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Odd News Archive - November 2005

formerly Revelations from the Webjockey

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.

November 25, 2005

Woman Gobbles Turkey in 12 Minutes: A 105 pound (47.5kg) Alexandria, VA, woman wolfed down a 10 pound (4.5kg) turkey in 12 minutes to win the Thanksgiving Invitational contest in New York City. Sonya Thomas, 37, the smallest person in the race, attributed winning to swallowing quickly. Sonya also competes in egg, cheesecake, baked bean, crab-cake, meatball, and fruit-cake eating contests also sponsored by the International Federation of Competitive Eating. Ms. Thomas won US$2,500 and a trophy shaped like a roasting pan. ...and you thought you stuffed yourself on Thanksgiving.
Full story→( Reuters)

November 24, 2005

House Roasted for Thanksgiving: As an annual Thanksgivng tradition a construction crew in Eugene, Oregon deep-fat fries a turkey at their current job. This year a little more than the turkey got fried when the thermometer malfunctioned on a new frier. The workers were cooking the turkey in the garage of a new home that they had just finished when the oil overheated and was then ignited by the frier's burner. Damage to the new home was estimated at US$75,000. The house was insured. Not wanting to break their tradition the workmen then cooked a bird at the house across the street.
Full story→(Fox News: AP)

November 23, 2005

Smoker Tries to Exit Plane at 39,000 Feet: A 34 year-old highly sedated French woman tried to go outside for a smoke on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Brisbane, Australia. Sadrine Helene Sellies, a tourist, had taken some sleeping pills due to her fear of flying. On top of that she had a few drinks. Evidently in her catatonic state she went on autopilot and tried to step outside for a cigarette at 39,000 feet, not realizing where she was. After landing in Brisbane Sadrine was released by magistrate Gordon Dean on a $1000, 12-month good behaviour bond after her after defense attorney Helen Shilton explained the events leading up to the bizarre incident. Endangering an aircraft carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail. ...maybe she sub-consciously remembered that joke about the smoking section on airliners being out on the wing.
Full story→(The Australian)

November 22, 2005

UK Faces New "Battle of Britain": As they say, history repeats itself. This time around it's not the Nazis, it's American grey squirrels. The tree-varmints, which were imported sometime in the past for reasons unknown, have been raiding gardens, bird feeders and bird nests at an alarming rate, drawing the ire of one paticular Stroud Green resident who goes by the handle of "Tufty". Tufty's new website,, has been featured in online publications The Register, The Muswell Hill Times and Dave Barry's Blog. The website urges citizens to take up arms against the grey menace with the battle cry "Do squirrels have any natural predators? Yes - you!" Meanwhile the uk.environment.conservation's opinion is "A particularly disgusting site". Tufty, while admitting that the critter calamity has its comical side, says that the situation is serious and goes into detail on his website. ....Or in the words of Sir Winston Churchill: ....we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills...
Tufty's website→( Link RIP)

November 21, 2005

"A Few Good Men" Needed for Stud Farm: Heidi Fleiss, the former Hollywood Madam, is planning a new venture in Nevada where prostitution is legal. Plans are underway to convert the Cherry Patch brothel, near Pahrump, NV, into Heidi Fleiss' Stud Farm. Heidi hopes to start out with 20 suitable men who would charge US$250 an hour. Proceeds would be split 50/50. Ms. Kleiss anticipates a booming business with the large number of successful females out there these days. She also expects to get some "revenge" business from women whose husbands have left them for younger women.
Full story→(Reuters)

November 20, 2005

Brits Blast-off Reality TV into Space: Nine clueless Britons are being selected for a reality TV show which they think will take them into space. In reality the show will be done at a space camp in an unused British airbase with the shuttle used in the Space Cowboys movie as the main prop. A Hollywood specialist has created special effects to make the "launch" believable. The nine participants will recieve actual training at the Space Tourism Agency of Russia before their "flight". Britain's Channel 4 has also embedded three actors with the space tourists to help keep the scam on track.
Full story→(Fox News)

November 18, 2005

Paris Hilton in "Kinky" Trouble: Paris Hilton brought home a pet kinkajou from Las Vegas last weekend. Now she's in trouble with the California Department of Fish and Game along with animal activists. A kindajou is a raccoon-like creature native to the rain forests of Central and South America. Paris has named the carnivous animal with razor-like teeth "Baby Luv". The critters are illegal in California and New York City. She has also raised the ire of PETA since she seldom hangs on to pets for long. Ms. Hilton will recieve a warning letter from the Fish & Game folks and could be charged with a misdemeanor. be continued
Full story→(New York Post)

Counterfeiters Nailed by Equipment Repair: Members of an Arizona counterfeitering ring were caught by authorities after sending a printer jammed with funny money out for repair. Ten persons were arrested for crimes including forgery, weapons violations and drug charges. An estimated US$160,000 was put in circulation before their capture.
Full story→(The Register)

November 17, 2005

Anger Management Chinese Style: Students at Southwest Jiaotong University, in Chengdu, Sichuan province, have a new way to vent their frustrations. A room at the school has been lined with sandbags for angered students to pummel. Since the room opened students have been flocking to it. Ning Weiwei, a psychology professor, said that pounding on the sandbags was a good way to relieve tensions from job hunting and love affairs. Outsiders, however, think that it's a way to keep students calmer so they won't organize protests. ....always liked those foam rubber TV bricks myself.
Full story→(The Austrialian: Reuters)

Angry Speeder Smashes Camera: A Swiss driver was so enraged at being caught speeding by an automated camera that he smashed it with a pick-ax then chucked it off a cliff. Unfortunately for him live policemen were watching the whole incident and the man now faces a fine of up to £13,000 ($22,329US).
Full story→(The Register)

November 15, 2005

Pub in Senior Citizens' Home: An Irish Nursing home in County Monaghan has found a suprising new way to make living in a senior citizens' home more attractive: a pub. Rose Mooney, assistant director of nursing for St Mary's Hospital says that ready access to a pint might actually help the patients live longer. She says that the social setting helps keep residents from being bored to death. The pub has also attracted more visitors to the home, and is open from 11:00 AM until 9:00 PM.
Full story→(Reuters)

Horny Giraffe Needs Mate: A five year-old giraffe at a zoo in Central Park, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, has reached new heights in sexual desperation. So far "Modesto" has assaulted a tree, a shed and a fence. Modesto's caretakers are now on the lookout for a mate.
Full story→(

November 14, 2005

Burma Building New "Secret" Capital: The government of Burma has been semi-secretly moving its seat of government from Rangoon to a new location near Pyinmanar, 320km (199 miles) to the north. The nation's military rulers have given no reason for the relocation and Burmese citizens are tight-lipped about it for fear of reprisals. Although the government announced the move to diplomats and reporters on November 7, no mention has been made in the country's public media. Jobs are said to be plentiful in the new Pyinmanar Special Region Development Project area, but prices for basic necessities are said to be very high. The project was started 2-1/2 years ago as part of a 16-year plan. ....on Google Earth head straight north from Rangoon, cant't miss it.
Full story→(The Australian: AFP)

November 13, 2005

Godzilla-Like Fossil Remains Found: Scentists have discovered the remains of Dakosaurus andiniensis, a creature that lived 135 million years ago in the South American wilderness. Although nicknamed "Godzilla", the carnivous predator more resembles the monster in the movie "Alien". Researchers say that the "eating machine" had a bullet-shaped head, massive jaws, 10cm (@4 inch) fangs, fish-like fins, a body length of 4 meters (@13 feet) and lived exclusively in water. ...soon to star in a creature feature on the Sci-Fi Channel, I'm sure.
Full story & picture→(

November 12, 2005

Drunken Elk Terrorize Old Folks Home: Armed police were called in to protect a senior citizens home in Östra Göinge, Sweden, from a herd of elk liquored up from eating fermented apples. Hunters with guns then showed up to disperse the plastered animals. Forester Fredrik Jönsson explained that this is not unusual behavior for elk since they can't tell the difference between fermented and non-fermented fruit. Last year one of the inebriated critters stole a bicycle from an elderly couple's garden. The two-wheeler was later found mangled. ...and we thought underage drinking was a problem.
Full story→(The Register)

November 11, 2005

Microwavable Bras: Lingerie maker Triumph International has been demonstrating a new bra in Japan which has removable gel cups that can be heated in a microwave or warm water. Japan takes the Kyoto Protocol seriously and keeps thermostats at low temperature settings during cold winter months to help reduce energy consumption and greenhouse emissions. The bra also comes with matching shorts to help keep the ladies warm. ...wonder if they've heard of hunters underwear.
Full story→( AFP)

Cheese Bust in Central America: No, that's not a typo. Salvadoran authorities seized 24 tons of illegal cheese in a pre-dawn raid north of San Salvador. 21 members of a cheese smuggling gang were arrested for evading taxes on the hot black market dairy product. ...must have high taxes on cheese.
Full story→( AFP)

November 10, 2005

Inverted Christmas Trees New Fad: If you want to keep up with the latest holiday trend you'll need to hang your Christmas tree from the ceiling this year, upside down. Retailers claim this gives you more room for presents. The practice actually dates back to 12th century Central Europe. Artificial versions of the topsy-turvy trees with floor stands start out at $299.99USD. One specialty retailer, Hammacher Schlemmer, can't keep the trees in stock. ...great thing to have around when your alcoholic relatives and friends drop by.
Full story→(Fox News)

Ostrich Attacks Merecedes-Benz: A runaway ostrich did considerable damage to a parked Merecedes in Nicosia, Cypress. Two squads of police officers finally caught up with it before the big bird could attack anything else. Ostriches can weigh more than 400 pounds and run as fast as 43 mph.
Full story→(Reuters)

November 9, 2005

Baghdad Luxury Hotel Proposed: Unnamed Iraqi businessmen are planning to build a five-star luxury hotel in Baghdad along with a theme park. Amenities would include elegant suites, a golf course and mortar-proof walls. The hotel itself would be located in the "Green Zone" with the theme park spread out among Saddam's former palaces. A senior Iraqi official indicated that future guests might wish to dress like locals and possibly dye their hair. Armed body guards would also be prudent, he said. ...sounds like the stay of a lifetime.
Full story→(New York Post)

Burglar Nabs Talking Parrot with Loot: A burglar who looted a house in Eastbury, Berkshire, England, decided to play it safe and take the talking parrot along with the antiques, jewelry and other valuables. The police were able to nab the thief without interviewing the parrot, however, using fingerprints and DNA. The talking bird, Monty, was ditched prior to the criminal mastermind's capture and is still missing.
Full story→(The Register: The Sun)

November 8, 2005

Irish Taking Cell Phones to the Grave: The Irish have a long tradition of being buried with their most valued possessions. This now includes their cell phones. More traditional items included in a burial are wedding rings, photographs and bottles of whiskey. Families burying phones with their loved ones are encouraged to turn them off or set them on vibrate, lest a call interrupt the funeral ceremony.
Full story→(The Australian: AFP)

Immigration by Mowing: Russian border guards recently nabbed two Chinese men attempting to cross the border on a lawn mower. Russian authorities indicated this was not the first time that "nomadic gardeners" had made such an attempt. ...perhaps the Mexicans will catch on to this tactic and the US-Mexican border will become the best manicured strip of land on the planet.
Full story→(

November 7, 2005

House for Sale w/Bride: If your're house hunting and single in Denver, Colorado, there's a package deal for you! Deborah Hale, a 46 year-old buxom blonde, has put her house and herself on the market. Bidding starts at $600,000US and the deadline for bidding is Valentine's Day 2006. Male "applicants" must be between 40 and 60 years old. Deborah has even set up her own website with all the details. ...must have been a nasty divorce.
Full story→(Fox News)

November 5, 2005

Animated Weathermen (For Real): First we had animated weather maps, now animated weather men and women are on the way. Televirtual, a company based in Norwich, England, has developed two VR TV personalities: METman and METgirl. The weathercaster simulations are targeted for low budget stations that can't afford a "live" person. Animated game show hosts, among other things, may also be on the horizon. Testing is due to begin at an undisclosed station in the near future. ...might be a good thing for large station owners to have on hand during salary negotiations.
Full story→(The Register)

November 4, 2005

Man Glued to Toilet Seat Sues: A 57 year-old Louisville, Colorado man couldn't "get off the pot" at a Home Depot the day before Halloween. Pranksters had spread glue on the toilet seat. At first store employees ignored Bob Dougherty's cries for help, thinking them a hoax. After 15 minutes workers did check on him, then called paramedics. Dougherty is now suing Home Depot for the October 2003 incident, after turning down US$2,000 to settle.
Full story→(Fox News)
Update Nov 8: Not first time that Dougherty has claimed to have been glued to toilet seat.
Full story→(Rocky Mountain News: Link RIP)

Man Slays Deer in Daughter's Bedroom: Wayne Goldsberry was visiting his daughter in Bentonville, Arkansas, when a five-point whitetail deer crashed through her bedroom window. After his wife called police Goldsberry struggled with the wild animal for 30 to 40 minutes before snapping its neck. Deputy Doug Gay said that at this time of year a buck will charge his reflection in a window, thinking that he is fighting off a rival.
Full story→(New York Post: AP)

November 3, 2005

No Income Secrets in Finland: Want to find out how much money your neighbor, or anyone else for that matter, made last year? It's all of public record in Finland. Every November all personal income tax records for the previous year are made public. Newspapers publish pages of the the wealthiest and highest earning men and women. One firm, Veroporssi, offers details about anyone in the country's income via text-message. In Finland it is considered impolite and even vulgar to publicly inquire about someone else's income. ...they certainly make up for it though.
Full story→(Reuters)

Computerized Restrooms: Public facilities have gone high-tech in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Using a system developed by local firm Arbel Electronics, the doors to public restrooms are unlocked and locked at predetermined times every day. There is a manual override on each main door to prevent someone from being locked in. As an added bonus the system keeps track of how many times each toilet is used. ...isn't modern technology wonderful?
Full story→(BBC)

November 2, 2005

Fugitive Hides in Police Chief's House: A 32 year-old woman trying to escape from police in Aspen, Colorado, picked the wrong house to try and hide in. Martha Ruth Byrum had been pulled over by officers for erractic driving when she fled on foot. The Police Chief's wife, Mary Ryerson, told the Denver Post that the woman knocked on a window and asked to use the bathroom and phone. After authorities caught up with her they discovered cocaine, a crack pipe and other drug-related items in her purse. Byrum was hauled off to jail after two more escape attempts.
Full story→(Fox News)

Winning Lottery Ticket Paid for With Stolen Credit Card: Christina Goodenow of White City, Oregon, won the US$1 million Oregon state lottery October 9. Only one hitch, she paid for the winning ticket with her deceased mother-in-law's credit card. Goodenow had already picked up her first installment of $33,500 before authorities caught on. Upon her arrest police found methamphetamines but no cash. The woman cannot collect on the balance of the winnings if she is convicted of any of the crimes that she is now charged with.
Full story→(The Register)

November 1, 2005

Mannequin Roundup in Iran: As part of a new morality drive in Northeastern Iran authorities are confiscating titillating mannequins. A spokesman for the City of Bojnourd judiciary said that 65 store dummies had been siezed so far as part of a drive to tackle problems of "public chastity". Also targeted by police in the sweep are anti-social activities such as vandalism and biker gangs.
Full story→(Reuters)

Surfers Warned Not to Ride the "Big One": Pamphlets outlining emergency guidelines at the beach in Malibu, California, warn surfers to "NEVER GO TO THE BEACH TO WATCH FOR, OR SURF, A TSUNAMI WAVE!" Brad Davis, emergency preparedness director, when questioned about stating the obvious, said that he thought it prudent to address all possibilities. ....warning labels on surfboards next?
Full story→(Reuters)

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.

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