Odd News - July 2009 Archive


Odd News Archive - July 2009

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July 31, 2009

Obama more bartender than mediator at beer summit: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama played bartender-in-chief on Thursday at a "beer summit" of the main players in a racially charged case that he hoped would be a "positive lesson" in a national dialogue on race.

Obama, the first black U.S. president, said it was a "friendly, thoughtful" conversation over beer at the White House with prominent Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, who is black, and police Sergeant James Crowley, who is white....full story from Reuters UK


Man buys car, then watches it burst into flames: A used car that had just been purchased for $8,000 burst into flames at a petrol station in Darwin yesterday, police say.

The car was about to refuel in the suburb of Berrimah when the driver noticed sparks and flames underneath his car.

Duty Superintendent Dean Maloney says when police arrived the car was engulfed in fire and flames were close to petrol bowsers....full story from ABC News (AU)

July 30, 2009

Pooch heading home after 9 yrs missing: A dog rescued from a Melbourne, Australia backyard will be reunited with its Queensland owners nine years after going missing.

The RSPCA, acting on a tip-off, discovered Muffy sleeping on a scrap of cardboard in a filthy backyard.

To their surprise, they found Muffy was microchipped, and tracked down owner Natalie Lampard at Burleigh Waters on the Gold Coast....full story w/pic from ABC News (AU)


Caveman arrested after 16 years on the run: An escaped prisoner who had been hiding out in caves and living mainly off fruit has been finally recaptured in northern Portugal after 16 years on the run.

Although the bearded, long-haired man tried to resist arrest when police cornered him at daybreak, he did not use the pistol he had on him, a police spokesman said.

The 54-year-old man had been serving a 10-year sentence for murder when he escaped in 1993 and disappeared into his native region of Vieira do Minho....full story from ABC News (AU)

July 29, 2009

34 hospitalized after co-worker sprays perfume: FORT WORTH, Texas - At first, fire officials suspected that carbon monoxide or some other toxic fumes had sickened almost 150 people at a Texas bank call center.

It turned out that perfume was to blame.

MedStar ambulance spokeswoman Lara Kohl says 34 people were taken to hospitals, 12 by ambulance, after reporting dizziness and shortness of breath Wednesday at a Bank of America call center in Fort Worth....full story from CNews


Building evacuated over speech timing device: COLUMBUS, Ohio - An employee spotted a black box with lights, wires and a timer in a Columbus, Ohio, office complex conference room and called for help.

Thousands of people left the JPMorgan Chase&Co. complex and only later did investigators figure what the device was: a timing device used to keep presentations short....full story from CNews

July 28, 2009

Landlord sues tenant over moldy Tweet: Pop quiz. You find a disparaging post about your company on Twitter that's written by a client who's followed by a mere 20 people. You fear the offhand remark about the poor quality of your service could harm your company's reputation. What's the absolute worst way to make it go away?

Do you: A) ignore it. B) remedy the complaint. C) file a $50,000 libel lawsuit against the author to the sheer delight of tech hacks everywhere.

Well, the Chicago real estate firm Horizon Group Management has chosen option C....full story from The Register


Aussie woman's toilet trauma prompts lav-overhaul call: An Australian doctor has called for a fundamental redesign of the nation's lavatories after a severely dehydrated Queensland woman was freed from a seven-day imprisonment in her dunny.

Doreen Noonan, 67, was trapped in her toilet for a week, with her "feet wedged on either side of the toilet and her body against the inward opening door" the Brisbane Courier-Mail reports. Noonan was only found when her neigbour heard her cries for help as he was hanging out his washing....full story from The Register

July 27, 2009

Police: Woman in bikini stole car: SOUTHAVEN, Mississippi - Police in Mississippi said they have arrested a bikini-clad woman who allegedly stole a car and tried to rob a business with a non-existent gun.

Southaven Police Chief Tom Long said Morgan Haley, 24, approached the carjacking victim in the woman's driveway at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday and ordered her to give up her car, The Desoto Times-Tribune, Hernando, Miss., reported Monday....full story from UPI

July 26, 2009

Bill Gates: not accepting your Facebook friend request: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said he was forced to give up on the social networking phenomenon Facebook after too many people wanted to be his friend.

Mr Gates, the billionaire computer geek-turned-philanthropist who was honoured by India for his charity work, told an audience in New Delhi he had tried out Facebook but ended up with "10,000 people wanting to be my friends".

Mr Gates, who remains Microsoft chairman, said he had trouble figuring out whether he "knew this person, did I not know this person"....full story from ABC News (AU)


US pets treated with acupuncture by their vets: Arthritis, inoperable tumours, chronic pain and neurological problems are some of the complaints that are being treated in dogs and cats by the ancient Asian science of the deftly applied needle.

Almost 1,000 vets in the US are now using acupuncture in a country where the pet industry is worth $49 billion (£30 billion) a year.

Having gradually gained acceptance within the vet world, acupuncture has now been recognised as a valid treatment by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA)....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

July 25, 2009

Grave robber found dead in cemetery: A French robber was found dead in a graveyard in the south-western Dordogne region, struck by a heart attack as he chiselled religious symbols off a tombstone, officials said.

The 54-year-old was found in a cemetery in the town of Valeuil, said local mayor Pascal Mazouaud....full story from ABC News (AU)


Real Oakland officer arrests fake officer: OAKLAND, California - Oakland police say a man impersonating a police officer tried to pull over a real undercover officer and was arrested.

Police say 21-year-old Antonio Fernandez Martinez of Oakland was arrested Wednesday in the Fruitvale district after trying to pull over an unmarked police vehicle. Martinez was driving a Ford Crown Victoria outfitted with flashing lights, a microphone and speakers....full story from CNews

July 24, 2009

Addiction therapists signing up to World of Warcraft: Medical staff are creating their own 'avatars' in online fantasy games such as World of Warcraft in the hope of treating youngsters addicted to virtual worlds.

Experts have said that some massively multiplayer online games, in which players battle enemies for weapons and rewards, are as addictive as crack cocaine.

Dr Richard Graham, a consultant psychiatrist at the Tavistock Centre in London, is so concerned that he plans to provide online therapy for youngsters who are spending so much time playing these games that they have lost touch with the real world....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


The man who is 'allergic' to Wi-Fi: A club DJ, Steve Miller, has claimed he has been forced into exile by a powerful allergy to Wi-Fi internet waves which leaves him feeling dizzy, sick and disorientated.

Mr Miller, better known by his stage name Afterlife, says he is unable to use trains, stay in hotels or visit his local high street because of his sensitivity to the "electrosmog" cause by wireless internet waves.

He is among around two per cent of the population who claim they suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensetivity, while the number of people and businesses pumping out the Wi-Fi signal is rising....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

July 23, 2009

Irish in desperate search for new goat King: The annual crowning of a goat as king of Ireland at one of the country's oldest fairs is in doubt after organisers said the heir to the throne may be stopped from traveling to the festival.

Traditionally a male goat is caught in the mountains of Kerry in southern Ireland and paraded through the town of Killorglin where he reigns for the three days of Puck Fair, a centuries-old festival of drinking, music and dancing.

Locals may have to desperately trek the nearby hills after this year's chosen animal from the Northern Ireland town of Ballycastle could only get a four-day licence for the trip south of the border....full story from NEWS.com.au


Ugandan shock as bank disappears: Scammers have targeted a town on the Uganda-Kenya border with an elaborate fraud - setting up a fake bank and taking deposits, before fleeing.

The bank opened an office in Malaba town, advertised on radio and took $100,000 in deposits over two months....full story from the BBC

July 22, 2009

Land mine left in Goodwill donation box: ARVADA, Colorado - A land mine found in a suburban Denver Goodwill donation box forced the evacuation of a strip mall.

The rectangular, olive-green box with the words "Front Toward Enemy" raised the suspicions of Goodwill workers Tuesday....full story from CNews

July 21, 2009

Tasered man burst into flames: SYDNEY - A man whose relatives say had been sniffing gasoline burst into flames after a police officer Tasered him as he ran at officials carrying a container of fuel, police said Tuesday.

The man, identified by his family as 36-year-old Ronald Mitchell, was in critical condition at a Perth hospital in Western Australia state following Monday's incident in Warburton, an Aboriginal community 950 miles (1,540 kilometres) northeast of Perth....full story from CNews


Nuns on the run at triple speed limit: A Roman Catholic nun has been caught speeding at 180 kilometres per hour in Italy.

Her speed was more than three times the limit, and the nun was not travelling alone - there were two other sisters in the car at the time.

The nun told police she was anxious to be by Pope Benedict's side at his holiday home in northern Italy, where he is recovering from an injured wrist....story from ABC News (AU)

July 20, 2009

Battle of the beer can boats: The weather was hot and so was the sand as thousands of people packed Darwin's Mindil Beach for the annual Beer Can Regatta yesterday.

There were foot races, sandcastle competitions, and tugs-of-war but most of the crowd was there to see about a dozen teams take to the water in rickety boats made from beer cans.

Organiser Des Gelllert says there were some intriguing entries this year....full story w/pic from ABC News (AU)


German police catch underwear thief: BERLIN: German police uncovered over 1,000 pairs of underpants and more than 100 pairs of swimming trunks after catching a thief nabbing another three pairs for his collection.

The 46-year-old man was caught on Sunday pinching three pairs of pants from a sports hall in the western town of Gelnhausen. Police then came across the enormous collection of underwear while searching his flat....full story from The Times of India

July 19, 2009

Gay penguin has change of heart: After six years together, the relationship between a pair of gay male penguins at San Francisco zoo is apparently over, with Harry leaving Pepper for another penguin - Linda.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday (local time) that the relationship between Harry and Pepper, who lived side-by-side protecting eggs abandoned by other penguins, came to a shocking end when Harry moved into a neighbouring nest with recently-widowed Linda....full story from ABC News (AU)

July 18, 2009

Dentist sued for losing tools down patient's throat: WINTER PARK, Florida - A Florida dentist is being sued for allegedly dropping tools down the throat of an elderly patient - twice.

Relatives of 90-year-old Charles Gaal Jr. recently filed the suit in circuit court accusing Dr. Wesley Meyers of negligence. An answering message at Meyers' office in Winter Park said Saturday that he was on vacation. He did not reply to a message from The Associated Press seeking comment....full story from CNEWS


Wienermobile crashes into Wisconsin house: The Oscar Mayer hot dog company probably didn't relish the apology it had to issue after its famed Wienermobile crashed into a Mount Pleasant, Wis., house.

Sydney Lindner, a spokeswoman for the company, a division of Kraft Foods based in Chicago, said Oscar Mayer would work with insurance companies after an unidentified 22-year-old driver of the hot dog-shaped vehicle managed to slam it into a home Friday while trying to turn around on a dead-end street, WLUK-TV, Green Bay, Wis., reported....full story from UPI

July 17, 2009

Riot police raid birthday barbecue for 'all-night' Facebook tag: Riot police stormed a man's 30th birthday barbecue for 15 guests because it was advertised as an "all-night" party on Facebook.

Four police cars, a riot van, and a force helicopter were dispatched to a privately-owned field in a small village near Sowton, Devon in the UK on Saturday, ordering the party shut down or everyone would be arrested....full story from The Register


San Diego menaced by jumbo squid: Scuba divers off the Californian city of San Diego are being menaced by large numbers of jumbo squid.

The beaked Humboldt squid, which grow up to 5ft (1.5 metres) long, arrived off the city's shores last week.

Divers have reported unnerving encounters with the creatures, which are carnivorous and can be aggressive....full story from the BBC

July 16, 2009

Tattooed Swedish devil girls sexually molest cyclist: Swedish cops are on the look-out for a quintet of tattooed girls who dragged a 50-year-old man off his bicycle, pulled down his trousers and smalls and "sexually molested" the poor bloke.

The incident happened on 8 July in Örebro, central Sweden, the Aftonbladet newspaper reports. One of the gang - described as 5' 7" tall and with "tattoos on her forearms" - grabbed his bike's rack and brought the victim to the ground....full story from The Register


Colorado woman says love made her steal $11M: A former Colorado Department of Revenue supervisor says love for her ex-boyfriend led her to steal $11 million in unclaimed tax refunds from the state.

The ex-boyfriend, Hysear Randell, is on trial in Denver this week on charges of theft, forgery, computer crime and racketeering....full story from CNews

July 15, 2009

Man fixing airbed blows up apartment: A German man has blown up his apartment while trying to fix his leaky air mattress, his city's fire brigade said.

The man, 45, from Duesseldorf in Germany's west, used tyre-repair solvent to plug a hole in his airbed and left it overnight.

It blew up when he went to inflate it the next day....full story from ABC News (AU)


Cocaine-smuggling golfer fails 'what's your handicap' test: A 23-year-old Sussex woman's cunning plan to smuggle cocaine into the UK concealed in the shafts of golf clubs fell apart, when she mistook suspicious customs officials' quizzing about her handicap for a request for information as to whether or not she was disabled.

According to the Sun, Kayti Ella Dryer from Lewes jetted in to Manchester Airport from Jamaica's Montego Bay on 3 April. Despite her claims she'd been on a golfing holiday, she failed to recognise the terms "birdie" and "fairway"....full story from The Register

July 14, 2009

Italian bride's bouquet downs ultralight: An Italian wedding reception ended badly when the bride's bouquet downed an ultralight aircraft, the Corriere della Sera reports.

The happy couple had tasked pilot Luciano Nannelli, 61, with dropping the floral display on eager bridesmaids lined up at the do in Montioni Park, Suvereto. However, when passenger Isidoro Pensieri, 44, released the bouquet it apparently got tangled in the propellor....full story from The Register


Cyclists offered cut-price shag at German brothel: A recession-hit German brothel has come up with a novel way of generating trade and simultaneously saving the planet: Discount shags for cyclists.

Those arriving on pedal-powered transportation at Berlin's "Maison d'envie" bawdy house will get €5 off the normal price of €70 a pop for 45 minutes. Those who don't want to tire themselves out before getting their rocks off can enjoy the same wallet-friendly deal if they arrive by public transport....full story from The Register

July 13, 2009

Farm fun as 10,000 attend Redneck Games: More than 10,000 competitors have taken part in the annual Redneck Games in Georgia where events include watermelon-seed-spitting and armpit-squelching.

The most popular contest of the games, held in the small town of East Dublin, was the mud-pit belly-flop, where fully clothes contestants plunged front-first into a vat of red mud clay.

Judges awarded higher marks for "beauty of form" in the flop and the size of the splash....full story w/pic from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


Saudi family takes 'genie' to court: A family in Saudi Arabia has taken a "genie" to court, accusing it of leaving threatening messages on their mobile phones.

They also claim the spirit has thrown stones at them outside their house and stolen their property.

The family claims to have been forced to move out of the home where they have lived near the city of Medina for 15 years....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

July 12, 2009

N.Y. teen failed to notice open manhole: A 15-year-old girl in New York suffered some scrapes after falling through an open manhole she completely overlooked, her mother says.

Kim Longueira of Staten Island said her daughter Alexa suddenly found the ground was no longer below her moments after a friend handed her a cell phone, the New York Daily News said Saturday....full story from UPI


Parolee robs bank, hails undercover cop: Authorities say a parolee who robbed a Michigan bank was caught when he tried to hitch a ride from an undercover police detective.

Mark E. White was arraigned Friday on charges that include bank robbery and making a false bomb threat. He is being held at the Saginaw County Jail on $755,000 bond....full story from CNews

July 11, 2009

Prisoner escapes after switching identity with twin brother: Simon Peter Maclellan, 27, from Gosport, Hants, UK, has not been seen since Friday afternoon when he was released by magistrates.

Maclellan, who was on remand at HMP Winchester in connection with a serious assault, escaped when he pretended to be his twin brother, Mark, who is also on remand at the same prison for a less serious offence.

The pair are non identical twins....full sory from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


California county OKs comedy traffic classes: Authorities in Orange County, Calif., say any county residents required to take traffic classes can soon attend comedy traffic schools instead.

The Orange County Register reported Thursday that the county Superior Court has contracted with a new provider that offers comedy traffic schools and online courses along with traditional traffic classes....full story from UPI

July 10, 2009

Barack Obama's books 'too dangerous for prisoners to read': An inmate at America's most secure federal prison was banned from reading two books written by Barack Obama because they were "potentially detrimental to national security".

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, an American al-Qaeda member, is serving a 30-year sentence for conspiring to commit various terrorist acts, including the murder of George W Bush, who was then president of the United State.

Last year, before Mr Obama's victory in the presidential election, Abu Ali requested his biographical Dreams from My Father and the more policy-oriented The Audacity of Hope....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


Artists live high on outside wall: Two Brazilian artists are living in a room with a bed, hammock, sofa and potted plant - all on the outside wall of a building in Rio de Janeiro.

Tiago Primo, 27, and his brother Gabriel, 20, are spending up to 14 hours a day in their "vertical room", 10m (33ft) above a busy street.

They are a living art exhibit, on display until mid-August....full story w/video from the BBC

July 9, 2009

Parents call police after tot too good at hide-and-seek: GREENVILLE, Pennsylvania - A Pennsylvania toddler did such a remarkable job of hiding during a game of hide-and-seek that the family had to call police and firefighters to help find her.

Two-year-old Natalie Jasmer was playing the game with her siblings Tuesday. When the family couldn't find her, parents Dennis and Michelle Jasmer called authorities, The Herald newspaper reported....full story from CNews


A woman spends 287 days choosing what to wear: The average woman will - between the ages of 16 and 60 - spend 287 days deciding what to wear.

That's according to Matalan, which polled 2,491 females and found that this essential activity accounts for an average 16 minutes on weekday mornings, 14 minutes after getting up at weekends and up to 20 minutes bothering the wardrobe prior to a night out....full story from The Register

July 8, 2009

Man dies after falling into vat of chocolate: Authorities say a man died after falling into a vat of melted chocolate in a New Jersey processing plant.

A spokesman for the Camden County prosecutor's office says the 29-year-old temporary worker at the Cocoa Services Inc. plant fell after a blade used to mix raw chocolate hit him. His name has not been released....full story from CNews


Drunk badger disrupts traffic in Germany: A badger in Germany got so drunk on over-ripe cherries it staggered into the middle of a road and refused to budge, police said Wednesday. A motorist called police near the central town of Goslar to report a dead badger on a road -- only for officers to turn up and discover the animal alive and well, but drunk....full story from Reuters UK

July 7, 2009

Man banned from getting drunk for seven years: A man has been banned from getting drunk anywhere in England and Wales for the next seven years after a string of drunk and disorderly offences.

David Peers, who is unemployed, was also ordered not to act abusively, enter public houses or carry open bottles of alcohol until 2016.

The ban - conditions of which form an ASBO served on 45-year-old Peers - will bring relief to the residents of Redhill, Surrey, who have been plagued with his anti-social behaviour, according to police....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


Police remove village's 'traffic officer' scarecrow: A joke scarecrow which was dressed as a policeman with a fake speed radar gun was removed by officers and taken to a police station because it "sent out an inappropriate message".

The 7ft tall scarecrow was put up on the roadside to promote a village scarecrow festival while also encouraging speeding motorists to slow down.

However, a passing policewoman took it away in her patrol car within four hours of it being put up in Brancaster, Norfolk [UK]....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


Cops purchase struggling doughnut shop: Members of a Michigan police department, apparently unafraid of jokes at their expense, banded together to purchase their favorite doughnut shop.

The Clare Police Department, which has nine full-time officers, purchased the Clare City Bakery and changed the name to Cops & Doughnuts after discovering the previous owners were planning to close down the 113-year-old shop, WNEM-TV, Saginaw, Mich., reported Tuesday....full story from UPI


Stolen wallet found years later in tree: A New York woman said a wallet stolen nearly 27 years ago in Central Park was found inside a hollow tree.

Ruth Bendik, 60, said she was greeting runners at the end of the New York marathon Oct. 24,1982, and "when I got out of the crush of people, I realized my purse was much lighter," CNN reported Tuesday....full story from UPI

July 6, 2009

Drunken tractor driver leads police on slow chase: BERLIN - A drunk German sparked a slow-speed police chase after stealing a tractor to get home from a nightclub after his girlfriend left without him, said police, who used pepper spray to try to stop the vehicle.

"After his girlfriend abandoned him in a night club, the 23-year-old driver, who doesn't own a licence, commandeered the vehicle to make his way home," a police spokesman said on Monday....full story from Reuters UK


NZ lad punts nude mum snaps on net: A NZ teenager has the honour of being local net tat bazaar Trade Me's first seller to offer "photos of a mother in underwear", the New Zealand Herald reports.

Auckland student Michael was under mum's orders to clear out the garage and dispose of any unwanted items on the internet auction site. He duly obliged, punting "5 naked photos of my mum....full story from The Register


Indian photographer has five kidneys: An Indian photographer, Jaswant Singh, is living with five kidneys after three donations from members of his family.

Mr Singh, 33, has had three transplant operations after donations from his two sisters and mother.

However, after the first two failed, doctors decided to leave the non-functioning organs inside him....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


Public mistake Chinese lanterns for distress flares: British coastguard chiefs say the craze of releasing Chinese flying lanterns into the air is leading to people dialling 999 mistaking them for rescue flares.

The setting off of sky lanterns - which use hot air from a tea light candle to lift the lanterns into the air - has become popular in Britain since the Bali bombings in 2002, which killed 182 people, when lanterns were released as a tribute to each of the dead.

But the trend of using Chinese lanterns in Britain has resulted in a deluge of calls to the emergency services from people thinking they are SOS flares to claims they are UFOs....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


Zoo evacuated after mass chimp break-out: A zoo in north-west England was evacuated on Sunday after about 30 chimpanzees escaped from their enclosure.

The animals escaped from 'Chimp Island' and found their way into a keeper area where their food is prepared, the zoo said.

More than 5,000 visitors were asked to leave Chester Zoo, near Liverpool, shortly after the break-out as keepers rounded up the chimps....full story from ABC News (AU)


Study finds beer not linked to beer belly: Beer-lovers can drink as much as they like without having to fear developing a beer-belly, according to new research.

The UK's Daily Mail broke the welcome news to British beer-lovers yesterday, claiming that scientists have proven a beer-belly is purely the result of genetics.

An eight-year study of more than 20,000 beer drinkers - 7876 men and 12,749 women - found that while heavy drinkers will put on weight, it won't necessarily be around the beer belly region....full story from NEWS.com.au

July 4, 2009

Spanish police foil a plot to use a zeppelin to help prisoner escape: MADRID - Spanish police foiled a plot to use a zeppelin to help a prisoner break out of jail, the Interior Ministry said Friday.

Investigators found a package sent from Italy containing sophisticated escape equipment that was to have been smuggled into the hilltop Salto del Negro prison on the Canary Island of Las Palmas using a 4-meter (13-foot) electrically controlled dirigible....full story from CNews


Tooth implant restores man's eyesight: A man who was blinded in an accident at work has seen his wife for the first time after his tooth was transplanted into his eye to restore his sight.

Martin Jones, 42, a builder, had been blind for 12 years after a tub of white hot aluminium exploded in his face as he worked at a scrapyard.

He married his wife Gill, 50, four years ago but had not seen her until after the delicate eight-hour operation to return the gift of sight....full story w/pic from The Daily Telegaph (UK)


Pub customer given 20p worth £7,000 in change: A pub customer was celebrating after being handed a rare undated 20p worth more than £7,000 [US$11,449] among the change for his pint.

Lloyd Hefferman, 38, was enjoying a summer drink with his friends at The Botolph Arms pub in Peterborough, England, when bar staff handed him the coin.

The 20p coins, which are the first in 300 years to enter circulation without a date, are still legal tender and have caused a frenzy in the coin collecting world....full story w/pic from The Daily Telegaph (UK)

July 3, 2009

North Korea's Laverne and ShirleyNorth Korea's latest launch...beer: Communist North Korea's latest launch is sure to cause much frothing ... it is a locally brewed beer that promises drinkers it will help ease stress.

The impoverished state this week launched an advert on state TV for Taedonggang beer, a tipple it has been quietly brewing since shifting an entire brewery it bought in Britain to North Korea....full story from Reuters UK


Vibrating siren tested by doctors: An emergency siren that alerts drivers by making their vehicles vibrate is being tested by doctors in Hampshire [UK].

The Howler is being used by BASICS Hampshire, a charity made up of 20 volunteer medics who attend about 750 road traffic accidents every year.

They said paramedics were often held up by drivers who cannot hear them because they are playing loud music and are not looking in their mirrors....full story w/video from the BBC


Woman dials 999 to report missing hamster: A woman dialled 999 to say her hamster had escaped from its cage, police said, as they asked the public to only use the service for genuine emergencies.

South Yorkshire [UK] Police said eight out of 10 of the emergency calls made to its Sheffield control room did not require urgent attention.

In one example, they said a woman told the operator: "It's my hamster. It's got out of its cage. It's gone into the bathroom and down into the floorboards....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


Fireworks: Bigger, Brighter, Louder: The technology is from China. The 45,000 pounds of explosives, monitored from a command center on the Intrepid battleship [aircraft carrier], will need to soar as high as 1,000 feet in the sky. Around 9:20 p.m., a new, experimental model known as the "ghost shell" will explode across the night sky, then vanish-only to reappear and disappear several more times in a wave pattern.

This year's Fourth of July fireworks show in New York-more than 10 times larger than the one in Washington-needs to be bigger, brighter, longer and louder than last year's....full story from The Wall Street Journal

July 2, 2009

Vet loses customer's cat, enslists sniffer dog help: A vet who paid for 20,000 leaflets to be printed after a customer's beloved cat was lost has now brought in sniffer dogs to track down the missing animal.

Jodie Dawkins took her pet Lionel to the Honeybourne Veterinary Centre in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, with a dislocated hip after he was hit by a car.

But the five-year-old escaped two and a half weeks ago when a duty nurse took him home and put him in her garden shed with his cage unlocked....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


'World's toughest phone' unveiled: The new S1 mobile by Land Rover has been hailed as the world's strongest phone after it survived being dropped from a tall building, stood on by an elephant and roasted in an oven.

The car giant teamed up with phone manufacturer Sonim to build the 'indestructible' device, which is intended to appeal to builders and workmen.

During testing they ran over it with a Land Rover, submerged it in mud and had an elephant stand on it to test its durability....full story w/pic from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

July 1, 2009

Pez sues museum over giant dispenser: The company that makes Pez candy is suing a California museum, seeking to have a giant Pez dispenser created by the owners destroyed.

Pez Candy Inc. said in the federal lawsuit, filed in San Jose, Calif., that the giant snowman Pez dispenser at the Museum of Pez Memorabilia in Burlingame amounts to trademark infringement and should be destroyed, KTVU-TV, Oakland, Calif., reported Wednesday....full story from UPI


Pig survives crash, found in woman's pool: FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - An Arkansas woman said she was shocked when she looked out a window and saw an 800-pound pig taking a dip in her backyard pool.

The pig, a survivor of a June 22 crash involving a truck carrying 90 sows to a processing plant, was discovered Monday by LeAnn Baldy, who lives in an unincorporated neighborhood near the interchange of Interstates 40 and 430, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Wednesday....full story from UPI

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