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Odd News Archive - November 2009

Note: Stories from some news services expire after a few weeks. If you click on a link to the original story it is possible that you will be re-directed to an archives page with the option to access the news item for a small fee.

November 30, 2009

Bumbling NJ firemen, cops blown up in 'huge fireball': Firemen and police officers in New Jersey blew themselves up last week in an "orange mushroom cloud of fire and debris" which created a "deafening boom felt miles away". The unfortunate public-safety operatives had been attempting to light a bonfire at a high-school rally.

According to the South Jersey Courier-Post, kids at Vineland High School had planned a "pep rally" at 6:30 pm local time last Wednesday. Weather conditions had been damp, and it seems that local firemen attending the rally "doused" the bonfire - constructed largely of wooden shipping pallets - with "diesel and another accelerant"....full story from The Register

Bewildered bovine rescued from harbour: A Darwin mariner says he and his crew arrived just in time to rescue a bewildered bovine from the harbour.

Ben Wall of Workboats Northern Australia says the Darwin Port Authority asked him to investigate reports of a floating steer near South Shell Island around 10am yesterday.

He says his crew found the steer, exhausted and close to drowning, swimming towards Darwin's liquefied natural gas plant at Wickham Point....full story from ABC News (AU)

DUI bar stool being auctioned on eBay: NEWARK, Ohio - A motorized bar stool that got an Ohio man arrested for drunken driving goes up for auction this week on eBay.

Twenty-nine-year-old Kile Wygle was charged with driving under the influence after he crashed the contraption in March in Newark, Ohio. He pleaded guilty the following month and spent three days in jail....full story from CNews

November 29, 2009

Serial slurry fetish man jailed again: A middle-aged man with a sexual fetish for farm waste was sent to prison after a breaching a restraining order that banned him from being around a farm he has terrorised for years.

David Truscott, 40, was arrested after he broke into a farm he targeted, and covering himself in slurry, before masturbating, The Telegraph reports. He was caught in the act and arrested by police.

The incident in the early hours of 9 November happened weeks after Truscott was released from jail after serving a 16-week sentence for similar offences....full story from The Register

Santas pound pavement for charity: A red tide swept through Sydney's CBD this morning as more than 1,500 Santas hit the streets for charity.

Aged from two to 85 and dressed in full Santa regalia - although white beards were optional - they completed the 1.8 kilometre fun run from George Street to Tumbalong Park.

The inaugural event quickly raised $85,000 for Variety, which works with disadvantaged children....full story from ABC News (AU)

November 27, 2009

Farting pet pig sparks gas leak fears: A Portly pig with flatulence triggered a minor emergency near Bendigo [Australia] this week when smells wafting from the 120kg porker sparked fears of a potentially dangerous gas leak.

Two Country Fire Authority tankers and 15 firefighters turned out in darkness to search the source of the leak at a property at Axedale, east of Bendigo. But the likely culprit was soon sniffed out, the pet sow startled from slumber in the dead of night....full story from

'Alienated' gamer sues WoW for ruining life: An obsessive World of Warcraft player is suing the makers of the game for ruining his life, quoth a gleeful Grauniad this week.

Erik Estavillo is seeking $1m (£600,000) in damages, claiming the orc-tastic roleplaying game has turned him into a blank-eyed basketcase who can no longer function in the real world (as the lawsuit itself appears to prove). Having apparently become addicted to rampaging around some made-up mountains clobbering other collections of pixels with big clobbering weapons, Estavillo is calling pusher on the WoW developers, whom he accuses of "sneaky and deceitful practices"....full story from The Register

Korean lotharios get licence to lie: A South Korean court has revoked a law under which men could be jailed for tricking women into bed with false promises of marriage.

The court was responding to petitions from two men imprisoned for the offence.

The South Korean constitutional court has ruled the 56-year-old law placed unnecessary restrictions on individual rights and ignored a woman's right to make her own decision about her sex life....full story from ABC News (AU)

November 26, 2009

Police smoke out 300-pound frozen turkey thief: Police in Michigan are hunting an enormous homeless burglar who swiped a family's Thanksgiving turkey.

The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports that the Sobiegray family were left facing a fowl-free Thanksgiving, after the man kicked down their front door and raided their freezer on Tuesday night.

The suspect in the theft of the 13-pound bird is described as a "300-pound, 6-foot man who is bald with blue eyes"....full story from The Register

Politician caught in sticky toilet situation: A Northern Territory politician who put a sticker critical of the Treasurer on a toilet door says his action should be treated as a harmless joke.

The stickers appeared in the toilets of the Alice Springs [Australia] Convention Centre, which is hosting sittings of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly.

Stickers saying "I hate Delia, from Burnsey" appeared in the convention centre toilets yesterday....full story from ABC News (AU)

November 25, 2009

Cathay Pacific clobbered by clogged crappers: Airbus and Cathay Pacific engineers are "looking into" a series of blocked lav incidents on the airline's A330 and A340 aircraft - the worst of which saw one flight diverted with all its toilets out of commission.

Cathay Pacific has been hit three times in 11 days by choked crappers. Two flights - one from Rome on 9 November and another from Dubai on 19 November 19 - took off with less than the full passenger manifest when pre-flight checks showed the dunnies on one side of the aircraft were not accepting customer input....full story from The Register

Cops cross-dress for bag-snatch dragnet: Policemen in central Japan have taken to cross-dressing in a bid to snare a group of bag-snatchers targeting women.

However some of the officers are so convincing they've been the target of lewd propositions.

The Asahi Daily newspaper reports that the policemen have been hitting the beat in high heels, skirts, stockings, wigs and designer handbags....full story from ABC News (AU)

November 24, 2009

Chef Paula Deen hit in the face by a ham: ATLANTA - Celebrity chef Paula Deen got an unexpected serving of ham - across her face.

The Food Network star was helping unload more than 11,000 kilograms of donated meat for an Atlanta food bank on Monday when someone threw one of the hams like a football and accidentally smacked her....full story from CNews

Record company exec cuffed for failure to twitter: Long Island police last week cuffed Island Def Jam Records vice prez James Roppo for failing to disperse a crowd of hysterical teenagers with the social networking equivalent of the water cannon - a tweet.

Thousands of young girls turned up at a shopping mall in Garden City, New York, last Friday expecting a gusset-moistening encounter with 15-year-old Canadian singing sensation Justin Bieber.

Some young 'uns and their parents had queued since before dawn to ensure they wouldn't miss the action, but two hours before Bieber was due to show at 4pm, things "got out of hand", as AP puts it....full story from The Register

November 23, 2009

Police too cluey for 'false' doughnut claim: Police say a man tried to fool officers by telling them his car had been stolen and the offenders were doing doughnuts on the grass in front of Darwin's [Australia] Cenotaph.

It turns out the 19-year-old car owner was drunk and had been in the vehicle himself when he rolled it about 2am, officers say.

The man was arrested after he reported the alleged crime at the front counter of the city police station....full story from ABC News (AU)

Origin of Species found in British loo: A first edition of Charles Darwin's seminal book On the Origin of Species will be sold this week, after it was found in a family's toilet in southern Britain, an auction house says.

The book, which was first printed in 1859, was bought by a family for just a few shillings in a shop about 40 years ago, Christie's auction house says.

The family has since kept the work on a bookcase in the guest toilet at their home in the Oxford area....full story from ABC News (AU)

November 22, 2009

Man with lizards stuck to chest caught at airport: LOS ANGELES - Federal officials say they arrested a man who strapped 15 live lizards to his chest to get through customs at Los Angeles International Airport.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday that 40-year-old Michael Plank of California was returning from Australia when U.S. Customs agents found two geckos, two monitor lizards and 11 skinks - another type of lizard - fastened to his body Tuesday....full story from CNews

Facebook smile costs woman her benefits: A Canadian woman has learned that Facebook can be a double-edged sword after an insurance company cut her health benefits, claiming she was healthy after seeing pictures of her smiling in a bikini at the beach.

Nathalie Blanchard, 29, took long-term sick leave from her job at IBM in Bromont, Quebec, more than a year ago for severe depression.

She was receiving monthly benefits from her insurance company, Manulife....full story from ABC News (AU)

November 21, 2009

Blogger outs back-end Google tech: A Vietnamese blogger has alerted the world to another Google product.

Details are sketchy at best. In fact, all we have is a photo.

The photo - whose authenticity has yet to be verified - seems to indicate the product is some sort of "2 ply bathroom paper" made from "100 per cent virgin pulp."....full story w/pic from The Register

Cuba offers free penis implants: Cuba's government has offered its first free penis implants as part of a program set to be expanded across the communist island, an official newspaper reported.

It is likely not what Karl Marx had in mind when he imagined a society transformed "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs", but Juventud Rebelde reported the silicon and silver penis implants are set to become more common....full story from ABC News (AU)

November 20, 2009

Santa's North Pole mail service saved: ANCHORAGE, Alaska - North Pole elves have good reason to celebrate again, thanks to a decision by the U.S. Postal Service to resume a Santa Claus letter program that's thrilled children from around the world for decades.

Gabby Gaborik, chief elf among several dozen volunteers, was pleased with the agency's announcement Friday that it's reversing a recent decision to drop a program begun in 1954 in the small Alaska town of North Pole. The program was suspended over privacy concerns....full story from CNews

Galileo's lost tooth, fingers, found again: ROME - Two fingers and a tooth removed from Galileo Galilei's corpse in a Florentine basilica in the 18th century and given up for lost have been found again, a Florence museum said Friday.

Paolo Galluzzi, director of the Museum of the History of Science, said three fingers, a vertebra and a tooth were removed by enthusiastic admirers from the astronomer's body in 1737, 95 years after his death, while his corpse was being moved from a storage place to a monumental tomb, opposite the tomb of Michelangelo, in Santa Croce Basilica in Florence....full story w/pic from CNews

November 19, 2009

Santa menaced by sex offender postie: The US Postal Service has pulled the plug on a Santa Claus letter service which has run since 1954.

Thousands of letters sent by children around the world to "Santa Claus, North Pole" were opened by volunteers and replies written and sent. Envelopes were returned with a North Pole postmark. [The North Pole in question is in Alaska]

But last year a postal worker recognised one of the volunteers in Maryland as a registered sex offender....full story from The Register

Obese man dies after 8 months in a recliner: COLUMBIA, S.C. = When an ambulance brought Tillmon Webb home from the hospital after he hurt his knee in March, paramedics warned the then 550-pound (250-kilogram) man he probably wouldn't be able to get up from his recliner if they put him there, his wife said.

Webb told them to leave him there anyway. He would sit in that recliner, slowly dying, for the next eight months. Finally, paramedics were called back to his Greenwood home on Wednesday because he was in a lot of pain....full story from CNews

November 18, 2009

Clerk sells winning lotto ticket by mistake: BRIDGETON, N.J. - No one is complaining about a $100,000 mistake made by a southern New Jersey store clerk.

Indian Fields Market owner Domenic Galle says a man walked into the Bridgeton store and asked for a Deuces Wild scratch-off lottery ticket Monday night....full story from CNews

Orchestra to play in brothel: A German orchestra plans to play a concert in a brothel, in a novel effort to bring classical music "out of the concert hall and to where people are".

Punters and employees at the Eros Centre in Leipzig will be treated on Friday (local time) to six musicians and a singer from the city's Forum for Contemporary Music performing "licentious and erotic" works, the orchestra promises....full story from ABC News (AU)

November 17, 2009

Giant rock nearly crushes sleeping family: A 1500-TONNE boulder came within metres of crushing a sleeping family of four after breaking free from a large overhanging rock face on Black Friday.

Jenny and Michael Day were asleep in their Wyberba home near Stanthorpe on the Granite Belt in southern Queensland [Australia] when they were jolted awake by an "almighty crash" about 3am.

"We thought a jet had crashed at first. It was just such a loud noise accompanied by a sort of squealing," Mrs Day told the Courier-Mail....full story from

Would-be ninja impaled on fence: SEATTLE - Seattle police say a man who thought he was ninja was impaled on a metal fence when he tried to leap over it.

An officer who was looking for an assault victim Monday night heard the man screaming for help.

Police supported him to prevent further injuries until medics arrived and took him to a hospital, where he was in serious condition in intensive care on Tuesday....full story from CNews

November 16, 2009

Drunk man falls into toilet pit, keeps sleeping: A man fell asleep inside a village-type dry toilet after he fell into it in an inebriated state.

Another person found the drunk man and called the firefighters, who rescued him from the toilet pit and took him to a hospital in Hohhot, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, reports the China Daily....full story from The Times of India

Antarctic team to drill for 100-year-old scotch: WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A beverage company has asked a team to drill through Antarctica's ice for a lost cache of some vintage Scotch whiskey that has been on the rocks since a century ago.

The drillers will be trying to reach two crates of McKinlay and Co. whiskey that were shipped to the Antarctic by British polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton as part of his abandoned 1909 expedition....full story from CNews

November 15, 2009

$40K in rare coins found at U.S. holy site: HAGERSTOWN, Md. - A woman quietly left $40,000 worth of rare U.S. coins near a Catholic shrine for safekeeping so the Virgin Mary could watch over her life savings while she was out of town, and apparently it worked: The money was returned to her when she got back a week later.

Operators of the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes near Emmitsburg thought they had been blessed with a big donation when a groundskeeper found the two plastic freezer bags filled with gold and silver while raking leaves....full story from CNews

Drink-driving couple caught three times: A Port Melbourne [Australia] couple have both been booked for drink driving this morning after allegedly being caught three times.

Police say a 37-year-old man blew 0.129 in Montague Street shortly after midnight.

Police say his female companion returned a reading of 0.112 after she was found at the wheel when the car was pulled over a second time in the same street just over an hour later....full story from ABC News (AU)

November 14, 2009

Chilean politicians get two seconds on air: Voters tired of slick, endless election campaign broadcasts may finally have a sanctuary in Chile.

As the South American nation prepares for December 13 elections, some candidates have been allotted as little as two seconds of air-time to put their case to voters.

Tomas Diaz, an independent presidential candidate used his time to say very little....full story from ABC News (AU)

Respect: Putin goes gangsta at rap contest: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, never shy with a photo opportunity, took his man-of-the-people act to the hip-hop dancefloor, where he used a rap music competition to deliver an anti-drugs message.

"Graffiti is becoming a true art, fine and delicate," Mr Putin, clad in a beige turtleneck and grey sports jacket, told a young crowd at the "Respect" rap contest....full story w/pic from ABC News (AU)

November 13, 2009

Man arrested for calling 911, asking for sex: TAMPA, Fla. - Florida police say a man arrested for repeatedly calling 911 looking for sex claimed it was the only number he could dial after running out of cell phone minutes.

Tampa police said 29-year-old Joshua Basso made sexual comments to the 911 dispatcher and asked if he could come to her house. Investigators say she hung up, but he called back four more times....full story w/pic from CNews

Wild horses keep bride from church: Wild horses could not keep a bride-to-be from her wedding on the Gold Coast [Australia] this afternoon, although they did make her late.

Police say the woman was about to climb aboard a horse-drawn carriage at Mermaid Waters when the two animals became spooked....full story from ABC News (AU)

November 12, 2009

Prospective groom drops ring from hot air balloon: BURTON, Ohio - A young Ohio pastor didn’t lose his nerve about asking his girlfriend to marry him - even after he accidentally dropped the diamond engagement ring overboard during their hot-air balloon ride.

James Ng (ENG) didn’t tell Sonya Bostic at first that he had dropped the camera case, with the ring inside, during their Oct. 29 outing. But he finally knelt on one knee and asked her to marry him....full story from CNews

Confused birds mistake road for water: Drivers on New Zealand's south island are having to dodge birds which have begun crash-landing on roads.

Hutton's shearwaters spend half of the year in Tasmania, then fly to New Zealand to lay their eggs.

On the Kaikoura coast, near Christchurch, the sea birds are mistaking roads for flat expanses of water....full story from ABC News (AU)

November 11, 2009

Couple in court over howling sex: A British couple whose sex sessions were so noisy that neighbours could not sleep have heard in court how their marathon romps sounded like someone being murdered.

Steve and Caroline Cartwright's "howling" lovemaking sounded "unnatural", "hysterical" and "like they are both in considerable pain", Newcastle Crown Court in north-east England heard.

A 10-minute recording of their sex sessions was played out before a judge and two magistrates in the court, who also heard how Mr Cartwright tried covering his wife's face with a pillow to muffle the orgasmic screams....full story from ABC News (AU)

Italian invents anti-swine flu holy water dispenser: ROME - An Italian inventor has combined faith and ingenuity to come up with a way to keep church traditions alive for the faithful without the fear of contracting swine flu -- an electronic holy water dispenser.

The terracotta dispenser, used in the northern town of Fornaci di Briosco, functions like an automatic soap dispenser in public washrooms -- a churchgoer waves his or her hand under a sensor and the machine spurts out holy water....full story from CNews

November 10, 2009

Mystery holes in roof could be meteorites: Large holes were blown in the roofs of two Grovedale [Australia] homes on Saturday afternoon, baffling emergency workers and weather experts.

One couple reported hearing a loud bang, while a neighbour also heard the crashing sound about 3.30pm, The Geelong Advertiser reported.

SES and police told Sturt Court couple Tony and May Giuffre the damage was caused by an unusual weather phenomena called a microburst....full story from

MP swears during apology for swearing: A Maori politician in New Zealand has apologised for using swear words in an abusive email he sent to a member of the public.

But during his apology, the outspoken MP landed himself in more hot water by swearing again.

Maori Party MP, Hone Harawira, sent an email to a voter who had criticised him for skipping part of a taxpayer-funded trip to Brussels in favour of sightseeing in Paris....full story from ABC News (AU)

November 9, 2009

Australian men face charges for nude frolicking at car wash: BRISBANE, Australia - It was just a routine car wash. Except there was no car - and no clothing.

Four Australian men who allegedly undressed and soaped up at a car wash have been charged with exposure and public nuisance. Police say the two 19-year-old and two 23-year-old men paid for a wash before stripping nude and cleaning themselves in the soapy water while their female companions took photos....full story from MSN News (CA)

Dating site: Britons among the 'ugliest people': LONDON - Britons are among the ugliest people in the world, according to a dating website that says it only allows "beautiful people" to join.

Fewer than one in eight British men and just three in 20 women who have applied to have been accepted, an emailed statement from the website showed.

Existing members of the "elite dating site" rate how attractive potential members are over a 48 hour period, after applicants upload a recent photo and personal profile....full story from CNews

November 8, 2009

Fugitive gives own mug shot to newspaper: A British man on the run from police sent a picture of himself to his local paper because he disliked the mug shot they had printed of him as part of a public appeal to track him down.

South Wales police had issued media with the photo of Matthew Maynard, wanted by officers investigating a house burglary, as part of a crackdown on crime in Swansea....full story w/pic from ABC News (AU)

November 7, 2009

Woman passes driving test after 950 tries: A South Korean woman has passed a written exam for a driver's licence after 950 attempts.

Cha Sa-soon, 68, attempted the test almost every day since April 2005, the Associated Press reported....full story from

Pig rescued from Tim Horton's bathroom: RIDGETOWN, Ont. - Friday was anything but a routine day for a University of Guelph professor at the Ridgetown campus.

Dr. Paul Luimes was called shortly after midnight and asked to come to the bathroom at the Tim Horton’s location in Ridgetown.

Police wanted to determine if a four-week-old weaner pig found abandoned in the bathroom belonged to the college....full story from CNews

November 6, 2009

Zookeepers baffled by bare bears at zoo in Leipzig: You would have thought a fur coat would have been the ultimate bear necessity.

YOU would have thought a fur coat would have been the ultimate bear necessity.

But not for unfortunate Dolores, who has lost all her body hair and has been left with just a few tufts around her head....full story from

London commuters baffled by sex broadcast: LONDON - London commuters listening out for the latest news about train services got a broadcast with a difference when the noise of a couple apparently having sex was blasted out over a station’s loudspeaker system.

Instead of the usual messages about delays, passengers at West Ham station in east London heard the sounds of love-making being relayed over platform loudspeakers during the evening rush hour on Thursday....full story from CNews

November 5, 2009

Cops: Giant snake capture a hoax: MIAMI - A man who caught a 14-foot python in a Florida drain pipe was charged with perpetrating a hoax after wildlife officers discovered he owned the snake and put it in the pipe in order to stage the capture.

Justin Matthews, a professional animal trapper, later admitted that he had "staged the event to call attention to a growing problem of irresponsible pet ownership," the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Thursday....full story from CNews

Panda poo fertiliser a likely winner: Adelaide [Australia] Zoo says it may change the name of its fertiliser from Zoo Poo to Panda Poo And Friends after giant pandas Wang Wang and Funi arrive soon.

Chief executive of Zoos SA Chris West says the bagged product has long been popular with gardeners.

"Pandas eat a lot of bamboo a day, about 20 kilos, and their weight doesn't go up every day so that'll tell you that they also produce a lot of poo," he said....full story from ABC News (AU)

November 4, 2009

No bidders in online auction to share Monroe's grave: A LEGION of male admirers found her irresistible before her death but Marilyn Monroe has not been able to exert the same kind of pull in the afterlife.

A fresh internet auction for a final resting place in the crypt above the Hollywood legend's tomb has ended with zero bidders willing to meet the estimated US$500,000 ($553,000) valuation for the spot.

Widow Elsie Poncher is reportedly trying to sell her husband Richard's resting place above Monroe in order to help pay off her mortgage....full story from

Northern suburbs of Adelaide [Australia] petition to become republic in Olympics bid: Renegade sporting enthusiasts have created a Facebook group in an attempt to make their suburbs a republic so they can enter the 2012 Olympics.

Mattheau Fragemoli and Thomas Edwards, both of Athelstone, and Andrew Veitch, who grew up in Valley View, in Adelaide's north hit on the concept while watching the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Games.

The group, called the People’s Republic of the North Eastern Suburbs of Adelaide, boasts 311 members....full story from

November 3, 2009

The race that hops the nation: While most people were watching the race that stops the nation, locals at a Northern Territory [Australia] hotel gathered for a very different kind of race.

The annual frog race at the Noonamah Tavern, 45 kilometres south of Darwin, attracted a crowd of about 300 people.

Twenty-four green tree frogs were pitted against each other as trainers used spray bottles filled with water to prod them into action....full story from ABC News (AU)

November 2, 2009

Thousands queue for last Big Mac in Iceland: REYKJAVIK - Thousands of Icelanders lined up at McDonald's restaurants to order their last Big Macs before the U.S. fast-food chain abandons the crisis-hit island at midnight Saturday due to soaring costs.

The world's largest fast-food company said earlier this week that all three of its restaurants in Iceland, operated by franchisee Jon Ogmundsson, would shut down October 31.

The outlets have been packed since the announcement, with lines at one restaurant on the east side of the city backing up out the door and onto the street....full story from Reuters UK

'Teletubby' robs woman at gunpoint: Halloween took a bizarre and frightening turn in London this weekend when a man dressed as a purple Teletubby robbed a woman at gunpoint near the city's core.

London police say a gun-toting man wearing a costume of the pudgy purple television character, named Tinky Winky, confronted the woman near Talbot and Mill streets just after midnight and demanded cash....full story from CNews

November 1, 2009

Drivers shocked as croc takes a walk: A Crocodile has stunned residents in Darwin's [Australia] northern suburbs after it was caught taking a stroll on a suburban footpath.

The Northern Territory News reports the 2m-long male saltie was basking next to Vanderlin Drive near Homes Jungle Nature Park - only 5km from the police headquarters.

Kim Lock, of Woodroffe in Palmerston, said she was shocked when she spotted the croc about 7.30pm on Friday....full story w/pic from

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