Odd News Archive - March 2006
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.
March 31, 2006
Budget Airline Lands at Wrong Airport: Soldiers were quite surprised when Ryanair Flight 9884 landed at Ballykelly Camp army airfield near Derry in Northern Ireland. The flight's intended destination was the Kerry city airport, some 8 kilometers (5 miles) away. Ryanair blamed the pilot flying the Eirjet aircraft, a company contracted to fly the route on Ryanair's behalf. "He mistakenly believed he was on a visual approach to City of Derry airport," a statement said. Naturally, an investigation is under way.
"Beer Cure" Heals Sick Cow: A few months ago Tony Baskett's cow Lottie was very ill and wouldn't eat or drink. The vet recommended an old-fashioned remedy: beer. Tony went to the local pub in Suffolk, UK, and got the dregs of a keg of Adnams beer, put it in a bottle and "force-fed" the sticken bovine. Mrs. Baskett said "The vet who was treating her said she thought that brewers yeast might help cure the problem." Lottie has now made a complete recovery and has even had a calf, which was named, you guessed it, Adnams.
March 30, 2006
Britsh/American Translations Online: Your china got right brahms the other night! Fancy a jump, love? She's talent spotting. Phrases like these have long bewildered the average American, but at last help is at hand. BBC America has launched a translation website for Americans having difficulty understanding the folk across the pond. The site does not quite extend to pronunciation yet, so there should still be ample opportunity to giggle at tourists asking directions to Lie-cester Square. But otherwise it's sorted, innit?
Star Trek Lives: Some thought that the four decade-old Star Trek franchise had ended with the cancellation of Enterprise. Dedicated "trekkers" however, thought otherwise. There are at least three Star Trek production operations cranking out episodes that can be downloaded on the Internet. Two, Star Trek New Voyages and Starship Exeter pick up where the original 1960s series leaves off. A third, Star Trek: Hidden Frontier, takes place in the same time frame as Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. All three feature free downloads of episodes (donations appreciated).
March 29, 2006
Hallmark Cards that Didn't Make it: A greeting card graveyard at Hallmark has been exposed by the Associated Press. Apparently Hallmark has a "Shoebox division", whose employees write humorous little ditties for the off-kilter goober in us all. Bill Gray, a Shoebox stylist (the highest title bestowed on card writers), says that in his 18 years writing cards have produced about 80,000 ideas - only 7,000 of which ultimately made it to the shelves. Among the unused messages:
March 28, 2006
New Twist in Grave Robbing: Christa Jahn had planned on being buried next to her already deceased husband, Hans. His relatives, however, had other ideas and buried his Aunt Johanna in the plot. The 73 year-old German widow said "Now I understand why Hans's family did not invite me to her funeral this January." Mrs. Jahn said that she had paid for the gravesite and will tell the Evangelical Church that runs the cemetery to give her grave back or she will take legal action. ....bet one of those court tv shows would love to get their hands on this one.
Naked Phone Callers Common in UK: In a recent survey 40 percent of men and 27 percent of women fessed up to talking on the phone while in the nude. The study was commissioned by Britain's Post Office which offers phone service. The research also showed that people were so busy that one in 10 people admitted to wandering off and leaving the caller talking to themselves.
March 27, 2006
Bank Robber Gets Stuck in Chimney: Police immediately arrested a twenty-six year old man after firefighters pulled him out of the chimney of the U.S. Bank in Granger, Washington. The man made no bones about what he was up to. "We asked him what he was doing down there and he said, 'What do you think? I'm trying to rob the bank," said Police Chief Robert Perales. He was booked into the municipal jail in nearby Wapato.
Man Shoots Down Neighbor's Toy Plane with Shotgun: David Nuttle got tired of hearing the neighbor's kids remote controlled model airplanes and took matters into his own hands after getting no help from police. The 41 year-old man of Webster Township, Michigan, got out his .410 shotgun and opened fire. Although just knicking on of the planes with a few pellets the loud report of the shotgun scared the bejeezus out of the kid operating it, resulting in the plane crashing. Nuttle pleaded guilty to one count of malicious destruction of property worth less than $200, a misdemeanor. He also recieved six months of probation, 50 hours of community service, a 20-day suspended jail sentence and must pay $154 restitution.
March 26, 2006
Road Closed for Mating Toads: Love struck toads have gotten a reprieve this year in Durham County in northeast England. During previous spring mating seasons many toads didn't quite make across Deadman's Lane, Blackhall to their breeding pond. The road has been closed for about three days and The County Council Countryside Rangers have even set up a rescue service to carry the toads across the road as they migrate after dark. County Council ecologist Terry Coult said that "By taking action locally, people can do their bit for global wildlife."
March 25, 2006
Black Helicopter for Sale on ebay: Ever heard of those "secret" government black helicopters? Well now you can own one of your very own! For sale on ebay UK is an AH64A/D Longbow Apache chopper in civil configuration single pilot IFR with NVG's FLIR equipped, just slightly
March 24, 2006
Texas Arresting Drunks in Bars: The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has adopted Gestapo/KGB tactics and is sending undercover agents into bars to spot drunks and arrest them for public intoxication. So far, the crackdown has resulted in about 2,200 arrests or citations around the state. TABC spokeswoman Carolyn Beck justified these actions saying "when people drink too much, they become dangerous to themselves and other people." Bar patrons may be approached if an officer spots them behaving erratically, such as having difficulty walking or standing. The officer will perform a field sobriety test similar to one for drunken drivers. A patron may also be asked to take a breath test, although it is not required, Beck said. The most recent sting was March 10, when agents infiltrated more than 30 bars in the Dallas suburb of Irving, arresting or citing dozens of people. ....wonder if they've tried to "infiltrate" any biker bars yet...
Prison "Resort" in Norway: Bastoy Prison in Norway offers inmates activities such as cross-country skiing, tennis and horse-riding, but before the inmates can slope off to practice their serve or head to the beach for a swim, there is work to do on the farm. The prison, on Bastoy Island about 46 miles south of Oslo, has 115 "residents". Oyvind Alnaes, the island's "governor" says "We want to become the first ecological prison in the world. It's about giving the inmates responsibility (and) trust, and teaching them respect."
March 23, 2006
Coyote Captured in Central Park: A wild coyote that somehow wandered into New York City's Central Park was finally apprehended after evading authorities for two days. Local television stations showed footage of police and park rangers running through the park in pursuit of the animal, which has been hunting ducks and other birds, leaving piles of feathers in its wake. Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe told reporters that the animal was cornered in the southeast section of the park early on Wednesday before escaping over an 8-foot fence and crossing some water to make its way north. Actor Dick Hughes, who was walking in the park on Wednesday, said the coyote was a "nice touch of nature." The wild animal was finally brought down with tranquilizer darts and is to be released somewhere less urban.
March 22, 2006
Canadians Nix Aussie Tourism Ad: An Australian tourism ad aimed at attacting visitors from Canada has been shot down by Canadian authorities. The ad features Sydney model Laura Bingle and starts out with "I've bought you a beer" and ends with "Where the bloody hell are you?" Tourism Minister Fran Bailey said originally the Canadian regulators were upset with the bloody hell part but now the beer part is the problem. "The Canadian regulator says that this implies consumption of unbranded alcohol.
I have to say that I find this quite astonishing." Last week, Britain's advertising regulator objected to the word "bloody". The ad will air in some form come April.
March 20, 2006
Free Beer for Toads in Australia: Limit 6 a day ...darn. "Everyone who takes a cane toad to the RSPCA to be disposed of humanely gets a voucher for a free pot of Coopers ale at the Cavenagh Hotel," Coopers Brewery's NT sales executive Sean Gould said. The toad must also be alive when turned in, no roadkill. The Northern Territory in Australia is currently plagued with a large overpopulation of cane toads.
March 17, 2006
Man Sues Self: Only in California.... Curtis Gokey's car was backed into by a dump truck in Lodi, California. The only problem is, Gokey, a Lodi city employee, was the guy driving the dump truck. He then sued the city for damages. The suit was thrown out because he was in effect suing himself. Now his wife has re-filed the suit against the city and indirectly her husband. City attorney Steve Schwabauer thinks that will be shot down also due to California's community property law.
Millions of Hours Wasted Not Asking for Directions: A study done by Royal Automobile Club Direct Insurance has determined that British male drivers waste nearly six million hours yearly on the road because they don't care to ask for directions.
According to the survey men wait twenty minutes to ask for directions after getting lost, whereas women only wait ten minutes. Men even endure a "nagging period" of about 10 minutes from their partner before throwing in the towel the report said.
March 16, 2006
Billion Dollar Bills Seized: The US Homeland Security Department announced that it had seized 250 counterfeit billion dollar notes in Los Angeles. The funny money was artificially aged and bore a portrait of 19th century president Grover Cleveland. Authoriites were alerted when some folks actually tried to cash them in. The highest denomination note printed by the US Federal Reserve is $100,000. Secret Service spokesman James Todak said "You would think the $US1-billion denomination would be a giveaway that these notes are fakes, but some people are still taken in."
Mexican Couple has Firefight: A Mexican couple's lovers' quarrel turned into a full fledged firefight involving knives, guns and bombs. The dispute ended when their house was blown up by a molotov cocktail. Police from the Mayan Indian town of Oxkutzcab in the southeastern state of Yucatan arrested Juan Espinosa. Irma Contreras was taken to hospital with third-degree burns. Mr Espinosa told reporters he was glad his wife had suffered burns, while Ms Contreras said said she was only sorry she had not "hacked off his manhood" during the fight.
Sneak peak at Google in twenty years: Slibe.com
Note from Webjockey: 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.
March 15, 2006
Flying Saucer Patented in 1970's: Some forward thinking railroad executives hired Charles Osmond Frederick, an engineer and inventor, and patented a nuclear powered flying saucer in the 1970's. The patent was applied for December 1, 1970 in London by Jensen and Son on behalf of British Rail and granted on March 21, 1973. Researchers recently came across the documents deep in the archives of the European Patent Office. The spaceship featured a nuclear fusion propulsion system. Michel van Baal, of the European Space Agency, in the Netherlands, said "It is based on a fusion process that doesn't exist yet. I doubt whether, even if it was developed, it would ever be practical."
March 14, 2006
Beer Flows from Kitchen Faucet: Haldis Gundersen got the surpirse of her life when she discovered that she had beer running from her faucets instead of water. "I turned on the tap to clean some knives and forks and beer came out," Ms. Gundersen said from her home in Kristiansund, west Norway. Beer is not cheap in Norway either, costing about US$7.48 a mug in bars. The cause of the head-scratcher was a worker in a bar two floors below somehow hooked up a new keg to Haldis's plumbing instead of the beer tap. ...must have some strange plumbing in Norway.
March 13, 2006
Reincarnation of Buddha Missing: A sixteen year-old Nepalese boy who many believe to be a reincarnation of Buddha has gone missing. The boy, Ram Bahadur Banjan, left his meditation spot in the roots of fig tree where he had been since since May 16 last year. During that time he has reportedly not eaten, drank water or used the bathroom. Local media reported that the boy left his spot because thousands of supporters were showering him with money and gifts, disturbing his meditation. A nationwide "Buddha Boy hunt" is now on.
March 12, 2006
Nigerians Brace for Solar Eclipse: The Nigerian Government is trying to get ahead of the game this time around for the upcoming solar eclipse this month. The last eclipse in 2001 caused widespread panic and riots. People in the northern Borno state "felt some evil people in their communities were responsible for the eclipse," according to Information Minister Frank Nweke. "The eclipse is not expected to have any real damaging effect, only social and psychological discomforts are envisaged," Nweke is telling Nigerians. He did not explain what the discomforts might be.
March 11, 2006
Hookers Going on the Air in Brazil: FM station Radio Zona in Salvador, Brazil, will start broadcasting in the second half of the year. Project coordinator Sandro Correia said "We are not going to apologize for prostitution but we are going to struggle for the dignity of the profession." Featured in the broadcasts will be programs about the trade, but issues such as human rights, social questions, and sexual abuse will also be discussed. Prostitution is widespread in northeastern Brazil, especially in Bahia state.
Red Toilet Paper on the Way: Care to make a fashion statement in an unusual way? If so, a Portuguese company, Renova, has the answer for you. The company's new product, red toilet paper, should be on the shelves soon. It's a bit pricey though, at US$2.98 a roll. Renova's black TP has been a big hit in Europe.
March 10, 2006
Lost and Founds in Japan Overflowing: The Japanese are an honest people and a forgetful people. What do these two things add up to? Huge lost and founds out the gazoo. So large, in fact, that the Japanese Cabinet is revising the 107-year-old Lost Goods Law which will reduce from six to three months the length of time that lost property must be kept before it is handed over to the finder. Items found include 13.2 billion yen (US$112,119,755.00) in cash, 330,000 mobile phones, 730,000 wallets and 1.4 million umbrellas.
Wi-Fi Wine Glasses: Have a long distance romance? Researchers have developed "loving cup" wine glasses which glow when when you and your partner both touch them, no matter how far apart you are. The wireless glasses glow dimly when one person touches the other one, and then brightly when taking a sip. The glasses will be introduced at the CHI 2006 conference in Montreal on computer-human interaction in April.
March 9, 2006
Runaway Bride Dolls Go Fast: People waited in line for three hours at a Gwinnett Gladiators ice hockey game Sunday in Duluth, Georgia, for a chance to get one of 1000 free Runaway Bride Dolls. More than 20 of the dolls turned up on ebay the next day. Although Duluth is the hometown of runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks, the hockey team named the doll the "Runaway Bride Any Similarity to Actual Persons is Unintended and Purely Coincidental" Bobblehead Doll.
MSN Tests New Search: MSN has just launched a beta version of its new search (isn't everything beta these days?). Check it out at live.com
March 8, 2006
Russian to be Buried with Girlie Mags: After suffering a heart attack 65-year-old Vladimir Villisov decided that he wanted his girlie magazines buried with him. Vladimir has even gone so far as to have a custom coffin made to provide extra room for the large collection. He explained: "The girls in those magazines have been my companions for years, and I want them to accompany me to the next life."
Telecommuters Work in Nude: According to a recent survey conducted by SonicWALL, Inc., 12% of males and 7% of females wear nothing at all when they work from home (picture that next time you get an e-mail from a business). Repondents also fessed up to more normal things while working from the hacienda such as listening to music (45%), watching TV (28%), and sneaking an afternoon nap (21%).
March 7, 2006
Ghost with Fanny Fetish: When Lisa Potter took over the pub at the century-old Cornwall Arms in England she didn't know the bar was haunted by a very friendly ghost. "It goes very cold and then it feels as if someone is brushing up against you and touching your bottom," the 28-year-old told The Sun newspaper. Other staff members have had similar experiences. Local medium Gayle Force, who believes the amorous apparition is a former chef, has been called in by Lisa and her husband Craig to investigate.
Singapore Bridge to Resemble DNA Material: In a bid to double its tourism Singapore is constructing a helix-shaped bridge which will connect to a new tourist development on reclaimed land featuring a 170-meter high (558 feet) Farris wheel and a casino. The nearby resort island of Sentosa is also being developed.
March 6, 2006
San Francisco's Gone to the Dogs: Many have speculuated that they're full of it in San Francisco, and now there's hard (or perhaps soft) evidence. The city's garbage company, Norcal Waste Systems Inc., is slated to begin collecting dog droppings at a park in the city's center. The doggy doo would then be placed in a methane digester, the gas from which which would power a turbine with electricity being the end result. San Francisco runs an aggressive program to recycle bottles, cans, paper and other trash and now diverts two-thirds of its garbage away from landfills. Animal waste now accounts for 4 percent of the garbage that goes to the landfills.
March 5, 2006
Musician Becomes Toilet Engineer: Singer/songwriter Eric Herbst, disgusted by dirty restrooms in bars and nightclubs, has invented a foot pedal for flushing commodes. The germaphobic Herbst, who says that he has written songs for the likes of Johnny Cash and B.B. King, had a brainstorm one night after a gig. He used a bass drum pedal and string to fashion a foot flusher. After two years of development the Foot Flush, which has been tested to 800,000 flushes, is now available for $29.95.
March 4, 2006
Bizarre 160mph Ferrari Crash: California authorities are still trying to unravel the mystery of a February 21 auto accident. A Ferrari traveling at speeds up to 160mph (260kph) down the Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu crashed into a light pole and was totally demolished. The Ferrari Enzo, one of only 400 made, was valued at US$1 million. The owner of the car, Stefan Eriksson, surviving the crash with only a cut lip, claimed to be a passenger. He said that the driver, an aquaintance named Dietrich, had fled the scene on foot. Mr. Eriksson gave deputies a home address that turned out to be a slip in Marina Del Rey that houses a $14 million yacht. He also indicated that his Ferrari was racing a Mercedes SLR driven by a friend of his by the name of Trevor, who apparently left a gun clip in a passerby's car while using the good samaritan's cell phone. And then there's the matter of a report that two men showed up after the crash and identified themselves as "homeland security" officers.
March 3, 2006
Toilet Explosion Forces Out Residents: Marilyn Colon and her family of Charlotte, North Carolina, are embroiled in a bitter dispute over who is responsible for cleaning up the "debris" from a toilet explosion which forced them from their home. The sewer blockage and subsequent collateral damage was apparently caused by neighbors pouring grease down their drain. Local utility Charlotte-Mecklenburg denies that it should take responsibility for the clean-up. The Colons are staying with neighbors until the air clears.
Russian to Drive Golf Ball off of Space Station: If NASA approves, a Russian cosmonaut will be the first person ever to whack a golf ball in outer space. The record-breaking drive is to take place during a spacewalk this July. Needless to say a sporting goods manufacturer is behind the proposed event. A gold-plated scandium alloy six iron and several golf balls are already aboard the station.
March 2, 2006
Be Careful when Hitting Send: That's what Edward Tom, director of admissions at the University of California, Berkeley, law school, will do from now on. Last week Tom was showing a new office worker how to send e-mails to mulitple recipients when the accident occurred. 7000 applicants to the law school were sent a congratulatory message on being admitted and invited them to an annual reception co-hosted by alumni and several student organizations. Problem being that there was only room for 800 to 850 of them. After realizing what had happened, Tom sent out an apology e-mail to the applicant pool within 20 minutes. He sent another letter of apology the next day.
Microsoft Virtual Earth Preview: Microsoft has released a preview of its answer to Google Earth. Virtual Earth features street view with front and side views in addition to the satellite, road and map views. Current local views are available only for Seattle and San Francisco.
March 1, 2006
Pub Crawl Record Set: The town of Maryborough in Queensland, Australia, now holds the world record for a pub crawl. Residents downed 19,000 drinks in 16 pubs last June to break the record. Drinkers were required to visit 10 pubs in six hours under the rules. Guinness World Records certified the claim last Friday. According to Maryborough city councillor Anne Noia, there were 2000 participants, but only 1198 of the crawlers turned official crawl cards due to "confusion" at the end of the event. An expected 3000 crawlers will try to break their own record on June 11. Maryborough is part of the Wide Bay region which two weeks ago was named the happiest place in Australia in a national wellbeing survey.
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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