The fastest way to peel an orange

March 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It really is simple

Another illustration here




Odd news from around the world

Scientists Photograph Extremely Rare, Teddy Bear-like Mammal For The First Time In 20 Years: “A mammal that has been eluding the lenses of researchers across the world for well over two decades was finally photographed late last year, reports National Geographic. According to the report, the animal known as Ili Pika is a small, mountain-dwelling mammal that closely resembles a teddy bear. Closely related to rabbits, the Ili Pika is one of the cutest animals you might never come across — just because they are so rare. While researchers knew the Ili Pika lived in the Tianshan Mountains situated in northwestern China, they were unable to photograph any specimen for the past 20 years — until last summer, that is. The scientific name of the Ili Pika is the Ochotona iliensis. It was discovered just over 30 years ago by accident in 1983. Since its discovery, only 29 live individuals of the species have been spotted, and the last time it was photographed was in the mid-90s. Researchers still do not have a clue regarding the ecology of the animal or its behavior and breeding patterns.”

The Shenyang market, the largest of its kind in Asia: “Shenyang’s night market in Liaoning, China, is Asia’s largest of its kind stretching some 1.2 miles. Selling hot and cold foods, as well as homewares and traditional dress, it is an opportunity for tourists and locals to perfect their bartering skills with the stallholders. Throngs of people cover both sides of the market huts, which shine bright against the night sky. The atmosphere is one of fun – as well as the traders dressing up for the occasion, shoppers are happy to add their own fashion accompaniments. The outdoor market is a nice alternative to the Wu Ai Market, popular with Shenyang locals and visited by people from all over China. Wu Ai, built in 1983, is a major distributor of clothes, accessories, make-up, knit goods, small household appliances and more.”



A facelift that really worked: “After losing half her body weight, Karen Hogan was left with an unnaturally aged face. Here she reveals why, in order to look herself again, she decided to go under the knife… “Seven years ago, I achieved a major goal in my life: I reduced my body weight by half to 10st. People’s reactions towards me changed immediately – the slights and slurs I had endured for years suddenly stopped. Now size-10 slender, I could finally step out from the shadows. Losing such a significant amount of weight in just a year was drastic and I achieved it the simple (some would say hard) way, by cutting out the things I loved most, namely anything – food or drink – containing sugar. It worked. If you’d met me then, you’d have thought I was much older than my 56 years. I looked tired and anxious all the time, to the extent that concerned people would ask what was wrong and tell me to ‘cheer up’. As I was about to hand over my credit card in exchange for yet another ‘miracle’ firming cream, it dawned on me that only the removal of the loose skin – in other words, a full face-lift – would be the answer’.”

Clever police dog finds missing dementia patient: “A NSW Police dog named Marco has saved the life of a missing man after finding him stuck in a river clinging to a tree in an area that had already been searched. Police were called to an aged care home at Mardi, on the NSW Central Coast, on Saturday night after a 65-year-old dementia patient was reported missing. Officers called at about 9pm searched nearby streets, a train station and the banks of the Wyong River with no success, prompting police to call in the Dog Unit to assist. One police dog – Marco – who was searching near the river repeatedly led his attached officer Senior Constable Patrick Summers to a specific spot on the river’s steep embankment that had previously been searched with no luck. Snr Const Summers searched through the area’s thick foliage and found the man stuck in the water and hidden behind a branch he was clinging onto just before 1am on Sunday. ‘Marco was persistent in leading me there.’ Police said the man was in too much shock to call out, and would not have been able to hold on overnight putting him at risk of hypothermia or drowning.

Australian woman climbs 1,700 steps of the Eiffel Tower in less than 10 minutes to win race up the French icon: “An Australian woman has claimed the top prize at a stair climbing competition in Paris, which saw her climb the 1,700 steps up the Eiffel Tower in under 10 minutes. Suzy Walsham is a professional tower runner and also won a similar race at the Empire State Building earlier this year for the sixth time. The 41-year-old competed in her first race nine years ago, which was the Swissotel in Singapore. In the first La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel on Friday, Walsham completed the trek in nine minutes and 44 seconds, making her the fastest female in the competition. The tower runner told Reuters the climb was tough and it became harder as she went higher. The men’s winner in the Paris race was Polish man Piotr Lobodzinski who completed the climb in seven minutes and 50 seconds. The inaugural event had 57 men and women from 16 countries competing.”

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

Good Advice from an Italian Grandpa…!

March 22, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An old Italian Mafia Don is dying and he calls for his grandson to approach the bed,

“Lissin a me. I wanna for you to taka my chrome-plated .38-caliber revolver so you will always remember me.”

The grandson smiles weakly and replies, “But Grandpa, I really doana lika guns. Howzabout you leava me you ROLEX watch instead?”

Gasping for air, the old man answers with a snarl in his voice, “Shuddup an lissin. Somma day you gonna runna da business. You gonna have a beautifula wife, lotsa money, a biga home, and maybea a couple of bambini.”

After a slight pause to catch his breath he continues, “Somma day you gonna comma home and maybe finda you wife inna bed with another man.

Whadda you gonna do then…pointa to your watch and say ‘Time’s up?’




Odd news from around the world

Girl tries to poison mother twice for taking iPhone: “Police arrested a 12-year-old Colorado girl accused of trying to kill her mother twice by poisoning her with bleach for taking away her iPhone, authorities said. Boulder County Sheriff’s Commander Heidi Prentup said in a statement that the mother drank the caustic fluid on one of the two attempts, which both happened within a week this month. On March 2, the girl poured bleach into a breakfast smoothie that she had prepared for her mother, Sheriff Prentup said. “Mom noticed an odor of bleach in the drink and thought her daughter had cleaned the glass prior to making the beverage and did not rinse all the bleach out,” the police statement said. A similiar incident followed four days later. Sheriff Prentup said the mother reported the girl to police, and that investigators then gathered enough evidence to take her into custody. The girl was taken to a juvenile detention facility on Friday where is being held pending the filing of charges”.

The true secret of a long life is Dr Pepper: “A Fort Worth woman turned 104 this week, and she credits a very special doctor for her good health and longevity: Dr Pepper. Elizabeth Sullivan fell in love with the 23-flavored soft drink 40 years ago, when she was in her 60s. ‘People try to give me coffee for breakfast. Well I’d rather have a Dr Pepper,’ she said. ‘I started drinking them about 40 years ago. Three a day. Every doctor that sees me says they’ll kill you, but they die and I don’t, so there must be a mistake somewhere.’ Larry Young, the CEO of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, gave Sullivan a big surprise for her birthday on Wednesday: a cake designed to look like the carbonated drink’s can, a gift basket and plenty of bottles of the pop to drink, according to CBS Dallas Fort Worth. As she reveled in excitement from the day, Sullivan reflected on her age. ‘Well at 103 I didn’t think I’d make it, but I’m still perking along,’ she told CBS. ‘When you live to be 104 and can still talk to nice people, you deserve some Dr Pepper, but I never expected this.’

Why men REALLY prefer big bottoms: “Modern man’s preferences for women with a curvy backside has been traced back to prehistoric influences. It found the ‘theoretically optimal angle of lumbar curvature,’ is a 45.5 degree curve from back to buttocks. This allowed ancestral women to better support, provide for, and carry out multiple pregnancies. ‘What’s fascinating about this research is that it is yet another scientific illustration of a close fit between a sex-differentiated feature of human morphology — in this case lumbar curvature — and an evolved standard of attractiveness,’ said the study’s co-author David Buss, a University of Texas at Austin psychology professor. ‘This adds to a growing body of evidence that beauty is not entirely arbitrary, or ‘in the eyes of the beholder’ as many in mainstream social science believed, but rather has a coherent adaptive logic.’ The research was published online in Evolution and Human Behavior”

61-year-old woman looking for missing cats under her bed touches hidden burglar who leaps up and escapes: “A Florida woman who was looking around the house for her cats found something much larger and more dangerous underneath her bed. The 61-year-old Palm Springs resident was reaching down to find her two missing moggies when she felt the skin of 5’10”, 25-year-old suspected burglar Christian Vatovec [above]. Vatovec, who lives in nearby Lake Worth, leaped up after being touched and went through the home’s backdoor before jumping over a fence and escaping. Police found the suspect, who faces charges of burglary to an occupied dwelling, grand theft and resisting arrest without violence, near a canal by the house, according to Local 10. The 61-year-old hairdresser, named locally, said that a gold ankle bracelet and digital camera with an estimated value of $800 were missing from her home after the Tuesday incident. Vatovec was taken back to the scene of the suspected crime by police and identified by the woman. He was being held in lieu of $53,000 bail as of Friday”.

Remarkable pictures show dozens of people scaling four-storey building to pass relatives notes during high pressure school leaving exams in India: “Authorities in eastern India have been left embarrassed after images of people scaling the walls of a school exam centre to pass notes to relatives were broadcast on national television. The images show dozens of people clinging to the windows of the four-storey building in the eastern state of Bihar, where more than 1.4million teenagers are sitting their leaving exams. Other images showed police officers and school staff doing nothing and simply standing by as people passed study aides to candidates inside examination centres. The students sitting the tests face tremendous pressure because they must pass the exams to continue their education. The images went viral on Twitter and made national headlines, but Bihar’s education minister P. K. Shahi refused to accept any blame for the cheating. He said: ‘You tell us what can the government do to stop cheating if parents and relatives are not ready to cooperate? Should the government give orders to shoot them?'”

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

Some brief reports

March 21, 2015 at 9:17 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

* While I sat in the reception area of my doctor’s office, a woman rolled an elderly man in a wheelchair into the room. As she went to the receptionist’s desk, the man sat there, alone and silent. Just as I was thinking I should make small talk with him, a little boy slipped off his mother’s lap and walked over to the wheelchair. Placing his hand on the man’s, he said, “I know how you feel. My Mom makes me ride in the stroller too.”

* As I was nursing my baby, my cousin’s six-year-old daughter, Krissy, came into the room. Never having seen anyone breast feed before, she was intrigued and full of all kinds of questions about what I was doing. After mulling over my answers, she remarked, “My mom has some of those, but I don’t think she knows how to use them.”

** Out bicycling one day with my eight-year-old granddaughter, Carolyn, I got a little wistful. “In ten years,” I said, “you’ll want to be with your friends and you won’t go walking, biking, and swimming with me like you do now. Carolyn shrugged. “In ten years you’ll be too old to do all those things anyway.”

*** Working as a pediatric nurse, I had the difficult assignment of giving immunization shots to children. One day, I entered the examining room to give four-year-old Lizzie her injection.
“No, no, no!” she screamed. “Lizzie,” scolded her mother, “that’s not polite behavior.” With that, the girl yelled even louder, “No, thank you! No, thank you!”

**** On the way back from a Cub Scout meeting, my grandson innocently said to my son, “Dad, I know babies come from mommie’s tummies, but how do they get there in the first place?”
After my son hemmed and hawed awhile, my grandson finally spoke up in disgust, “You don’t have to make up something, Dad. It’s okay if you don’t know the answer.”

***** Just before I was deployed to Iraq , I sat my eight-year-old son down and broke the news to him. “I’m going to be away for a long time,” I told him. “I’m going to Iraq .” “Why?” he asked. “Don’t you know there’s a war going on over there?”

****** Paul Newman founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children stricken with cancer, AIDS, and blood diseases. One afternoon, he and is wife, Joanne Woodward, stopped by to have lunch with the kids. A counselor at a nearby table, suspecting the young patients wouldn’t know Newman was a famous movie star, explained, “That’s the man who made this camp possible. Maybe you’ve seen his picture on this salad dressing bottle?”
Blank stares. “Well, you’ve probably seen his face on his lemonade carton.” An eight-year-old girl perked up. “How long was he missing?”

******* And my personal favorite… God’s Problem Now!!! His wife’s graveside service was just barely finished, when there was a massive clap of thunder, followed by a tremendous bolt of lightning, accompanied by even more thunder rumbling in the distance. The little old man looked at the pastor and calmly said, “Well, she’s there.”




Odd news from around the world

Are grumpy old men a MYTH?: “Hollywood has given moviegoers many classic portrayals of grumpy old men. But new research suggests that getting older doesn’t necessarily make people cynical and suspicious. In fact, it can make them more trustworthy. Researchers examined the association between age and trust at multiple points in history, using a sample of 197,888 individuals from 83 countries. The results suggested a positive association between age and trust, one that has existed for at least the past 30 years with little change over time. ‘Our new findings show that trust increases as people get older and, moreover, that people who trust more are also more likely to experience increases in happiness over time.’ The studies, combined into one research paper, have been published online in the journal “Social Psychological and Personality Science”.”

Elderly couple get compensation for a “rowdy” holiday: “A Parish councillor has won a £400 payout from Thomas Cook after booking what he thought was a ‘relaxing holiday’ to a Greek party island where he was housed with ‘boozed up’ youngsters at a Club 18-30 hotel. John Moore, 56, from Herne in Kent, planned to spend a week on the island of Zante with his partner Angela, 51, in September. Rather than the peaceful break they were hoping for, the couple, who run a sweet shop in Herne Bay, Kent, were booked into Christina Studios in the resort of Laganas in Zante, advertised as an 18-30 clubbing destination. After spending two nights in the hotel where youngsters were ‘banging on the walls and screaming and shouting’, the couple abandoned the package holiday for something more quiet. They have since been awarded £400 in compensation by the holiday company. Mr Moore decided to launch legal action when they failed to act, and was recently offered £400 after requesting a summons from a judge. Among reviews of the apartments online is one which warns: ‘Don’t bother if you are over thirty as it’s too noisy.'” Thomas Cook apologised for the couple’s experience in September.”

Pranksters put cheap IKEA print in art gallery and ask people to value it… with some saying it is worth nearly £2million: “A group of pranksters managed to trick more than a dozen art lovers into thinking that a cheap print from IKEA was a valuable work of modern art. Dutch YouTube jokers lifehunterstv took a £7(10 euro) print and placed it in an art museum in Arnhem, and asked visitors what they thought of the ‘painting’ and how much it could be worth. Several art fans praised the IKEA print, with some valuing it to £1.8million(2.5million euro), before being told of the hoax. They told visitors the painting was done by famous Swedish artist ‘IKE Andrews’, and, according to the pranksters, all of the nearly 20 people interviewed bought the lie.” One man praises the print for its ‘constructiveness of things on top of each other, inside each other’. Another visitor, a man in a flatcap, beard and glasses, claims he can ‘clearly see that it concerns a form of symbolism’, adding that the artist has a ‘beautiful spirit’.” ‘The whole day everyone thought our “painting” amazing,’ the team behind the prank says.”

Youngsters with matching hands found to be smarter: “Children with matching pairs of hands are quicker-witted than those whose hands are less symmetrical, research has shown. They are able to react faster in mental tests, even after accounting for age and gender differences, scientists found. The findings suggest a link from an early age between body symmetry and brain performance. Previous studies have shown that men with more symmetrical faces are likely to experience less mental decline as they age. Lead researcher Professor Ian Deary, director of the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology at Edinburgh University, said: ‘The connection between physical symmetry and reaction times could be an important clue to health and well-being over a person’s life course. The scientists studied 856 children aged four to 15 whose hand symmetry was measured using a digital scanner. Reaction times were assessed by means of a computer test, the journal Developmental Psychology reports.

‘Busy’ police find time to tackle DIY speed sign: “Police told a pensioner that they were too busy to deal with speeders using his road – but turned up within 30 minutes after he put up his own warning sign. Officers in Newbury, Berkshire, claimed they ‘did not have the resources’ to monitor motorists outside pensioner Richard Baker’s terraced home. So he made a ‘Max Speed 20mph’ sign and stuck it on the roadside –only to find an officer on his doorstep demanding that he remove the notice half an hour later. Mr Baker, 71, said he and his partner Rosemary Cribb fear someone will be knocked down and killed by the ‘mad’ drivers. ‘No one will do anything about the speeding, but put up an illegal sign and all of a sudden you get the police banging on your door,’ he said. ‘All I want to do is stop people speeding before there’s a tragedy – somebody’s got to do something about it. Mr Baker’s road was made a 20mph zone in 2010 after repeated requests from worried residents and local councillors.”

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

Japanese Hotel Service

March 20, 2015 at 2:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Canadian salesman checked into a futuristic hotel in Tokyo, Japan ..

Realizing he needed a haircut before the next day’s meeting, he called down to the desk clerk to ask if there was a barber on the premises.

‘I’m afraid not, sir,’ the clerk told him apologetically, ‘but down the hall from your room is a vending machine that should serve your purposes.’

Skeptical but intrigued, the salesman located the machine, inserted 15.00 Yen, and stuck his head into the opening, at which time the machine started to buzz and whirl.

Fifteen seconds later the salesman pulled out his head and surveyed his reflection, which reflected the best haircut of his life.

Two feet away was another machine with a sign that read, ‘Manicures, 20.00 Yen’. ‘Why not?’ thought the salesman. He paid the money, inserted his hands into the slot, and the machine started to buzz and whirl. Fifteen seconds later he pulled out his hands and they were perfectly manicured.

The next machine had a sign that read, ‘This Machine Provides a Service Men Need When Away from Their Wives, 1 Yen.’

The salesman looked both ways, put one Yen in the machine, unzipped his fly, and with some anticipation, stuck his manhood into the opening.

When the machine started buzzing, the guy let out a shriek of agony and almost passed out. Fifteen seconds later it shut off.

With trembling hands, the salesman was able to withdraw his tender unit, which now had a button sewn neatly on the end.




Odd news from around the world

“Clever” email addresses not so clever: “You could tick all the boxes in terms of experience, education and skills when applying for a job, but if your email address is too informal it could be holding you back. Research has discovered that addresses considered cute or funny, and even those that contain underscores, can hinder your chances. And this has the same negative effect on recruiters as spelling mistakes on a résumé. The study was carried out at the Department of Social and Organisational Psychology at VU University, Amsterdam. Researchers created six fictional résumés featuring a range of email addresses – from to – work. They asked 73 recruiters aged between 20 and 65 to fill out an online survey assessing the cognitive ability, personality, and hirability of the six applicants, for the job of a HR specialist. ‘The results show that recruiters do indeed assess the hirability of an applicant with a résumé featuring a formal email address higher than that of an applicant with a résumé featuring an informal email address,’ said the researchers. And this detrimental effect was on par with that caused by spelling errors.

Would you eat a steak that’s 180 days old?: “Seated on a banquette in a critically acclaimed London restaurant near Canary Wharf, I am introduced by a waiter to what will shortly be my lunch. It is a caveman-sized slab of raw meat which, viewed from above, looks not unlike the scaly back of a crocodile. Lumpy and cracked, its blackened hue is lightened only by a streak of green-tinged mould — all in all a sight that does little for my appetite. While it has been kept chilled during six months, it has been unwrapped and exposed to the air, maturing in much the same way as a fine cheese might. Which turns out to be a not entirely inappropriate comparison. After all, steak and blue cheese are not uncommon bedfellows. But all the same, it is not a note I would entirely associate with a piece of prime rib-eye. But then who am I to argue? Among well-heeled foodies extreme-aged beef is all the rage. But not everyone is convinced that ageing beef for this long — ‘controlled decomposition’ as one celebrated American butcher puts it — is anything more than a expensive gimmick.”

Would YOU turn your brown eyes blue?: “A Californian company says it hopes to offer a $5,000 (£3,400) medical procedure that can transform any eye colour to blue, permanently. The technique, which is currently undergoing clinical trials, works by using something known as ‘scavenger cells’ to digest and remove the pigment from the iris surface. A specific laser frequency passes through the clear cornea of the eye, before it is selectively absorbed by the dark pigment covering the iris. This causes the body to ‘initiate a natural and gradual tissue-removal process. Once the tissue is removed, the patient’s natural blue eye is revealed,’ explains the website. By removing the pigment, light can enter small fibres in the eye. When the light scatters, it only reflects back the shortest wavelengths, which appears blue. So far, 17 patients in Mexico and 20 in Costa Rica have undergone the treatment. The company hopes to trial a total of 100 patients over the next few years. .

Fat and foolish old lady gets jilted: “A disabled pensioner said she was ‘gutted’ after marrying her Tunisian toy boy following a whirlwind romance – only for him to leave her when he arrived in the UK. Patricia, who lives in the Midlands, was feeling lonely when she signed up to an internet dating website and was quickly contacted by 26-year-old Mondher, from Tunisia. ‘When he first contacted me he was all lovey-dovey and he started telling me he loved me when we had been talking for three weeks and asking me to go there for a holiday.’ Mondher told Patricia that they could be together despite the 33-year age gap at the time, and being from different countries. Despite suffering from crippling osteoarthritis, six months later she jetted off on holiday and it was love at first sight. Patricia married Mondher in 2012 and said she felt ‘like a princess’, despite having to pay for everything, including the sheep that was to be slaughtered for the celebratory meal. Eight months later, she secured Mondher a visitor’s visa, but a happy reunion was not to be. ‘He didn’t have much communication with me at all,’ said Patricia. ‘It was like once he’d moved here, that was it.”

Lazy daughter and unsympathetic mother: “A schoolgirl who didn’t want to take part in a PE lesson asked her mother to write a sick note for her teacher but she was probably surprised when she found out what she had said. The girl, known only as Olivia, wanted to avoid the class because it was ‘too cold’ and needed a note saying she had a valid medical excuse. But her quick-thinking mother Sam wasn’t buying it and penned a letter which said the only thing she had wrong with her was a severe case of ‘bone-idle-itus’ and was ‘perfectly fit’ to take part. She even suggested Olivia did a few extra laps to warm her up ahead of the lesson. The letter is signed off with a note asking the teacher to hand it back to Olivia once they had read it. She posted a picture of the note on Facebook. It was accompanied with the comment: ‘Well here you go Olivia here’s your note for PE, it will be sealed & in an envelope ready for her to hand to the head in the morning.’

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

Smart cat

March 19, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wait for it




Odd news from around the world

Vodafone customer gets incorrect £15,000 phone bill and has to do a sit-in to get it withdrawn: “A businessman who was wrongly issued with a £15,000 phone bill by Vodafone only managed to get it cancelled by staging a three-hour sit-in at the firm’s headquarters. Edward Martin was sent the enormous invoice after the mobile phone company put him on a new tariff, but after eight hours on the phone he was unable to get them to admit their mistake. Eventually, he was forced to go and camp outside the multinational firm’s headquarters – and they were so desperate to make him go away that they caved in and cancelled the bill. ‘I must have spent eight hours on the phone to them being transferred to India, then Johannesburg, then onto Egypt and back to South Africa,’ Mr Martin said. ‘On one occasion I waited 27 minutes to speak with someone who told me they would call me back but they never did. That’s just basic disregard for their customers.’ ‘They have apologised and have launched an investigation, but they could have done a lot of damage to other people and businesses.”

12-year-old boy hailed a ‘star’ after he refused a reward for returning a phone: “When Josh Brown found a phone on the train last month, he did what he hoped someone would do for him: he returned it. Brown told Michelle Hickinbottom, 36, that he would leave her daughter Shaunnah’s phone at the ticket office at Selly Oak train station. In return Michelle asked the boy to leave his address and she would send him a £20 reward. But when Michelle arrived to pick up the phone, instead of an address, she was given a hand-written note from Josh. “Don’t worry about the money, just do something nice for someone else,” he wrote. Michelle decided she wanted to track Josh down as she “thought it was a lovely thing to do,” she told the Daily Mail. “I was choked when I saw the letter. I was really overwhelmed. He will go far in life with an attitude like that. He seems a great lad,” she said.”

A strange British version of “health & safety”: “Council bosses have come under fire after barring parents from bringing their prams into a mother and baby centre for ‘health and safety reasons’, telling them to use an outside buggy park instead. It is thought the buggy park has been in place for around three weeks, despite previous government advice saying there is no need for a ‘blanket ban’ on prams inside children’s centres. Jade Davidson, who is mum to four-month-old Charlie, added: ‘It was about three weeks ago when I first encountered the ban. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing I thought it was a joke. ‘Charlie has not been very well since birth so when I was asked to leave his pram outside in the sleet and rain I was really upset. ‘I needed to take him in to be weighed so I agreed but when I came back out and put him in the buggy he was freezing and developed a cold as a result.

Do you have a pet VAMPIRE crab?: “Despite their creepy claws and bright yellow eyes, vampire crabs are increasingly popular pets. Now, experts have discovered two new species of the spooky crustaceans – Geosesarma dennerle and Geosesarma hagen – have been lurking in home aquariums for years. They traced the freshwater crabs’ origins back to their wild source – finding that they live in rivers on the island of Java, Indonesia. ‘These crabs are kind of special because they’ve been around in the pet trade for ten years, but no one knew where they come from,’ said Christian Lukhaup, a professional aquarist in Waiblingen, Germany, who was speaking to National Geographic. They are apparently easy to care for and are quite sociable, getting along well with one another and seldom fight. The crabs grow up to one inch wide (3cm) and live for up to three years. He suspects there are more vampire crab species to be uncovered on Indonesia’s islands, because the crabs tend to stay put, meaning different species could exist in different places.

White van man so keen to get a parking space he RAMS another car out of the way: “A white van driver rammed another car out of the way so he could park his vehicle in a particular parking space. CCTV footage shows the white van pulling up behind a black Peugeot 207, which is parked on a residential street in Sheerness, Kent, before shunting it forward several yards. The driver then gets out of his vehicle and brazenly walks around the front of his van, between the two vehicles, before disappearing down an alleyway. Dan Lassman, 23, who owns the Peugeot, said he had parked it outside his home and was perplexed when he went outside and realise it had been moved. He said his car had been shoved onto the kerb and had suffered hundreds of pounds worth of damage. Mr Lassman, who is training to be a lorry driver, added that there was damage to the boot and rear bumper of his vehicle. After making the discovery, he spoke to his neighbour Dennis Smith who let him access the CCTV footage from the front of his house. Mr Lassman managed to spot the white van bumping his car and reported the incident, which happened just before 2.30pm on Monday, to police.”

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

What a stud!

March 18, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

Arriving two hours before an aircraft’s takeoff time is ‘too close to departure’ for someone to board? “A boy being rushed to hospital for a double organ transplant was prevented from boarding a Ryanair flight because they arrived at the airport too close to departure. The boy and his parents had rushed to Gran Canaria’s airport on March 7 after being informed by staff at Madrid’s Hospital La Paz that a liver and kidney had unexpectedly become available. But despite arriving for a 4.50pm flight about 3pm, they were told they could not board because of the proximity to departure. According to Aviacion Digital, an airline industry website, the unnamed boy and his family were attempting to fly – at the hospital’s insistence – on RyanAir flight RYR2012 to the capital on the Saturday afternoon, The Local reported. Eventually, the family found a flight with Air Europa which departed one-and-a-half hours later and the boy underwent the surgery.”

Was Stonehenge a ‘Mecca on stilts’? Structure supported a wooden platform: “Whether it was a Druid temple, an astronomical calendar or a centre for healing, the mystery of Stonehenge has sparked endless debate over the centuries. Now a dramatic new theory suggests that the prehistoric stone circle monument was in fact ‘an ancient Mecca on stilts’. The megaliths would not have been used for ceremonies at ground level, but would instead have supported a circular wooden platform on which ceremonies were performed to the rotating heavens, according to new research. Julian Spalding, former director of some of the UK’s leading museums, argues that the stones were foundations for a vast platform, long since lost – ‘a great altar’ raised up high towards the heavens and able to take the weight of hundreds of worshippers. Part of his evidence lies in ancient civilisations worldwide. As far afield as China, Peru and Turkey, such sacred monuments were built high up, whether on manmade or natural sites, and with circular patterns possibly linked to celestial movements. ‘In early times, no spiritual ceremonies would have been performed on the ground,’ said Mr Spalding.”

French oldster arrested trying to smuggle his young Russian bride home in a suitcase: “A French pensioner was arrested for trying to smuggle his new Russian bride home in a suitcase -before discovering she was free to travel anywhere in the EU. The unnamed man, who is in his 60s, was one of thousands of Western men who visit Russia every year to find love. It is not known where or how he met his young wife, but he assumed that she would not be allowed into the EU without a visa. Because of these fears, he ‘folded’ her into a suitcase and placed her in the luggage rack of a train as he set off back to Nice, in southern France. At Terespol station, on the border between Poland and Belarus, the woman was found by immigration officials, who immediately arrested the couple. The wives of men with EU passports can travel wherever they like in the EU, so if the woman had simply sat next to her husband there would have been no problem. The couple were eventually released after questioning and were allowed to carry on with their journey.”

Purple stone found in 9th century Viking grave is inscribed ‘for Allah’ showing warriors traded with Islamic civilisations: “A ring crafted more than 1,000 years ago confirms highlights the contact between the Vikings and the Islamic world. Discovered inside a ninth century woman’s grave in Sweden, the stone inset into the ring bears an inscription that says ‘for Allah’ or ‘to Allah’. While it is already known that the Vikings acquired glass in far flung lands, the artefact bolsters the theory that the seafaring civilisation did business with Islamic traders. The ring was discovered during excavations of a Viking trading centre in Birka, Sweden, in the late 1800s, Science News reported. Since then, it has been thought that stone in the ring is violet amethyst, but now experts have revealed it is coloured glass – an exotic material at the time. Researchers at Stockholm University used a scanning electron microscope to determine the material and to clearly reveal ancient Arabic writing called Kufic writing, that reads ‘for Allah or ‘to Allah.’

Are the ruins of the lost city of Atlantis on LAND?: “It has long been seen as a mythical and powerful city, lost for more than 2,000 years beneath the sea. Explorers have traveled to Crete, Malta, Sicily and Santorini in search of the the mysterious metropolis of Atlantis – described in detail by Greek philosopher Plato. But a computer expert has challenged these theories after he claimed the lost city did not sink at all, and said he had tracked down the site – to an area on land in Morocco. Michael Hubner claimed Atlantis was overwhelmed by a tsunami, which then receded leaving the remains undiscovered, near the coast of Marrakesh. The German computer expert formed his theory using mathematics to calculate the precise GPS coordinates of the lost city. He meticulously gathered every detail he could from Plato’s ‘Timaeus’ and ‘Critias’ which describes Atlantis in detail and gives in total 51 clues about the mysterious city. These ‘clues’ include that Atlantis was near the sea and had a ring-like structure surrounding its centre. Crucially, it was also said to be 3,100 miles from Athens. This area includes Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The site pinpointed by Hubner had many of the 51 clues, including being surrounded by concentric circles”

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

Pesky hyphen

March 17, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

Prisoner who asked warders for a Bible was given porn magazines instead: “A prisoner who asked warders for a Bible was offered pornographic magazines to help him ‘get to sleep’, a report has found. Academics conducting ground-breaking research into sex among inmates in British prisons said the incident proved that it was often tolerated by staff. The study, for a commission established by the Howard League For Penal Reform pressure group, said some jails were not providing inmates with condoms to stop the spread of sexually-transmitted infections behind bars. Even though sex between prisoners or with staff is not allowed, inmates are supposed to have free access to condoms if they are thought to be at risk of catching a disease. The report said: ‘One interviewee recalled how, feeling “overwhelmed and nervous” on his first night in prison, he asked the night staff for a Bible. ‘After some time, an officer returned and apologetically explained that he could not find a Bible but he could lend instead a selection of pornographic magazines “to help you get to sleep”.’

Don’t mess with the warrior beetle!: “A warrior beetle lived up to its name when it was recorded dispatching a devil scorpion with little effort. A man placed the two creatures into a container to show what happens they face off, warning viewers that the invertebrate would feed on its natural prey. After feeling out their environment, the combatants lock horns in battle to the death. Sensing its predator the scorpion turns and tries to make a run for it. But the beetle steamrolls forward and is undeterred by its competitor’s sting. It dives at the scorpion’s tail and clamps on with its powerful pincers. Despite the scorpion turning and attempting to fend off the beetle on a number of occasions, the outcome is inevitable and eventually it starts to slow down. Releasing the tail – now bent and crooked – the beetle jumps on the scorpion’s right pincer before returning to the tail and chopping it in half. According to the video’s creator, warrior beetles, known scientifically as Pasimachus californicus, eat devil scorpions in the wild.”

Biker risks his life as he attempts traverse of the famed White Line trail on Sedona’s red rock cliffs: “Michal Kollbek was filmed defying gravity as he made his way over the famed White Line in Sedona – a near impossible route carved into a rock in Arizona. The stunning one-minute clip was filmed using a drone flying overhead and sees Polish rider Kollbek gradually make his way along the path with Red Rock State Park seen in the background. Kollbek, 30, has had practice with extreme stunts before and the Polish rider has claimed numerous downhill racing titles. To prepare for the horizontal ride, Kollbeck had to let air out of his tires to maxmimise their grip on the rocky face. He then adjusted the suspension on the bikes frame and raised his saddle and walked across the route himself to create a mental picture beforehand. ‘Conquering this ride was all mental,’ he told HuffPost. ‘I was confident with my skills and knew I could execute it. The key was to block the out the scary thoughts about the potential danger, so I just focused on the trail and not on the terrifying space around me.'”

“Phallic” neckline? “A green jacket worn by Network Ten’s Natarsha Belling to present the news is causing a stir on social media after her phallic shaped neckline was pointed out. A photo of Belling wearing the jacket in question on Ten’s Eyewitness News has been liked over 110,000 times on Facebook after the website Unilad posted the caption ‘once you see it, you cannot unsee it’. The image has also been shared over 6,000 times as the comments over Belling’s outfit rage on. The bemusement and fascination with her top appears to stem from the fact when you first look at the photo it’s hard to notice anything – but once the neckline’s shape is pointed out it’s hard to ‘unsee’ it. ‘You legend I couldn’t find what was happening but you’ve made me at ease now,’ Adam Baldwin said.”

British hospital patients and visitors accused of eating all the pies: “A Greggs bakery based in an NHS hospital is the fast-food chain’s second busiest outlet in Britain, it has been revealed. The counter at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton is often so busy selling steak bakes, bacon rolls and pizzas that ropes have to be used to separate queues of hungry customers which can reach 20 people deep. Greggs, which has flourished on the high street over the last decade and has more than 1,600 shops, would not reveal which of its outlets was the busiest. But David Loughton, chief executive of Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals, said he had heard on good authority that the bakery at the hospital was the chain’s second busiest. Mr Loughton told the Daily Star Sunday: ‘There is a cafe in site that sells all healthy food but it gets nowhere near the footfall that Greggs gets. ‘You can understand the appeal. It is relatively cheap.'”

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

Just catching up

March 16, 2015 at 2:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

Cheapskate British health service risks patient health: “Revised guidelines on type 2 diabetes could ‘set the Health Service back a decade’ as doctors will be told to prescribe old-style cheaper drugs, experts warned yesterday. Concern centres on two drugs suggested for those needing to bring their blood glucose under control. They are repaglinide and pioglitazone which are rarely prescribed and linked to weight gain and ‘hypos’ in contrast to many newer but more costly agents. Pioglitazone is banned in France because of fears over bladder cancer and not funded by health bosses in Germany as other drugs are deemed more effective. ‘Among its drawbacks are the need to take it three times a day and lack of evidence on heart safety. The guidelines appear to be driven by cost. But the cost to patients and the Health Service of the serious side-effects is under-estimated. ‘It could set back diabetes care in the NHS by a decade.’

Fans dress up for comic book party: “Tens of thousands of comic book fans decked out in fancy dress gathered in London today for one of the UK’s biggest celebration of animated culture. The London Super Comic Book Convention, which kicked off last today, saw fans donning elaborate and often skimpy costumes in homage to their comic book favourites. Comic super-fan and television presenter Jonathan Ross was among the celebrity guests for day one alongside Storage Wars’ Sean Kelly and John Romita Junior- son of comic book legend by the same name- who draws for DC comics. There were a number of tributes to Guardians of the Galaxy’s tree-like character Groot and characters from the Lego Movie. Among the best-dressed were also a trio who posed as Batman and his nemeses the Joker and Harlequin. A total of 25,000 fans are expected to pay the Excel Centre, in east London, a visit over the course of the event, which lasts until tomorrow. One of the event organisers, Gary Morris, said: ‘It’s been an incredible first day. The atmosphere has been amazing and the level of costumes has been out of this world.”

Strange cartoon evokes furore: “An episode of a popular children’s show has apparently been pulled off the air after disgusted parents noticed cartoonists had drawn a picture of a pair of bare breasts into a scene. Oggy and the Cockroaches is a French animated comedy series produced by Xilam and Gaumont Film Company and which airs on the Nickelodeon children’s TV cartoon channel NickToons. But the comedy has caused fury among some parents after an episode showed a framed picture of a topless lady showing off her assets. The busty topless cartoon character – who appears to be a duck blessed with an enormous bosom – was in the background of an episode which aired in the US on March 5. She also sports a pair of tiny bikini briefs, giant sunglasses and a bouffant hair-do.”

Vicious bitch: “A young woman who plunged a nine-inch kitchen knife into a fellow partygoer in a row over alcohol, has been jailed for 10 years. Samantha Houlgrave, 20, stabbed Samuel Madden because he wanted to take unopened drinks he had brought to her house party home with him. He suffered damaged to his kidneys and liver and was told if the wound was half an inch either way he would be dead. Mr Madden had to undergo extensive surgery to make sure he was not suffering internal damage. Detective Constable Rob Sledge said Mr Madden had been left with both physical and mental scars as a result of the attack, which happened at Houlgrave’s home in Blackburn, Lancashire. He said: ‘They had both been drinking at Houlgrave’s house.. It was a house party gone wrong. ‘Mr Madden decided to leave and he wanted to take the drinks he had paid for with him. Houlgrave objected. ‘Mr Madden has been really lucky because the surgeon said if the knife had gone in half an inch either side of where it did, he would be dead.’

Wise woman chooses a real man: “Bristol Palin has announced she is engaged to her Medal of Honor winning boyfriend Dakota Meyer. The 24-year-old daughter of the former Alaska governor and failed vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin shared the news on her Intsagram page on Saturday. Alongside an image of her kissing the 26-year-old former marine, who won the Medal of Honor, she wrote: ‘Truly the luckiest girl in the world, cannot wait to marry this man!!!!’ The mother-of-one then uploaded a picture of her engagement ring and wrote a piece on her Patheos blog. Kentucky native Meyer, who served in the Marines for four years, also shared his excitement on social media, saying: ‘I’m definitely the luckiest guy ever to be able to spend the rest of my life with [Bristol].’ Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2011 after repeatedly charging into a kill zone during a 2009 ambush in Kunar Province, Afghanistan in search of four of his missing soldiers. He was able to rescue 36 troops and kill eight Taliban attackers despite being shot in the arms.”

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

Some etymologies of varying credibility

March 15, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A SHOT OF WHISKY In the old west a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents, so did a shot glass of whisky. If a cowhand was low on cash he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a “shot” of whisky.

THE WHOLE NINE YARDS American fighter planes in WW2 had machine guns that were fed by a belt of cartridges. The average plane held belts that were 27 feet (9 yards) long. If the pilot used up all his ammo he was said to have given it the whole nine yards.

BUYING THE FARM This is synonymous with dying. During WW1 soldiers were given life insurance policies worth $5,000. This was about the price of an average farm so if you died you “bought the farm” for your survivors.

IRON CLAD CONTRACT This came about from the ironclad ships of the Civil War. It meant something so strong it could not be broken.

PASS THE BUCK Most men in the early west carried a jack knife made by the Buck knife company. When playing poker it was common to place one of these Buck Knives in front of the dealer so that everyone knew who he was. When it was time for a new dealer the deck of cards and the knife were given to the new dealer. If this person didn’t want to deal he would “pass the buck” to the next player. If that player accepted then “the buck stopped there”.

RIFF RAFF The Mississippi River was the main way of traveling from north to south. Riverboats carried passengers and freight but they were expensive so most people used rafts. Everything had the right of way over rafts which were considered cheap. The steering oar on the rafts was called a “riff” and this transposed into riff-raff, meaning low class.

COBWEB The Old English word for “spider” was “cob”.

SHIP STATEROOMS Traveling by steamboat was considered the height of comfort. Passenger cabins on the boats were not numbered. Instead they were named after states. To this day cabins on ships are called staterooms.

SLEEP TIGHT Early beds were made with a wooden frame. Ropes were tied across the frame in a crisscross pattern. A straw mattress was then put on top of the ropes. Over time the ropes stretched, causing the bed to sag. The owner would then have to tighten the ropes to get a better night’s sleep.

SHOWBOAT These were floating theaters built on a barge that was pushed by a steamboat. These played small towns along the Mississippi River . Unlike the boat shown in the movie “Showboat” these did not have an engine. They were gaudy and attention grabbing which is why we say someone who is being the life of the party is “showboating”.

OVER A BARREL In the days before CPR a drowning victim would be placed face down over a barrel and the barrel would be rolled back and forth in an effort to empty the lungs of water. It was rarely effective. If you are over a barrel you are in deep trouble.

BARGE IN Heavy freight was moved along the Mississippi in large barges pushed by steamboats. These were hard to control and would sometimes swing into piers or other boats. People would say they “barged in”.

HOGWASH Steamboats carried both people and animals. Since pigs smelled so bad they would be washed before being put on board. The mud and other filth that was washed off was considered useless “hog wash”.

CURFEW The word “curfew” comes from the French phrase “couvre-feu”, which means “cover the fire”. It was used to describe the time of blowing out all lamps and candles. It was later adopted into Middle English as “curfeu”, which later became the modern “curfew”. In the early American colonies homes had no real fireplaces so a fire was built in the center of the room. In order to make sure a fire did not get out of control during the night it was required that, by an agreed upon time, all fires would be covered with a clay pot called-a “curfew”.

BARRELS OF OIL When the first oil wells were drilled they had made no provision for storing the liquid so they used water barrels. That is why, to this day, we speak of barrels of oil rather than gallons.

HOT OFF THE PRESS As the paper goes through the rotary printing press friction causes it to heat up. Therefore, if you grab the paper right off the press it was hot. The expression means to get immediate information.




Odd news from around the world

70 years of separation has seen vocabulary of North and South Korea splinter into two different dialects: “The two countries, though enemies, are tied together by history, by family and by language – but only to a point. South Koreans have incorporated many English words and phrases into their language while isolated communist North Korea has eliminated words with foreign origins and created homegrown substitutes. For those south of the divide, English-based words like ‘shampoo,’ ‘juice’ and ‘self-service’ are common. But they mean absolutely nothing to defectors from the insular North Korea. Similarly, people in Seoul are confused by homegrown North Korean words like ‘salgyeolmul,’ which literally translates to ‘skin water’ – but is just ‘lotion’ in the South. The gap has grown so wide that about a third of everyday words used in the two countries are different, according to scholars. South Koreans use the English loan word ‘juice’ but North Koreans say ‘danmul,’ or ‘sweet water.’ South Koreans watch a ‘musical’ but North Koreans see a ‘gamuiyagi,’ or ‘music and dance story.'”

A strange twist on the usual story: “The woman whose secret life as a £300-an-hour call girl made her a fortune is suing her ex-boyfriend for libel – because he claims she was NEVER a prostitute. Dr Brooke Magnanti, 39, whose diary of her adventures working as a high class escort was published anonymously under the pen name ‘Belle de Jour’, is reportedly suing on the grounds that the claim damages her reputation. Her blog told of her life as a struggling graduate in London and working as call girl to fund her studies – and included her former lover Owen Morris, known only as ‘The Boy’. It led to two bestselling books and the successful Secret Diary Of A Call Girl series, starring Billie Piper. But American-born Dr Magnanti has said she faced a backlash for glamourising prostitution after her identity was revealed. The books and series also led Mr Morris, a former RAF officer, to file a lawsuit in 2013 challenging Dr Magnanti’s version of events. He claimed her stories were based on her sex life with him. But in what is likely a legal first, Dr Magnanti’s legal team had launched a counter-claim at Edinburgh’s Court of Sessions, VICE reported. They are set to argue that claiming she had never worked as a prostitute is defamatory.

US government uses extremist’s sharia law photo in free speech ad: “The US government has made a bizarre internet gaffe by posting a British Muslim extremist’s photograph of veiled women calling for sharia law, citing it as an inspirational example of free speech in the West. The [government] campaign posted the picture on its Twitter account last week, adding: ‘In open societies, all faiths enjoy freedom of speech; under ISIS rule, no such thing as freedom of expression.’ The photograph shows Muslim women, all in black burkas, running a stall in Dalston, East London. They are standing behind a trestle table covered in leaflets and a banner reading: ‘Shariah law or man made law. Conservative US commentator Mark Steyn added: ‘Why is the State Department promoting sharia for the United Kingdom? Aren’t they supposed to uphold the Constitution of the United States? Sharia’s incompatible with that constitution, as it is with the legal inheritance of Western civilisation.’”

British police handed £50,000 worth of gold bullion and DOUBLOONS found under a hedge: “Police are searching for the owners of a collection of gold and silver bullion, coins and doubloons [above] which were discovered under a hedge in Hertfordshire. The £50,000 find was made in London Colney last month and detectives believe the bullion may have been stolen in a burglary. The items were mostly found individually wrapped in cellophane or were held in plastic containers. Detective Sergeant Karen Lewis, from the St Albans Local Unit, said: ‘Despite several enquiries, we have so far been unable to trace the owners of these items. ‘The items are very distinctive so we hope that someone might recognise them and that they can be returned.'”

Straight British TV personality rather thrown by homosexual antics: “Katie Hopkins is trying to re-brand herself as a gay icon. And the outspoken journalist and Celebrity Big Brother star has seemingly taken a step in the right direction, by acting as a judge at a gay porn competition. One of the female contestants donned nothing but a pair of suspenders and stockings, causing Katie to gawp in shock. Although she appeared quite shocked at some points, sitting up on stage with her fellow judges while looking at men in next to nothing as they danced around a pole, she couldn’t help but laugh away with the crowd during the raucous evening. Listed on their website, G-A-Y describes their regular Porn Idol night as ‘the most fun you can have with or without your clothes on a Thursday’.

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

Not so smart

March 14, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

Groom is rejected at the altar by bride after he proved he couldn’t add up: “A blundering Indian groom was dumped at the altar by his bride-to-be after he failed to solve a simple maths problem. The woman walked out of the ceremony after her would-be husband revealed his appalling arithmetic skills moments before they said ‘I do.’ She had asked him to add up 15 + 6 and he wrongly replied that the answer was 17. ‘The groom’s family kept us in the dark about his poor education,’ said Mohar Singh, the bride’s father. ‘Even a first grader can answer this.’ Most marriages in India are arranged by the families of the bride and groom. The groom’s family tried persuading the woman to return, but she refused. Local police were called in to mediate between the families and both sides returned all the gifts and jewelry that had been exchanged before the wedding, Kumar said.

World’s first successful PENIS transplant: “A 21-year-old man has undergone the world’s first successful penis transplant. The ‘ground-breaking’ operation took South African surgeons nine hours to perform, and allowed the patient to urinate normally and become sexually active again. Three years ago the man, who remains unidentified, was forced to have his penis amputated after a botched circumcision. Each year thousands of young men, mainly from the Xhosa tribe in South Africa, have their foreskins removed in traditional rituals, with experts estimating around 250 losing their penises each year to medical complications. The operation was carried out by surgeons from Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, using a penis donated from a deceased person. Professor André van der Merwe, head of the University’s Division of Urology, said they were surprised by the patient’s rapid recovery. ‘It was a privilege to be part of this first successful penis transplant in the world.’

British Keystone Kops again: “A Comic Relief fundraiser sparked a large-scale police alert when he was seen walking along a busy road in full camouflage carrying a ‘large rifle’. Armed police, a helicopter and patrol cars were called to the Whitefriars area of Norwich after members of the public raised the alarm this morning. But officers have now revealed that the man, who lives locally, was just on his way to a fundraising event in a costume complete with a toy AK47. Chief Inspector Chris Spinks said the man surrendered the ‘weapon’ and was ‘apologetic and very embarrassed’. ‘He surrendered the weapon which was an imitation firearm. It was a plastic model AK47 which he had painted himself to make it more realistic.

British woman reunited with lost car two days after she forgot where she had parked it: “A woman has been reunited with her brand new car after she launched a social media [Facebook] appeal for help after forgetting where she had parked it for a job interview. Fallon Jerome, 21, completely forgot where she had parked her white Seat Ibiza following an interview with Homecare 4U at Brookfield House, in Stockport, on Wednesday. The carer, who had driven all the way from Southampton, had only bought the £4,000 Seat Ibiza a few days earlier. After three hours retracing her steps, she contacted police and the local council who confirmed the car had neither been involved in a crime or towed away. Frustrated, Miss Jerome took her appeal to social media to ask for help in finding the car. And Samantha Taylor, 30, responded after recognising the car and the area it was parked from the description provided. Miss Jerome said she was embarrassed by the fuss but touched by the warm response she had received. She said: ‘I feel so stupid but am really happy to find it, it was such a worry.”

When 300 is the magic number: “Not too long ago, a £300 handbag or dress would have been considered the height of extravagance: designer items for the wealthy elite, and far beyond the reach of most ordinary women. How is it, then, that £300 has become the so-called ‘sweet spot’ for brands, garnering the sort of sales figures that could never be achieved with peddling small quantities of ultra-luxurious items to the super-rich? Well, it seems fashion has remembered the middle classes, because the ‘£300 Club’ is being touted by fashion insiders as the future for an industry that only a couple of years ago seemed intent on pushing its prices into the stratosphere. And while few women would impulse-purchase items at this price — when the average monthly spend on clothing and footwear is less than £100 per household — there are enough takers to have hugely boosted the sales of companies such as Michael Kors and Tory Burch. These are long-anticipated purchases that, at around the £300 mark, can be just about rationalised by the middle classes as investments or well-deserved treats — something that could never be said of, say, a £2,500 classic Chanel.”

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

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