to eat unhealthy foods from an early age. Dave Munday, who works with the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association, said parents should give their children ‘healthy foods that are not going to get them into bad habits’. He told The Telegraph: ‘There are lots of foods out there that you would try before the foods being suggested in this leaflet.’ Tracey Nutter, director of nursing at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, defended the advice. She said that the leaflet was the ‘first of several documents given to a small number of parents with babies and toddlers who have significant feeding problems”


Rough translation: Two Nobel Prize winners and numerous other scientists have agreed with the use of LSD in their research

Raunchy Italians post selfies with signs promoting scientific breakthroughs to bring attention to boffins’ latest achievements: “A group of half-naked Italian women are pioneering a new selfie craze by taking photos of their breasts in a bid to make science more interesting. Dozens of scantily-clad women in various states of undress have started posing suggestively in their suspenders and lingerie for ‘Boobs for Science’, a bizarre website which appears to be taking the Italian blogosphere by storm. Lara Tait, 30, claims she set up the page – known by its Italian name ‘Tette per la Scienza’ – as a way of informing the world about developments in science. The blog, which has clocked up nearly 19,000 likes on Facebook, asks women to take a selfie of their breasts and pose alongside a sign which promotes a scientific message. So far, the messages have included myth-busting facts on gluten free food, to the impact of vaccines on autism. There are also comments on biodiversity, illiteracy and the age of the universe.”

Crowd capture ‘thief’ by wrapping him in clingfilm: “A Chilean man who allegedly attempted to rob an elderly man at knifepoint ended up at the pointy end himself after he was spotted mid-thievery and caught by the crowd. The alleged thief, named locally as Valentino Abeyta Barrera, was caught by bystanders, disarmed, stripped naked and tied to a lamppost. Crowds gathered round as 32-year-old Barrera had his clothes torn off and his underpants pulled down, before he was wrapped in clingfilm during the incident in the Chilean capital Santiago. Police arrived after 20 minutes, but when they asked Barrera what was going on, he refused to answer, only begging police to free him. After Barrera was released and taken to the police station he refused to file a complaint, and police said they had been forced to let him go because the alleged victim of the man’s attack had also not made a complaint.

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

Spelling matters

November 29, 2014 at 8:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

British government hospitals hiring nurses who can’t speak English!: “Hospitals are hiring hundreds of nurses from the EU without properly checking their English, a Mail investigation has found. Trusts are holding recruitment fairs in Spain and Portugal and helping nurses with poor English fill in forms using automatic translation websites. The nurses are being lured with the promise that their salaries will be doubled for doing a third less work. They are also being offered a month’s free accommodation, paid for by the NHS, while some trusts are even promising to find work for the nurses’ husbands or partners. Hospitals across the NHS are drastically short of nurses and figures show that as many as 20,000 full-time posts – one in 20 – are vacant. As a result, many trusts are going overseas and hiring batches of up to 60 nurses at a time at specially-arranged recruitment fairs. Critics, however, say the practice could put patients at risk – with many of the nurses unable to understand medical instructions in English or even the words for numbers, so they can make up correct drug doses.”

You got what you deserved, common-sense judge tells burglar beaten up by victim: “A burglar who was beaten up after breaking into a former rugby player’s flat got what he deserved, a judge told him. Anthony Hall was left bloodied and bruised when he tried to attack the homeowner who caught him attempting to steal his television in the middle of the night. Jailing him, Judge Howard Crowson told the 22-year-old it was ‘inevitable’ he would be beaten up, adding: ‘That’s the risk you take.’ Hall, a serial criminal, broke into Stephen Waterfield’s home in Redcar, near Middlesbrough, in September. Mr Waterfield, 48, woke at 12.30am to find Hall in his living room and confronted him. Hall tried to claim he was in the wrong house, saying he believed the property was his friend’s. He then lunged at Mr Waterfield, who is 6ft, 13½ stone and used to play at flanker for Redcar’s rugby union team. He instinctively defended himself as Hall bombarded him with kicks and punches, prosecutor David Crook told Teesside Crown Court. Mr Waterfield overpowered Hall”

Missing masterpiece lost for 90 years is discovered… in the background of a movie: “A long-lost avant-garde painting has been found by a sharp-eyed art historian who recognised the work in the background of 90s children’s movie Stuart Little. Gergely Barki, 43, a researcher at Hungary’s National Gallery, noticed Sleeping Lady with Black Vase by 20th Century painter Robert Bereny while watching TV with his daughter Lola in 2009. The painting, which is up for auction at a starting price of 110,000 euros (£87,200), had been bought by the film’s set designer for ‘next-to-nothing’ in an antique shop in California. Sleeping Lady with Black Vase disappeared in the 1920s. Mr Barki recognised it immediately even though he had only seen a faded black-and-white photo dating from a 1928 exhibition archived in the National Gallery. Mr Barki sent a flurry of emails to staff at the film’s makers Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures, finally receiving a reply two year later, from one of the film’s set designers.”

Rambo squirrel: “Schoolchildren were forced to evacuate a playground after a rampant squirrel caused havoc during breaktime. A teacher at Chater Infants School in Watford, Hertfordshire, had to herd the youngsters back into the safety of the building after an ‘unusually aggressive’ grey squirrel disrupted their afternoon playtime. One member of staff was even scratched during the encounter but fortunately no children were hurt in the incident. Headteacher Amrit Bal-Richards said they were monitoring the situation and the caretaker is being extra vigilant, but the squirrel has not been sighted again. ‘It is very uncommon for a squirrel to be a little aggressive. ‘We talked to the children at an assembly the following day to say some times animals can be aggressive and a bit tempered and what to do if that happens.’ Mrs Bal-Richards said it was procedure to take pupils inside if there is an issue to make sure they were safe.”

Turkish stewardesses must not be sexy: “Turkish Airline, which recently came under fire for banning lipstick, fired a stewardess after bosses found racy pictures she did for an Italian magazine. Zuhal Sengal, 31, from Istanbul, was sacked after airline chiefs found pictures from her work as a model. The airline said modelling was not one of ‘certain standards and qualities’ expected from staff – but the move is seen as a sign the country is becoming more religious. In the pictures, Ms Sengal poses provocatively dressed in a corset and bustier. And a video of the shoot shows her walking around a swimming pool in a skimpy bikini revealing tattoos on her body. A spokesman for the company said: ‘There are certain standards and qualities we expect from our staff and modelling is not one of them.’ The airline has previously told employees investigations will be conducted into those who post inappropriate material on social media.

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

Awkward ancestry

November 28, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Some people’s brain’s are pre-wired to help them learn a new language with ease: “A study suggests that some people’s brains are more receptive to learning a second language than others. But it also found that anyone who tries to learn a new language will gain a brain boost. Ping Li, co-author of the study and co-director of the Center for Brain, Behavior and Cognition at Pennsylvania State University said that ‘the brain networks of successful learners are better connected.’ Li’s team studied how brain wiring relates to the development of second-language skills. He told CBS: ‘We know that if the learning of a new language is successful, key brain regions responsible for handling languages will become activated. ‘But we don’t know how these different regions are connected with each other as a network.’ In the new study, recently published in the Journal of Neurolinguistics, the researchers hoped to identify the changes that occur in the brain network after learning. They used 39 native English speakers and asked 23 of them to study Chinese vocabulary over six weeks and scanned their brains with MRI machines before and after the language course.”

Five-month-old baby forms incredible bond with pet sloth: “Baby Alia, first met Daisy the sloth when was she was just two days old and the pair have been inseparable ever since. Daisy is almost like a real-life teddy bear for five-month-old Alia and the pair love to play and take naps together. Alia’s parents Julia Heckathorn, 29 and Jason, 35, from Virginia, brought Alia home from the hospital the same day they welcomed four-month-old Daisy into their home. The couple already own a kangaroo called Boomeroo, an anteater called Noche, sugar gliders and a cat called Larry. Julia writes and illustrates a series of children’s books called Search for the Hidden Clover, which chronicle the adventures of animals. The couple had been looking for a sloth to expand their educational team when Julia fell pregnant with her first child, Alia. And Julia said it felt like fate that they had welcomed their first baby and first sloth into their home on the same day.”

The greatest art fraud in history: “Walter Keane always said he was inspired to create his extraordinary paintings by the haunting children he saw in the streets of post-war Berlin while he was studying art. He also liked to repeat the saying that the ‘eyes are the windows of the soul’. For him, they were also the windows to a fortune. For much of the Fifties and Sixties, the American was the world’s top-selling artist, his famous oils of sad-looking waifs with enormous, often tearful eyes were everywhere. The cognoscenti may have dismissed it as sentimental kitsch but what did they know? Charging up to $50,000 for each picture, Walter Keane was such a lucrative art phenomenon that even Andy Warhol admitted he was impressed. There was only one problem. Keane hadn’t created a single one of the coveted paintings, indeed he couldn’t paint to save his life. The artist was in fact his quiet, dignified wife, Margaret — kept a virtual prisoner in a backroom of their huge home, churning out pictures while Walter lapped up the acclaim and squandered the millions she earned.”

Story of the Golden Fleece was REAL: “The ancient Greek legend of Jason and his Argonauts’ quest for the Golden Fleece may have been based on a real expedition to an ancient kingdom on the Black Sea. Geologists have uncovered evidence that a mountainous area of Svaneti in what is now northwest Georgia was the country ‘rich of gold’ described in the legend. They claim that villagers that were part of the wealthy Kingdom of Colchis, which existed from the sixth to the first centuries BC, used sheepskin to capture gold from mountain streams in the area. This, they say, would have lead to sheepskins that were imprinted with flakes of gold and could have given rise to stories of a golden fleece. Dr Avtandil Okrostsvaridze, a geologist from the institute of earth sciences at the Ilia State University, Georgia, said the story of Jason and his Argonauts quest to find the Golden Fleece may have been a real event to learn about the sheepskin gold mining technique.

Marauding pig and its woman owner forced off US Airway flight: “A woman was forced to leave a plane because passengers were being disrupted by her travelling companion – a pot-bellied pig. The unidentified individual boarded the US Airways flight to Connecticut with the animal on Wednesday. She took the creature, said to weigh up to 70 pounds, to her seat and then attached it to her armrest – but when it became disruptive flight attendants asked her to leave the plane. In 2012 it was revealed that the Department of Transportation had certain guidelines allowing animals, including pot-bellied pigs, could be taken on flights. American Airlines, the parent company of US Airways, said the woman had the pig as an emotional support animal and was asked to leave the plane after it became disruptive.

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

This is CNN

November 27, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A great tribute to a modern American education

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Woman, 30, fitted with pacemaker collapses and dies in husband’s arms just minutes after walking through airport scanner: “A 30-year-old woman fitted with a pacemaker collapsed and died in her husband’s arms just minutes after walking through an airport scanner in Russia. Diana Tolstova was travelling with her partner Maxim when the scanner at Baikal International airport in Ulan-Ude, caused her device to malfunction. It is believed the electromagnetic waves caused the glitch with Mrs Tolstova’s pacemaker. Mr Tolstova told Central European News agency that the couple had handed papers to the airport to explain that his wife was fitted with the electrical device, which controls the rhythm of the heart. ‘I don’t know what happened but she went through it anyway,’ he said. Airport officials are investigating the incident. ‘Security and airport personnel are given strict instructions about how to handle people with pacemakers, and we warn them never to let a wearer go through a metal detector,’ an airport spokeman said.

The game whose eerie allure will never be put to rest: “Is there anybody out there? If Google is to be believed, the answer is a defeaning yes. The search giant predicts that the ouija board will be one of the most popular gifts this Christmas, following the recent success of a horror film called Ouija. Sales of the board, which is a means of getting in touch with the spirit world – an amusing parlour game to some, but a deadly (excuse the pun) serious matter to others – have apparently risen by 300 per cent since last month. The ouija board itself is a far newer invention. The board, with its arrangement of the alphabet and numbers from 0 to 9, was devised or invented in America in the late-19th century, and marketed from 1890 by the Kennard Novelty Company. The corners of the board contain the words “yes” and “no”, and at the bottom “good-bye”. In the middle there is a tear-drop shaped device called a planchette. The players put their fingers on the planchette, ask a question, and it rocks about spelling out the answer. The original boards were wooden. Today they are usually cardboard, and the planchette itself is plastic. This is the only way the ouija board has moved with the times.”

Stone Age axe discovered complete with its WOODEN handle: 5,500-year-old tool may have been left as a ritual offering: “Think of a Stone Age hand axe and you may imagine a simple teardrop shape hewn from flint. But archaeologists in Denmark have uncovered a rare 5,500-year old axe complete with its wooden handle. The Neolithic tool was revealed during a dig to prepare for a tunnel and may have been rammed into the ground as some sort of ritual offering. The flint axe’s wooden handle was preserved because the tool was shoved into the clay seabed, where oxygen could not reach it, according to archaeologists at the Museum Lolland-Falster. The team uncovered the tool in Rodbyhavn on the Danish island of Lolland, which will be connected to the German island of Fehmarn when the tunnel is built.

Gloria the cow models a festive knitted sweater: “Colourful Christmas jumpers have become all the rage during the festive period – but now it seems even animals have joined the fashion herd. Adorable fashion-conscious cow Gloria has got into the festive spirit by modelling her own Christmas jumper to help fight poverty in Africa. This year, the charity Send a Cow is aiming to send 20,000 gifts, sold through its Christmas catalogue, to stricken families living in seven African countries. And, to kick-start the cause, the Jersey purebred – who is the charity’s ambassador – has posed in her own custom-fitted knitted jumper. Arts and crafts specialist Elise Hurcombe, from Bristol, visited Gloria at her farm in Devon to measure her up for the patterned red and blue festive jersey. Gloria – who even added a Santa’s hat as the finishing touch – did not bat an eyelid as Ms Hurcombe attached Velcro straps to her existing coat. Unlike more conventional Christmas jumper, Gloria’s garment features chickens, cows and vegetables – the gifts the charity hopes people will buy to help the families.”

Bronze Age dagger saved after being used as a DOORSTOP: Norfolk farmer sells ceremonial weapon to museum for £40,000: “An incredible Bronze Age ceremonial dagger has been unveiled, after being used as a doorstep for more than a decade. A museum has paid £40,000 ($63,000) for the rare 3,500-year-old dagger ploughed up near East Rudham in Norfolk 12 years ago. Researchers believe the dirk was never meant to be used as a weapon and was deliberately bent when it was made as an offering to the gods. The 4.1lbs (1.9kg) dirk is made from bronze which is nine-tenths copper and one-tenth tin. The nearest source for the copper is Wales while the tin may have come from Cornwall. It was deliberately made with blunt edges and without a handle and was impracticable for use as a weapon. It dates back to the Middle Bronze Age – around 1500-1350BC – several hundred years after Stonehenge was built and perhaps 1000 years after Egypt’s Great Pyramid. Dr Tim Pestell, senior curator of archaeology at Norwich Castle, said: ‘Straight away they knew it was significant. It is three times the size of a normal dirk

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

A good moat

November 26, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Uncle shoots his niece dead because she refused to turn down her loud music: “A 16-year-old girl was gunned down by her uncle after she refused to turn down her loud music. Rehana Bibi was killed in her home in the village of Matan Kallaan, in Punjab province, Pakistan, after defying her uncle’s demands to lower the volume on her tape-recorder. ‘Two bullets were fired at the girl. One hit her in the head while the other on her face. She died on the spot,’ a police official told local media. Violence against women is rampant in Pakistan, with hundreds killed every year in the name of ‘honour’. Rehana’s father, Munsib Khan, told police that on Saturday he had left home early to go to work. His younger brother, Muhammad Gullistan, came to his house at 10am. It is believed Gullistan found Rehana listening to loud music and told her to turn it off. She refused and the pair began to fight. Mr Khan went to police to register a case against his brother. Another police official, Ali Akbar, said they were now attempting to arrest the killer.”

Computer game “Football Manager” could be introduced as homework in Scotland: “Pupils in Scotland could be swapping the real football pitch for a virtual one during PE classes, under proposals put forward at an education conference. Plans to introduce popular sport-related video games, such as Football Manager and Just Dance as part of PE lessons, were discussed during a meeting of the Scottish Association of Teachers of Physical Education. Key speaker at the meeting Len Almond, former foundation director of the British Heart Foundation National Centre, suggested the games could be used to encourage more youngsters into sport. ‘When you look at video gaming, the theory behind them has a lot to offer teachers in schools,’ he told MailOnline. ‘In effect, what we are saying is, they have found a way of exciting young children, they have found a way of self-corrected learning, internal motivation, and ensured they become part of the story.'”

Terrorist cricket bat?: “A young Pakistani cricket player and his entire family are being kicked out of Belgium after he was labelled a terrorist for carrying his bat on public transport. A photograph of Assim Abassi, who authorities thought was armed with a weapon, was circulated by the police last week and generated a terror scare. The incident followed an attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels earlier this year. When the 22-year-old saw his picture in local newspapers he contacted police and told them that he was only armed with a cricket bat. The piece of sporting equipment wasn’t easily recognisable as he was keeping it dry. Despite contacting police, the entire Abassi family of seven has lost its right to remain in Belgium. The Pakistani embassy in Brussels also fired Mr Abassi’s father, a diplomat, for damaging Pakistan’s reputation. The Belgian police have been criticised for failing to apologise to the cricket player and local MPs are said to have taken up his case.

Charge your phone in 30 SECONDS: Groundbreaking new ‘sponge’ battery can even charge a car in minutes: “An Israeli company says it has developed technology that can charge a mobile phone in a few seconds and an electric car in minutes. Using nano-technology to synthesize artificial molecules, Tel Aviv-based StoreDot says it has developed a battery that can store a much higher charge more quickly, in effect acting like a super-dense sponge to soak up power and retain it. While the prototype is currently far too bulky for a mobile phone, the company believes it will be ready by 2016 to market a slim battery that can absorb and deliver a day’s power for a smartphone in just 30 seconds. ‘These are new materials, they have never been developed before,’ said Doron Myersdorf. The company has raised $48 million from two rounds of funding, including backing from a leading mobile phone maker. Myersdorf declined to name the company, but said it was Asian.

He REALLY loves the outdoors: “An unemployed man who was desperately struggling to make ends meet has turned his passion into profit by selling his incredible nature photographs to support his family. Justin Brosey has applied for more than 200 jobs since he became unemployed at the beginning of the year due to cuts at his previous job. Along with his girlfriend and seven-year-old daughter, he lives in a 7x15ft trailer with no water, no electricity, no kitchen and just two little beds. He regularly travels into the forest to shoot macro images of everything from interesting insects to bizarre plants. He said: ‘Typically we go three to four days every week with no money whatsoever. ‘But sometimes we get donations on my website, or sell a photo and can get some stuff we need to make things easier to handle. ‘I’ve had a deep interest in photography since childhood but only in the last six years has my skill really been employed heavily. ‘It’s the only thing I know I should be doing. ‘My daughter handles it very well – we treat nature as a teacher and the forest is her classroom.”

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

Some very jolly German music

November 25, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

The sound of STATUS: Powerful people develop loud, high-pitched, monotonous voices, study claims: “You may have noticed that the voices of politicians seem to change as they rise up the ranks. Now scientists claim that being in a position of power can fundamentally change the way you speak and other people can pick up on these vocal cues. They say that the cues – such as talking more loudly with less variation in pitch – tell people who is really in charge, regardless of what an individual is saying. ‘Our findings suggest that whether it’s parents attempting to assert authority over unruly children, haggling between a car salesman and customer, or negotiations between heads of states, the sound of the voices involved may profoundly determine the outcome of those interactions,’ psychological scientist Sei Jin Ko of San Diego State University said.”

Dumb black arrested after posing with stolen credit card: “THEY say crime doesn’t pay, and in this woman’s case neither does posing with a credit card you allegedly stole. Mashana Harris learned the hard way that sooner or later the law will catch up with you, especially when your face is easily identifiable. The 26-year-old was arrested last week for allegedly charging nearly $500 in July on a credit card stolen from an elderly woman. The Florida woman was asked by a check-out staff member to pose with the card after she became suspicious it may have been stolen. When she used the card at Looking Good Beauty Supply a check out staff member asked her for ID and since she didn’t have any asked her to pose with the card. In August police were investigating the fraudulent transactions and stopped in at the beauty store where her photo was passed on to them”

Old Egyptian spell book deciphered: “WANT to win a heart? Got a ghost to get rid of? What about a persistent infection? A recently deciphered ancient Egyptian codex has a spell for that. Written in Coptic, the mystically illustrated piece of papyri contains 27 spells for a series of specific purposes. Want to know more of arcane history? Read all about Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, and the great and powerful “Baktiotha — lord over the forty and the nine kinds of serpents”. The book was purchased from a Vienna antiquities dealer by Sydney’s Macquarie University in 1981. Professors Malcolm Choat and Iain Gardner have now published the results of their research in the book, A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power. They say the book of spells appears to have originated among of group of Christian heretics known as Sethians in the 7th Century. The papyrus is itself a source of mystery. Who owned it before the sale to Maquarie University is unknown. Otherwise, a few clues contained within the document — such as the style of writing — suggests it originated near the ancient city of Hermopolis in Upper Egypt.”

Another dumb crook: “A New Mexico man is facing charges after he posted Facebook photos of stolen guns from an unsolved burglary. Christopher Banegas was arrested and charged this month in connection with the September 2013 heist at an Albuquerque home,KOB-TV reports. Police say they lacked any leads until the victim recently saw pictures of his stolen guns on his Facebook friend Banegas’ page. The two had been friends and the victim told police he didn’t check Banegas’ Facebook page because he didn’t suspect him.Banegas, who is thought to be a father in his late 30s, is now facing charges of aggravated burglary, larceny of a firearm, and tampering with evidence.

Miniature car enthusiast builds his own pint-sized replicas: “The Dwarf Car Museum, in Maricopa, Arizona, showcases the life’s work of mechanic Ernie Adams. The 74-year-old, from Walthill, Nebraska, built his first road-legal dwarf car in 1965 – out of nine old refrigerators. Each car is hand-built from scratch and takes between 3,000 and 4,000 hours to complete – and Ernie has been offered as much as $450,000 for them. Ernie has made hundreds of dwarf vehicles over the years, from race cars to scaled down replicas of classics like a 1939 Chevy – all of which are fully road legal. He said: ‘People ask me how they ride, I always tell em they ride like a corvette. ‘On a good road they ride real smooth, on a rough road they’re a little choppy but they all get out and travel highway speeds all day long. I drive them wherever I wanna go just like the family car.’ The miniature car enthusiast is understandably proud of the fact that he builds the cars himself in his backyard – even if people don’t always believe him. Ernie is deeply attached to his creations and despite several generous offers, he insists the dwarf cars are not for sale.

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

China

November 24, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cooling off in a swimming pool

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Stupid kid gets himself shot and killed: “Tamir, who was formally identified by officials on Sunday afternoon, was spotted ‘waving around’ the airsoft gun at a playground next to the Ohio recreation center at 3.30pm last Saturday. A concerned man, who was sitting nearby, called 911 and told the dispatcher: ‘I’m sitting in the park…there’s a guy here with a pistol, and it’s probably a fake one, but he’s pointing it at everybody. Minutes later, two Cleveland Police officers – a rookie and a 10-15 year veteran – arrived at the scene. The rookie then asked the boy to put his hands up, at which point the youngster reached into his waistband and pulled out the pistol. Despite the 911 caller’s prior warning that the gun was likely fake, the officer then fired two shots at Tamir, at least one of which hit him in the stomach, according to Cleveland.com. Police later told Fox 8 the weapon Tamir was carrying was ‘an airsoft type replica gun resembling a semi-automatic pistol.’ They added that the gun’s orange safety indicator had been removed.”

Chinese carmaker copies popular British SUV: “At first glance, the new car unveiled at a motor show appeared to be an updated model of the Range Rover Evoque. With its signature body shape, lights and radiator grill and silver logo across the front edge of its bonnet, it was the spitting image of the British bestseller. But in fact, it was a brazen copy of the hugely popular UK-designed ‘baby’ off-roader – and a fraction of the price. Little-known Chinese carmaker LandWind launched its £14,000 X7 at the Guangzhou motor show in China last week. Its uncanny similarity to the £40,000-plus Evoque’s distinctive design provoked an angry response from Jaguar Land Rover, which may take legal action to protect its brand. The British manufacturer has just opened its first car factory in China in a venture with local firm Chery. But drivers looking for a fashionable car at a bargain price might want to wait for safety inspection results. LandWind’s earlier CV9 people-carrier scored just two stars out of five in European crash tests in 2010”

Prince Charles has shabby sofas: “For his appearance on Countryfile last year, Prince Charles wore a Barbour–style coat patched up with so many different pieces of leather that he admitted he could ‘hardly move’ in it. Now his furniture has been exposed as just as threadbare. The heir to the throne, whose total income and funding was £21.68 million last year, took part in a Google webchat last week, where the state of the sofas at his London residence Clarence House has provoked much chatter. Badly frayed, the piped edging of the settee has seen better days. ‘His Royal Highness won’t throw anything out,’ says a courtier. ‘Make do and mend is the order of the day.’ Charles, 66, was seen with a noticeable patch sewn into his suit while visiting the set of Doctor Who last year. He even has a pair of shoes made from leather salvaged from an 18th century wreck which he said ‘will see me out’.”

“Boy, three, is banned from school photograph after headteacher brands his old-fashioned SHORT haircut “extreme”: “A three-year-old boy has been banned from taking part in his first ever school photograph – after his headteacher ruled his haircut was too short. When mother Julieann Yates, 28, arrived to collect him from school later that day the youngster said he had not been allowed to be in the picture. Furious, she immediately went to see the head, who said Delaney’s hair broke school rules and was ‘extreme’ as it had been cut too short. Julieann Yates, 28, said she was ‘absolutely furious’ that her son wasn’t allowed to be pictured, ‘It would have been his first ever school photos. I was very, very upset and angry. ‘Most of the school had their photos taken.’ ‘He has had the exact same hairstyle since he started nursery in September and the school has never said it was inappropriate.”

Venice bans noisy suitcases on wheels: “Residents of Italy’s floating city have had it up to here with the round-the-clock rumble of luggage being dragged across cobblestoned alleyways and bridges by a large proportion of the 27 million visitors who flock there every year. And their mounting irritation has prompted city authorities to draw up draft rules which will, from next year, see tourists become liable for fines of up to €500 ($700) if they fail to switch to noise-free wheels which are either made of rubber or air-filled – or simply opt to carry their luggage to and from their hotels. The ban also targets trolleys used by workers for the final leg of goods deliveries to businesses and residences within the city and local officials appear to be counting on bag manufacturers coming up with Venice-friendly models. “The rule is designed to respond to the numerous citizens who have in recent years complained to the local council about the serious irritation caused by stuff being moved about at times of the day and night when the law provides for protection against noise pollution,” the statement said.”

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

Elder memory

November 23, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

The black death is back: “An outbreak of bubonic plague has killed 40 people in less than three months, the World Health Organisation said. There have been 119 confirmed cases of the disease reported in Madagascar since late August and experts fear there is a risk of it spreading ‘rapidly.’ Two per cent of the cases recorded on the Indian Ocean island have been pneumonic plague, ‘one of the most deadly infectious diseases,’ that can kill within 24 hours. Health experts now fear the greatest risk could be in the capital, Antananarivo, where high population density and a weaknesses in the health care system could see it quickly spread. Plague is a bacterial disease that is mainly spread from one rodent to another by fleas. Humans bitten by an infected flea usually develop a bubonic form of plague, which swells the lymph node and can be treated with antibiotics. If the bacteria reach the lungs the patient develops pneumonic plague, which is passed from person-to-person through coughing. The first known case of the plague in Madagascar was identified in a man from Soamahatamana on August 31.He died on September 3.

‘Black Seadevil’ anglerfish caught on camera off the California coast: “In the dark waters off the California Coast an elusive and scary-looking fish has been caught on camera for only about the sixth time in history. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has captured video of an anglerfish. Only about half a dozen have been captured on film or video. The encounter occurred 2,000 feet beneath the surface and the peculiar-looking fish was observed and captured via the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s remotely-operated vehicle. The anglerfish is also known as the Black Seadevil and it lives in the deep, dark waters of the Monterey Canyon. Although it looks menacing, the fish in the video is only about 3.5 inches long. The small but scary-looking fish is named because of the manner by which it feeds: by dangling the luminescent tip at the end of a “fishing pole” projecting from its head, and using the “glowing lure” to attract unsuspecting prey. It then snatches that prey, usually a small fish or squid, with its long, sharp teeth. The fish had a role in Finding Nemo in which Marlin and Dory are enchanted by the glowing light and are almost caught!

Painting by Hitler sells for £103,000 at auction: “A 1914 watercolour by Adolf Hitler fetched 130,000 euros (£103,000) at auction in the German city of Nuremberg on Saturday, the auctioneers said. It had been expected to sell for £40,000. The buyer was a private person from the Middle East who attended the sale in person, said Kathrin Weidler, head of the auction house. She said there had also been inquiries from Asia and America. The painting, entitled “Standesamt und Altes Rathaus Muenchen” (Civil Registry Office and Old Town Hall of Munich), is one of about 2,000 works that Hitler painted between about 1905 and 1920 as a struggling young artist. Hitler’s Nazi party held mass rallies in Nuremberg between 1933 and 1938. In his autobiography “Mein Kampf”, he wrote that, as a young man, his hopes of becoming an artist had been dashed by repeated rejection by Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts.

The exotic ‘lost world’ island where time stands still: “A new documentary is lifting the veil on one of the most exotic travel destinations that very few people know exists. Socotra: The Hidden Land offers a revealing look at the remote island’s stunning landscapes and its people, whose ancient beliefs and lifestyles are under threat as they embrace modern practices and technology. With hundreds of endemic plants and animals the four-island archipelago of Socotra has been dubbed the Galapagos Islands of the Indian Ocean and one of the most alien landscapes on Earth. The ‘lost world’ territory that belongs to Yemen is best known for having 800 rare species of flora and fauna – a third of which are found nowhere else on the planet. Located 155 miles east of Somalia and 210 miles south of Yemen, Socotra lures adventurers with its sandy beaches, limestone caves and towering mountains, in addition to its unusual wildlife and vegetation.”

Chinese students furious after university officials killed a dog which had become a campus mascot: “Casper the dog would regularly sit in on English and calculus at the Northwest A&F University in Yanglin County in the city of Xi’an, in north-western China’s Shaanxi province. The story of Casper began to circulate in local media and on social networks, however university officials did not appreciate the attention, and poisoned the dog. Student Xiong Hou, 21, said: ‘It was felt the dog had a really good influence on people, and as far as I know none of the lecturers objected. ‘Sometimes they would joke that only the dog was paying attention. I think he liked the English classes and calculus because the seats were best there for him to sleep on. Another student at the University, Xiao Wang, 23, added: ‘It wasn’t necessary to kill Casper, he would sit all day long in classes so he was hardly a threat to anyone. ‘They were just embarrassed that he made them look unprofessional. But actually I think having a pet in the class is actually progressive and forward-thinking. Many people are very sad.'”

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

W.C. Fields

November 22, 2014 at 3:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Pro-boxer cleans up gang of 10 Russian thugs: “Nicolai Vlasenko, 29, returned from the bathroom to find a group of men harassing his wife to get her to join them at their table in a bar. Vlasenko, a professional boxer and martial arts expert, was caught on CCTV knocking out three of the thugs outside a bar in Starokorsunskaya, south-west Russia. When Vlasenko told the men to leave his wife alone, the self-declared leader, Leonti Yevdokimov, 33, suggested that he might want to continue the discussion outside. ‘One of them took off his shirt and started squaring up to the boxer, and I don’t think he even knew what hit him when he went down like a bowling pin. A second man tried to kick the boxer and he was floored instantly as well. Then a third man joined in, and he was left staggering and on the point of collapsing after taking three blows to the head and not landing once himself.’ Cameras outside the bar show how the rest of the group back away after the first three are knocked out cold, instead rushing to the aide of the floored thugs.”

Naked couple having sex in their car causes traffic chaos as drivers become gawkers: “WHEN police were called to a traffic jam outside a remote strip club and jail, they saw drivers gawking at a parked car rocking. There had also been complaints about the activities inside the car and when Springfield Police Department officers opened a door to the vehicle they found Kelli Knutson, 24, and her boyfriend 33-year-old Logan Jackson, 33, naked and “actively engaged” in sexual intercourse, New York Daily News reported. Sergeant Rich Charboneau told KVAL that Knutson and Jackson had been at The Brick House, a strip club. According to officers, the pair left the club, walked across the street, got into their parked car and began having sex, the Mirror reported. Sgt. Charboneau said it was because of those onlookers — and the traffic jam — that officers broke up the activity and made the arrests. Knutson and Jackson were arrested and charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct”

Spoilt bulldog: “An English bulldog in Upstate New York is pawsitively living up to his rock star name. Ozzy Pawsbourne the Prince of Barkness quickly became the viral of the week after footage of him swinging in a playground hit YouTube on Tuesday. Owner Jesse Citron – a die-hard Black Sabbath fan who hails from Woodstock – admitted to having reservations in making the clip public, fearing a possible animal cruelty backlash. Citron told Yahoo News that he was playing with his five-year-old daughter, Sophie, at a park in Kingston when Ozzy took a liking to the swing set. They decided to put him, and Sophie happily, albeit gently, pushed Ozzy along. While the video has garnered almost 50,000 views, its biggest fan is Sophie. ‘She asks to see the video all the time because she thinks it’s hilarious,’ Citron told Yahoo.”

A FAMOUS New Zealand bra fence has done another striptease, with hundreds of the undergarments once again removed: “Snippers struck for the third time this year, cutting the bras from the roadside farm fence this week. This time they struck during daylight and locals vented their fury at a couple of women — who were supposedly caught on camera — on the Cardrona bra fence’s dedicated Facebook page. As in past instances, people promised to place more bras on the fence. The fence, in Central Otago’s Cardrona Valley, started attracting bras in about 1999. The council removed them in 2006 but people still put them up. There are fears tourists stopping to photograph the fence will cause an accident.”

Cuban couple have a giant rat as a pet: “Some people keep guinea pigs or hamsters as pets. But in Cuba, where a larger, more exotic rodent runs wild, Ana Pedraza and her husband prefer the hutia. With a rope-like tail and long front teeth, the hutia grows more than half a metre in length, weighs the same as a dog and has the appearance of a giant rat. Now Mrs Pedraza and her husband Rafael Lopez have made it their mission to save the maligned creatures – by domesticating them with kisses, car rides and nips of rum. The couple say they only want to want to protect and take care of the animals, which are often killed for food on the Caribbean islands to which they are endemic. They began collecting hutias about five years ago when they found one languishing on a roadside and named her Congui.

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

The $50 Lesson

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

Recently, while I was working in the flower beds in the front yard, my neighbors stopped to chat as they returned home from walking their dog. During our friendly conversation, I asked their 12 year old daughter what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President someday.

Both of her parents – liberal Democrats – were standing there, so I asked her, “If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?”

She replied, “I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.” Her parents beamed with pride!

“Wow…what a worthy goal!” I said. “But you don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that!” I told her.

“What do you mean?” she replied.

So I told her, “You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and trim my hedge, and I’ll pay you $50. Then you can go over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.”

She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, “Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?”

I said, “Welcome to the Republican Party.”

Her parents aren’t speaking to me any more.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Mischievous brothers caught head-to-toe in paint after finding art supplies: “Uh-oh! These mischievous brothers certainly have some explaining to do after getting covered head-to-toe in paint. Ryder and Sawyer DiMario from San Diego, California, were caught red-handed by their father Cris following a dalliance with some art supplies. A home video shows the youngsters sheepishly hiding in the shower, struggling to explain their purple and green glow. When he and his brother are asked if they deserve to be punished they look at each other and shake their heads. Mr DiMario is then heard breaking into laughter as the boys’ adorable faces prove too funny. He tries to resume a stern manner, insisting that the siblings are in ‘big trouble’ but his voice continues to waver. At the end of the clip he says that a clean-up operation will be taking place.”

Dog takes on polar bear… and wins: “There should only have been one winner when a polar bear, one of Canada’s biggest and most fearsome predators, came face to face with a working dog. Only no-one thought to tell the dog. With hackles raised, hairs bristling and teeth bared, it went into a snarling frenzy. The half-ton bear was forced to admit defeat and trudge off into the distance. The dog, one of a number used to pull sleds, had been chained outdoors to prevent it escaping.

Lost painting by British artist John Duncan Fergusson which spent 100 years in an attic sells for record £638,000: “A lost painting by artist John Duncan Fergusson which was discovered in an attic has sold for a record £638,500. When it went under the hammer at Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale in London yesterday evening, it had a guide price of £80,000. But it ended up selling for eight times the estimate to an anonymous bidder and a world record for the artist at auction. Fergusson painted ‘Poise’, of a woman posing in a blue dress, in 1916. But it hasn’t been seen publicly after it was shown in London at the artist’s 1918 Connell Gallery exhibition. The painting previously belonged to a couple who were friends of Claude Monet before it was rediscovered in the attic in Giverny by their grandchildren. Prior to the sale, Andre Zlattinger, senior director, Head of Modern British Art, Christie’s London, described ‘Poise’ as a ‘a really exceptional work, of huge beauty and appeal’. He said: ‘The market for modern British and Irish art continues to be strong, appealing to collectors worldwide.

“Multicultural” Christmas jumper goes on sale that represents Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Atheism: “Over the years, political correctness has slowly eroded the the outlandish displays of festive cheer that occur around Christmas time. Numerous offices have banned decorations over concerns that it would make certain parts of the population feel left out and others have stopped Christmas booze raffles in case it offends people of religious faiths where alcohol and gambling are forbidden. So, with the huge growth sales of festive sweaters over the last few years, it was only a matter of time before someone invented the ‘Multicultural Christmas Jumper.’ And the website Britishchristmasjumpers.com are the first past that particular politically correct finishing post. Their multicoloured offering features several different signs of faith including; Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Sikh, a form of scientific atheism, Chinese philosophy and also the peace sign. The woolly garment can be pre-ordered from the site for £40”

Plastic hedges!: “Chinese officials are planning to lift spirits this winter – by putting up thousands of metres of plastic sheeting printed with green shrubs. The waterproof sheeting has been put up to mask hedges that have lost their leaves in the city of Changchun, the capital of north-eastern China’s Jilin Province. It is all part of a bid to beat the winter blues in the city – and if it works, officials say they would even consider installing plastic flowers. A council official told local media: ‘Many people feel depressed in the winter, and the site of the denuded trees only contributes to that feeling. ‘We want to try and cheer people up a bit by putting some greenery around to make them feel better.’ The images were greeted both by people who rubbished the idea and those who welcomed the initiative as a way of brightening the area up in winter.

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

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