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Odd News Archive - April 2010

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.

April 30, 2010

Sailor mistakes tiny island for UK: A man who thought he was sailing along the coast of southern England had to be rescued by emergency services after his motor boat ran out of fuel while repeatedly circling a small island in the River Thames estuary.

The man, who had no nautical guides and only a roadmap by which to navigate, had been trying to sail from Gillingham, about 35 miles east of London, to Southampton on April 19 by following the southern coast of England.

But he ended simply doing laps of the Isle of Sheppey, about 93 square kilometres in area, in the mouth of the Thames....full story from ABC News (AU)

April 29, 2010

Car Dangles From Parking GarageBank's seventh story becomes a drive-through: Downtown workers [in Tulsa, OK] got a surprise Wednesday when they stepped outside to see a white Mercedes sticking out of a top level of the Bank of America building's parking garage at Sixth Street and Boulder Avenue.

The car broke through the building's exterior wall from the seventh floor of the parking garage about 2 p.m. Wednesday. Debris rained down to a parking lot below, damaging several cars.

No injuries were reported....full story w/pic from the Tulsa World

NASA space balloon crashes into car in Alice Springs on take-off: Balloon Boy, eat your heart out.

The ABC [Australian Broadcasing Corporation] said today a multi-million dollar scientific space balloon crashed on take-off at Alice Springs airport, destroying its valuable on-board equipment after smashing into a fence and overturning a car.

Amid calm conditions, the balloon was scheduled to be launched about 8am (WST), but witnesses Stan and Beckie Davies told the ABC: "We were within about a foot of being wiped out. If it hadn't been for that car, we wouldn't be (here) right now."....full story w/pic from

April 28, 2010

Utah boy mowing the lawn runs into TNT canister: HOOPER, Utah - A 17-year-old Utah boy mowing the lawn at his home in Hooper ran into a canister of TNT that may date back as far as World War II. Taylor Wood was mowing the pasture behind the family home on Sunday and heard a thud. He then saw a canister that said "TNT shell" on the side.

His mother, Charise Wood, described the canister as looking like a small can of tomato paste. She quickly called emergency crews....full story from CBS News

Long DietMan claims to have had no food or drink for 70 years: Indian military scientists are studying an 82-year-old who claims he has not had any food or drink for 70 years.

Prahlad Jani is being held in isolation in a hospital in Ahmedabad, Gurjarat, where he is being closely monitored by India's defence research organization, who believe he may have a genuine quality which could help save lives.

He has now spent six days without food or water under strict observation and doctors say his body has not yet shown any adverse effects from hunger or dehydration....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 27, 2010

Island which spent $920,000 getting rid of rats now over-run with rabbits: A Hebridean island which spent £600,000 (US$920,000) ridding itself of rats has now become over-run with rabbits.

The last rat was seen on the tiny island of Canna four years ago after specialist pest controllers were brought in from more than 11,000 miles away to deal with the problem.

But now islanders are complaining that the rodent's disappearance has led to thousands of rabbits invading the island because there are no rats to keep their numbers down....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Brazilians ordered to have more sex: Brazil's health minister has agreeably proposed that more nookie could help the population combat the effects of chronic illness.

José Gomes Temporão used the launch of a campaign to prevent high blood pressure to warn of a health "time bomb" which within 20 years would see a good whack of Brazilians suffering hypertension, runaway cholesterol and diabetes....full story from The Register

April 26, 2010

Boobquake fails to destroy planet: Planet Earth has not (yet) been destroyed by today's terrifying Boobquake experiment - one Indiana student's response to Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi's insistence that immodestly dressed women provoke earthquakes.

Sedighi recently declared: "Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupting their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes."

Well, Jennifer McCreight decided to put this to the test, and attempt a critical mass of immodesty primarily involving a load of women flashing a Richter-tempting amount of jub....full story from The Register

Aussie police put cat behind bars: A cute kitty who was inadvertently put behind bars during a Sydney police random breath testing operation has been given police protection.

Sydney police said the mix-up happened on Friday when an officer from Fairfield Highway patrol was driving on Cartwright Avenue, Cartwright, and was forced to brake for a cat running in front of the car.

Assuming the cat had made a clean get-away, the senior constable drove off and was setting up a RBT site as part of the long weekend's Operation Go Slow when he heard meowing coming from the front of the Ford XR6 Turbo....full story from

April 25, 2010

'Stripper-mobile' may return to Las Vegas: LAS VEGAS - The creator of the "stripper-mobile" plans to bring it back to Las Vegas but officials say they'll try to enact a permanent ban on the traveling strip show.

Larry Beard -- creator of the truck featuring strippers dancing in a lighted Plexiglas box to advertise local strip clubs -- said he wants to bring it back after a national "tour" to participate in Las Vegas' April 30 Pride Parade, the Las Vegas Sun reported Sunday....full story from UPI

Hawking warns over alien beings: Aliens almost certainly exist but humans should avoid making contact, Professor Stephen Hawking has warned.

In a series for the Discovery Channel the renowned astrophysicist said it was "perfectly rational" to assume intelligent life exists elsewhere.

But he warned that aliens might simply raid Earth for resources, then move on....full story from BBC News

April 24, 2010

Shellfish workers net WWII-era grenades: NEW BEDFORD, Mass. - Workers at a Massachusetts shellfish plant were processing a load of clams when they made a potentially explosive discovery, 126 hand grenades, officials said.

It's not unusual for grenades and other munitions to turn up in traps along the East Coast, but 126 is a relatively large number for one catch, WCVB-TV, Boston, reported.

Workers at the Fair Tide Shellfish plant in New Bedford found the grenades Friday -- some of them with pins still attached -- in a catch of clams that had been dredged off Long Island....full story from UPI

Airborne car lands on office roof: STAMFORD, Conn. — Witnesses and police say a Connecticut man drove his car into a stone wall, went airborne and landed on the roof of an accountant’s office before stopping in a yard.

Police say Chenpai Lee drove his car into the opposite lane and hit a wall late Thursday in Stamford. They say the car flipped several times, flew and punched a hole in the roof of the office, where it briefly landed....full story from CNews

April 23, 2010

Strange finds in the rain forest: A flying frog, a flaming snake and a slug that shoots love darts are among 123 new species found in Borneo since 2007 in a project to conserve one of the oldest rain forests in the world.

A report by the global conservation group WWF on the discoveries also calls for protecting the threatened species and equatorial rain forest on Borneo, the South China Sea island that is the world's third-largest and is shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei....full story from

Sea lion found on rooftop deck: NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - A California man said he awoke to sounds on his rooftop deck and investigated to find a sea lion pup flopping around atop the four-story home.

Mike Kai, 27, of Newport Beach, said he woke up Thursday at about sunrise and investigated the source of the sounds on top of his house to discover the sea lion wandering around on the rooftop deck, the Orange County Register reported Friday.

"It came off the beach, and I guess the way our stairs work, you can climb straight up to our roof deck," Kai said....full story from UPI

April 22, 2010

Clumsy ninja leaves bank empty-handed: This is not the stealth you'd expect from a bank-robbing ninja.

A Saskatchewan credit union released a video of a suspect dressed all in black and carrying a curved sword who smashed his way in on April 13.

The video, from the Synergy Credit Union in Lashburn, Saskatchewan, about 35 km southeast of Lloydminster, shows the suspect poking at a banking machine with the sword, unsuccessfully, before smashing his way through a glass door and into the closed credit union....full story from CNews

Son saves burning father by spraying him with cola bottle: A man who accidentally set himself on fire while using petrol to light a bonfire was saved when his teenage son sprayed him with a bottle of Coca-Cola.

Andrew Wythe, 52, was completely engulfed in flames when a spark ignited fumes from the petrol bottle, causing it to explode and setting his arms, chest, neck and ears alight.

But he was saved when his son Nicholas, 15, shook up a two-litre bottle of Coke, aimed it at his father and opened the lid, using the force of the fizzy pop erupting from the bottle to put out the flames....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 21, 2010

Burglars break into prison: Burglars broke in to a Dutch prison to steal televisions from inmates' rooms.

Twice in the past six weeks, burglars broke into a minimum-security prison and stole televisions from cells while prisoners were on weekend furlough, a spokesman for the justice ministry said on Wednesday.

The prison, in the town of Hoorn 26 miles north-east of Amsterdam, is for inmates near the end of their sentences....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Smart as a foxThe cycle lane that takes up most of a road: A council has introduced a cycle lane that takes up more than half of the road.

The area reserved for pedal-powered transport measures 6.5ft (2m) wide, leaving just 4.5ft (1.4m) for cars, lorries and buses to squeeze through.

Stretching up a steep hill in Poole, Dorset, the road markings have bemused motorists, who struggle to fit their cars in the space provided....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 20, 2010

Rampaging goat puts three in hospital: Three people have been hospitalised after an angry goat invaded a nursing home in Melbourne, Australia, and went on a rampage that ended only when it was caught by police.

The seven-year-old billygoat, named Billy, wandered into the grounds of the On Luck Chinese nursing home after escaping its enclosure at a nearby home.

The animal became agitated when a gardener tried to shoo it away....full story from The Daily Telegaph (UK)

Water aerobics class stopped because of 5ft crocodile: The biweekly water aerobics class at a holiday park in northern Australia was postponed when a 5ft (1.5m) crocodile entered the pool.

Workers at the Howard Springs Holiday Park on the outskirts of the tropical northern city of Darwin went to the pool to scoop out leaves and otherwise prepare it for the class when they were surprised to find the crocodile, which had apparently crawled under a fence from a nearby swamp.

"We went down like normal to check the pool out because Tuesdays and Thursdays the local ladies of Howard Springs do their water aerobics," park manager Geoff Thompson said....full story from The Daily Telegaph (UK)

April 19, 2010

Cleric: sex 'causes earthquakes': Women who dress “inappropriately” incite extramarital sex that in turn cause more earthquakes, a senior Iranian hard-line cleric has claimed.

Attractive women who snub traditional Islamic clothing to instead wear fashionable clothes and apply heavy make-up, caused youths in the country to “go astray” and have affairs, Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi said.

The hard-line cleric said as a result the country, bounded by several fault lines, experienced more “calamities” such as earthquakes, the reformist Aftab-e Yazd newspaper reported him saying....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Man loses licence after drunk-driving in toy Barbie car: A man who was caught drink-driving in a toy car with a top speed of 4mph has been banned from driving.

Paul Hutton, 40, was pulled over by police as he drove an electric Barbie car, which moves slower than a mobility scooter, near his home in Essex.

Mr Hutton, who has four children Simon, 17, Calum, 14, Laina, 12, and John, 11, admitted being a 'complete twit'....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 18, 2010

George Washington's $300,000 library book fine: Librarians in New York's oldest library have uncovered a surprising borrower with overdue books: George Washington.

The first president of the United States of America borrowed two books from the New York Society Library in 1789 but failed to return them.

Adjusted for inflation, he has since racked up $300,000 (£195,000) in fines for being some 220 years late....full story from BBC News

Australian cookbook in hot water over 'ground black people' typo: An Australian publisher has been forced to reprint thousands of cookery books after a pasta recipe calling for "salt and freshly ground black people" prompted outrage.

Bob Sessions, Penguin Group Australia's head of publishing, acknowledged the proofreader for the Pasta Bible should have picked up the error, but said it was nothing more than a "silly mistake."

The "Pasta Bible" recipe for spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto was supposed to call for black pepper....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 17, 2010

The secret war mission that inspired Goldfinger scene: The opening sequence of James Bond film Goldfinger was inspired by a real mission carried out by MI6 during the Second World War and written into the script by an expert on secret wartime operations.

It is one of James Bond's most famous scenes, showing the agent at his deadliest – and most dapper.

Emerging from the water in a wetsuit, he knocks out a sentry and plants explosives before unzipping his suit to reveal a pristine dinner jacket underneath. He then walks into the nearest bar, glances at his watch and nonchalantly lights a cigarette just as the storage tanks erupt into flames behind more from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Smart as a foxPictured: 'curious' American fox cubs with heads trapped in grate: Three fox pups' curiosity got the better of them after their heads got stuck in a storm drain grate for several hours in America prompting rescuers to grease their heads with washing-up liquid to free them.

Firefighters shifted the grill while the cubs' distressed mother howled and barked for them from her nearby den but they had no tools to cut through it.

Eventually an animal rescue worker tried the washing-up liquid and managed to free all three, who were then released near their home den and scarpered back to more from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 16, 2010

Dead man elected as US mayor: Carl Geary died a month ago from a heart attack as he campaigned to be selected for the small country town. Despite his sudden death he still polled over three times as many votes as his rival in the election in Tracy City, Tennessee.

His widow, Susan Geary, said his election "was not a surprise at all to me."....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Cat stranded up tree for seven days because fire brigade's ladder was too short: A cat spent seven days stuck 100ft up a giant redwood tree, with her rescue delayed because the fire brigade's ladder was too short.

The cat, named Tiggs, shot up the tree after being scared by a dog in a neighbouring garden at her home in Buckden, near St Neots, Cambs.

Owners Natasha Moore, 22, and daughter Chloe, four, hunted for their missing one-year-old pet but only heard her cries from the lofty branch five days later....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 15, 2010

UN report: India has more mobile phones than toilets: Far more people in India have access to a mobile phone than to a toilet, according to a UN study on sanitation.

India's mobile subscribers totalled 563.73 million at the last count, enough to serve nearly half of the country's 1.2 billion population.

But just 366 million people - around a third of the population - had access to proper sanitation in 2008, said the study published by the United Nations University, a UN think-tank....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

World Wide WeddingWedding pictured on Google Street View: A couple’s wedding day was captured and put on Google Street View, where it can be seen by millions.

The photograph shows Marc Watkins, the groom, having a drink with wedding guests before the ceremony.

They are seen drinking outside a pub opposite the church in which they were to be married....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 14, 2010

Women engineers help create new Barbie: CHICAGO - The Chicago-based Society of Women Engineers said it partnered with California toy giant Mattel Inc. for the development of computer engineer Barbie.

Betty Shanahan, chief executive officer of the society, said her organization worked to turn out votes at to get computer engineer chosen as the career-hopping doll's next identity and the toy company contacted her after the job was chosen for input on development, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday....full story from UPI

'Guerrilla gardeners' sprucing up London by night: LONDON - They defy the power of the state with raids under cover of darkness using grenades, slingshots and surreptitious sprinkling in an all out war to beautify the capital's neglected public spaces.

London's "guerrilla gardeners," armed with spades and trowels, are behind a number of the floral displays on the city's roundabouts (traffic circles) and roadside spaces.

They often operate in the dark of night because they are gardening in public spaces without permission from governmental authorities who don't often take kindly to their interference....full story from Reuters UK

April 13, 2010

Argentina criminals 'evade capture by dressing up as sheep': Two Argentinean convicts who escaped from jail evaded capture after disguising themselves as sheep, it was claimed.

Maximiliano Pereyra and Ariel Diaz, who were jailed for robbery offences, dressed up as the animals after escaping from a maximum security jail in Argentina more than a week ago.

Pereyra, 25, and Diaz, 28, dressed in full sheepskin fleeces with realistic looking heads as they tried to evade capture, The Sun reported....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Learner driverLearner driver flips instructor's car on second lesson: A learner driver was red-faced after she flipped her instructor's car onto its roof on her second lesson.

The driver, aged in her 20s, lost control after she locked the steering wheel to the right and stamped on the accelerator pedal as she left a junction.

But instead of joining the road the brand new black Fiat 500 performed a high-speed u-turn straight into a garden gate....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Helpline priest falls asleep during suicide call for help: A suicidal man connected to a Samaritans-style helpline in Sweden was left pondering his options when the priest at the other end fell asleep and started snoring down the line.

The suicidal man called emergency services at around 2am on Friday, saying he felt "psychologically unstable". He was forwarded to the duty Church of Sweden pastor. About five minutes into the call, the troubled 44-year-old man had the feeling that he was talking to himself....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 12, 2010

Handling cash 'better at killing pain than aspirin', study claims: Handling a wad of cash may be as good at killing pain than ibuprofen or aspirin, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota carried out a series of studies which revealed those who counted money before taking part in an experiment where they were subjected to low levels of pain felt less discomfort than those who did not.

Its thought that fondling notes and coins helps ward off pain by boosting feelings of self-worth and self-sufficiency....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

iPod implicated in US attack sub collision: The navigator of a US Navy fast attack submarine, who was listening to his iPod when he really should have been keeping an eye out for amphibious transport docks, helped land his employers with a hefty $86.9m repair bill.

According to the Navy Times, the Los Angeles-class sub Hartford collided with with the New Orleans in the Strait of Hormuz on 20 March 2009. The Hartford's commander, Ryan Brookhart, was swiftly relieved of his command....full story from The Register

Croatian teenager wakes from coma speaking fluent German: A 13-year-old Croatian girl who fell into a coma woke up speaking fluent German.

The girl, from the southern town of Knin, had only just started studying German at school and had been reading German books and watching German TV to become better, but was by no means fluent, according to her parents.

Since waking up from her 24 hourcoma however, she has been unable to speak Croatian, but is able to communicate perfectly in German....full story from The Daily Telegraph

April 11, 2010

Drunks steal bus twice in one night: New South Wales [Australia] police say a courtesy bus has been taken on two joy-rides by drunk strangers in the one night.

Officers say a man stole the bus with an elderly passenger inside at Tumbi Umbi on the state's central coast last night.

He allegedly let the 75-year-old woman out but she contacted police....full story from ABC News (AU)

College pole dancing lessonsCambridge students 'to get pole dancing lessons to combat stress': Lessons will take in the Blue Room of the historic Union building, more commonly used as the venue for debates among venerable statesmen including Winston Churchill, the Dalai Lama and former Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

It is the first time private pole dancing lessons have been offered by a Cambridge University society, and will cost just £2 an hour for Union members.

Four ''pole-fitness'' sessions, starting on April 25 at 6pm, are currently confirmed and advertised as being for women only, with no experience necessary....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 10, 2010

Seniors charged in bank caper: CHICAGO - Three senior citizens have been charged with casing a Chicago suburban bank for months to prepare for a robbery, officials say.

The three old men were still wearing dark burglary clothes when they stood before a federal judge Friday, The Chicago Tribune said.

The report said the trio were arrested Thursday as they neared a Bridgeport, Ill., residence of a deceased mob chief, which officials said they had allegedly targeted for home invasion....full story from UPI

Mom says goodbye, son wakes from coma: BOURNEMOUTH, England - A British mother, her son in a coma, thought she was saying goodbye to him for the last time -- until he woke up and opened his eyes, observers say.

Nick Verron, 26, was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver during an unprovoked attack last July 4 in coastal Bournemouth, England, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Verron's mother, Sue Vincent, had given permission to doctors to stop the drugs that they believed were keeping her son alive....full story from UPI

April 9, 2010

UK postal workers boycott house over cat attacks: Royal Mail has stopped deliveries to a house in Leeds after postal workers came under attack from an elderly cat.

Tiger is said to have scratched postal workers and chased them down the garden path at his home in High Bank Street, Farsley, over the past few weeks.

Owner Tracy Brayshaw, who must now pick up mail from the nearest sorting office, said the ban was "a bit silly"....full story w/video from the BBC

British passenger wakes up in Canadian hangar: A British academic who fell asleep during a flight woke up in an aircraft hangar after cabin crew mistakenly left him on the plane.

Kris Lines, a lecturer in sports law at Staffordshire University, was woken up by a surprised mechanic 90 minutes after his flight landed in Vancouver, where he was due to speak at an international conference.

He had fought to stay awake during his twenty-two hour journey from Birmingham to Calgary via Heathrow, drinking Coca-Cola to ensure he did not fall asleep at the airport and miss the connecting flight to Vancouver....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Friendship BridgeCash-strapped county offers Hollywood chance to blow up decaying bridge: A financially-strapped Florida county has offered Hollywood the chance to blow up a bridge it cannot afford to maintain.

The decaying 2.6 mile-long Friendship Trail Bridge was deemed unsafe and closed last year after an engineering report concluded it was in danger of collapsing into Tampa Bay.

Politicians in Pinellas County have baulked at the $48 million (£32 million) it would cost to repair the concrete bridge but are also dismayed by the $13 million (£8.5million) it would cost to demolish it....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 8, 2010

Workers strike over ban on drinking at work: (Reuters) - A few hundred warehouse workers and drivers at Danish brewer Carlsberg halted work for a second day on Thursday to protest a company decision to limit beer drinking at work to lunch breaks.

The strike in Denmark followed the company's April 1 decision to introduce new rules for employees on beer drinking at work, said Jens Bekke, spokesman at the world no.4 brewer.

"There has been free beer, water and soft drinks everywhere," he said....full story from CNews

Police 'issued appeal for lost dog before missing man': German Shepherd Kessie was searching for vulnerable father-of-three Shane Austin when she got lost in woods at around 7am on Sunday.

Within an hour an appeal was posted on the Avon and Somerset [UK] police website appealing for her safe return, and she was found within an hour.

But it was only at 2.43am the following day that information on Mr Austin, 38, from Cannington, Somerset, was posted on the site....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 7, 2010

Housework slowing female scientists?: STANFORD, Calif. - California researchers said Wednesday's "No Housework Day" should also be a day to examine the impact of housework on potential female scientists.

The Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University said No Housework Day, a day encouraging U.S. residents to put off their chores and relax, should also be an opportunity to examine "the detrimental role (housework) plays in draining America's scientific more from UPI

Toddler steals 2-ft tall chocolate Easter bunny: A toddler was caught on CCTV stealing a giant chocolate bunny from an Easter display.

The child grabbed the 2-ft tall rabbit, named Warren, from a restaurant display in Ipswich [England].

It was intended as a prize for a children's colouring competition at Old Orleans.

CCTV footage showed a toddler dragging the £50 prize on to the street outside....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 6, 2010

Bringing vampires back home? LONDON - A British university is to hold a conference on Vampires in an effort to counterbalance the "Americanization" of the fictional genre.

Delegates to the University of Hertfordshire's "Open Graves, Open Minds: Vampires and the Undead in Modern Culture" conference to be held on April 16-17 will have their food served to them out of coffins as part of a mission to encourage students of all ages to study literature.

English lecturer Sam George, who has just launched a Master of Arts degree in vampire fiction at Hertfordshire, said the most famous vampire narrative of all, Dracula, was written by Irishman Bram Stoker and set in London and Whitby in Yorkshire, but that now with the "Twilight" saga and "True Blood," modern vampires have become Americanized....full story from CNews

Move over, James Bond, you're too tall: The ideal spy is a plain-looking person, 5ft 7in or 5ft 8in, who has exceptional hearing and can withstand extreme heat and cold while standing still for several hours, a secret file released by MI5 reveals.

The attributes required of a "watcher" to trail foreign spies during the Second World War were listed in documents recording the work of Section B6, the MI5 branch used to observe suspected threats to national security.

Papers released at the National Archives in Kew, west London, show how MI5 found it difficult to recruit enough suitably nondescript spies to track down German secret agents operating in Britain....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 5, 2010

Woman crashes into salon, gets hair done: GRAND RAPIDS - An elderly Michigan woman who accidentally crashed her car into a hair salon while attempting to park said she stuck around the scene to keep her appointment.

Marion Zock, 82, said she arrived at Classic Hair Design in Plainfield Township just before 11:30 a.m. Thursday and accidentally stepped on the accelerator of her Ford Fusion instead of the brake while trying to park in a tight spot, WOOD-TV, Grand Rapids, Mich., reported Monday....full story from UPI

Jordanian AlienMayor sends in troops after alien April Fool panic: A local newspaper's April Fool chronicling a late-night visit by 10ft aliens sparked panic in a town in Jordan.

The Al Ghad newspaper published a front-page article claiming a UFO landing near the desert town of Jafr.

The report said the aliens lit up the whole town, interrupted communications and sent fearful residents streaming into the streets....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 4, 2010

'Termite gangs' tunnel into third French bank: PARIS - Would-be robbers armed with a pneumatic drill dug a tunnel from a Paris subway station into the basement of a bank in the early hours of Sunday but failed to seize any cash or valuables, police said.

The attempted robbery of BNP Paribas is the third time this year so-called "termite gangs" have tried to rob a bank by digging a tunnel into the building.

French media have compared the cases to the "Spaggiari Affair," a heist masterminded by Albert Spaggiari* more than 30 years ago in Nice....full story from Reuters UK

*A Brief History Lesson: Albert Spaggiari was the mastermind of the 1976 Société Générale bank heist in Nice, France, which netted US$31,900,000. Spaggiari and his gang tunneled into the vault via a sewer and spent the entire July 16 Bastile holiday weekend looting safety deposit boxes. When leaving they welded the vault door shut from the inside. A few months later one of his accomplices was picked up on a tip from his girlfriend and squealed on Spaggiari who was then apprehended. During a subsequent court appearance Spaggiari jumped out of a window, landed safely on a parked car, escaped on a waiting motorcycle and was never seen again. Remains of the loot from the heist have never been more from Wikipedia

Entombed car unearthed after 40 years: KANKAKEE, Ill. - A 1958 Buick has been unearthed almost 40 years after three young men walled it up under an Illinois house as a practical joke, observers said.

The Buick Special was abandoned in Kankakee, Ill., in 1971 when it broke down and its owner couldn't afford the repair costs, The Chicago Tribune reported Sunday.

A local dealer had no use for it and gave it to the three jokesters, who bricked it behind a wall in the basement of a house one of them owned, the newspaper said....full story from UPI

Cleverest women are the heaviest drinkers: Women who went to university consume more alcohol than their less-highly-educated counterparts, a major study has found.

Those with degrees are almost twice as likely to drink daily, and they are also more likely to admit to having a drinking problem.

A similar link between educational attainment and alcohol consumption is seen among men, but the correlation is less strong....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 3, 2010

Women march topless in Maine without incident: PORTLAND – About two dozen women marched topless from Longfellow Square to Tommy's Park this afternoon in an effort to erase what they see as a double standard on male and female nudity.

The women, preceded and followed by several hundred boisterous and mostly male onlookers, many of them carrying cameras, stayed on the sidewalk because they hadn't obtained a demonstration permit to walk in the street. About a thousand people gathered as the march passed through Monument Square, a mix of demonstrators, supporters, onlookers and those just out enjoying a warm and sunny early-spring day....full story from The Portland Press Herald

Exercise bike laneCouncil condemned over 'Britain's shortest cycle lane': A council has been condemned for wasting taxpayers’ money after it built a cycle lane just 8ft long.

At little more than the length of a single bicycle, the £2,000 road marking has left cyclists in Cardiff bemused.

The feature, thought to be the shortest cycle lane in Britain, has been installed to encourage green transport....full story w/larger pic from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Clothing scuffle in LondonPolice hurt in clothing sale scuffle: Ten police officers were injured when scuffles broke out after 2,000 people descended on a clothing sale.

Three people were arrested after the scrum at the American Apparel "rummage" event in Brick Lane, east London, on Friday.

The company was forced to stop the sale, which was advertised on social networking websites like Facebook, because of the "dangerous behaviour" of people queuing to get in....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 2, 2010

Call girl crossingProstitutes sign confuses motorists: The red-bordered triangular sign shows a scantily-clad woman, who is also carrying a handbag, in the city of Treviso in northern Italy.

The sign states 'Attenzione Prostitute' - seemingly warning people of prostitutes in the area.

Motorists and pedestrians have complained that the sign is 'confusing', saying they don't know if it means to watch out for crossing hookers or if it means prostitutes operate in the area....full story w/larger pic from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

US Congressman claims Guam 'will capsize from military influx': A United States Congressman, Hank Johnson, has become an unlikely internet hit, after he claimed the Asia Pacific island of Guam would “tip over and capsize” from a planned influx of American troops.

Since it was posted online late on Wednesday, it has gathered more than 800,000 hits on YouTube.

The 55 year-old Democratic member of the US House of Representatives claimed he was "obviously" joking when he made the remarks during evidence with a senior Naval officer about the US Military's build-up on the American territory....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

April 1, 2010

Baseball player hits his mother with a foul ball: TAMPA, Fla. — Minnesota center fielder Denard Span, who is from Tampa, purchased tickets for his family to sit next to the Twins’ dugout at Steinbrenner Field for Wednesday’s game against the Yankees.

Next time, he might pick a different location.

In the first inning of Minnesota’s 4-2 victory, the left-handed-batting Span swung late on a 3-2 fastball from Phil Hughes and lined a foul ball to the third-base side that struck his mother, Wanda Wilson, in the upper chest....full story from The New York Times

EPA gave Energy Star certification to 'gas-powered clock radio' and 14 other phony products, GAO says: The Environmental Protection Agency certified that a “gas-powered clock radio” was an energy-efficient product under the government’s Energy Star program, despite the fact that neither the clock nor its manufacturer ever existed.

The clock and 14 other phony products were part of an investigation into the Energy Star program conducted by the Government Accountability Office, which submitted 20 fraudulent Energy Star applications from four fake companies. The EPA evaluated 16 of those products while the Department of Energy (DOE) evaluated four....full story from CNS News

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