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Odd News Archive - August 2011

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.

August 31, 2011

Dog living on top of Mount Kilimanjaro: (by Aislinn Laing) A dog has been spotted apparently alive and well at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain.

The rust-coloured animal was seen by a tourist at Uhuru peak, the mountain's highest summit between 5,730 and 5,895 metres above sea level where temperatures range from minus four to 15 degrees centigrade.

The sighting has baffled animal scientists who have questioned what motivated the dog to scale such heights and how he could have survived without a proper food source on the desert-like, stony plains of the volcanic Tanzanian more from The Telegraph (UK)

US man arrested at airport with seven snakes in his trousers: A man has been arrested at Miami international airport with seven exotic snakes and three tortoises stuffed into his trousers.

Never mind ants in your pants, what about snakes and tortoises?

That's what authorities at Miami's international airport said they found inside the trousers of a passenger as he tried to board a flight for more from The Telegraph (UK)

August 30, 2011

German city introduces 'tax meters' for prostitutes: Prostitutes in the German city of Bonn must carry a ticket purchased from a new parking metre-like machine while working the streets or face hefty fines from tax authorities in a scheme launched Monday night.

In Germany, ladies of the night pay income tax -- the level of which varies from region to region -- but compliance is difficult to enforce with women seeking business on the street.

Germany's first "sex tax meters," from which prostitutes can purchase a ticket for 6 euros (5.31 pounds) per night, will ensure the tax system is fairly implemented, a city spokeswoman more from Reuters UK

Security staff tag criminal's false leg: Two security firm workers have been sacked after being tricked into putting an electronic tag on a criminal's false leg.

Christopher Lowcock, 29, wrapped his prosthetic limb in a bandage and fooled workers at security services company G4S who failed to carry out the proper tests when they set up the tag and monitoring equipment at his home in Rochdale, England, the Rochdale Observer reported.

Lowcock could then simply remove his leg - and the tag - whenever he wanted to breach his court-imposed curfew for driving and drug offences, as well as possession of an offensive more from

$50k in gold thrown out with the trash: A Sunshine Coast [Australia] man who accidentally threw $50,000 worth of gold jewellery into the rubbish says he felt sick when he realised what he had done.

The Caloundra man, who has given his name as Geoffrey, had hidden his wife's jewellery in three garbage bags in an attempt to fool potential robbers.

But the bags were inadvertently thrown out with the rubbish last more from ABC News (AU)

August 29, 2011

Putin, Medvedev photos put in gonorrhea ad: MOSCOW - Siberian police say they're seeking prison for three men suspected of placing photos of Russian officials on a billboard for a clinic that treats gonorrhea.

The Moscow Times said the billboard for the Barnaul medical clinic originally depicted gonorrhea and other ailments as ugly monsters and sported the slogan "Do you need such companions?"

A local anarchist group is suspected to have added a row of unflattering photos of President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov and other officials, the newspaper more from UPI

Couple threatened with fine over noisy four-year-old son: A couple have been threatened with a £5,000 [US$8,175] fine following a complaint their little boy is too noisy playing in the garden.

Simon and Pippa Lansdell have been sent a letter by Hull City Council warning if further complaints are made about their 4-year-old son Alfie, they could be served with a noise abatement notice.

They could then be fined up to 5,000 pounds and have to pay a further 500 pounds a day if the noise still doesn't more from The Telegraph (UK)

August 28, 2011

Flasher intrudes on live hurricane report: VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A video of a man pulling down his pants behind a Weather Channel reporter covering Hurricane Irene in Virginia Beach, Va., has gone viral on the Internet.

The video, posted on YouTube and featured on, shows several young men in board shorts dancing behind reporter Eric Fisher during his live report Saturday in the midst of Hurricane Irene, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot more from UPI

Chew gum and sit apart: BBC's health and safety warning for musicians: (by Jonathan Wynne-Jones) Musicians in the BBC's orchestras have been told to chew gum and sit further apart to avoid damaging their hearing in new health and safety guidelines.

To their fans, the symphonies of Mozart and Beethoven are serene and soothing - and a night at the Proms is a pleasure. But to the BBC, it seems, they are a health and safety hazard.

The corporation has produced a report warning that musicians playing in its orchestras are at risk of damaging their hearing, and even their health, by working in a noisy more from The Telegraph (UK)

August 27, 2011

Man tries to rob bank, gets scolded: BOSTON - Police say a man tried to rob a Boston bank but left with nothing but a scolding from a customer.

The would-be robber allegedly walked into Eastern Bank in South Boston Thursday and gave the teller a note that said: "Give me all your money," The Boston Globe reported.

The teller refused and said the window was closed, police more from UPI

Giant rat caught, killed with pitchfork: NEW YORK - A city housing worker says he bagged a 3-foot rat with a pitchfork at a New York apartment complex.

Jose Rivera, 48, told the New York Daily News that two other giant rats escaped.

"I hit it one time and it was still moving," Rivera said of the rat he stabbed at Marcy Houses. "I hit it another time and that's when it died. I'm not scared of rats but I was scared of being bitten." more w/pic from UPI

Rhino horn thieves steal fakes: (by Richard Gray) Thieves who broke into a museum in an attempt to steal £240,000 of rhino horns were foiled after staff replaced the rare specimens with replicas.

The fake horns were taken from two taxidermy rhinos at the Natural History Museum at Tring, in Hertfordshire UK].

Thieves smashed their way though the museums front doors between 4am and 5am on Saturday morning. They used large hammers to remove the horns from the stuffed animals before more from The Telegraph (UK)

August 26, 2011

Couple 'stole groceries for wedding': Talk about your low-budget wedding plans: a newlywed Pennsylvania couple was arrested after allegedly shoplifting more than $US1000 worth of groceries they planned to serve at their reception.

Arthur Phillips III, 32, and Brittany M. Lurch, 22, both of Centre Hall, were picked up last Sunday after allegedly loading their Wegman's supermarket cart with some $US1049.26 worth of items and then leaving the store without paying, the Centre Daily Times reported today.

The couple, who wed on August 18, told police they planned to serve the goods at their reception on more from

Papua New Guinea 'Repentance Day' a bolt from the blue: Many Papua New Guinea residents are scratching their heads today as they mark the country's newest public holiday - Repentance Day - just 11 days after it was first announced.

Ceremonies will be held across the largely Christian country so people can ask forgiveness for their sins.

But, like a religious vision, the announcement came out of the more from ABC News (AU)

August 25, 2011

Traveller pre-empts strip search by getting naked in line: A traveller at a Bermuda airport last week was tired of being strip-searched -- so she took all her clothes off right there in line.

"If you want to see me naked, you can do it right f***ing here," Loukai Phillips told customs officers at LF Wade International Airport, according to the island's Royal Gazette more from CNews

Paintball round pops jub implant: (by Lester Haines) A UK paintballing outfit has been obliged to ask participants if they're packing Bulgarian airbags before they take to the battlefield, after a 26-year-old combatant's Bulgarian airbag was burst by a paintball round.

The jub implant rupture shocker happened last Saturday at UK Paintball's open air centre, close to Croydon. It wasn't until Monday, though, that the unnamed victim went to see her doc, who told her she'd lost one of her enhancements.

A UK Paintball spokesman said: "Part of the fun of paintball is that it hurts a bit when you get shot but in all the years we've been going we've never seen an incident like more from The Register

August 24, 2011

Amphibious Nazi raccoons menace Sweden: (by Lester Haines) Sweden is bracing for an amphibious assault by a considerable force of raccoon dogs and raccoons, poised to cross the Öresund strait which separates the country from neighbouring Denmark.

Raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) are native to east Asia, where their populations are actually declining, but they have made themselves right at home across Scandinavia and continental Europe. Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are native to North America.

The raccoon dog was introduced into Latvia in the 1940s, and rapidly invaded neighbouring countries, penetrating as far south as more from The Register

Lady Gaga and Beyonce on China song blacklist: Hits by Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Take That are among 100 songs that have been placed on an internet blacklist by China's culture ministry.

Music websites have been given until 15 September to remove the offending tracks, which officials say harm "national cultural security".

Those that fail to do so risk being prosecuted by the Chinese more from BBC News

August 23, 2011

Man brings live grenade to police station: PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, MAN. - The local RCMP detachment had to be evacuated Tuesday afternoon after a live hand grenade was turned in to police.

A 43-year-old Portage la Prairie man had been tilling soil on his rural property when he uncovered a hand grenade, which appeared to be live. He turned it in to the Portage RCMP so it could be disposed of.

“He brought it to the detachment simply with the intent of turning it in to the police to make it safe,” said Const. Miles Hiebert of the Winnipeg more from The Telegraph (UK)

Nigella LawsonNigella Lawson: new 'naked chef seen from her bathroom', claim neighbours: Nigella Lawson, the voluptuous television cook, has been placed in an apparent compromising position after claims her neighbours have seen her naked in her multi-million pound London mansion.

Despite spending a fortune transforming the former warehouse into a £12m seven-bedroom mansion, it seems the renovations have one fatal flaw.

During the extensive works upgrading the building, while still retaining the 1870 facade, someone apparently failed to fit the bathroom with frosted more from The Telegraph (UK)

August 22, 2011

Stress really does make your hair go grey, scientists find: When the going gets tough chemicals are triggered which damage DNA and leads us to look older and also increases the risk of diseases.

Mice given an adrenalin-like compound to trigger stress had reduced amounts of a protein that keeps us healthy by protecting our cells from developing abnormalities.

Professor Robert Lefkowitz, of Duke University, North Carolina, said: "This could give us a plausible explanation of how chronic stress may lead to a variety of human conditions and disorders, which range from merely cosmetic, like greying hair, to life-threatening disorders like malignancies." more from The Telegraph (UK)

Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia turned away from German restaurant: A red-faced restaurant owner in southern Germany admitted on Sunday she had turned away Sweden's king and queen when they asked for a table after failing to recognise them.

Nadine Schellenberger of Zum Gueldenen Stern, a half-timbered inn and pub founded in the 16th century in the centre of the southwestern town of Ladenburg, said the royals stopped in while she was hosting a wedding party.

"I didn't recognise them. I mean without crowns and sceptres ... I am just not up on royal families and I don't have time for glossy magazines," she told more from

August 21, 2011

China fights rats with stray cats: BEIJING: More than 100 stray cats that used to roam the streets in a Chinese province have now been collected and organised into a team to fight rodents that are destroying crops.

The "cat army" has been formed in northwest Xinjiang Uygur region, Xinhua reported.

The team was released by the pest control office into the grassland in May, and have adapted to their new life and proven to be good rat hunters, said Li Hua, a forest worker in Xinjiang's Bole more from The Times of India

PETA to launch porn site: In another sensational attempt to draw attention to the plight of animals, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is planning to launch a porn site later this year.

A spokeswoman for the group says the site will feature adult content along with graphic images of animals that viewers may not expect to see.

“We are preparing to launch our own site, but instead of just showing people our iconic ads we then show them how animals suffer for entertainment,” PETA's Ashley Byrne told Australia's Herald more from CNews

August 20, 2011

Detroiters get false water shutoff notices: DETROIT - The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department said a computer glitch caused many residents to receive notices threatening to shut off their water.

Mary Sevakis, a spokeswoman for the department, said the false shutoff notices told residents their homes would go dry unless they made immediate payments of more than $ more from UPI

Stripper sues jailed boss over wages: CHICAGO - An exotic dancer is suing her former boss for allegedly cheating her out of overtime she put in on stage at his Chicago-area clubs.

Argyro Roula Mains contends 63-year-old Michael Wellek improperly classified her and her colleagues as independent contractors rather than employees in order to skirt the rules on overtime pay.

She is seeking unpaid wages over the last five years, some of which she claimed were siphoned off her check by "unauthorized deductions" that cut her weekly rate below minimum more from UPI

August 19, 2011

Outback outhouse challenge to flush out fastest mayors: Western Queensland [Australia] mayors have been invited to compete in a unique outback event sitting on a toilet.

The organisers of the Winton festival, north-west of Longreach, have included a Mayors Dunny Challenge to their program for next month's event.

Coordinator Robyn Stephens says the mayors will mount a specially built racing outhouse while a team of four carry them along a more from ABC News (AU)

'Moronic' motorist uses feet as brakes: A police video camera captured images of a 24-year-old Detroit-area man who tried using his feet to stop a runaway pickup truck with faulty brakes and caused multiple collisions, exhibiting "moronic decision making," a Roseville police official said.

After the vehicle's brakes failed on a busy street in Roseville [Michigan], about three kilometres [@ 2 miles] north of Detroit, the man continued driving and stuck his feet outside the car to stop it, Roseville Deputy Police Chief James Berlin said.

Witnesses said the man reached speeds of about 70kmh [43mph] and was able to stop the car on at least two occasions. The car eventually struck four vehicles.

"This guy's no rocket scientist," Berlin more w/video from

Ferry runs aground after captain stuck in toilet: A Finnish ferry has run aground while its captain was stuck in the bathroom.

One member of staff managed to slow the island-hopping tourist ferry down, but the vessel, carrying 54 passengers, slammed onto a rock near the shore of Helsinki, the Finnish coastguard said Friday.

The captain got stuck in the bathroom because of a jammed lock and yelled for help, the coastguard more from Reuters UK

August 18, 2011

Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilisations, say scientists: It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.

Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth's atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

This highly speculative scenario is one of several described by a Nasa-affiliated scientist and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University that, while considered unlikely, they say could play out were humans and alien life to make contact at some point in the more from The Guardian

Oxford adds woot! to dictionary: (by John Oates) Today marks the launch of the centenary edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, first compiled by the Fowler brothers in 1911: an event traditionally marked by a press release including words added for the first time.

This year's new entries include: woot, retweet, cyberbullying, denialist, gastric band and the surely entirely unnecessary mankini and jeggings.

Sexting also gets the nod: for informal usage only, grammar fans. Slow food is also included along with upcycle and domestic more from The Register

Rubbish truck left hangingLucky trucker left hanging in parking garage crash: A lorry driver had a lucky escape after the truck he was driving crashed through the walls of a New York car park.

The truck was left dangling in the air several storeys above street level.

The driver, Robert Legall, lost control of the 16-ton vehicle in the Queens district of the more w/video from Sky News

August 17, 2011

Jails confiscate raw chicken, snow tire: VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Canadian federal prison officials in British Columbia say they've confiscated some pretty odd things from inmates, including raw chicken and a snow tire.

The Vancouver Sun reviewed a list of confiscated items in the province's federal prisons between January 2008 and October 2010 and found the usual penitentiary items such as homemade weapons, but also so inexplicable things.

A wooden crab trap was taken from one prisoner's cell, while another was hiding seven pounds of rice. Guards made one seizure of a package of uncooked bacon and another of a full case of fig cookies, the Sun more from UPI

Russian First Lady to head gathering of blondes in Sochi: Svetlana Medvedev, wife of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, will head a rally of blondes in Sochi [Russia] on September 23-25, website reported on Wednesday.

During the event, a "parade of blondes" is planned and a cornerstone is to be laid at the construction sites of a restaurant and a museum for blondes. Participants and guests of the event will hold a massive game of tic-tac-toe with the goal of being entered into the Guinness Book of more from RIA Novosti

Giant South American rodent spotted in California: A giant South American rodent weighing at least 100 pounds (45 kgs) was spotted at a waste-water treatment facility in California recently before disappearing in the brush, according to a wildlife official.

The animal, which was identified as a capybara, is the world's largest rodent and feeds on vegetation.

"If you think a giant guinea pig is cute, then you probably would like it," said Todd Tognazzini, of the California Department of Fish and more from Reuters UK

Wife's rampage at the wrong address: A Nelson [New Zealand] woman enraged at finding out her husband was having an affair drove at speed through closed gates and into a building where she thought the other woman lived – only to be told by her husband that she had the wrong building.

A 25-year-old woman, who has interim name suppression, appeared in the Nelson District Court yesterday and admitted one charge of intentionally causing $42,823 worth of damage at an apartment complex in Trafalgar St.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Chris Stringer said the woman and her husband were having marital problems, and on June 30 they were driving in more from

August 16, 2011

German boy, 11, calls police to complain about chores: An 11-year-old German boy called police to complain that his mother keeps making him do chores during his summer school holidays.

"Hello. My mother is putting me into forced labour," began Leon, not his real name, during a 5-minute call to the emergency number 110.

"What do you have to do?" the police officer answering the call asked the more from

BBC explains 'All your Twitter pics are belong to us' gaffe: (by Andrew Orlowski) There are some subjects on which giant media companies need to be ultra tippy-toe cautious. When, say, the majority owner of a satellite broadcaster uses its newspapers to lobby for a change the law, we should remember it is not a disinterested party. It may have an agenda. Similarly when the BBC covers copyright, or "net neutrality", it is not a disinterested party either; it is in the BBC's interests to seek changes that lower its costs, and add to its convenience, at the expense of other groups in society. These are political issues in which the BBC is a major player. Corporate responsibility demands that its coverage be squeaky clean.

Well, last week the riots prompted media companies to engage in some looting of their own: taking photographs without permission – in breach of several international conventions, as well as the Copyright Designs and Patents Act. This they do every day, and social media has become a cheap import channel. We dinged the Daily Mail recently for its bit of grab-and-run, where the paper attributed a photograph it used without permission to "The Internet" more from The Register

August 15, 2011

Manx underwear promises to banish the beer belly: (by Martin Evans) For those men wishing to banish the beer belly without spending hours in the gym, a new range of figure hugging boxer shorts have hit the market.

Dubbed Manx, after the female underwear brand Spanx, the stretchy fabric is said to lift and firm flabby backsides, suck in beer bellies and smooth away so called love handles.

"Control underwear" for women was made famous when Renee Zellweger wore them in the hit film Bridget Jones’s more from The Telegraph

Blimp in backyard94-year-old Ohio woman wakes up to blimp in her backyard:A 94-year-old Ohio woman says she didn't realise a breakaway blimp had landed in her backyard during the night until police knocked on her door hours later.

The 39-metre-long blimp broke free of its moorings at a Columbus airport during strong winds early on Sunday and drifted to the sky, then landed in Lillian Bernhagen's backyard in Worthington, less than 3 kilometres from the airport, Ohio State University's Don Scott airfield. No-one was more from

August 14, 2011

Raising chickens popular in Chicago: CHICAGO - Chicago resident Anna Osterbur Petersen says her five chickens have become the talk of the neighborhood, especially among children.

"Can I pet the chickens? Can I feed the chickens?" Peterson said neighborhood children repeatedly ask her. "We've met many of our neighbors this way. People have endless questions and misconceptions about chickens and chicken raising. We kind of see ourselves as these chicken ambassadors talking to people about what the deal actually is."

Raising chickens is legal in Chicago, and it has become something of a movement across the nation, Peterson said in a Chicago Sun-Times report more from UPI

Peeling it off for the Bare Buns Run: VANCOUVER - Dressed in their best birthday suits, some 200 people raced naked at this year’s annual Wreck Beach Bare Buns Run on Sunday.

“It’s the freedom of not having the clothes, just feeling like a little kid running around,” said participant Dave Lewis, whose love for the breeze between the knees began about 10 years ago, when a friend who couldn’t make the run asked him to sub in.

“Once I did it, I was hooked,” he more from CNews

August 13, 2011

Falcons 'clean up' SoCal office complex: SANTA MONICA, Calif. - The pigeons and seagulls that haunted a Los Angeles-area office complex flew the coop when a cadre of falcons arrived, the birds' handler said.

Scores of messy birds had been fouling the pond and lawn at the Santa Monica complex for years, but there were none in sight this week after four falcons named after movie stars were stationed at the 17-acre Water Garden site.

"The first morning I got here there were 40 gulls," falconer Fred Seaman told the Los Angeles Times. "Some days they've had as many as 100 of them here." more from UPI

Hot dog stand now has 'Felony Franks' sign: CHICAGO - The owner of a Chicago hot-dog stand has finally been allowed to post his "Felony Franks" sign, after two years of opposition by some city officials.

Jim Andrews, purveyor of the 'misdemeanor wiener" hires released prison inmates, WGN-TV, Chicago, reported. He wanted a sign to match.

The sign went up Thursday after Alderman Bob Fioretti and three other aldermen agreed to drop their more from UPI

August 12, 2011

'Redneck Olympics' threatened with legal action: A “Redneck Olympics”, featuring events including beer-swilling and wife-carrying, has been threatened with legal action over its name by the Olympic authorities.

Harold Brooks, the organiser of the event, which was held last weekend in Maine, said his lawyers had been contacted by the US Olympic Committee, which was demanding a change to the name.

“It’s a word that was used the ancient Greeks,” Mr Brooks said. “This is just a bunch of rich people looking out for other rich more from The Telegraph (UK)

Cow leaps three foot fence and squashes car: LEEK, England - Motorist Robert Gould is lucky to be alive after a startled cow leapt over a three-foot fence and landed on his car.

The frightened Friesian has written off Robert's Citroen C5 after denting the bonnet and breaking a wheel after bounding onto the busy road.

Stunned police later breath-tested Robert after he called 999 to report the more w/pic from The Telegraph (UK)

Military blows up mortar shell left for judge as a gift: It was the gift that came with a bang.

The wife of Mississippi Judge Charlie Vess found a mortar shell on the couple's patio in Natchez this week. They called the sheriff's office.

The sheriff called Fort Polk, an Army base in neighbouring Louisiana. It sent a bomb team to blow up the mortar at the Natchez-Adams County Airport on more from

Real skeleton in the closet at NZ school: Teachers at a New Zealand school received a macabre surprise when they realised a supposedly plastic skeleton to be used in anatomy lessons was actually a real set of human bones, a report said.

Totara North School principal Bastienne Kruger had removed the skeleton from storage and was about to use it in class when on close examination she saw that the teaching aid was not plastic as she had assumed.

Ms Kruger said no-one knew how long the skeleton had been at the school, which opened in 1852, the Northern Advocate newspaper more from ABC News (AU)

August 11, 2011

Star Wars moneyPacific island mints Star Wars coinage: (by Lester Haines) The Pacific island of Niue is hoping to drum up some cash from Star Wars fans by issuing two sets of coins commemorating the sci-fi franchise.

For NZ$469 (£238-US$385) a pop, you can choose from either a Darth Vader-themed collection (pictured), or a Millennium Falcon boxed set featuring duets of Luke Skywalker / Princess Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi / Yoda, R2-D2 / C-3PO, and Han Solo / Chewbacca. The reverse of the coins bears a traditional likeness of Her Maj Liz 2.

The face value of the individual coins is NZ$2 – the official currency of Niue – but since these collectibles are minted from 1oz of pure silver, "no one is going to go buy an ice-cream with them", as New Zealand Mint spokesman Chris Kirkness put more from The Register

Sheriff plans no investigation of naked woman at golf tournament: WOODWARD, Okla. — The Woodward County sheriff said he has no plans to investigate an incident involving a naked woman at a charity golf tournament last month.

“We haven't had anybody come in and make a report,” Sheriff Gary Stanley said Wednesday. “Somebody would need to come in and make a report ... We don't have a victim.”

Stanley said he wasn't at the tournament at the Boiling Springs Golf Course and that none of his staff members were more from The Oklahoman

August 10, 2011

South African 'most wanted' criminal slips from police custody on crutches: (by Aislinn Laing) One of South Africa's most wanted criminals made the most mundane of escapes when he slipped from police custody by walking out of a Pretoria courtroom door along with members of the public.

Bongani Moyo, 29, a Zimbabwean national who was arrested this year after a much publicised manhunt where his picture was plastered over nationwide media, was due at a hearing related to the armed robbery of 35 banks.

Described by police as a "dangerous criminal" in the Crime Line appeal, he was arrested at the Beitbridge border with Zimbabwe after escaping from Boksburg prison in more from The Telegraph (UK)

Itsy bitsy bikini ads for UK beach volleyball stars: Soccer teams have home and away shirts, tennis and golf stars have clothes and gear with sponsored logos, but if you're a female beach volleyball star there's not a lot of costume real estate to hire out to the marketing folks.

That's why British beach volleyball stars Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney will be sporting a teensy weensy high tech bar code on their itsy bitsy bikini bottoms when they compete in a high profile London tournament this week.

The Olympic pairing -- ranked 26th in the world -- will have a Quick Response (QR) code on their costumes at the Visa FIVB Beach Volleyball International, an intercontinental women's volleyball more w/pic from Reuters UK

August 9, 2011

Italian town mayor bans 'smelly kebabs': The mayor of a northern Italian town announced a ban on shops selling kebabs and sandwiches from Saturday, saying he objected to their smell and complained they were not part of Italian tradition.

Massimo Botocci, a member of the populist Northern League and the mayor of Cittadella, near Padua, said such shops were banned from the centre of the medieval walled city.

This kind of food production was "not suited to our historic centre (because of) the way in which the foods are eaten, the smell they give off...", said Mr Bitocci, citing health and sanitation more from

Prison toga partyRussian prison chief fired over toga party: Russian authorities have fired a prison governor after scandalous photographs revealed prisoners holding a toga party with caviar and even taking a delivery of McDonald's takeaway.

The governor of Prison Number 3 in the town of Serpukhov outside Moscow and two of his deputies were fired after an investigation found "blatant breaches" at the jail, the prosecutor-general's office said.

Photographs published by Russian tabloid Tvoi Den showed prisoners posing in homemade togas and sitting down to a table loaded with food, including dishes of red salmon more from ABC News (AU)

August 8, 2011

'Rent Too Damn High' candidate faces eviction: A candidate who ran for New York governor because "the rent is too damn high" says he's being evicted from his rent-controlled Manhattan apartment because his landlord wants to charge a new tenant more.

Jimmy McMillan tells the New York Post he pays US$872 (NZ$1036) for the rent-controlled East Village apartment.

He says the landlord wants him out because "my rent is too damn low." more from

Man faces court after Police catch him drunk driving a motorised ice chest: A Noosa [Australia] man faced court last week on drink driving charges after Police intercepted a motorised Esky back in June.

Police alleged Christopher Ian Petrie, 23, with driving under the influence and driving without a licence after they intercepted the Esky which was equipped with a 50cc two-stroke engine travelling along Noosa Parade on June 16.

Lawyers acting for Mr Petrie appealed to magistrate John Parker for an adjournment while their client "established whether a motorised Esky was in fact a motor more from

August 7, 2011

Cathay Pacific to investigate saucy cockpit photos: Cathay Pacific says it has launched a "full investigation" into photos which appear to show a flight attendant performing oral sex on a pilot aboard an aircraft of the Hong Kong carrier.

Several pixellated photos of the act have been published in local Chinese-language media, showing the woman in a red outfit resembling Cathay's cabin crew uniform giving oral sex to a man who the reports said was a pilot.

"We are conducting a full investigation into the matter and there are some indications that the female shown in the photos may be a member of our cabin crew," a Cathay spokeswoman more from

August 6, 2011

Canadian roads being closed for toads: CHILLIWICK, British Columbia - Two roads Canada's British Columbia, are being closed for the annual migration of baby western toads, officials say.

Ryder Lake and Elk View roads in Chilliwack will be closed with what locals call "toad blocks" for a few hours each day for the next two weeks, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday.

About 1 million baby toads, about the size of a fingernail, will make the migration from the lake areas where they are born to wooded areas where they will live their adult more from UPI

Orange gooMysterious orange goo baffles remote Alaska village: ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Leona Baldwin's husband saw it first, and she got on the marine radio to alert others in the remote Alaska village of Kivalina that a strange orange goo was sitting on top of the town's harbor.

The news attracted all the townspeople, anxious to get a gander of the phenomenon that covered much of the harbor and then began washing ashore Wednesday.

The next day it rained, and residents found the orange matter floating on top of the rain buckets they use to collect drinking water. It was also found on one roof, leading them to believe whatever it was, it was airborne, more from Fox News

August 5, 2011

Your hamburger: The newest cause of global warming: (by Jeff Stier) The Environmental Working Group (EWG), the Washington special interest outfit that pioneered such advancements as the “cell phones cause cancer” hysteria, is back and now they’re going after beef. The EWG has released a report calculating the carbon footprint of beef products and their findings are very sobering. Er, maybe not:

Beef generates more than twice the emissions of pork, nearly four times that of chicken, and more than 13 times that of vegetable proteins such as beans, lentils, and tofu.

The EWG goes on to further admonish all you meat-eaters out there and politely ask that you refrain from indulging in your deadly McDouble at least once a week, in order to cut down on the carbon emissions begotten by “every step of the food cycle, from the pesticides and fertilizers to the grazing, processing, transportation, and disposal of unused [beef] more from Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog

Nudists furious after tower block overlooking naturist club given go-ahead: A nudist club with 300 members has been left fuming after a council approved plans for a TOWER BLOCK overlooking its grounds.

The White House Club in Whyteleafe, Surrey, boasts that its members can swim in the nude in its 50ft outdoor swimming pool, relax in its sauna, or play tennis on its two outdoor courts.

Naturists can also enjoy nude ping pong, basketball, badminton and bowls and take part in a range of events, including barbecues and sing-songs in the confines of the five acre more from The Telegraph (UK)

General Motors helping to design city of the China: At the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, General Motors sponsored a “Futurama” exhibit that depicted what the world might look like 20 years in the future. Back then, suburbs connected to cities by high-speed expressways were the thing of dreams, but something that came to pass soon afterwards thanks in part to the vehicles built by GM and other automakers.

Now, the American company is collaborating with a Chinese-Singaporean consortium that is building a real-life city of the future where cars as we know them are set to play a much smaller role than they do today, but where a forward-thinking GM still sees a great opportunity for more from Fox News

August 4, 2011

Women strip for Russian president: MOSCOW - Three young women stripped down to bikinis on a chilly Thursday in central Moscow in support of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his anti-beer drive, in the latest racy campaigning ahead of 2012 elections.

The female flash-mob, apparently organised by a Medvedev fan-group on Russia’s top social networking site Vkontakte, may have been inspired by a rival campaign urging girls to strip in support of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Both leaders in Russia’s ruling have said they will decide together which of them will run for president in more w/pic from CNews

August 3, 2011

Ukrainian painter to spend 35 days in cage with lioness: A Ukrainian painter and owner of a small private zoo intends to spend 35 days in a cage with a pregnant lioness, local media said on Wednesday.

Alexander Pylyshenko entered the cage equipped with web cameras, a shower and lavatory on Tuesay and his dangerous vigil can be followed online at

He plans to help Katya, the nine-year-old lioness, deliver her cub when the time more w/pic from RIA Novosti (RU)

Elana Nightingale DawsonWoman finishes bar exam while in labor: (by Jodi S. Cohen) Recent law school graduates are known to labor over the high-stakes bar exam.

But for Elana Nightingale Dawson, a spring Northwestern Law School grad, the labor took on new meaning last week on the second day of the two-day Illinois bar exam.

A very pregnant Nightingale Dawson, 29, had finished the morning portion of the multiple-choice test Wednesday and had started on the three-hour afternoon part when she went into more from the Chicago Tribune

August 2, 2011

Peacock escapes New York's Central Park zoo: A peacock has become the latest animal to capture the imagination of New Yorkers after escaping from a city zoo.

The male bird was later spotted perching on a window ledge at an apartment building in the upmarket Fifth Avenue area.

In a statement, Central Park Zoo said the exotic escapee did not pose a risk to more w/pic from BBC News

Swedish man detained for attempting to build nuclear reactor in his kitchen: ANGELHOLM, Sweden - A Swedish man said he was detained by police for attempting to build a nuclear reactor in the kitchen of his home.

The 31-year-old Angelholm man, whose name was not released, told the Helsingborgs Dagblad newspaper he had been interested in nuclear physics since he was a teenager and recently began experimenting at home with radioactive materials he obtained from overseas and from taking apart a fire alarm, The Local reported Tuesday.

The man said he made no effort to hide his activities and even blogged about his more from UPI

Probe at Dunkin' Donuts nets prostitution charges: A New Jersey Dunkin' Donuts employee is accused of selling more than sweets and coffee, after a six-week investigation revealed the woman exchanged sexual services for cash while on shift, police say.

The undercover operation, called extra sugar, began after police received a tip about a night-shift employee at the donut shop in Rockaway, more from CNews

US exports millions of chopsticks to China: A shortage of chopsticks in China has become so acute that a US company has begun exporting millions of pairs to the country.

Georgia Chopsticks, based in the southern state of Georgia, is producing two million sets of the traditional eating utensils each day.

It is operating around the clock to keep up with demand and hopes to be exporting 10 million pairs a day by the end of the year, each set complete with a label marked "Made in USA." Amid a shortage of wood in China the abundant poplar and sweet gum trees in Georgia were found to be ideal for chopsticks, producing straight, pliable and light coloured more from The Telegraph (UK)

Stop wearing bunny suit, police tell Idaho man: Police in Idaho Falls have told a man to stop wearing a bunny suit in public after people complained he has been frightening children.

Residents in the northwestern U.S. city of 54,000 people also reported William Falkingham, 34, occasionally wears a tutu with the bunny suit, police said in a statement on Tuesday.

Police warned Falkingham after a woman said she saw him dressed in the costume, peeking at her young son from behind a tree and pointing his finger like a more from Reuters UK

August 1, 2011

Chocoholic giant fish gorged on Kit Kats: Aquarium staff have managed to wean a chocoholic giant fish onto a healthier diet after inheriting the gourami, raised entirely on Kit Kats by its owners.

At first, staff at the Sea Life London Aquarium were baffled by the 4kg fish's refusal to eat until they learned it had been fed nothing but chocolate.

The team then stuffed crushed Kit Kat pieces inside grapes to get the 40cm-long gourami named Gary to "take a break" from his daily more from Sky News

And the top party school in the U.S. is: Ohio University, set in an Appalachian town known for its rowdy Halloween bashes, has been named the nation's No. 1 party school, pushing the University of Georgia down a slot in the 2011 Princeton Review survey released Monday.

Ohio was No. 2 in last year's survey of students nationwide. The campus in Athens, about 65 miles southeast of Columbus, has made the party school list 12 times since 1997, but has never before reached the top.

Rounding out the top five this year were No. 3 University of Mississippi, No. 4 University of Iowa and No. 5 University of California Santa more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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