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Odd News Archive - September 2009

Note: Stories from some news services expire after a few weeks. If you click on a link to the original story it is possible that you will be re-directed to an archives page with the option to access the news item for a small fee.

September 30, 2009

Nero's 'revolving restaurant' found: Archaeologists have unveiled what they think are the remains of Roman emperor Nero's extravagant banquet hall, a circular space that rotated day and night to imitate the Earth's movement and impress his guests.

The room, part of Nero's Golden Palace, a sprawling residence built in the first century AD, is thought to have been built to entertain government officials and VIPs, said lead archaeologist Francoise Villedieu....full story from

Russian rocket shoots 'first clown' into space: A rocket carrying a billionaire who has been dubbed the 'first clown in space' has lifted off from a Russian base in the central Asian republic of Kazakhstan.

The craft is bound for the International Space Station.

The Soyuz rocket blasted off from the Baikonur launch site carrying a crew of three, including Canadian space tourist Guy Laliberte....full story from ABC News (AU)

September 29, 2009

Wisconsin Tourism Federation wisely rebrands: LogoWatch The Wisconsin Tourism Federation will henceforth be known as the Tourism Federation of Wisconsin - a wise piece of rebranding prompted by its exposure to public ridicule on the interwebs.

The Wisconsin Tourism Federation logo and its new incarnationThe "lobbying coalition of trade and promotional associations" has now purged all reference to WTF from its website, and has revamped its brand frontage with an added "of" lending extra compression to the overall feel....full story from The Register

How to host your very own Windows 7 launch party: So you've got your trusty laptop warmed up with a fresh copy of Windows 7, decked the halls with balloons and streamers, and sent invitations to an exhaustively multicultural clutch of friends for a single night of red-hot OS release revelry.

You're nearly ready for your own Microsoft-sponsored Windows 7 launch party this Ocotber! Yet one problem remains: How does one keep a group of reasonably intelligent adults entertained by a computer operating system for an entire evening without falling back on the usual harmful, hateful, sexually explicit, lewd, pornographic, and inflammatory party behavior that's loved by all but forbidden by the Launch Party terms and conditions?....full story from The Register

September 28, 2009

German cops impound motorised beer crate: A German biker who rather brilliantly converted a beer crate into a diminutive quad bike has been relieved of his wheels, following a police pursuit, Ananova reports.

Matthias Krankl apparently attracted the attention of law enforcement operatives by speeding on his lovingly-crafted machine. He attempted to make good his escape into woodland in Maulburg, but got bogged down in thick mud....full story from The Register

UK woman hires hydraulic lift to rescue pet parrot from tree: Animal lover Emma Hooper hired a hydraulic lift to rescue her pet parrot Cleo, who had a panic attack after flying 50 feet up a tree.

The 13-year-old macaw had become distressed after a recent house move and escaped from Miss Hooper's garden.

The disorientated bird flew up a nearby tree but, terrified by the height, wouldn't come down when coaxed....full story w/pic from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Wanted: volunteers to move 400 crocs: A Northern Territory [Australia] wildlife park is seeking volunteers to relocate some of its dangerous inhabitants.

Crocodylus Park, which operates as a zoo and commercial crocodile farm in Darwin, needs helpers to shift about 400 saltwater crocodiles into new ponds.

"It's a bit of an adventure," says the park's research director, Matt Brien, who has had about 15 people sign up for the chance to get up close and personal with the feared reptiles....full story from ABC News (AU)

September 27, 2009

Creepy crawly disrupts Pope's speech: PRAGUE, Czech Republic - President Barack Obama had his fly. Now Pope Benedict XVI has his spider.

A large arachnid appeared on the pope's white robes as he addressed politicians and diplomats in Prague on Saturday afternoon. The pope didn't seem to notice at first - but journalists following the speech on a large screen flinched as the spider inched toward Benedict's more from CNews

Man sues bank for $1,784 billion, trillion: Dalton Chiscolm is unhappy about the customer service at his bank - really, really unhappy.

In August, Mr Chiscolm sued Bank of America, the largest US bank and its board, demanding that "$US1,784 billion, trillion" be deposited into his account the next day.

He also demanded an additional $US200,164,000, court papers more from ABC News (AU)

September 26, 2009

Saxon war booty sparks farmer row: A stunning hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure went on show Friday - but the golden trove's lustre was tarnished by a reported row between the two men who will share the fortune it sells for.

The discovery of the biggest ever such haul - at least 1,350 items, including five kilograms of gold, found in a field in central England by a metal detector hobbyist in July - was announced on Thursday....full story w/pic from ABC News (AU)

September 25, 2009

Blind one-legged man wins arse-kicking contest: A partially-sighted, one-legged man who had consumed a substantial quantity of rum was accused of attempted murder after he set about four American policemen single-handed earlier this week brandishing an assortment of cutting and stabbing weapons. The understandably alarmed plods subdued their assailant by the use of a Taser electroprod gun.

The Pueblo Chieftain reports today on the fracas, which took place on Monday in Colorado. According to court statements, four Pueblo cops responded to an emergency call made by a member of the more from The Register

Britain braced for huge spider invasion: The charity Buglife said breeding conditions are perfect this year for British spiders like the daddy longlegs (or cranefly) and house spider.

Nature-lovers may be pleased with the news but it is likely to send spider-haters running.

Autumn is typically the season when arachnids turn up in houses and garages, often causing dramatic reactions in home-owners....full story w/pics from Sky News

Connecticut karaoke assault is latest in string of bar-room singing brawls: Six Connecticut women have been arrested for allegedly attacking a karaoke singer. We take a look at some of the most terrifying assaults on amateur bar-room crooners.

There have been many attacks on karaoke singers over the last few years, suggesting that the office-party pastime is more dangerous than many assume. Here are some of the worst.

• A 24-year-old Wisconsin man with the possibly apposite name of Kyle Drinkwine was sentenced to 60 days in jail after attacking two men over their performance of one of his favourite heavy metal songs in November last year....full story w/video from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Giant baby becomes tourist attraction: An giant Indonesian newborn has become a tourist attraction, with dozens of people crowding a hospital to see the 8.7 kilogram [19lb] baby boy, his mother said on Friday.

Muhammad Akbar Risuddin, Indonesia's heaviest-ever baby, who is 62 centimetres [24.4in] long, was born by Caesarean section this week at a public hospital in North Sumatra....full story w/pic from ABC News (AU)

September 24, 2009

Ammo rationing at Wal-Mart as panic buying sweeps US: The USA is suffering the most severe ammunition famine in living memory. Gun fanciers, fearing a Democrat crackdown on every American's right to pack heat, are clearing shelves at ammo shops and hoarding cartridges.

AP reports that the Remington Arms Company's factory in North Carolina is now working around the clock trying to supply insatiable demand for rifle, pistol and shotgun cartridges....full story from The Register

Prisoners get drunk on swine flu hand gel: Alcohol hand gel meant to combat swine flu has been banned from a prison after inmates started eating it and became embroiled in a drunken brawl.

Inmates have been drinking the liquid soap placed on their wing after realising it contained alcohol.

The detergent was meant to beat off the threat of swine flu in the Verne Prison on Portland, Dorset [UK]....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Pregnant woman conceives second child: A pregnant American woman shocked doctors when she went in for an ultrasound which showed her growing baby girl - and a second, younger male foetus growing beside her.

Julia Grovenburg conceived the second baby two-and-a-half weeks after the first and they are both developing side by side in her womb.

The babies are an extremely rare case of "superfoetation" when a woman conceives for a second time while already pregnant....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

September 23, 2009

Swedish military bras burst, melt during 'rigorous exercise': The Swedish armed forces have been hit by a major equipment problem, according to reports. Flimsy military brassieres are unable to stand up to the strains imposed when female Swedish troops perform "rigorous exercises", routinely bursting open or even catching fire - so forcing busty young conscripts to hurriedly strip off in the field.

The revelations come courtesy of the Gothenburg Post and English-language Swedish journal The Local. The Post reported yesterday on concerns raised by the Swedish Conscription Council, an organisation concerned with the rights of conscript troops in the Swedish forces....full story from The Register

Robbers use helicopter, explosives in brazen raid on cash depot in Stockholm: STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Masked gunmen used a stolen helicopter and explosives to engineer a spectacular raid on a cash depot in Stockholm on Wednesday, breaking into the building through the roof and flying off with bags of cash, police and officials said.

The daring pre-dawn heist stunned police in the Swedish capital, who were unable to deploy their own helicopters to the scene because suspected explosives - which turned out to be fake - had been placed at their hangar....full story from CNews

Women drink before sex 'because they lack the confidence to do it sober': Millions of British women drink alcohol before having sex - because they lack the confidence to do it sober, a study claims.

Researchers examining the link between sexual habits and alcohol consumption among 3,000 women found that half preferred sex after a tipple.

Women said alcohol helped them lose their inhibitions and become more adventurous between the sheets....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

September 22, 2009

Newsreader fails: the 30 most baffling onscreen errors: In the wake of Fox 5 news anchor Ernie Arnastos's recent high-profile verbal slip - he told his weatherman to 'keep f---ing that chicken' - we take a look at a few other on-camera mishaps.

Several of these clips contain strong language, so please be careful if you are easily shocked....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Armed police storm student film-makers: Armed police were called to a dairy in Hamilton [New Zealand] after a group of film students were mistaken for robbers.

The students were at Peachgrove Foodmarket on Sunday to shoot scenes for a short film about a mistaken identity which spirals out of control.

But officers were called after reports of someone carrying a gun, Senior Sergeant Karl Thornton more from The New Zealand Herald

Man discovers new colleague is long lost brother: WALDOBORO, Maine - Seven years into his tenure as a furniture mover for a bedding retailer, Gary Nisbet was joined by a new colleague, Randy Joubert, who looked so much like him that customers asked whether they were brothers.

"We thought they were just trying to razz us," Joubert more from CNews

September 21, 2009

Unfaithful woman seeks 2nd chance by wearing sign: An Ohio woman who said she was unfaithful has chosen a very public way of asking her boyfriend not to break up their engagement. Jess Duttry, 19, stood outside a supermarket parking lot in northern Ohio this week with a handwritten sign that said "I cheated" and "Honk if I deserve a second chance." On the back, Duttry had scrawled, "I honestly love him." more from CBS News

Google logo mystery is HG Wells tribute: The mystery of why Google has adopted strange logos on its home page for the last month has finally been solved.

Web users have been baffled by a series of changes to the famous logo with seemingly no explanation.

There was speculation that the reason may have been linked to a Japanese video game, Zero Wing, after the search engine posted a list of numbers on more from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

September 20, 2009

Search is on for serpent-like lake creature: VICTORIA, B.C. - Brigette Horvath knew she saw something strange in Cameron Lake on Vancouver Island two years ago and a team of researchers say she might be right.

Was it a fish, an eel or some kind of serpent-like creature? She says she didn't know. But Horvath grabbed her camera and managed to fire off one shot before the batteries more w/pic from CNews

TV licence dodgers' bizarre excuses: TV licence dodgers have used a host of ridiculous excuses to try to avoid paying – including one pet owner who claimed he only had a set so his dog could watch television.

TV Licensing, which collects the £142.50 (US$231.80) annual fee, has compiled a list of the worst defences offered by the 280,000 people caught using a television without a licence this more from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

September 19, 2009

World's longest running soap ends: The world's longest running soap opera has been screened for the last time, having been on air in the US for more than 70 years.

Guiding Light first appeared on NBC radio before moving to television in the 1950s, but viewing figures had declined in recent years....full story from the BBC

Al Capone's hideout up for sale: The buyer of a pretty property in northern Wisconsin will get a former hideout of Chicago mobster Al Capone along with a bar and restaurant complete with portholes to shoot from.

The 407-acre (165-hectare) wooded site has a fortified stone house with 18-inch (46-centimeter)-thick walls and guard towers. It will soon be auctioned, opening at $2.6 million,(£1.5 million)....full story from The Daily Telegraph

September 18, 2009

Couple hit by car, then have their car stolen: An Ohio man said it was a 'wild' day when he and his wife were struck by a car while crossing a street and then had their own car stolen while they were in the hospital.

Gregory Moses got a knee busted up when he and his wife were hit as they walked across an intersection in the northern Ohio city of Sandusky Monday afternoon. Judith Moses suffered a few more from

Woman pushed off cliff by monkey sues: A MONKEY has pushed a woman off a cliff.

The woman, 60-year-old Zhou Juchang, made the claim after winding up at the bottom of a seven-metre rockface, fracturing her hip and breaking three ribs.

Now she's suing her travel agent, who organised her trip into China's Chengdu Wildlife more from

Comfy cows 'produce more milk': Comfortable Norwegian cows are producing more milk and have less udder infections since regulations were introduced allowing them to relax for up to half a day on soft rubberised mattresses.

Norway introduced in 2004 rules to gradually replace all sheds where cows are kept in stalls with ones that allow them to move more freely and lie down on a softer more from ABC News (AU)

September 17, 2009

Man litters National Park with 3,000 golf balls: A man who said he hurled thousands of golf balls into Joshua Tree National Park [California] for more than a year to honor deceased golfers will be explaining his tribute to a federal magistrate.

Park rangers cited 57-year-old Douglas Jones for abandoning property, littering and feeding wildlife. Park spokesman Joe Zarki said Wednesday that Jones tossed some 3,000 golf balls from his vehicle....full story from CBS News

Woman terrified as kangaroo jumps through window: An Australian woman had to be rescued from her office after a 'frantic' kangaroo crashed through the window and leapt around the room, knocking over furniture.

"Poor old Suzanne just screamed and went straight up in the air," her colleague Tony Baddock told the Australian Associated Press.

"The 'roo was bounding around all over the place, it really was quite frantic."....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

September 16, 2009

Dog crashes truck into cafe: A New Zealand dog had a lucky escape after taking its owner's ute [pick-up] for a drive and crashing into a cafe.

It seems Wilco, a staffordshire-ridgeback cross, got tired of waiting for his owner, who had ducked into a shop in the South Island town of Cromwell.

Wilco pushed the gear stick into drive and the vehicle rolled about 15 metres before crashing into the Fusee Rouge Cafe.

Cafe owner Jacynda Wallace said it was a big shock....full story from ABC News (AU)

Umbrella that fights off muggers: Designers of the £125 (US$206) Unbreakable Umbrella claim their invention made of hi-tech steel can support the weight of a man and can be wielded like a baseball bat.

Makers Real Self-Defense say their brolly is as strong as a steel pipe despite weighing only 775g and is already proving a hit across the UK and Europe.

They claim it is perfect for use as a self-defence weapon, particularly when combined with knowledge of martial arts training such as Kendo, a Japanese style of fencing....full story w/pic from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

September 15, 2009

Thieves steal 17,400 vodka bottles: Thieves have used a semi-trailer to remove almost $600,000 worth of vodka from a business in Sydney, Australia, police said today.

More than 17,400 bottles of vodka were taken from the Parramatta Road, Lidcombe business when three men drove onto the premises about 1am (AEST) on Sunday and removed a shipping container holding the bottles....full story from

UK Theme park introduces speed dating on rollercoasters: Single men and women taking part in the scheme at Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire [UK] will be paired up as they queue for rides.

Each couple will enjoy their first date reaching speeds of up to 62mph on rollercoasters such as Rita – Queen of Speed and Spinball Whizzer.

With some rides lasting just 49 seconds, the park has hailed the scheme as the world's fastest date....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

September 14, 2009

Couple robbed while inside dumpster WICHITA - A man and woman decided to give the phrase "dumpster diving" a new twist over the weekend, crawling inside one on North Waco so they could be alone.

But while they were engaged in what Wichita police described as "an intimate moment," they were robbed by a man armed with a pocket knife....full story from The Wichita Eagle

Pirates of the Caribbean ship targeted by thieves: A ship featured in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean films has been targeted by thieves, police said today.

Clothing with the ship's insignia, a life ring, an American flag and a waterproof suit were stolen in the early hours of Saturday as HMS Bounty was docked at Custom House Quay in Greenock, Inverclyde [UK]....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Hotel offers 'Conception Credit' to amorous couples: A luxury resort on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba is offering amorous couples a discount of around £180 on a future booking – if they conceive a child during their holiday.

Management at the Westin Resort (, located in Palm Beach on the island’s northern coastline, have devised the scheme in an effort to attract would-be mothers and fathers....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

September 13, 2009

Naples hires ex-cons to escort tourists: NAPLES, Italy - Luigi "Giggino" Nocerino once stalked tourists through the tight alleys of this southern Italian city, snatching bags and valuables to fuel his drug addiction.

Now he looks after his former prey, escorting them through bad neighbourhoods and giving tips on how to avoid muggings and where to eat the best pizza....full story from CNews

French teen sleeping on rail tracks unharmed by passing train: Police said that the driver of the TGV train between Paris and Quimper in Brittany noticed the 19-year-old man lying stretched out on his stomach between the rails as the train approached him close to the western town of Vannes.

But the train was moving too fast to stop and continued for a further 900 yards before finally halting after it had passed right over the man....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

September 11, 2009

Couple has baby on 9-9-09 after an 8-8-08 birth: FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - At least it will be easy to remember their birthdays.

An Arkansas couple welcomed a new baby girl into their lives Wednesday - giving her the birthdate of 9-9-09. Andy and Alison Miller’s newest daughter Molly Reid will come home to sister Campbell, who was born on August 8, 2008, or 8-8-08....full story from CNews

Man dons monkey masks to elude tickets: PHOENIX (AP) — A driver has racked up dozens of speeding tickets in photo-radar zones on Phoenix-area freeways while sporting monkey and giraffe masks, and is fighting every one by claiming the costumes make it impossible for authorities to prove he was behind the wheel.

“You’ve got to identify the driver, and if you can’t it’s not a valid ticket,” said Dave VonTesmar, a 47-year-old flight attendant said....full story from CNews

September 10, 2009

Florida cops cage 'Dracula': The powers that be in Florida are holding a man cops have dubbed "Dracula", and who's certainly a contender for the worst ever mugshot trophy.

One shaken officer admitted: “It was hard to keep a straight face when the mugshot was taken. No one has ever seen teeth that bad."....full story w/pic from The Register

Court delays ruling on woman in penis-chopping case: ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A Turkish woman accused of cutting off her lover's penis must wait 18 months for a verdict and sentencing while a court determines whether his re-attached penis still functions, a court source said on Thursday.

The criminal court in the Black Sea town of Trabzon will wait for a medical report assessing whether the 28-year-old victim has regained full use of his organ or if he is permanently disabled, an official involved in the trial said....full story from Reuters UK

September 9, 2009

Google Maps reborn as world's largest Monopoly board: Toymaker Hasbro is preparing to launch a world-encompassing live version of Monopoly using Google Maps as its game board.

Having clearly missed the memo that both Apple and The Beatles are making a ruckus in the news Wednesday, Hasbro's Monopoly City Streets plans to dust off the dice tomorrow and will run until the end of January 2010....full story from The Register

Pigeon transfers data faster than S.Africa's Telkom: JOHANNESBURG - A South African information technology company on Wednesday proved it was faster for them to transmit data with a carrier pigeon than to send it using Telkom, the country's leading internet service provider.

Internet speed and connectivity in Africa's largest economy are poor because of a bandwidth shortage. It is also expensive....full story from Reuters UK

September 8, 2009

Robber returns to ask victim for date: COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio police say a suspect in a robbery was arrested when he returned to the home about two hours later to ask the victim out on a date.

Police say 20-year-old Stephfon Bennett of Columbus was among three men who robbed a couple late Sunday....full story from CNews

Sleep-deprived doctors told to drink coffee: CANBERRA, Australia - Exhausted Australian doctors have been told to drink up to six cups of coffee a day to stay awake during extended shifts, building pressure on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to seize control of state-run hospitals.

A document on fatigue management released by health officials in Queensland state recommended doctors ingest 400 milligrams of caffeine to stay awake on the job, or the equivalent of six cups of coffee, after warnings that patients were dying....full story from Reuters UK

September 7, 2009

Boozy chess grandmaster passes out mid-game: Roistering Russian grandmaster Vladislav Tkachiev, long famed as the Oliver Reed of the international pro chess circuit, reportedly passed out drunk during a tournament match in India and "had to be carried off".

According to the Indian Express, grog-swilling brainbox Tkachiev - born in Russia but nowadays playing as a Frenchman - was already well lubricated at the beginning of an early match at the Kolkata Open....full story from The Register

Bank of America demands thumbprint from armless bloke: A Florida man is a bit hacked off with the Bank of America after it refused to cash a cheque made out to his missus unless he provided a thumbprint - a slight impediment to the transaction, because he has no arms.

Steve Valdez, 54, explained to the Today show yesterday that he went to his wife's branch, but "teller and branch manager refused to cash the cheque because he didn’t have an account there and he couldn't give them a thumbprint to confirm his identity"....full story from The Register

September 6, 2009

Immigrant facing deportation collects lotto win: An illegal immigrant who scored a big win with a lottery scratch card in Sweden has appeared on television to collect his winnings even though authorities have been trying to deport him.

Tesfaldet Tesloy, a 28-year-old Eritrean who has lived in the immigrant-friendly Nordic country for six years, won a tax-free prize of 1.2 million Swedish kronor ($198,000).

But Sweden's attempts to deport the man have failed due to his country's refusal to take him back, highlighting a common problem for immigration officials....full story from ABC News (AU)

Fire turns wine bottles into cork-firing weapons: WAMSUTTER, Wyoming - Battling an intensely hot fire after a cargo truck crashed on a highway, emergency crews were surprised to find themselves suddenly fired upon - by corks from exploding wine bottles inside.

"The corks were popping out of the bottles like the old Jiffy Pop (popcorn) we grew up with," Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Scott Keane said. "My trooper got hit in the arm with one."....full story from CNews

September 5, 2009

Tuk-tuk drivers burn rubber for charity: A 10 day motor rally is beginning in Sri Lanka for drivers of auto-rickshaws, also known as tuk-tuks, from around the world.

Forty-seven people have squeezed into 23 brightly coloured tuk-tuks for the great Sri Lankan tuk-tuk challenge....full story w/pic from ABC News (AU)

Mounties hunt stolen bull semen: There's no bull about this theft.

In a bizarre whodunnit, someone stole a tank containing $15,000 worth of bull semen from a rural property west of Winnipeg in March.

Having exhausted all avenues, RCMP are appealing for tips to solve the theft....full story from CNews

September 4, 2009

Man charged for firing cannon at neighbour: UNIONTOWN, Pennsylvania - A Pennsylvania history buff who recreates firearms from old wars accidentally fired a two-pound (one kilogram) cannonball through the wall of his neighbour's home.

Fifty-four-year-old William Maser fired a cannonball Wednesday evening outside his home that ricocheted and hit a house 400 yards (365 metres) away....full story from CNews

iPhone rescue girl gets head stuck down bog: An 18-year-old Sunderland lass who got her head stuck down a music festival toilet while attempting to retrieve her cash and iPhone from the malodorous pit has become a Facebook celeb, the Sun reports.

Charlotte Taylor, dubbed "Poo Girl" following the "grim ordeal" at last weekend's Leeds [UK] Festival, dropped her handbag into the merdurinous dunny. She explained: "My bag had my phone, train ticket and all my money in it, so if I left it I wouldn't have been able to get home and I would have been stranded....full story from The Register

September 3, 2009

Man 'stole shipping container full of beer' A West Australian man has been charged with stealing a shipping container full of imported beer valued at $35,000.

The 34-year-old man and an accomplice are alleged to have loaded the container of Belgian Hoegaarden beer onto a trailer before stealing it from the Perth eastern suburb of Welshpool....full story from ABC News (AU)

Japan's first lady visits Venus: The wife of Japan's next prime minister claims to have clocked up a diplomatic first by visiting Venus, Reuters reports.

Miyuki Hatoyama, who's hitched to soon-to-be PM Yukio Hatoyama, wrote last year in a book not unreasonably entitled Very Strange Things I've Encountered: "While my body was asleep, I think my soul rode on a triangular-shaped UFO and went to Venus. It was a very beautiful place and it was really green."....full story from The Register

September 2, 2009

Pee-ed off President orders monkeys out: Zambia President Rupiah Banda has ordered scores of monkeys removed from the grounds of his official residence, after one urinated on him during a press conference, a parks official said Tuesday.

More than 200 monkeys live on the State House grounds, but Mr Banda has asked the Munda Wanga Botanical Gardens to relocate most of them to its parkland outside Lusaka, the gardens' director Bill Thomas said in a statement....full story from ABC News (AU)

Illinois bright spark sparks car inferno: An Illinois bright spark, who decided the best way to check the level of combustible fluid in a petrol can was by using a cigarette lighter, ended up with a torched car and second-degree burns.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the unnamed 27-year-old woman was in a gas station in Joliet last week and "was filling up a gas can, which was sitting on the passenger seat of the car", as police later explained....full story from The Register

September 1, 2009

Judge orders man's mouth sealed with tape: CANTON, Ohio - A judge unhappy with repeated interruptions from a robbery suspect ordered a deputy to put duct tape over the defendant's mouth.

Canton Municipal Court Judge Stephen Belden says the taping last Thursday was the best way to restore order at a hearing for 51-year-old Harry Brown of Canton, The Repository newspaper reported....full story from CNews

NZ woman sacked for SHOUTY EMAILS: A NZ woman who was sacked for sending "confrontational" emails in red, bold and CAPITAL LETTERS has been awarded NZ$17k (£7,150) for unfair dismissal, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Financial controller Vicki Walker was shown the door at ProCare Health back in December 2007 for her lack of netiquette. One particular email missive, cited by ProCare, trumpeted to fellow workers: "TO ENSURE YOUR STAFF CLAIM IS PROCESSED AND PAID, PLEASE DO FOLLOW THE BELOW CHECK LIST."....full story from The Register

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