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Odd News Archive - May 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.

May 31st, 2006

Deadwood, SD, nixes Pamplona-style bison run: Unwilling to risk lawsuits and potential negative publicity, officials in this historic gambling town voted 4-1 Tuesday against a proposal to allow bison to be run with people for a special event on Main Street.

Bulls have been run on the streets of Pamplona, Spain, during an annual festival since the late 16th century, but the mayor and Deadwood city commissioners were told that bison are far less predictable than cattle and much more dangerous to both participants and spectators.

Although promoters, who had hoped to use such an event to draw attention to the bison industry and sales of bison meat, said they would obtain $10 million in coverage from Lloyds of London, Deadwood officials worried that legal liability would still be a problem. The city's normal insurer informed them that it would provide no coverage on the days of the proposed event....full story from Fox News

Woman flies 2000 miles, gets nowhere: Shirley Tadier, 66, had to travel more than 2,000 miles on two aborted flights in an attempt to get home - only to end up back where she started.

On the first leg of her aborted trip home her plane left Durham Tees Valley Airport in England for Jersey, a British island 14 miles off the coast of France, but the flight was hit by thick fog. After two attempts to land, the plane returned to Durham.

The next day, after another flight was cancelled, she was driven by bus to Birmingham airport to board another aircraft. Despite crossing the Channel for a second time, the pilot also failed to land on fog-bound Jersey.

After a refuelling stop at Bournemouth the bmibaby plane returned to Durham Tees again, leaving Mrs Tadier back where she started. She was due to make the flight again later on Tuesday....full story from Sky News

May 30th, 2006

25 injured chasing rolls of cheese: Twenty-five people were injured Monday at an annual cheese-rolling competition in which daredevils chase giant cheese wheels down a steep slope in western England. Dozens took part in the bizarre event at Cooper's Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, before a crowd of about 3000 laughing and cheering spectators.

Of the 25 people hurt, 12 were spectators, one of whom was hit by one of the hard, dinner-plate-sized cheeses used in each race, but only two people were taken to hospital for further assessment. The organizers said the number of injuries was comparatively low....full story from the Herald Sun (AU)

May 29th, 2006

Australian brothels fight smoking ban: Smokers are really getting hit below the belt by a proposed smoking ban to take effect in July 2007. Brothel owners in Australia are begging to be exempted from the ban because customers like to light up after sex.

The Australian Adult Entertainment Industry has written to Victoria's health minister to say that banning smoking in bars and brothels will end up could see women leaving the relative security of established brothels. Association representative William Albon said: "People smoke when they drink, and people smoke when they fornicate." The association represents more than half of the 87 legal brothels operating in Victoria's capital city, Melbourne....full story from Sky News

May 28th, 2006

Nudity taboo on top of Mt. Everest: The head of the Nepal Mountaineering Association urged the government Saturday to take action against a sherpa who reportedly stripped on top of Mount Everest.

The Himalayan Times had reported Friday that the Nepali climbing guide, whose name it gave as Lakpa Tharke, stood naked for three minutes in freezing conditions on the 29,035-foot summit of the world's highest peak. If confirmed, he would be the first person known to have stripped atop Everest....full story from Reuters

May 27th, 2006

And the US city with the rudest drivers is....Miami, Florida. That's the word from the automobile membership club AutoVantage of Norwalk, Conn., which has ranked the top five U.S. cities with the worst road rage, reports The Associated Press.

The results are based on a survey of 2,000 adult drivers who regularly commute in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas. The Worst Cities for Road Rage: 1. Miami 2. Phoenix 3. New York 4. Los Angeles 5. Boston....full story from Netscape

May 26th, 2006

Killer bear eludes German posse: A brown bear theorized by conservationists to be in search of a mate has trekked through no less than three European countries sometimes being tracked by satellite. Now the large critter has evidently beaten a hasty retreat from the sights of Bavarian hunters eager to kill it. The bear has left a trail of disembowelled livestock, broken beehives and chicken coops as well as a diplomatic rift between Italy and Germany.

The odyssey began three weeks ago when the young male left the Italian Alps near Trentino, where bears were reintroduced from neighboring Slovenia 10 years ago. The 100kg (220lb) animal covered up to 25km (@15.5 miles) a day after crossing into Austria, looped back towards Switzerland and then set a course north for Germany, where it arrived in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen area last weekend. Fresh tracks suggest that the bear has eluded hunters and forest rangers and may have headed back into Austria.

The antics of the Bavarian hunters have provoked outrage in Italy. Andrea Mustoni, the zoologist in charge of the bear project at the Adamello National Park in Trentino, was appalled at the German reaction. "Surely at most they should knock him out," he said. "There has not been a single case of bears attacking human beings in Europe for centuries. Bears are not a dangerous species....full story from The Australian

May 25th, 2006

Local businesses cashing in on Hoffa search: In the week since dozens of FBI agents, police and others invaded Milford Township 30 miles northwest of Detroit to search for the remains of former Teamsters chief Jimmy Hoffa, local businesses are taking advantage of the national spotlight aimed at them.

With humorous signs, specially made T-shirts and themed meals, business owners are poking fun at the search while trying to attract more customers. One local business, Main Street Art, has sold 50 to 75 T-shirts with an ironed-on decal that reads: "The FBI Digs Milford, Do You?" Lu & Ruby's Bar & Grill offers a $12.95 Hoffa Steak Salad "buried under field greens with mushrooms and edible flowers."....full story from CBS News

Phone number sells for $3.65 million in Qatar: At a charity event in the capital of Doha, a Qatari bidder paid $3.65 million for a mobile phone number. The winner, who made the highest bid 10 minutes into the auction, declined requests for interviews. Eight people took part in the auction, organized by Qatar Telecom to help raise funds for charity, paying 3,000 Qatari riyals ($1094) per ticket. The number you ask? 666-6666....full story from the Herald Sun (AU)

May 23rd, 2006

Woman seeks probation for cat: Lewis the cat, whose alleged attacks have landed his owner in legal trouble, will learn his fate in court next month in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Ruth Cisero, the cat's owner, was in court Tuesday on a charge of second-degree reckless endangerment.

A hearing was set for June 20 to determine whether she could get special probation and have her cat's life spared. Neighbors say they have been terrorized by Lewis, saying the cat's long claws and stealth have allowed the cat to attack at least a half-dozen people and ambush the Avon lady as she was getting out of her car. A few animal-rights protesters showed up Tuesday wearing T-shirts in support of Cisero and Lewis....full story from CBS News

May 14, 2006

Cops Toss US$31,000 in Drug Money: More than $31,000 in drug money seized by Somerville police now is buried forever under tons of garbage in a Rochester, N.H., landfill after officers accidentally stashed the cash in a broken desk drawer that was being discarded. The drug money went missing after an evidence room technician, who had been cleaning out evidence rooms at police headquarters since last Wednesday, put the $31,535 in the drawer of the broken desk, said acting police Chief Robert Bradley. On Monday, while the technician was out of the office, two other officers involved in the evidence room cleanup threw out the desk, along with broken chairs and furniture for spring cleaning. On Wednesday, Somerville officers went to the New Hampshire to try and dig up the cash. However they found it was buried under hundreds of tons of super-dense, hydraulically compacted waste, and there was no way to get to it, even with heavy equipment.
Full Story→(CBS News)

May 13, 2006

Britain to Pay Last of US WWII Loans: On 31 December, the UK will make a payment of about $83m (£45.5m) to the US and so discharge the last of its loans from World War II from its transatlantic ally. "In a nutshell, everything we got from America in World War II was free," says economic historian Professor Mark Harrison, of Warwick University. "The loan was really to help Britain through the consequences of post-war adjustment, rather than the war itself." For Dr Tim Leunig, lecturer in economic history at the LSE, it's no surprise that the UK chose to keep this low-interest loan going rather than pay it off early. "Nobody pays off their student loan early, unless they are a nutter. Even if you've got the money to pay it off early, you should just put it in a bank and pocket the interest." The terms of the loan were extremely generous, with a fixed interest rate of 2%.
Full Story→(BBC)

May 12, 2006

Revenge on Teacher Backfires: A girl's mother has been arrested for allegedly helping her daughter and her friends make cookies laced with a laxative for a teacher who had given one of the girls low marks. The prank went wrong though when the targeted teacher didn't eat any but shared them among the daughter's seventh and eighth grade classmates. Four children fell ill. The mother Julie Hunt, 43, later appeared before a court in the state of Maine handcuffed and in prison garb.
Full Story→(

May 11, 2006

Priests' Pirate Radio Interfering with Air Traffic: Irish Catholic priests illegally broadcasting Mass over the radio to housebound parishioners are suspected of creating a safety hazard for transatlantic jets, officials said Tuesday. "I knew it was sort of a gray area but I didn't know we were breaking the law," Father Brendan Quinlan, a Dublin parish priest, told the Irish Independent. Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) spokeswoman Lilian Cassin said, "We believe that (the Mass broadcasts) are possibly the source of the interference. I understand that ComReg are closing down the priests for want of a better term," Pilots of transatlantic flights have been complaining about the interference for over a year.
Full Story→(Reuters)

May 10, 2006

Tom Cruise Sues over Tom Cruise has applied for a ruling from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) concerning the domain name Hopefully tardiness won't hurt his cause since the name was registered ten years ago in 1996 and is currently owned by super-cybersquatter Jeff Burgar, under his Alberta Hot Rods company name. What has taken Tom so long to stake a claim to his domain? Who knows? But maybe it's because the Internet has recently become a Tom Cruise mockery extravaganza, with, just for starters,, a video of Cruise apparently killing Oprah Winfrey, and any number of references to that South Park episode.
Full Story→(The Register)

May 9, 2006

Health Benefits of Beer: Beer drinkers from all over Europe met recently in Brussels to discuss the medical advantages of consuming the beverage, which has been praised over the years by artists and writers but rarely by scientists. As a result, those who enjoy a pint from time to time are not always aware that beer, taken in moderation, has the same advantages as other drinks, plus one or two of its own. Beer contains antioxidants, so the beneficial effects of drinking on the cardiovascular system are not confined to wine. Beer also contains nutrients and other properties that encourage good health. In a controlled study in Germany, it was found that people who drank beer in moderation were less likely to develop coronary heart disease than those who drank other drinks. What is more, the advantages of drinking beer in moderation are not confined to the heart. Danish research shows beer drinkers suffer less frequently from kidney stones, and it is now becoming accepted that drinking beer in moderation reduces the incidence of diabetes and osteoporosis, though drinking to excess may increase the risk of both.
Full Story→(The Australian)

May 8, 2006

Police "Smoked Out" at Aussie Mardi Gras: A record number of riot police descended on the northern NSW hippie town of Nimbin, but not even the packs of police on foot and horseback could stop the pungent smoke billowing from all corners of the town's Mardi Grass festival. Many openly puffed on joints from breakfast onwards, defying the state laws that prohibit the sale and possession of marijuana and other drugs. More than 30 police patrolled the town at any one time, while competitors in the Hemp Olympix battled to win the bong-throwing and joint-rolling competitions. NSW Police Minister Carl Scully had promised Nimbin would no longer be "a post-70s hippie no go-zone for police", with officers clamping down on drugs in the town this year. But squad after squad of police dressed in riot gear walked past the entrance to the hemp cafe yesterday, choosing to ignore the clouds of cannabis smoke coming from the pot smokers inside. Richmond Area Police Commander Bruce Lyons said, "We are not turning a blind eye. But Nimbin is a complex town ... no other town in Australia has shops that, as part of the furniture, have a stretcher so that when someone overdoses they are able to say 'stretcher' and they come out and put this poor person on a stretcher and wheel them down to the hospital."
Full Story→(The Australian)

May 6, 2006

Breast Feeding Record Set: 3,738 mothers simultaneously breast-fed their babies for at least one minute, breaking the Guinness World Record. The "milk-a-thon" took place in Manila, in the Philippines. The United Nations Children's Fund said the previous record was held by the City of Berkeley, California (no surprise there), where 1,135 mothers simultaneous breast-fed babies for a minute on Aug. 3, 2002. The event was also held to raise awareness about the benefits of breast-feeding, organizers said. ...I bet ear-plug sales also set records near the event.
Full Story & pic→(CBS News)

May 5, 2006

Workers Find Body in Rum Barrel...after Drinking Rum: Know how some of those expensive bottles of Tequila have a worm in the bottom? Well, some home remodelers in Hungary ran into something a little larger at the bottom of a barrel of rum. The workers, who were renovating a house in Szeged in the south of Hungary, ran across a large barrel of rum and drank it dry, or so they thought. The men tried to move the barrel after they had drained it, only to find it was surprisingly heavy and were shocked when the body of a naked man fell out. According to online magazine the body of the man had been shipped back from Jamaica 20 years ago by his wife in the barrel of rum in order to avoid the cost and paperwork of an official return. The website reported that the workers said the rum in the 300-liter barrel had a "special taste" so they even decanted a few bottles of the liquor to take home. The wife has since died and the man was buried in a proper grave.
Full Story→(Reuters)

May 4, 2006

F-22 Pilot Gets Locked in Cockpit: A hapless US Air Force pilot had to be physically cut free from the cockpit of his F-22A Raptor when the canopy resolutely refused to open, Flight International reports. The mini-drama unfolded on 10 April at the 27th Fighter Squadron's base at Langley AFB, Virginia, when the canopy "became stuck in the down and locked position and could not be opened manually after the pilot cycled the mechanism several times, following a pre-flight warning that the canopy was unlocked". Accordingly, an emergency team of ground operatives moved in after five hours and attacked the $134m Raptor with a decidedly unstealthy and low-tech chainsaw with which they unceremoniously sawed open the offending canopy. The estimated repair bill is a whopping $180,000.
Full Story→(The Register)

May 3, 2006

Olive Oil Hot Item for Thieves: Following a 44 percent price increase in the last year at least 300,000 litres of one of Spain's most valuable products has been stolen. Olive oil costs up to 5 euro (US$6.30) a litre in supermarkets. In the latest, thieves used saws to cut pipes and siphon off 100,000 litres into trucks at El Olivo plant in Vilches, Spain, last weekend. Similar raids have been carried out in Malaga and Cordoba. Police believe that the oil is diluted, bottled and sold in Spain or sent to Japan or Russia. The president of the Andalusia Federation of Agrarian Companies, Jose Luis Toledano, said some producers were afraid to report thefts to police, fearful of reprisals from eastern European mafia in the country.
Full Story→(

May 2, 2006

LA Bomb Squad Unknowingly Helps in Movie Promotion: Promoters of Tom Cruise's upcoming "Mission: Impossible III" movie had a novel idea: they rigged Los Angleles Times newpaper vending machines with a digital musical device designed to play the "Mission: Impossible" theme song when the door was opened. But in one case, the red plastic box with protruding wires was jarred loose and dropped onto the stack of newspapers inside, alarming a customer. The county bomb squad was called in and blew up the news rack, thinking it contained a bomb. Times officials said the devices were placed in 4,500 randomly selected news boxes in Los Angeles and Ventura counties in a venture with Paramount Pictures designed to turn the "everyday news rack experience" into an "extraordinary mission." ...sounds like worked!
Full Story→(CBS News)

May 1, 2006

King "Forgets" to Pay for Gas: Sweden's King Carl Gustav drove away from a petrol station in northern Norway without paying for his fuel because of a forgetful chauffeur, the royal palace has just revealed. The king and Queen Silvia have a cabin in Norway's Troendelag region which they routinely visit at Easter. On their way home from a day's outing this Easter, the royal couple stopped to fill up, and their driver went in to pay and buy sweets, but drove off after only paying for the candy. The bill was paid after the owner of the petrol station at Graamyra south of Levanger contacted the palace in Stockholm, palace spokeswoman Ann-Christine Jernberg said.
Full Story→(

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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