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March 26, 2015 at 3:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

More insane British bureaucracy: “A woman who died last year aged 92 has been sent a council tax bill – for a penny. Elsie Watson left the paltry debt after moving from Woodley near Stockport into a care home whose staff forwarded the unopened bill to her son Barry Holland. The Stockport Council demand, which would have cost 60 times more to post than the penny debt, even offered Mrs Watson the chance to pay in instalments. Barry Holland, 72, of Cheadle Heath, whose wife has paid the bill, has branded the letter ‘ludicrous.’ Mr Holland said: ‘It is ludicrous, I really do think it is horrendous that the council can send out letters for a penny to someone who is 92, even if they didn’t know she was dead. ‘My mum was fiery, I imagine she would have gone down there, thrown a pound at them and said keep the change. ‘These people have no knowledge or feelings. ‘Whoever sent this has cost 60 times more than a penny with a stamp.”

Mexican mayhem: “Rival fire brigades who turned up to tackle the same blaze started fighting over who should put it out – before police turned up and joined in the brawl. The conflict unfolded when firemen from Mexico’s Heroic Fire Department and Ceda Fire Department were dispatched to deal with the brush fire in the capital Mexico City. But tempers frayed when both sides disagreed over who should deal with the situation and a fight broke out. Passer-by Atanasio Rivas Matos, 25, who captured the conflict on his mobile phone, said: ‘One of the groups of firemen started spraying the other group with water, who retaliated by throwing bricks at them. But rather than calming the situation down, the appearance of the officers seemed to fuel the conflict and the firemen quickly turned on the police. ‘The police were trying to separate the two groups when they came under attack from the firemen who started punching them, and then more policemen who turned up to stop the fighting were also attacked. ‘It was like something out of a very bad comedy.’ Now furious city officials have demanded an explanation”.

Hipster beards really ARE just a way to get women: “Last year scientists declared we had reached a ‘peak beard’ situation. Bearded hipsters, they said, would start picking up their razors in the realisation that their facial hair was no longer unique. But instead, beards have become thicker and bigger, and now scientists believe they have a new explanation; men are using it as a badge of dominance to attract women. This ‘badge’ means that, whether or not women like the look of a beard, they will still be attracted to a man because it suggest that he is more powerful in society. The theory is being proposed by a new study that found the more competition a man has to deal with, the more flamboyant he gets – at least in the world of primates. Dr Cyril Grueter from the University of Western Australia said this was especially the case in big, multilevel societies where male primates have developed more ostentatious ‘ornaments’. These include the elongated noses of proboscis monkeys, the upper-lip warts in golden snub-nosed monkeys, capes of white and silvery hair in hamadryas baboons – and beards in humans.

Politician uses her ‘laser-like eyes’ to free Australian imprisoned in Egypt: “Australian journalist Peter Greste has thanked Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for using her ‘laser-like eyes’ to secure his release from an Egyptian prison, comparing her to the Terminator. Speaking at The National Press Club in Canberra, Mr Greste, who has now been a free man for seven weeks, paid a special tribute to Ms Bishop, claiming she had brought out her famous stare which he described as her ‘secret weapon’. ‘One person… commented on your uncanny ability to smile very warmly and at the same time burn holes through the back of their skulls giving them the distinct impression that they’ve just been hugged by the Terminator,’ Mr Greste said to the room full of journalists. Mr Greste addressed the minister, thanking her for her involvement in his case and her constant pioneering for his release”. The 49-year-old Al Jazeera journalist landed back on Australian soil in early February after spending 400 days in jail.”

The US Navy’s ‘ghost hunter’ hits the water: “The US Navy is set to unleash an army of ‘ghost drones’ to scour the coasts for enemy submarines. They hope to end the growing threat of quiet, diesel powered enemy submarines enters American waters undetected. The robot boats will go to sea for us to three months at a time. Diesel-electric submarines, with their nearly-noiseless engines, are incredibly difficult to track from afar. They’re also cheap at $200 million to $300 million apiece, making them affordable to the likes of Iran, which claims to have a fleet of 17. The test boat was able to tail a target boat at 1 kilometer’s distance, something military bosses say is a major step forward. ‘Picking up the quiet hum of a battery-powered, diesel-electric submarine in busy coastal waters is ‘like trying to identify the sound of a single car engine in the din of a major city,’ says Rear Admiral Frank Drennan, commander of the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command.” ‘It will be able to transit by itself across thousands of kilometers of ocean and it can deploy for months at a time. Russia has been selling diesel-electric subs to buoy its shipyards, triggering what some are calling an undersea arms race”.

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

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