February 15th, 2012

Sweeper truck jumps curb, ends up hanging from tree: CRESTWOOD, Missouri - (by Kim Bell) A bizarre crash left a sweeper truck dangling sideways in a tree early Wednesday on a bluff overlooking Interstate 44 in Crestwood.

The driver of the truck was trapped for about an hour but escaped serious injury, rescuers say.

The man, in his mid 40s, suffered cuts on his face and was complaining of leg pain but was conscious and alert during the rescue, said Crestwood's assistant fire chief, Mark Menning....read more w/pic from the St. Louis Post-Dispactch

February 14th, 2012

Police: Naked cowgirl drove drunk: CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Texas police said they arrested an 18-year-old woman who led them on a chase while wearing nothing but a pair of cowboy boots.

Corpus Christi police said officers responding to a call about a suspicious person around 3:10 a.m. Sunday spotted Taylor Burnham, 18, standing next to a Jeep Wrangler wearing nothing but her boots, The Smoking Gun web site reported Tuesday.

Burnham jumped into the driver's seat of the vehicle and led police on a slow-speed chase into a neighboring subdivision, where she drove onto a sidewalk before coming to a stop....read more w/pic from UPI


Biggest ever meteorite found on doorstep: An ornamental rock that lay on the doorstep of a house for at least 80 years has just been revealed as the biggest meteorite ever found in Britain.

The space rock, which weighs 200lb and is 1.6ft long, had been outside a house at Wilsford cum Lake, near Amesbury, Wilts, since at least the early 1900s.

Experts who previously examined the rock assumed that it had been brought to England, having landed elsewhere several thousand years ago....read more w/pic from The Telegraph (UK)

February 13th, 2012

400-year-old witchcraft trial resumes in Germany: (by Matthew Day) The trial of a woman burnt at the stake 400 years ago for witchcraft resumed in Germany on Monday in an effort to clear the woman's name.

Katharina Henot suffered her fiery fate in Cologne in 1627 after being found guilty of practicing black magic. Arrested, and tortured to such an extent that the right-handed woman had to scrawl her last letter of defence with her left hand, she was eventually paraded through the city in an open cart before being tied to a stake and burnt.

Now the panel on the city council whose predecessors found her guilty of witchcraft hundreds of years ago will review the evidence. It is suspected that Henot, head of the city's post office, fell foul of a deadly game of political intrigue orchestrated by her rivals and detractors....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Wacky 911 calls: A Toronto baby undergoing potty-training dialed 911 with a cellphone after its mother provided the device as a diversion.

Another cell user insisted a cat dialed the three-digit emergency number.

A woman wanting police to fetch her escaped bird later reported she climbed a tree, fetched the feathered fugitive, and no longer needed help....read more from CNews

February 12th, 2012

Man sells bed made of beer bottles: WAIKANAE BEAC, New Zealand - A New Zealand man says he sold a bed made out of used beer bottles online for $3,000.

The bed, sold Wednesday, is comprised of 318 bottles and supports a single mattress, The Dominion Post reported.

The bottles are placed standing up between two wooden plates. They are illuminated by florescent green light....read more from UPI


Bank tells credit rating firms man is dead: PROSPERITY, S.C. - A South Carolina man says he was denied a bank loan for a new home because his credit report listed him as deceased.

Arthur Livingston's bank, Bank of America, has been reporting the chemical company regional manager as deceased to the three major credit rating agencies since May 2009, ABC News Radio reported Saturday.

The 39-year-old Prosperity man said he discovered the bank's blunder in October when he tried to obtain a loan for a new house from a mortgage company....read more from UPI

February 11th, 2012

Woman credits 38KKK bosom for saving her life in car crash: WASHINGTON: A woman has credited her record-setting boobs for saving her life after she lost control of her car and slammed it into a tree.

Sheyla Hershey, who, according to her website, was named as having the largest augmented breasts by her native Brazil's equivalent of the Guiness Book of World Records, said that she was driving to pick up her husband after a Super Bowl party, when the accident occurred.

Hershey, resident of Houston, Texas, said that the airbags in her Ford Mustang didn't go off, which could have led to serious injury for most people, but her 38KKK bosom saved her....read more from The Times of India


A unique date? Wastewater treatment plant: NEW YORK - A wastewater treatment plant in Brooklyn, N.Y., says it's offering a Valentine's Day date to remember -- a tour of the plant.

"It's a unique date, and one they'll never forget," said Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Jim Pynn.

On the Valentine's morning tour, offered by the Department of Environmental Protection, Pynn will show off the plant's egg-shaped "digesters," which break down noxious waste into sludge and gas....read more from UPI

February 10th, 2012

Toilet training posters for Swansea University students: Swansea University [UK] students are being given toilet training after complaints about the state of the loos on their campus.

Bosses at Swansea University have put up signs instructing students how to use the toilets properly after some were found in a mess. They show images of both the correct and incorrect ways to use the loos.

They have blamed "cultural differences" in the way that the toilets are used by foreign students....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Why the last chocolate tastes the best: (by Andrew Hough) The last chocolate tastes the best because knowing something is set to end makes people enjoy it more, a study has found.

Psychologists discovered that people become “motivated” when they know an experience is about to be completed.

The University of Michigan study found that this led to a person thinking the experience would end happily....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


IT guy answers daughter's Facebook rant by shooting her laptop: (by Lewis Page) Here it is, with the incensed dad leading in by reading out the offending Facebook post and offering a few points in response before emptying his .45 – apparently loaded with "exploding hollow point rounds"* – into his daughter's machine.

Viewers will note that the testy IT-guy's daughter had seemingly blocked her Facebook diatribe from being viewed by her parents, despite the fact that it was notionally addressed to them. Not only did she show an undoubtedly misguided faith in Facebook's privacy defences (all the more unwise, as her father points out, when one has a dad who works in tech), the obstreperous teen also showed a very poor awareness of cliche, leading off her remarks with the statement that she is not her parents' slave....read more w/video from The Register

February 9th, 2012

'Stolen' $9m jewels found in drawer: Five years after their disappearance, jewels thought stolen from the wife of the US ambassador to the Netherlands in 2006 have been found in the Hague.

Dawn Arnall realised her 7m euro (£5.9m; $9.3m) gems were missing months after staying in a Dutch hotel.

Unknown to her, the jewellery had been found and was held for safekeeping by the hotel, AFP reports, before being given to an employee as unclaimed....read more from BBC News


City won't recognize man's masculinity: NEW YORK - A former Marine's lawsuit against New York says a hospital mix-up listed him as female on his birth certificate and the city is refusing to correct the error.

David Hassan, 29, filed a lawsuit in city Supreme Court saying the mistake on his birth certificate was not noticed until 2003, when he was denied a new ID by a clerk who noticed the error, the New York Post reported Thursday.

"I am not, nor have I ever been, female," he said....read more from UPI

February 8th, 2012

Cop chases shady character who turns out to be himself: A police hunt for a suspected burglar came to a sudden and embarrassing halt in Sussex, England, when the cop in pursuit realized he was chasing himself.

According to a Daily Telegraph report based on a story that appeared in a Police Federation publication, the anonymous plainclothes officer spent 20 minutes looking for himself.

The officer was investigating an area recently hit by a series of burglaries, when the CCTV camera operator reported seeing someone "acting suspiciously" in the area....read more from CNews


The Korea Times gets taken for an intergalactic ride: The Korea Times, the largest of three English-language daily newspapers in South Korea, added a breaking story to their science subhead on Tuesday: A Swedish company named Ocean Explorer uncovered an alien ship remarkably similar to the Millennium Falcon on the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

The United Nations dispatched authorities in Unidentified Submarine Objects, or USOs, along with an elite Navy SEALS team to the Baltic Sea in response to the clearly urgent situation....read more from The Daily Caller

February 7th, 2012

British Scientists Show Vegetables Can 'Talk': A research team at the University of Exeter visualized on television the ability of plants to communicate, the university reported on its website.

Injured plants are capable of releasing a gas that triggers responses in plants around them. But the team at Exeter, led by Professor Nick Smirnov, was the first to catch the process on film by infusing a plant with a firefly gene and using a special camera....read more from RIA Novosti


'Oldest living twins' aged 102 in Aberdeenshire: Two 102-year-old sisters who live in Aberdeenshire, Scotland have been recognised as the world's oldest living twins by the Guinness World Records.

Edith Ritchie and Evelyn "Evie" Middleton were born in 1909 and reached their latest milestone in November last year.

The twins, whose maiden name is Rennie, live together in Bonnyton House care home in Ellon....read more from BBC News

February 6th, 2012

Aww, man! Bart Simpson joins Barbie in Iran ban: The Simpsons are corroding the morals of Iranian youth, an official said Monday, as dolls based on Bart, Homer and the rest of the American cartoon family joined the shapely Barbie among Western toys targeted by a new crackdown in Tehran.

"The Simpsons dolls are merchandise from an animated series, of which some episodes are even banned in Europe and America," Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, whose agency oversees what Iranian children can play with, told the Sharq newspaper. He did not elaborate on what episodes might have been censored elsewhere....read more from Reuters UK


New Breed Of 'Piranha Women' Preying On Men: (by Larisa Brown) Wealthy men are being tricked into bed by single women who deliberately get pregnant because they view a baby as a career option, a top lawyer warned yesterday.

Soaring numbers of men are being forced to part with their money once they have been ensnared in this way by pretty young females.

They are seen as easy prey by devious women who have no desire to work and equate a baby to a trophy and a meal ticket to a gourmet life for the next 18 to 21 years....read more from the Daily Mail

February 5th, 2012

Retrial ordered after judge falls asleep: GOTHENBURG, Sweden - A retrial has been ordered for an appeals court case in Gothenburg, Sweden, after the presiding judge fell asleep during proceedings, lawyers said.

"It is (a) very important aspect of the legal process that the person trying the district court decision is present," said prosecutor Margareta Esplund.

The judge, whose name was not reported, maintains he did not fall asleep during the trial but has nonetheless agreed to no longer preside over the case, Swedish news agency TT reported Saturday....read more from UPI


McButt-in tasered at drive-thru: Cops in Hope Mill, N.C., opened fire with a stun gun on a woman who butted in line at a McDonald's drive-thru.

Evangeline Lucca, 37, who was with her three-year-old daughter, became confrontational with burger joint employees, who refused to serve her at the pick-up window Friday and asked to go to the end of the line....read more from CNews

February 4th, 2012

Kobayashi downs record 337 wings at Pa. Wing Bowl: PHILADELPHIA - Competitive-eating champ Takeru Kobayashi (tah-kah-roo koh-bee-yah-shee) conquered Philadelphia's annual gustatory gorge-fest by eating 337 chicken wings in a half-hour before a crowd of nearly 20,000 at Wing Bowl XX.

The Japanese phenom demolished the record of 255 set last year by Jonathan "Super" Squibb.

The Friday morning extravaganza drew thousands to the Wells Fargo Center before sunrise to watch competitors stuff themselves with chicken wings....read more from Associated Press


UK Lottery winners receive benefits despite winning millions: A couple who won £10.2 [US$16.1] million on the lottery have defended their right to claim benefits more than six years later.

Mick and Jean O'Shea won the huge EuroMillions sum in 2005, but Mr O'Shea still receives £500 [US$791] a month disability allowance because it is not means-tested, according to the Sun newspaper.

The former builder said: "I worked for 40 years and I'm entitled to it. I've been getting it since about 1996....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

February 3rd, 2012

Kazakhstan zoo monkeys given wine 'to ward off flu': A zoo in central Kazakhstan, where overnight temperatures have dipped to nearly -40C, is giving monkeys a wine concoction as a remedy against flu.

Karaganda Zoo chief animal specialist Svetlana Pilyuk told local media it was not a matter of making the animals drunk but of "relaxing" them.

The red wine is diluted with hot water and mixed with sugar and fruit....read more w/pic from BBC News


U.S. inmates hide pig in official police car decal: Inmates working at a correctional unit’s print shop in Vermont sneaked a prank image of a pig into a state police crest that is emblazoned on police cars, and 30 cruisers sported the design for the last year, according to officials.

The official crest depicts a spotted cow against a background of snowy mountains, but the inmates’ version featured one of the cow’s spots shaped like a pig in an apparent reference to the pejorative word for police, state police spokeswoman Stephanie Dasaro said.

“It dishonors the memory of those past and present members, especially for those who have lost their lives in the line of duty,” Dasaro said....read more w/pics from CNews


74-year-old man dies after swallowing dentures during sex session with prostitute: The pensioner collapsed at the end of a 30-minute session with the 62-year-old hooker.

Paramedics rushed to the scene but the man, known as Chen, was pronounced dead by the time he arrived at hospital.

Medical staff later found his dentures stuck in his throat, following the incident in New Taipei City, Taiwan....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

February 2nd, 2012

German pensioner eats 64-year-old tub of lard: A German pensioner who kept a tub of American lard in his cupboard for 64 years after receiving it in an aid package, has declard it is fit for consumption after a taste test.

Retired chemist Hans Feldmeier, 87, told the AFP news agency he had received the pig fat as a student in 1948 near the northern city of Rostock as part of the post-Second World War US aid programme.

He said he had been given the tub together with two tins of noodles and some milk....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Mind-reading breakthrough is hailed by US scientists: A machine capable of deciphering people's thoughts could become a reality thanks to a breakthrough by US neuroscientists.

Researchers from the University of California-Berkeley developed a technique to record and decode patients' brainwaves and translate the electrical activity into words.

"This is huge for patients who have damage to their speech mechanisms because of a stroke or Lou Gehrig's disease and can't speak," Professor Robert Knight, coauthor of the study, said today. "If you could eventually reconstruct imagined conversations from brain activity, thousands of people could benefit."....read more from NEWS.com.au


Beyond the law: WikiLeaks to move its servers to international waters at Sealand: Wikileaks is reportedly planning to move its servers to international waters where “nobody can touch them”.

Sources from within the hacker community with knowledge of the inner workings of WikiLeaks claim founder Julian Assange’s financial backers are investigating ways it can evade prosecution from US law enforcement, Fox News reported.

“If you get a certain distance away from any land, then you're dealing with maritime law,” one source said....read more from NEWS.com.au

February 1st, 2012

Chile: Man arrested over glacier ice theft: Police in the south of Chile have arrested a man on suspicion of stealing ice from the Jorge Montt Glacier.

Officials in the town of Cochrane found five tonnes of ice in the back of his truck.

Scientists say the glacier, in the Patagonia region, is retreating faster than any other in Chile....read more from BBC News


Treasure hunter claims $3bn WWII-era find off US coast: A Maine treasure hunter says he has discovered a WWII-era shipwreck filled with platinum, now worth $3bn (£1.9bn).

Greg Brooks of Sub Sea Research says a wreck sitting 50 miles (80km) off the US Atlantic coast is the SS Port Nicholson, sunk in 1942.

The Port Nicholson, a British merchant ship, was torpedoed by a German U-boat in an attack that killed six people....read more from BBC News


Bill sent 50 years after fine paid: (by Mathew Grocott) A Manawatu [New Zealand] man has been left dumbfounded by a letter asking him to pay a fine he had settled 50 years ago.

John Jamieson of Himatangi was laughing about the letter yesterday, but said that when he first opened it he received a shock. The letter, from the Ministry of Justice, dated January 19, 2012 began "the court is trying to find a person with unpaid fines or reparation, we believe you are this person".

It then said Jamieson had five days to contact the Ministry about whether he was the person they were looking for....read more w/pic from Stuff.co.nz


Man, 60, accused of impersonating officer to visit locked-up fiancee in Oklahoma County jail: (by Andrew Knittle) A 60-year-old man accused of posing as a law enforcement officer was able to gain access to the Oklahoma County jail on six occasions so he could visit his fiancee, who was being held there.

Dawud Ali, of Oklahoma City, was charged Tuesday with six counts of unauthorized entry into a prison institution, a felony.

Ali was able to fool jail staff by pretending to conduct “official law enforcement interviews” with the woman, who was being held at the facility for unspecified reasons, according to a court affidavit....read more from The Oklahoman

January 31st, 2012

Bill would make Toto's breed, cairn terrier, Kansas state dog: TOPEKA, Kan. - A Kansas state lawmaker is proposing a measure to make the cairn terrier, the breed of Toto from "The Wizard of Oz," into the official state dog.

Democratic state Rep. Ed Trimmer of Winfield, acting on an idea proposed by Brenda Moore of Augusta, obedience chairwoman with the South Central Kansas Kennel Club, introduced House Bill No. 251 last week to make the cairn terrier the official state dog, The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle reported Tuesday....read more from UPI


Chinese tots subjected to palm-reading: Several kindergartens in a province in northern China are charging parents 1,200 yuan ($190) for a palm-reading test that they claim can predict their toddlers’ intelligence and potential, state news agency Xinhua said.

Many parents have flocked to palm readers for the test, used in kindergartens in northern Shanxi province and designed for children above the age of three months, the report said.

According to the company that designed the tests, Shanxi Daomeng Culture Communication Co, the reading of palms helps “determine the children’s innate intelligence and potential”....read more from CNews

January 30th, 2012

Iconic Aussie ugg boot banned from US school: They not only keep you warm, but apparently also provide a great place to stash your mobile phone - and chocolate bars - while you're in class.

And it's because of this that staff at Pottstown Middle School in Pennsylvania have decided to ban Australia's favourite footwear.

Under the new ban, students can wear the boots to school, but have to change into other shoes to go to class....read more w/video from NEWS.com.au


German beer drinking slide stopped by warm weather: (by Alice Baghdjian) A steady slide in beer consumption in Germany was stopped cold last year thanks to warmer weather, the federal statistics office said Monday.

German brewers sold 98.2 million hectolitres of beer last year, down by just 0.1 percent in 2011 after dropping by an average of two percent every year since 2006. Beer consumption in Germany had fallen in all but two of the last 10 years.

Despite Germany's reputation as a nation of beer lovers, young people are turning away from the national beverage in favour of other non-alcoholic beverages, brewers say....read more from Reuters UK

January 29th, 2012

Night vision goggles being used in dog fouling crackdown: (by Murray Wardrop) LANCASHIRE, England - Undercover wardens are using night vision goggles to identify and fine pet owners who allow their dogs to foul in public places.

The sophisticated espionage equipment has been issued to council workers so they can catch dog walkers who believe they can get away with not gathering up their pets’ mess at night.

Other covert tactics include use of plain clothes officers and surveillance vans to monitor areas where the problem is most acute....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Waterless school bathroom springs leaks: BOCA RATON, Fla. - Officials say they have started repairs on the waterless urinals at a Florida high school after they began springing leaks of liquids that were not water.

Students and staff at Spanish River High in Boca Raton have been dealing with rivers of urine flowing across restroom floors from holes in corroded pipes.

"It was seeping through the hallway into the classroom next door," student Caleb Rader, 15, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "Pretty disgusting."....read more from UPI

January 28th, 2012

Obama BowlInternet bowled over by Obama email hoax: Have you gotten an email with a photograph of bowling lanes with President Barack Obama's face at the end, where the pins are set up to look like his teeth?

It was supposedly taken at a bowling alley in Clearwater, Florida in the US and it shows the President's face at the end of each lane. The pins are right where his teeth would be.

According to the email, the bowling alley is doing record business because everyone is lining up for the chance to knock the president's teeth out....read more from NEWS.com.au


Britain's biggest estate repossession sold: WINDLESHAM, England - An anonymous buyer from the Middle East is the new owner of an opulent British estate that was part of a bank bailout, the receiver announced.

The 58-acre Updown Court in Surrey sold for 36 million pounds ($56.6 million), less than the reduced asking price of 40 million pounds ($63 million), the receiver of the home said.

The 27-bedroom home is considered a one-of-a-kind property. The Daily Telegraph said it was larger than Buckingham Palace and includes such amenities as a bedroom swimming pool, heated marble driveway and a panic room for use in the event of a peasant revolt....read more from UPI


Chinese youths hire dates to please parents: BEIJING: The best gift a Chinese bachelor thinks he can take home for parents is a bride-to-be. Under parents' pressure to marry, many young men in China this year took hired women along on their homecoming for the Lunar New Year.

Some luckless men without girlfriends preferred hiring women to meet their parents on the occasion of Lunar New Year, which fell Monday this year, so the old couple was happy, Xinhua reported.

Online advertisements offering "temporary" boyfriends and girlfriends started appearing on Taobao.com, China's largest consumer e-commerce website, many weeks ahead of the traditional Chinese holiday....read more from The Times of India

January 27th, 2012

Dwarf-tossing contest at Ontario strip club not illegal: An Ontario strip club that was the impetus for a law against so-called dwarf-tossing is at it again. The law never passed, so Leopard's Lounge & Broil, in Windsor, is holding another dwarf-tossing contest Saturday.

"Uncle Leos has invited back our little friend for the party of the year," says the club's Facebook page. "All skill levels of dwarf tossers are welcome to attend this event (from rookies to veterans to dwarf-tossing pros)."

Dwarf-tossing involves bar patrons throwing a little person volunteer, usually dressed in padded clothing, onto a mattress. Participants compete to see who can throw him or her the farthest....read more from CNews


UK Shopper trapped in lift as 'health and safety' stops staff pressing button: Shopper Janice Woodward spent 75 minutes trapped in a supermarket lift with her granddaughter after health and safety rules stopped staff pushing a button to rescue them, it is claimed.

Mrs Woodward, 55, panicked when the lift at the Asda store stalled with her and two-year-old Lily Mai inside.

Although staff attended the emergency they couldn't touch a control button to release the lift because they weren't qualified....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Asteroid makes near-miss fly-by: An asteroid hurtled past the Earth on Friday in something of a cosmic near-miss, making its closest approach at about 1600 GMT.

The asteroid, estimated to be about 11m (36ft) in diameter, was first detected on Wednesday.

At its closest, the space rock - named 2012 BX34 - passed within about 60,000km of Earth - less than a fifth of the distance to the Moon....read more from BBC News


The $16,000 mistake: Robber shoots himself in foot: His job was to guard the doors while his gang robbed a bank, but he instead gave the term 'shot himself in the foot' a whole new meaning.

As his friends saunter into a small bank in Parana, Brazil, CCTV footage shows the man in question suddenly drop to the ground.

Limping out of the building, it becomes clear that he has in fact shot himself in his right foot....read more from NEWS.com.au


Aldi's super-cheap $1 beer plan 'no peril to public': (by Janet Fife-Yeomans) ALDI is preparing to launch its $1 beers on to the crowded super-cheap liquor market after regulators dismissed links between discount drinks and alcohol abuse.

Casino, Liquor, Gaming and Control Authority chairman Chris Sidoti said there was no "conclusive" evidence that heavily discounted alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour - except perhaps in Katoomba [Australia], The Daily Telegraph (AU) reported.

That was the only town where the authority has so far knocked back the discount supermarket giant's application for a liquor licence....read more from NEWS.com.au

January 26th, 2012

Escaped cat delays plane for hours: Passengers hoping their early Wednesday flight from Halifax to Toronto would take off on time were let down by a cat who escaped in the cabin of the plane and entered the cockpit, causing a more than four hour delay.

"From what I can understand, a passenger went on board the aircraft into the cabin with the cat in a pet carryall, and somehow it got loose in the cabin, found its way into the cockpit of the aircraft and then got itself down somewhere in the cockpit where it couldn't be reached," Halifax International Airport Authority vice-president Peter Spurway said Wednesday, not long after Air Canada flight 603 had finally taken off....read more from CNews


Irish welfare office bans pyjamas: A social welfare office in Dublin has banned interviewees from wearing pyjamas.

A notice has appeared at Damastown social welfare office which warns claimants that "pyjamas are not regarded as appropriate attire when attending Community Welfare Service at these offices".

It is believed the decision was made after a number of people complained....read more from BBC News

January 25th, 2012

Woman claims neighbor's energy efficient windows are melting her Toyota Prius: (by Randy Page) STUDIO CITY, California — A SoCal woman says the energy efficient window installed in a neighbor’s condominium is melting the plastic components on cars parked in her carport.

Heather Patron of Studio City was dealing with a mystery regarding her Toyota Prius.

“The side view mirrors were melting,” says Patron. “Anything that was plastic on the car was melting.”....read more w/video from KCBS-TV (Los Angeles)


Irishman makes 'billion-euro home' of shredded notes: (by Conor Humphries) An unemployed Irish artist has built a home from the shredded remains of 1.4 billion euros (1.16 billion pounds), a monument to the "madness" he says has been wrought on Ireland by the single currency, from a spectacular construction boom to a wrenching bust.

Frank Buckley built the apartment in the lobby of a Dublin office building that has lain vacant since its completion four years ago at the peak of an ill-fated construction boom, using bricks of shredded euro notes he borrowed from Ireland's national mint....read more w/pic from Reuters UK

January 24th, 2012

Cops: Massachusetts woman stole soda just for can deposit: LYNN, Mass. - Authorities say a Massachusetts woman bought $64 worth of soda using a stolen welfare benefits card, then immediately fed the full cans into the supermarket's automated redemption machine for the nickel deposit.

Tina Cafarelli, of Lynn, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges including larceny, property destruction and receiving stolen property. She was ordered held on $250 bail....read more from Associated Press


Voyager flatStarship Voyager dumped into skip: (by Lester Haines) One Trekkie's dream of boldly going where no interior designer has gone before appears to be over – thanks to his estranged wife, who has decided his starship Voyager-themed flat isn't entirely suitable for the terrestrial housing market.

Former DJ Tony Alleyne, 58, has spent 10 years and a wad of cash coverting the one-bed pad in Hinckley, Leicestershire, into a faithful replica of the spaceship's flight deck....read more from The Register

January 23rd, 2012

Australian tries to sell stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia on eBay: "FOR sale, one cruise ship - slight damage to right-hand hull, mainly cosmetic."

This was the description that an Aussie used in his "joke" bid to sell the stricken Costa Concordia cruise ship on eBay, which has been pulled from the website.

With a starting price of $1, the seller warned of “some water damage to interior” of the ship and said the carpets may need to be replaced. It also stated the ship had one “careful owner” and must be collected by the buyer....read more from NEWS.com.au


Mounties tackle case of mystery headstone: (by Jenna McMurray) CALGARY — In a head-scratcher of a case, Mounties are trying to find the proper resting place of a wayward headstone.

On Nov. 9, a woman who owns property near Gleichen, about 100 km east of Calgary, found a granite grave marker in her field.

“It was well-placed against one of the grain bins in a somewhat respectful manner -- it wasn’t just dumped,” said Staff Sgt. James McLaren with Gleichen RCMP....read more from CNews


Nationalist Jogging Event Mistaken for Gay Pride Rally: A nationalist rally for a healthy lifestyle in the Kaliningrad [Russia] Region was cut short by police who mistook it for a gay pride parade, local media reported on Monday.

Some two dozen activists, many of them underage, took to the streets of Sovetsk, a town of 41,000 in Russia’s Baltic exclave, on Saturday to promote jogging, 40161.ru reported.

The joggers were carrying a black, yellow and white banner of imperial Russia, favored by nationalists, which was adorned with the slogan, “Russians choose sport.”....read more from RIA Novosti


Man vanquishes robot cop in hand-to-hand combat: (by Lewis Page) The ongoing Rise of the Machines to their inevitable dominance over humanity faltered last week, when a police robot tangled with a human being in hand to hand combat - and was handed a severe beating.

The mechanical law officer in question had been sent into a home in Connecticut to deal with an unnamed man, reportedly a former boyfriend of a woman living there, who had arrived and refused to leave.

The obstreperous ex-boyf - who police say had gone to sleep and was rudely awakened by the droid's entrance - dealt with the tin cop harshly, "throwing the robot out the front door", according to the local Republican-American....read more from The Register

January 22nd, 2012

SoCal city fears fast-food encroachment: LOMA LINDA, Calif. - Some folks in Loma Linda, Calif., say allowing a McDonald's to open in their community will taint their reputation as one of the healthiest towns in the nation.

The city council recently approved the inclusion of a McDonald's in a redevelopment project, a move that has sparked some intense opposition from leaders of the large and clean-living Seventh Day Adventist community.

The Los Angeles Times explained Sunday Adventists eschew drinking and smoking and are largely vegetarian. Loma Linda doesn't have a liquor store and has banned smoking for nearly three decades....read more from UPI


Survey: Margarita the U.S. adult beverage: NORWALK, Conn. - Many U.S. consumers, despite the sluggish economy, seek a more sophisticated experience when eating out and when ordering adult beverages, a survey indicates.

The Cheers On-Premise BARometer Handbook, published by The Beverage Information Group, said a bar manager's survey found the Margarita remains the most popular mixed drink nationwide, although decreasing slightly in share.

The Martini and Rum and Coke take second and third spots, respectively, while the Cosmopolitan cracked the top five this year, the survey said....read more from UPI

January 21st, 2012

Magician claims mass hypnosis: MONTREAL - A magician said he broke a world record Friday night in Montreal after reportedly hypnotizing 422 people at once.

Messmer the magician asked the crowd to keep their feet well-anchored on the floor and to cross their hands in front of them with their index fingers pointed towards the ceiling.

Messmer then asked the crowd gathered at the Bell Centre, the home arena of the Montreal Canadiens, to lift their right hand. About 40 volunteers counted how many people hypnotically listened. Messmer claimed he produced the largest collective hypnosis ever....read more from CNews


Purchase of winning $14M ticket a mistake: MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin man says it took him several days to realize he held the winning ticket to a $14.3 million lottery jackpot.

Napolean Elvord of Madison claimed the Megabucks prize Friday, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Elvord bought the ticket to last Saturday's drawing at the convenience store at Kelley Williamson Mobil, where he buys coffee more than once daily. Store employees knew they had sold a winning ticket and asked Elvord at least twice if it was him, being told it was not both times....read more from UPI

January 20th, 2012

News viewers shocked by naked blonde in sex scene on studio screen: (by Murray Wardrop) Viewers watching a current affairs programme got a shock when a nude woman performing a sex scene appeared on a studio screen behind an interviewee.

The naked blonde woman flashed up on a television in the background during a debate about Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Labour Party on Scotland Tonight.

STV, the channel which broadcasts the show, has apologised, insisting that the explicit clip – thought to have been from an episode of the Channel 4 drama Shameless - was an accident....read more w/pic from The Telegraph (UK)


New hawk species a spray paint prank: Bird watchers' hopes they had discovered a new species of hawk have been shot down after a New Zealand farmer was revealed to be spray painting the birds pinkish-red and releasing them for fun.

In a judge's decision released this week, Grant Michael Teahan was found guilty of two charges of ill-treating an animal after he defended the charges in the Dannevirke District Court in November, the Manawatu Standard reports.

In early 2009, locals were mystified by the appearance of the strangely coloured hawks and sent photos of them in to the local newspaper....read more from NEWS.com.au

January 19th, 2012

New school can't be Cougars because middle-aged women might be offended: (by Cameron Smith) Students at a new Utah high school are facing disappointment after their choice for a new school mascot was rejected for one of the strangest reasons possible: Board members deemed it might be seen as offensive to middle-aged women.

As reported by Salt Lake City Fox affiliate KTSU, Draper (Utah) Corner Canyon High announced its new mascot and school colors on Wednesday, with Canyons School District officials proclaiming that the school's teams will be called the Chargers, using a blue and white color scheme.

That's all fine and good except for the fact that the school's future student body -- which was given the opportunity to select its own future mascot -- had chosen to be the Cougars. With some 23 percent of the student vote, the Cougar choice was far preferred to other options, which included the Chargers, Diamondbacks, Falcons, Raptors, Broncos, Bears and Cavaliers....read more from Yahoo Sports


Macho urinal game makes a splash in Japan: (Reuters) - Three years ago the "Toylet" was just a pipe-dream for developers at Japanese video game maker Sega, but now the urinal video game has been rolled out at pubs across the nation.

Users target their urine at a sensor inside the toilet which measures volume and speed, with software then matching that to progress in a selection of five video games in a console mounted at the top of the urinal.

"At first, we thought it would really be only young people who would like this kind of game. But ... we're seeing this phenomenon where people are enjoying playing with it, regardless of age," said Hirotaka Machida, the console's lead producer....read more from Reuters UK

January 18th, 2012

Want to work for MI5? Then apply to be a spy: (by Chris Paine) DO you think you have what it takes to work for the British Secret Service?

I do. Except I'm not exactly British. My mum is, and I'm eligible for a British passport, but there's all sorts of residency expectations (= buzzkill) so for now I'll stick with "Australian".

I'm a fanboy of James Bond. I have a man-crush on Daniel Craig. I'm booking tickets to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. So I'm pretty into the spy thing....read more from NEWS.com.au


Mars attacks! Morocco pelted with rocks from the Red Planet: (by Brid-Aine Parnell) Excited boffins have confirmed that a meteorite shower over Morocco last July dumped about 7kg of Martian rocks on our planet.

The find is only the fifth time that scientists have been able to tell that a witnessed meteor shower contained samples from the Red Planet.

It's quite handy for Martian meteors to land on Earth since no spacecraft has yet been able to get to the ochre world and bring specimens back. Aside from the scientific benefits, the rarity of the samples also means they're worth quite a lot of money, more than ten times as much as gold....read more from The Register

January 17th, 2012

Nepal police accused of using station as butcher's shop: A group of Nepal police officers are being investigated for operating a butcher's shop from their station and slaughtering goats when they should have been fighting crime, the force said on Tuesday.

The officers in the station on the outskirts of the capital Kathmandu are accused of taking livestock from members of the public and killing and carving up the animals to be sold....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


New 'smart' pill tells patients when drugs dose due: (by Andrew Hough) A new "intelligent" pill that tells patients how to better follow doctors’ orders and take medication properly is to go on sale in Britain within months, it has been announced.

The tiny edible microchip records precise details of medication programmes through a monitoring “receiver” patch attached to patients’ shoulder or arm.

Costing about £50 a month, medical experts said the new “intelligent medicines” could revolutionise the way patients take drugs, which will allow them to better follow doctors’ orders....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

January 16th, 2012

U.S. town hopes ghosts can scare up cash: NASHVILLE - Harriman, Tennessee hopes that ghosts, or rather ghost hunters, can raise enough money to restore an historic and reputedly haunted building.

One ghost hunter wants to use the "dark entities" supposedly haunting the 121-year-old Temperance Building, a former jail, to attract both tourists and paranormal enthusiasts to Harriman, which was founded by anti-alcohol crusaders in the 19th century.

Last week, by unanimous vote, the six-person city council agreed to let Ghost Hunters of Southern Tennessee -- G.H.O.S.T. Paranormal -- show footage caught during a night spent inside the city-owned building. It will be aired on January 27 on the web-based Paranormal Network....read more from CNews


Outpatient shocked by $45m bill from New York hospital: An outpatient is recovering from shock after being billed $44.8m (£29.2m) in error by a New York hospital.

Alexis Rodriguez, 28, was one of a number of patients charged astronomical amounts because of a computer glitch, the New York Daily News reports.

The Bronx-Lebanon Hospital treated him for pneumonia, but the actual cost was no more than $300....read more from BBC News

January 15th, 2012

Designer sheepDesigner sheep boom: (by Imogene Neal) Brown black with the odd splash of white, a pen of 10 dorper-cross lambs stand out from the other 5500 white-bodied sheep at the annual Tuakau [New Zealand] lamb fair.

A woman wearing heels, a shirt and jeans leans on the rail, eyeing them up. The main selling point is that they're small, cute and a little bit different.

Another woman pauses at her elbow and, with a wink, leans in and says, "They'd perfectly match your post and rail fences." Sold....read more from Stuff.co.nz


Volunteers wanted for planet hunt: Members of the public are being asked to join the hunt for nearby planets that could support life.

Volunteers can go to the Planethunters website to see time-lapsed images of 150,000 stars, taken by the Kepler space telescope.

They will be advised on the signs that indicate the presence of a planet and how to alert experts if they spot them....read more from BBC News


Debtors prison: It's back and it's here: (by Jim Gallagher) Robin Ebersohl knew she had a loud muffler. She couldn't afford to get it fixed. When she saw a police car, she thought she'd chance it and drive by.

It was a mistake bigger than she could have imagined.

She thought she might get a ticket. Instead, she got three days in jail and her father lost $500 in bail money....read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Stricken satellite in harmless splashdown: (by Richard Chirgwin) Failed Russian-built space probe Phobos-Grunt is now lying under the Pacific Ocean west of South America, according to Russia’s Air and Space Defence Force.

The mission never made it out of orbit after a rushed launch left it in a decaying near-Earth orbit, amid dark hints of sabotage.

Now, the Associated Press reports that its splashdown is more than 1,200 km west of Wellington Island in Chile....read more from The Register

January 14th, 2012

Mafia villa to be police barracks: PALERMO, Italy - A luxury villa used as a hideout by a boss in the Sicilian Mafia is being converted into a police barracks, Italian officials said.

The conversion is expected to take a year, the Italian news agency ANSA reported....read more from UPI

January 13th, 2012

Handcuffed man steals police car: INDIANAPOLIS - A man who stole a police car after being handcuffed behind his back turned himself in to state troopers in Indiana after two days on the run.

William Blankenship, 22, surrendered on Thursday evening after meeting with two state troopers at his family home in Knox in the north of the Midwestern state, police said....read more from CNews


Snow fails to deter Friday the 13th revellers: PORT DOVER, Ont. – Whatever the weather on Friday the 13th, Port Dover can always count on a good crowd and a good party.

The large number of people who came to the lakeside for the first of three Friday the 13th motorcycle rallies this year proved that the event has irresistible drawing power. There was a wintry change in the weather the night before, but that didn’t keep people away. Nor did it keep motorcycles off the road....read more from CNews


Thieves dig 100ft tunnel to reach cash machine: (by Richard Gray) Thieves spent "months" digging an 100 foot long tunnel beneath a car park and video shop in an elaborate robbery on a cash machine but got away with just a few thousand pounds.

Detectives believe the gang may have spent up to six months digging the passageway, which extended from a railway embankment, under a car park and beneath a shop where the cash machine was located.

The tunnel, which was around 100 feet in length and 4 feet tall, had been fitted with lighting and roof supports....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

January 12th, 2012

FrederickHamster named Frederick among bizarre items left behind by Travelodge guests: (by Hannah Furness) A list of the most bizarre items left behind by guests at Travelodge hotels has been revealed, including a hamster named Fredrick and an 18-month-old baby.

The astounding list of lost-and-found items has been compiled by the budget hotel chain after amused staff gathered up the abandoned treasures.

Among the quirkier items left behind include a life-size Mr Blobby costume, a case full of 100 Duchess of Cambridge masks, and an urn containing the ashes of a guest’s late wife....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Amish men jailed over reflective triangle dispute: A group of Amish men in western Kentucky have been jailed after refusing to put reflective triangles on the back of their horse-drawn carts.

Jacob Gingerich was one of eight men sent to prison for a few days in September after ignoring state law that requires all slow-moving objects on the road to display reflective triangles.

The group of Swartzentruber Amish men in rural Graves County, USA, refused to pay their fines and disobeyed orders from a judge, landing them in jail....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Star Trek-style 'tricorder' invention offered $10m prize: (by Chris Vallance) A $10m (£6.5m) prize is on offer to whoever can create a Star Trek-like medical "tricorder".

The Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize has challenged researchers to build a tool capable of capturing "key health metrics and diagnosing a set of 15 diseases".

It needs to be light enough for would-be Dr McCoys to carry - a maximum weight of 5lb (2.2kg)....read more from BBC News

January 11th, 2012

Stowaway mouse grounds SAS plane: STOCKHOLM, Sweden - An SAS plane was grounded in Sweden after the crew on the flight from New York noticed a stowaway on board -- a mouse.

Because searchers could not find the mouse after the plane landed Tuesday morning at Arlanda Airport near Stockholm, the aircraft was unable to make the return trip to New York, The Local reported. SAS said all 200 passengers reserved for the trip were rebooked on later planes.

Anders Lindstrom, an SAS spokesman, said catching a mouse on an airplane is a dicey process. The only other time SAS had to deal with the problem, last August, the errant rodent was never seen again....read more from UPI


N.Y. subway workers run rat photo contest: NEW YORK - Subway workers in New York City, angered over what they say is a rat infestation in their workplace, are holding a photo contest for the “nastiest“ picture of a rodent, with a prize of a monthly transit pass.

Commuters, who frequently see rats on subway platforms and tracks, are urged to upload photos to www.ratfreesubways.com, created by the Transport Workers Union Local 100, the city’s largest transit union.

Visitors to the “Rate my Rat” section of the site can vote on the most repulsive vermin....read more from CNews


Eccentric animal lover moves pony into semi-detached house: (by Auslan Cramb) An eccentric animal-lover has infuriated her neighbours by moving a pony into her semi-detached home.

Stephanie Noble, a 65-year-old divorcee, claims she was forced to take drastic action after falling out with the owner of the land on which the mare previously grazed.

She said Grey Lady Too, a Connemara pony, was "dumped" on the lawn at her former council house in the Western Isles on Christmas Eve....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


James Bond villains blamed for nuclear's bad image: (by Sean Coughlan) The evil villains in James Bond movies are being blamed for casting a long-lasting shadow over the image of nuclear power, says the president of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Prof David Phillips says that Dr No, with his personal nuclear reactor, helped to create a "remorselessly grim" reputation for atomic energy.

Prof Phillips was speaking ahead of the 50th anniversary of the movie....read more from BBC News


Hospital rooms may be nearly as noisy as chainsaws: Everybody knows hospital rooms are noisy, but now a study has confirmed it -- with the added finding that noise levels may sometimes spike to nearly that of a chainsaw.

"The hospital environment is certainly not a restful environment," said Vineet Arora, at the University of Chicago, who led the study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

In a study of about 100 adult patients at their medical centre, she and her colleagues found that noise levels in patient rooms at night tended to be lower than during the day, but almost always exceeded recommendations for average and maximum noise level....read more from Reuters UK

January 10th, 2012

World's 'most expensive' tea grown in panda poop: Chinese entrepreneur An Yanshi is convinced he has found the key ingredient to produce the world's most expensive tea - panda poop.

The former calligraphy teacher has purchased 11 tonnes of excrement from a panda breeding centre to fertilise a tea crop in the mountains of Sichuan province in southwestern China, home to the black and white bears.

An says he will harvest the first batch of tea leaves this spring and it will be the "world's most expensive tea" at almost 220,000 yuan ($34,000) for 500 grams....read more from NEWS.com.au


US 'drunk driver' swims off to escape arrest: A suspected drunk driver escaped arrest in California by diving into the sea and swimming off, only for his friend who he left in the car to give police officers his name and contact details.

The 28-year-old man, who was not identified, took to the waves after being pulled over in Pacific Beach, north of San Diego at around 2:30am, said San Diego Police Department (SDPD) spokesman Andra Brown said.

Dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, he jumped out of the pickup truck and sprinted to the shoreline, before jumping into the sea – where temperatures have been in the mid-to high 50s in recent weeks – and swimming out of sight....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Profs call for harsh taxes on sweet carbonated beverages: (by Lewis Page) Medical scientists in San Francisco have sent a chill wind blowing through the IT industry as they issue a call for swingeing taxes on "soda, fruit punch, sweet tea, sports drinks, and other sweetened beverages".

A collection of health profs and other researchers led by Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo (associate professor of medicine and of epidemiology and biostatistics at California uni's San Francisco campus) say they have now put numbers on the horrific toll exacted as Americans poison themselves with no less than 13.8 billion gallons* of disgustful pop annually. Furthermore they say that huge numbers of lives would be saved if only the government would slap a hefty tax on the sugar-laden beverages of death - to the tune of a cent per fluid ounce....read more from The Register

January 9th, 2012

Man spends night with head stuck in sewer: MONTMELIAN, France - In an unfortunate turn of events, a man spent the night with his head stuck in a sewer in Montmelian, France, and faces a fine for polluting, officials said.

The 40-year-old man, whose name was not reported, dropped his wallet into the sewer in an underground parking garage and tried retrieve it, thelocal.fr reported Monday.

When grabbing for his wallet, he slipped and ended up somehow getting his head stuck in the sewer. The man stayed in that position overnight until someone using the parking garage spotted his feet sticking out of the sewer the next morning....read more from UPI


1TB USB stick shoved into Swiss Army knife: (by Chris Mellor) CES 2012 Victorinox is making a Swiss Army penknife with a 1TB USB stick inside it, claiming it's the world's highest USB stick capacity.

It's being shown at CES 2012 in Las Vegas. You can either buy the stick on its own – the airline-friendly version swings out from a standard-looking Swiss Army penknife container, coloured red or black – or you can get one with a pair of scissors and a knife... but don't expect to get that through airport security.

It has been running the product line for some years; there was a 1GB version in 2008, meaning a 1,000X capacity improvement in four years....read more from The Register

January 8th, 2012

Digital windows brighten nuke silo condos: TOPEKA, Kan. - A developer says the condos he is building in a Kansas missile silo are equipped with digital windows offering panoramic views of whatever city you want.

Larry Hall says location, location, location is all relative in the seven units he is building in the wilds of Kansas that are selling for $2 million each....read more from UPI


Australian family wakes up to find crocodile in home: (by Sarah Crawford) A DARWIN dad armed himself with his guitar to fend off a crocodile that walked into his family's lounge room.

The plump, smooth-scaled saltie was a suspected escapee from the nearby Darwin Crocodile Farm.

The croc wandered into the Bees Creek Rd home in the early hours of Saturday morning....read more from NEWS.com.au

January 7th, 2012

Horse left at Ohio Amish-area Walmart needs home: SOUTH RUSSELL, Ohio - Wally the Walmart horse is looking for a new home.

That's the nickname given to a 9-year-old standardbred horse that a humane society says was left at a northeast Ohio store by an Amish teenager more than two months ago. Humane Officer Christian Courtwright in Geauga County says the teen apparently unhooked the horse from a buggy, tied it to a rail at the Walmart in Middlefield and never came back for it....read more w/pic from Associated Press


More ridiculous 911 calls: (by Nadia Moharib/Calgary Sun) Dissatisfied with a stripper's skin colour, furious because fast-food staff didn't put ice in a cup of cola, or wanting to know how long a 24-hour licence suspension lasts — these are some issues prompting folks to actually resort to dialing 911 for help.

Surprisingly, perhaps, alcohol does not play a role in the bulk of the colourful cases.

Most of those making quirky calls are sober, albeit a bit unclear on what constitutes an emergency....read more from CNews

January 6th, 2012

Hawking: Women are 'complete mystery': LONDON - Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking, who turns 70 Sunday, says some things remain a mystery to him -- especially women.

The wheelchair-bound Hawking, director of research at the Institute for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1963 but went on to become Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge, a chair he held for 30 years that was once occupied by Isaac Newton....read more from UPI


US 'space warplane' may be spying on Chinese spacelab: (by Brid-Aine Parnell) The US Air Force's second mysterious mini-space shuttle, the X-37B, could be spying on China's space laboratory and the first piece of its space station, Tiangong-1.

Amateur space trackers told the British Interplanetary Society publication Spaceflight that the black-funded spaceplane seemed to be orbiting the Earth in tandem with Tiangong_1, or the Heavenly Palace, leading the magazine to speculate that its unknown mission is to spy on it.

"Space-to-space surveillance is a whole new ball game made possible by a finessed group of sensors and sensor suites, which we think the X-37B may be using to maintain a close watch on China's nascent space station," Spaceflight editor Dr David Baker told the BBC....read more from The Register


Mystery of disappearing 3.5 ton underwater statue off Italian coast: (by Nick Squires) Italian police are trying to solve the mysterious disappearance of a 3.5 ton statue of a saint which has stood on the seabed off the coast of Calabria since 2007.

Authorities are baffled as to who – or what – could have removed the bronze statue of St Francis of Paola, which stands 7.2ft high and was securely embedded in concrete 95ft beneath the surface of the sea.

The hooded figure, with one arm raised in supplication, is one of several saintly statues which dot the Italian coastline and are meant to protect fishermen and scuba divers....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

January 5th, 2012

Canada-US border crossed by man using iPad as ID: A Canadian man who forgot his passport has said that he managed to cross the border into the US using a copy of the document he had scanned on to his iPad.

Martin Reisch, from Montreal, presented the US border office with his digital device after realising near the border that he did not have his passport.

He said he told the official that he was heading to Vermont to deliver Christmas presents....read more w/pic from BBC News


Robber hands gun to cashier by mistake during robbery: A robber accidentally gave his gun to a cashier while meaning to hand over his swag bag.

The thief raided the Halifax bank in Cheapside in the City of London and demanded £700,000 in cash from the bank worker.

But after making his demands, the crook - who was wearing shades and a flat cap - handed over his gun to the cashier instead of a bag....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Man discharged in paper towel assault: VANCOUVER -- A Richmond, B.C., excavator, who pleaded guilty to assaulting his teenage daughter with a paper towel, was conditionally discharged in B.C. court Thursday.

Judge Ronald Fratkin heard how Dru Douglas Purdy, 43, threw paper towel at his daughter in apparent “horseplay” during a visit to her home in November 2010.

It was the first time he had seen his 13-year-old daughter in three years after separating from his wife in 2007....read more from CNews

January 4th, 2012

Fishing derby canned for no-fish lake: WINNIPEG - Four Manitoba men have been fined a total of $5,000 after organizing a walleye fishing derby on an Ontario lake where walleye fishing is banned year-round.

Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources says St. Jean Baptiste, Man., resident Rheal Vermette organized a small fishing derby for the group on Shoal Lake Aug. 12-13, with a prize for the biggest walleye. Walleye fishing is banned year-round on the lake due to a sensitive fish population....read more from CNews


Wouldn't hurt a mouse? Don't be so sure: A Man is suing Pepsi Co after claiming he found a dead mouse in a can of Mountain Dew.

But the company has denied the man's claims saying the rodent would have been dissolved by the soft drink by the time he drank it.

The Madison County Record reports that oil company worker Ronald Ball was drinking a can of the soft drink purchased from a company vending machine in 2009 when he tasted something foul and spat out the drink to reveal a dead mouse....read more from NEWS.com.au

January 3rd, 2012

Area 51 to host sci-fi knocking shop: An enterprising Nevada brothel owner has decided to cash in on the fame of Area 51 and offer alien-hungry tourists the chance to get their rocks off in a sci-fi themed knocking shop.

Bordello vet Dennis Hof has acquired a "disgusting, terrible" house of ill-repute some 90 miles (145km) northwest of Las Vegas which, with the creative input of Tinsel Town madam Heidi Fleiss, will become the "Alien Cathouse" catering to "all flavors of geek fantasy".

The extraterrestrial riding academy will, along with a bar, gas station and convenience store, become the "Area 51 Alien Travel Center". Hof explained to CBS....read more from The Register


Woman Takes Unique Road to Sue Honda Over Mileage: TORRANCE, Calif. - A woman who expected her 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid to be her dream car wants Honda to pay for not delivering the high mileage it promised. But rather than joining other owners in a class-action lawsuit, she is going solo in small claims court, an unusual move that could offer a bigger payout if it doesn't backfire.

A trial is set for Tuesday afternoon in Torrance, where American Honda Motor Co. has its West Coast headquarters.

Heather Peters says her car never came close to getting the promised 50 miles per gallon, and as its battery deteriorated, it was getting only 30 mpg. She wants Honda to pay for her trouble and the extra money she spent on gas....read more from Yahoo Finance

January 2nd, 2012

Prisoner escapes from San Diego jail in fire truck: SAN DIEGO – A convicted car thief who was assigned to a San Diego area state prison’s fire-fighting detail escaped in one of its yellow fire trucks, prison officials said on Monday.

“He got in one of our institution’s fire trucks and drove away,” said Lt. Patrick Logan, information officer at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department were alerted to Sunday’s brazen escape when it got a call that someone was having trouble parking the truck in a convenience store lot in Spring Valley, about 25 miles from the prison....read more from CNews


Life-size replica of E.T. washes up: A stolen life-size replica of E.T. has come home - after a coastguard search for a 'body' washed up with the tide turned out to be the model alien.

Pensioner Margaret Wells, 76, is delighted to have been reunited with her beloved E.T. which was handcrafted by her daughter nine years ago.

It was stolen - along with a haul of jewellery and an iron - from Mrs Wells' home in Cosham, Hants [UK], in September....read more w/pic from The Telegraph (UK)

January 1st, 2012

Walmart clerk rejects $1 million bill: LEXINGTON, N.C. - The old fake $1 million bill scam failed yet again, this time with a North Carolina man allegedly trying to use one at a Walmart store, police said.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported Saturday an arrest warrant alleges Michael Anthony Fuller, 53, of Lexington tried to pay for a vacuum cleaner, a microwave oven and other items totaling $476 with a $1 million bill back on Nov. 17.

Court records show employees at the Lexington store called police and Fuller was later charged with felony counts of trying to obtain property by false pretenses and uttering a forged instrument....read more from UPI


Supersized saddles find home on the range as Americans fatten: In a sign of America's growing girth, dude ranches and hunting camps in the Northern Rockies are adding heavyweight horses and super-large saddles to seat swelling numbers of outsized clients.

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that a third of U.S. adults and 17 percent of children are obese, Western wranglers and outfitters say they are doing all they can to accommodate the widening of waistlines and other anatomical areas.

"To put it bluntly, we call them the big-butt saddles," said Lee Hart, owner of Broken Hart Ranch in Montana. The business near Yellowstone National Park seasonally provides trail rides and guided hunting by horseback to nearly 2,000 people from across the country....read more from Reuters UK

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