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Odd News Archive - July 2007

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.

July 31, 2007

Call police if offered women's undies: f someone offers you frilly women's lingerie on the street, call police. Thieves have stolen almost $35,000 worth of underwear, perfume and other merchandise from Victoria's Secret stores in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area since March, police said. Law enforcement officials have no suspects and said it's unlikely the thieves are stealing for personal use....full story from TCV

A massive phenomenon in Afghanistan: Television: Each night at 7:30, people in Kabul obey the beckoning of prime time much as they might answer the call to prayer. "As you can see, there is truth on the television, because all over the world the mother-in-law is always provoking a fight," said Muhammad Farid, a man sitting in a run-down restaurant beside the Pul-e-Kheshti Mosque, his attention fixed on an Indian soap opera that had been dubbed into Dari....full story from IHT

July 30, 2007

California puts pigeons on the pill: Birth control is to be used on pigeons in California in an effort to combat the "unmanageable" mess their increasing numbers are causing.

Animal rights groups support using the contraceptive in preference to other methods such as gates which give electric shocks and poisoning....full story from the BBC

NYC selling 500 pounds of foreign coins: New York City is selling 500 pounds of foreign coins that found their way into its parking meters this year.

"We have pretty much every denomination from every continent," said Anthony Alfano, the city's deputy chief of meter collections. The most common coins are Greek drachmas, he said....full story from TCV

July 29, 2007

Big haul expected in Pig and Pussy Hunt: The annual 'Pig and Pussy Hunt' starts today to control feral animals around Pine Creek, 200 kilometres south of Darwin in the Northern Territory, Australia.

The hunt targets feral pigs and cats as well as cane toads....full story from ABC News AU

Yes, size matters (yacht size, that is): Size does matter. And in the battle of billionaires, every inch counts when it comes to yachts.

In its annual survey, Power & Motoryacht magazine listed the 100 largest yachts - luxury behemoths that sport everything from basketball courts, helipads, discos, aquariums, SUVs and submarines to an onboard hospital....full story from the New York Post

July 27, 2007

Dutch hot air balloon shaped like condom: Concertgoers at a festival in the Dutch city of Lichtenvoorde were treated to an unusual sight Friday: A pink hot air balloon about 40 metres high, shaped exactly like a condom, drifting lazily across the sky.

The balloon, with the words "Vrij Veilig" - Dutch for "Safe Sex" - was launched by the public health service in the eastern district of Gelre-Ijssel, near the German border....full story w/pic from CNews

Australian thief "battered" in fish shop: A man who attempted to rob an Australian fish and chip shop found himself on the losing side when the angry shop owner threw fish batter and hot oil at him.

"The hot oil missed but the batter hit the offender and he fled empty handed," South Australian police said in a statement....full story from Reuters UK

July 26, 2007

Swimming pool stolen from N.J. yard: Daisy Valdivia is annoyed that someone stole her backyard pool.

And baffled at how they did it without leaving behind a splash, drip or trace of the more than 3,700 litres of water it contained....full story from CNews

July 25, 2007

Sheik racks up $240,000 nightclub bar tab: A Middle Eastern businessman spent over $210,000 in a five-hour, champagne- and vodka-fuelled spending spree in a London nightclub at the weekend.

Fraser Donaldson, a representative of Crystal, a club favoured by Prince Harry, said in 20 years working in the industry it was the biggest bill he'd seen from one customer....full story from

July 24, 2007

Rats and cats used as landmine sniffers in Colombia: Who says Tom and Jerry can't be friends? For the past year, a special Colombian police unit has been locking rats in cages with cats as part of a project to train the rodents to sniff out the more than 100,000 landmines planted mostly by leftist rebels across this conflict-wracked Andean country.

Bringing the rats face to face with an enemy allows them to stay more focused once they are released, veterinarian Luisa Mendez, who's been working with the animals for two years, told The Associated Press on Tuesday....full story from TCV

French install Europe's highest toilets: Mont Blanc just got a whole lot whiter after two toilets - the highest in Europe - were installed on the French snow-capped peak.

"This move was much needed," said a local mayor, Jean-Marc Peillex, noting that the more than 30,000 annual visitors to the mountain's top have left it "full of yellow and brown spots in summer....full story from the New York Post

July 23, 2007

San Francisco's proposed Wi-Fi network facing angry mobs: The city-wide Wi-Fi network being pushed by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom faces two important hearings this week as a motley band of critics mount a series of challenges to the project, which would be jointly operated by Google and Earthlink.

The concerns include the health effects of antennas, whether proposed terms would jeopardize the privacy and free speech of those who use the network, and the appropriateness of the city entering into an exclusive contract that some say amounts to a giveaway of public resources.....full story from The Register

July 22, 2007

Bikini-clad women mow lawns in Memphis: A Memphis lawn care company is showing a little skin in order boost business. The women of Tiger Time Lawn Care offer to mow customers' lawns dressed in bikinis - a service that attracts more attention to the ladies rather than the lawns.

"Oh yeah, they honk and yell. They can do everything you can imagine," said employee Blair Beckman, 21....full story from TCV

July 21, 2007

"Free" NYC Taxicab seized: Ray Kottner's taxi was free until the city locked it up.

The 80-year-old hack, who for the past four years has offered rides at no charge to anyone fortunate enough to hail his vintage Checker taxi, got cab-jacked by the Taxi and Limousine Commission Thursday night....full story from the New York Post

July 20, 2007

Homer Simpson kidnapped in Malaysia: Cartoon character Homer Simpson has been kidnapped in Malaysia and Hollywood is offering a reward of 1,000 ringgit ($A346) for his safe return.

Film studio Twentieth Century Fox announced the bounty after a 1.2-metre statue of Homer was stolen from a cinema display in a mall in the Malaysian capital....full story from ABC News (AU)

Couple charged with rush-hour sex: An Ohio couple allegedly made rush hour more interesting or distasteful for drivers by having sex on the median of a busy Cincinnati road.

The public sex act was originally reported as a possible rape Wednesday to Cincinnati police by someone who spotted the pair in the median of West Central Parkway, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported. But when officers responded, they decided that James Barbour and Carol Walters were engaged in consensual sex....full story from UPI

July 18, 2007

German hurls computer out of window: A German chap who demonstrated his frustration with his PC by throwing it out of the window escaped a fine when police oficers decided they rather sympathised with his actions.

According to the Evening Standard, Hanover cops were alerted in the middle of night by neighbours who reported a "loud crash" outside their apartment block. Officers duly attended the scene, finding the pavement strewn with electronic debris....full story from The Register

Dead whale causes big stink in Norway: A dead whale bobbing in the sea near Korsneset, Norway, is emitting a noxious odor and officials are hurrying to get rid of it before its stomach explodes.

A foul scent wafted through the air as the decomposing, 33-foot-long mammal floated in a west coast fjord, Aftenposten reported Wednesday....full story from UPI

July 17, 2007

Romanian cops arrest drunk, naked, handless driver: Romanian traffic cops in the seaside town of Constanta were rather surprised to discover that the driver of a BMW they pulled for zigzagging across the road had no licence, no hands, no clothes, and was figuratively legless, reports.

Aurel Olteanu, 23, tested positive for twice the drink-drive limit, and put his lack of clothes down to a trip to a local nudist beach, which he'd left in a bit of a hurry....full story from The Register

Video game "war" develops between US and Iran: A curious geopolitical video game developer arms race has entered the next stage with a group of Iranian students unveiling a game that depicts the rescuing of Iranian nuclear scientists from the clutches of US and Israeli troops.

The new title is described by its creators as a response to a game by US-based episodic game developer, Kuma Reality Games, who's game "Assault on Iran" has American Special Forces soldiers attacking an Iranian nuclear facility and destroying its centrifuges....full story from The Register

July 16, 2007

400-pound beehive found in Arizona: A 400-pound beehive was removed from an assisted living center in Tucson, Ariz., after the bees attacked some landscapers.

The men who removed the nine-square-foot honeycomb said it had been in the building's third-story roof for at least three years, KPHO-TV, Phoenix, reported Monday.

They estimated the hive contained at least a quarter-million bees....full story from UPI

July 14, 2007

A nasal spray to shed your shyness: University of Zurich researchers have created a spray that can relieve people of shyness, and help them socialise with others.

The spray is very easy to use, and an individual can boost self-confidence just by squirting it up the nose....full story from

Australian man goes on demolition spree in tank: A man has been arrested in Sydney after phone masts were destroyed during a 90-minute rampage in a privately owned armoured personnel carrier.

John Robert Patterson, 45, allegedly smashed six properties including an electrical substation in a path of destruction through six suburbs....full story from the BBC

"Mystery Lavatory Man" leaves cash in restrooms: AN elusive benefactor dubbed the "Mystery Lavatory Man", who has been secretly disbursing millions of yen across Japan, has sparked a national treasure hunt centred on public lavatories in municipal buildings.

By yesterday, 425 envelopes had been discovered in the men's toilets of city government offices and town halls across Japan.

In each envelope -- crafted from traditional Japanese washi paper -- was discovered a crisp 10,000 yen ($91) note and a handwritten letter urging the finder to use the cash to fund "ascetic training....full story from The Australian

July 13, 2007

Snacking elephants wake Canadian town: It was no dream. Two elephants seen roaming the streets of a sleepy town in central Canada in the wee hours of the morning had actually escaped from a travelling circus, police said today.

The massive animals, named Bunny and Suzy, had escaped from Garden Bros Circus about 3am local time (5pm AEST) in Newmarket, near Toronto, when an electric fence around their pen was inadvertently disabled....full story from

July 12, 2007

'Man-eater' badgers in Iraq: A new kind of terrorist is frightening residents of Basra, southern Iraq's largest city: giant badgers.

Local farmers have killed several of the beasts, described as swift, bizarre-looking, dog-sized animals with longer claws than the more familiar honey badger....full story from the New York Post

July 11, 2007

Oregon man flies 193 miles in deckchair: An Oregon man has undoubtedly set some kind of record by travelling 193 miles in a flying deckchair, the Bend Bulletin reports.

Kent Couch, 47, spent eight hours and 45 minutes travelling from Bend to La Grande suspended beneath 105 four-foot helium balloons, reaching a maximum altitude of 11,000 feet. He admitted: "It's scary. There's this sense of, 'What the heck am I doing? Are you crazy or what?'. But I played with my mind, I told myself, this is a good thing....full story from The Register

Chinese hold condom fashion show: Condoms of all shapes and sizes were on display at a Beijing fashion show on Wednesday featuring dresses, hats and even lollipops made of the said item.

Models fought through extravagant soap bubble special effects to show off tight-fitting wedding gowns, scaly-looking evening dresses, outrageous bikinis and other garments made entirely of condoms, inflated or otherwise....full story from Reuters UK

July 10, 2007

Runaway wrecking ball hits car: A Meadville, Pa., man stopped at a traffic light in the city's downtown was struck in the rear of his car by a renegade wrecking ball.

Alex Habay's Ford Taurus was whacked by the runaway 1,500-pound piece of demolition equipment while he was on his way to work, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday....full story from UPI

July 9, 2007

German man's smelly feet trigger police raid: German police broke into a darkened flat fearing they would find a dead body after neighbours complained of a nasty smell seeping out onto the staircase.

The shutters of the apartment had been closed for more than a week and the postbox was filled with uncollected mail....full story from

Chinese build 1000 hole crapper: They're flushed with pride in a southwestern Chinese city where a recently opened public toilet features an Egyptian facade, soothing music and more than 1000 lavatories spread out over 3000sq m.

Officials in Chongqing are preparing to submit an application to Guinness World Records to have the four-storey free-of-charge toilet listed as the world's largest, state-run China Central Television reported on the weekend....full story from The Australian

July 7, 2007

Gator vs. truck crash called a draw: Two terrified Florida women holed up inside their truck for half an hour after they hit a 10-foot alligator that became stuck under their vehicle.

Jennifer Maldonado and Aimee Baker opened the doors of their vehicle after the collision on U.S. 98 set off their air bag; however, they spotted the silhouette of a thrashing tail from underneath and immediately retreated back inside and called 911, The Tampa Tribune reported Saturday....full story from UPI

Man disguised as tree robs New Hampshire bank: Police are on the hunt for a man who robbed a New Hampshire bank on Saturday disguised as a tree, according to

The suspect walked into the Citizen's Bank in Manchester with tree branches duct taped to his body and demanded money from the teller....full story from Fox News

July 6, 2007

Ice cream vendor accused of selling pot: Southwestern Michigan authorities say they arrested an ice cream truck operator who was selling marijuana along with his frozen desserts.

After authorities got tips about the alleged pot-peddler, a deputy "heard jingling bells" about 2 p.m. Thursday and saw the ice cream truck entering a mobile home park, Berrien County sheriff's Lt. Keith Hafer said in a written statement....full story from TCV

July 5, 2007

Pentagon announces "Wearable Power" prize competition: The Director, Defense Research and Engineering, John Young today announced a public prize competition to develop a wearable electric power system for war fighters. The competition will take place in the fall of 2008 and the prizes are $1 million for first place, $500,000 for second place and $250,000 for third place.

The essential electronic equipment that dismounted warfighters carries today - radios, night vision devices, global positioning system - runs on batteries. This competition will gather and test the good ideas for reducing the weight of the batteries that service members carry. The prize objective is a wearable, prototype system that can power a standard warfighter's equipment for 96 hours but weighs less than half that of the current batteries carried. All components, including the power generator, electrical storage, control electronics, connectors and fuel must weigh four kilograms or less, including any attachments....full story from US Department of Defense

July 4, 2007

Obituary that pulls no punches: Count Gottfried von Bismarck, who was found dead on Monday aged 44, was a louche German aristocrat with a multi-faceted history as a pleasure-seeking heroin addict, hell-raising alcoholic, flamboyant waster and a reckless and extravagant host of homosexual orgies.

The great-great-grandson of Prince Otto, Germany's Iron Chancellor and architect of the modern German state, the young von Bismarck showed early promise as a brilliant scholar, but led an exotic life of gilded aimlessness that attracted the attention of the gossip columns from the moment he arrived in Oxford in 1983 and hosted a dinner at which the severed heads of two pigs were placed at either end of the table....full story from the

A new scourge strikes Florida: Big, airborne fish: "Lots of artillery out there," an old man hollered from the safety of the Suwannee River's edge near Branford, Florida, and he was right. The sturgeon were jumping high and fast, twisting their armored girth in midair and returning to the depths with a stunning splash.

On the water, there was reason to be anxious. Florida's season of "sturgeon strikes" - the law enforcement term for collisions between the state's largest freshwater fish and hapless boaters - was already well under way....full story from IHT

Pizza sent piping hot with porn: A New pizza restaurant in western Canada that delivers pornography with every box sold has once again proven the adage: sex sells.

Porno Pizza in Winnipeg has been doing brisk business since opening last week, titillating the hungry with racy pictures at the bottom of every pizza box....full story from

Busting cheats is big business: In a first for Australia, a team of private investigators has set up shop with the sole mission of busting cheating partners.

If you think there's money to be made in the wedding game, it appears cheating is where the real profits lie.

Spouse Busters managing director Brett Sutcliffe's business has grown from a team of three investigators to 20 in just 18 months....full story from

July 3, 2007

Pensioner used live shell as doorstop: Royal Navy bomb disposal experts were called to a house in Paignton, Devon, England, after a tip-off that 68-year-old Thelma Bonnett was rather ill-advisedly using a live First World War German shell as a doorstop, the Daily Mail reports.

The seven-inch-long "squat shell", which Bonnett's grandad Arthur acquired during his Navy days, was "packed with its original payload and with its firing mechanism primed". Bonnet explained: "Grandfather picked it up on his travels with the Merchant Navy in 1918. My father used to polish it all the time and kept it on the mantelpiece....full story from The Register

North Carolina fisherman reels in a piranha: A fisherman looking to catch a catfish for dinner instead reeled in a fish that flashed its teeth and bit his knife. Jerry Melton, 46, was fishing in the Catawba River last week when he caught what state wildlife officials later identified as a piranha, a South American carnivorous fish that lives in freshwater.

"When I got it on the bank I didn't really know what it was; I hadn't seen anything like it before," Melton said....full story from TCV

Brown bear wanders Anchorage streets: Wildlife authorities in Anchorage, Alaska, said they are trying to capture a grizzly bear spotted wandering around the city's downtown.

The brown bear, thought by authorities to be a young 250-pound female, has been seen wandering crowded neighborhoods at night on an almost daily basis, the Anchorage Daily News reported Tuesday.

"She's not a troublemaker," state Fish and Game biologist Rick Sinnott told the Daily News....full story from UPI

July 2, 2007

'Unusually frisky' deer blow lid on marijuana plantation: Italian police busted two would-be marijuana cultivators after "unusually frisky" deer alerted the authorities as to the presence of their mountaintop dope plantation, UPI reports.

Locals in Trento began telling tales of the abnormally high-spirited animals, while forest rangers began to wonder why the normally shy and straight-laced cervine population was letting it all hang out by day and "making great leaps on the mountainside"....full story from The Register

China cracks down on officials with mistresses: China plans to sack all officials found to have secretly "kept and supported" mistresses, in a move aimed at raising social morals.

The step hardens up previous policy.

"It is a misunderstanding that officials who have mistresses would only be sacked when the situation is serious," the Beijing News quoted a Ministry of Personnel spokesman as saying....full story from

July 1, 2007

Former British PM proposed while bride-to-be was cleaning toilet: Tony Blair proposed to Cherie while she was on her knees cleaning a toilet, she has revealed in a BBC One documentary.

In The Real Cherie Blair - being shown on Wednesday - she says Mr Blair popped the question in a "terribly romantic" way while they were on holiday in 1979....full story from the BBC

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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