Odd News - March 2010 Archive


Odd News Archive - March 2010

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


March 31, 2010

Spanish air hostesses protestUnpaid Spanish air hostesses strip in protest: MADRID - Flight attendants owed up to nine months' wages by a grounded Spanish airline have posed nude for a calendar to draw attention to their plight, one of the cabin crew turned models said on Wednesday.

The calendar, numerous excerpts of which appeared in the Spanish media, shows the Air Comet attendants, all female, posing provocatively in and outside airline cabins, and in one case on top of a jet turbine....full story from Reuters UK
Related article w/more pics from The Register....Cash-strapped trolley dollies in nude calendar protest


Grandmother fined, tagged and on curfew for selling goldfish to minor: A BRITISH grandmother has been heavily fined and electronically tagged for selling a goldfish to a child, triggering criticism of over-zealous use of animal protection laws.

Pet shop owner Joan Higgins, 66, was fined £1000 ($1640) also given a dusk-to-dawn curfew for selling an animal to a person under the age of 16, but her 47-year-old son Mark - also ordered to do community service - slammed the ruling as a farce.

The pair were prosecuted after the local council sent a 14-year-old boy to buy a goldfish in a "sting" operation following reports that their shop, Majors Pets, had sold a gerbil to a teenager with learning difficulties....full story from NEWS.com.au

March 30, 2010

Men owe women for 'creating beer' claims academic: One of man’s great pleasures might be a pint of beer at the local – but an academic has claimed it would never have existed without the entrepreneurial skills of women.

Jane Peyton, 48, and author and historian, said women created beer and for thousands of years it was only they who were allowed to operate breweries and drink beer.

The drink is now almost exclusively marketed to men - with television characters such as Homer Simpson the epitome of the beer-loving male....full story from The Daily Telegraph


Woman stunned to find Romanian migrant living in her shed: It is a little on the damp side and popular with several species of spider.

But the obvious discomforts of Tilly Newman's garden shed were of little concern to a Romanian immigrant who decided to call it home.

While the Newman family were at work, he would make picnics in the garden and chat over the fence to the neighbours, who thought he was a legitimate lodger....full story w/pics from the Daily Mail

March 29, 2010

Four copies of famous urinal discovered: LONDON - A London art expert said four replicas of a urinal famously submitted as a sculpture in 1917 have recently been discovered, bringing the total to 19.

Sarah Thornton, an art expert and contributor for The Economist, said four previously unknown copies of Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain," a urinal submitted as a piece of art, have recently been confirmed as authentic copies of the same urinal....full story from UPI


1929 Austin found in a garage: A fine example of British engineering, it was built at a time when things were made to last, and has benefited from one careful owner in 81 years.

Made in 1929, a rare Austin 12/4 has been found have been languishing in a garage, unused, for five decades.

But when Roger Bulled turned the starter handle, ready to fire up the engine for first time since 1961, he was amazed to hear it turn over as if it had been driven every day....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


Russia eliminates two time zones: Russia's president thought the country had too much time on its hands, so on Sunday he eliminated two of its 11 time zones.

The changes mean that Chukotka - Russia's eastern extreme, just across the Bering Strait from Alaska - is now nine hours ahead of Russia's westernmost area, the Kaliningrad exclave sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland. Formerly, there was 10 hours' difference.

As well as eliminating the time zone that previously covered the Chukotka and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky regions in the Pacific Far East, President Dmitry Medvedev ordered that Samara and Udmurtia, two regions in central Russia, should be on the same time as Moscow....full story from Stuff.co.nz

March 28, 2010

Ageing spies unable to use the Internet: Having battled Islamic extremists, Irish Republican terrorists and Russian spies, some of the veteran intelligence officers of MI5 are encountering a foe they cannot master: information technology.

The Security Service is launching an unprecedented round of redundancies to improve the overall level of computer skills among its staff.

Despite an expanding budget, MI5 is laying off employees in order to hire new intelligence officers and support staff with better command of information technology and other “deployable" skills....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

March 27, 2010

Change email font, save money: A US university has found a new way to cut costs with email - by changing the font.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has switched the default font on its email system from Arial to Century Gothic. It says that while the change sounds minor, it will save money on ink when students print emails in the new font.

Diane Blohowiak is the school's director of computing. She says the new font uses about 30 per cent less ink than the previous one....full story from Stuff.co.nz


Flame-thrower scooter owner arrested: Colin Furze, a plumber who adapted his scooter to shoot 15ft flames from the rear, has been arrested for an alleged firearms offence.

Mr Furze, 30, displayed his modified his scooter, with an anti-tailgating flame thrower operated by the flick of switch, in the press earlier this week.

But Lincolnshire [UK] Police spotted the pictures of Mr Furze allegedly riding his scooter on a public highway – and arrested him on Thursday....full story w/pic from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


Bumbling thieves tossed priceless necklace: ROSCOMMON, Ireland - Two incompetent thieves who threw priceless 4,000-year-old Irish jewelry into a dumpster have received suspended sentences for the crime.

Robert Dempsey and Anthony Dowling, both Dublin residents, were given consideration because they helped police locate the national treasures, The Irish Times reported....full story from UPI

March 26, 2010

Cheeky competitionCheeky competition searches for 'Best Butt': The search has resumed for Australia's best behind in outback Queensland.

The Best Butt competition is being staged as part of next month's Dirt and Dust Festival in Julia Creek in the state's north-west.

The second heat of the contest is being held tonight in Mount Isa after a heat in Longreach earlier this year....full story from ABC News (AU)


Police who smashed wrong door in bungled raid apologised with beer: Police officers who mistakenly smashing down the door of a family home during a drugs raid apologised to the family by giving them a bottle of beer.

Kayleigh Hill and Anthony McVey, from Dibden Purlieu, Hampshire [UK], said they were terrified when the officers battered their way into the house, believing it was the base of a suspected drug dealer.

After detaining Mr McVey, 23, a former soldier with the Royal Engineers, the officers realised the suspect they were pursuing had moved out of the property and the innocent family with two young children had moved in....full story from The Daily Telegaph (UK)

March 25, 2010

Dutch prisons hire psychics: Dutch prisons are using psychics to give jailed criminals guidance by putting them in touch with their dead relatives.

Paul van Bree, a self-styled "paragnost" or clairvoyant, has been hired by the Dutch prison service to teach prisoners how to "love themselves".

"I tell them that dead relatives are doing well and that they love them. That brings them peace. Big strong men burst into tears," he said....full story from The Daily Telegaph (UK)


Swedish prisoner warned over flatulence protests: An inmate in a Swedish prison has been warned over using his persistent flatulence to voice his discontent towards his jailers and the penal system.

Guards at the Kirseberg prison, in Malmo, have accused the unnamed prisoner of deliberately breaking wind in a dirty protest against prison life.

Anders Eriksson, the prison's warden, realised that the inmate's repeated episodes of flatulence were "a series of concerted attacks" on staff....full story from The Daily Telegaph (UK)

March 24, 2010

New York bar to set menu prices like stocks: NEW YORK - What's the value of a pint of beer? Let the market decide, says a new restaurant in Manhattan where prices for food and beverages will fluctuate like stock prices in increments according to demand.

The Exchange Bar & Grill, set amid the bustling shops and pubs of the Grammercy Park neighbourhood, is replete with a ticker tape flashing menu prices in red lettering as demand forces them to fluctuate....full story from Reuters UK


Goose woos statue, traps woman: WITT, Ill. - An Illinois woman said a goose with romantic intentions toward a concrete statue held her hostage in her home for several hours.

Joanne Martin said she tried to leave her Witt, Ill., home earlier this month and caught an amorous goose in the throes of mating season making advances to the concrete goose statue next to her car, the Springfield (Ill.) State Journal Register reported Wednesday.

"I opened up the door and saw this big bird next to my concrete goose," she said. "When I opened the door, he put down his bill and started coming after me. I was scared to death."....full story from UPI

March 23, 2010

US city holds outdoor Google worship service: Hundreds of Google worshippers gathered in the streets of Greenville, South Carolina over the weekend, paying homage to the all-powerful web god with eco-friendly glow sticks in the hopes it will one day bless their homes with 1Gbps broadband.

On Saturday night, a massive congregation of Greenville residents formed "the world’s first and largest people-powered Google chain" in a public park at the heart of the city, spelling out the net ruler's name with spinning LEDs guaranteed not to harm the planet. The outdoor worship service was recorded for posterity by multiple news crews, multiple helicopters, and an airplane....full story w/pic from The Register


VSS EnterpriseBranson's SpaceShipTwo rocketplane gets off ground: Beardy biz kingpin Richard Branson was overjoyed yesterday to announce that his passenger-carrying suborbital "SpaceShipTwo" rocket thrillride craft has left the ground for the first time. However it remained attached to its jet-powered "mothership" for the entire flight: independent operations aren't expected for some time.

“Seeing the finished spaceship in December was a major day for us but watching VSS Enterprise fly for the first time really brings home what beautiful, ground-breaking vehicles Burt and his team have developed for us," enthused Branson....full story w/larger pic from The Register


UK Council deforests beauty spot to combat dogging: More than 6,000 conifers which occupied a "stunning beauty spot" alongside the A666 in Lancashire [UK] have been felled to combat rampant dogging on the 12-hectare site.

According to the Daily Mail, the council used a health and safety smokescreen to justify clearing the site on the outskirts of Darwen, claiming that the 60-year-old trees were in danger of falling over and squashing passing motorists.

However, inside sources said that the cull was ordered also to put an end to dogging [hanky-panky] at the site....full story from The Register


Knife in headX-ray shows knife through skull: A Chinese teenager, Xiao Wei, left doctors stunned after he walked into casualty with a 10-inch knife embedded in his skull after a computer game row.

The 16 year-old amazingly survived the attacked after a fight with a local gang at an internet café where he worked in Mishazi, Jilin province, China’s northeast.

The gang had asked him to load unauthorised software on to the store’s computers, to try and beat the teenager’s record high score on the video game Counter Strike, Chinese media reported....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

March 22, 2010

Skunk freed from jar, no one sprayed: GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - State Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said a homeowner called authorities about 10 a.m. Saturday to report the skunk was wandering around the resident's yard with its head apparently stuck in a jar, The (Grand Junction) Daily Sentinel reported Monday.

Hampton said the officer used a noose affixed to the end of a 6-foot pole to grip the jar and guide the animal away from the yard. The officer spent about 10 minutes removing the container from the animal's head, Hampton said.

The skunk "took off and ran toward a television guy," he said. "Only the media around there were at risk, and nobody was injured or sprayed."....full story from UPI


Money 'only makes you happy if you have more than neighbours': Money only makes you happy if you have more than your friends and neighbours, a new study has found.

Despite the vast improvements in general standards of living in the past 40 years across Britain, 'keeping up with the Joneses' is still our biggest aspiration, the findings suggest.

Researchers have found that owning a fast car, a large home and having a good job may only make you happy if those around you are less well off....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

March 21, 2010

Event welcomes spring with sock-burning: ANNAPOLIS, Md - Members of a yacht club in Annapolis, Md., said the site hosted an event that welcomed spring by burning the socks of excited participants.

The Baltimore Sun said Sunday that Saturday's waterside event at the Eastport Yacht Club featured hundreds of people taking part in a 30-year tradition aimed at celebrating the first day of spring.

"We got about 375 people, and they are tossing in their socks. One fellow even tossed in his jeans," yacht club member Susan Nahmias told the Sun....full story from UPI


Topless gardener outrages neighbourhood: A woman gardening wearing only a yellow g-string and pink gloves has brought neighbourhood complaints and new rules from a housing authority in Colorado.

Boulder Housing Partners plans to amend its rules so that tenants cover up when they're outside. Several passers-by told Boulder police earlier this week that 52-year-old Catharine Pierce was topless while tending to her yard. Last year, she was threatened with eviction for gardening wearing only pasties covering her nipples and a g-string....full story from Stuff.co.nz

March 20, 2010

NYC cops sorry for pounding couple's door 50 times: NEW YORK - Cheesecake in hand, the police commissioner personally apologized Friday for the 50 or so mistaken, door-pounding visits that police have made to the home of a bewildered elderly Brooklyn couple in the past eight years.

It seems a glitch in computer records had led them over and over to Walter and Rose Martin's modest home in the Marine Park neighborhood, about 7 miles southeast of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The most recent intrusion came Tuesday, with officers pounding on both the front and back doors, yelling "Police, open up!"....full story from CBS News


Married people 'twice as likely to be fat': Married people are twice as likely to become obese than their single counterparts, scientists claim.

Greek researchers found that married couples were more likely to become fat due to their significantly changed lifestyle as they “let themselves go".

Married men are three times as likely to suffer obesity while married women are twice as likely to have weight problems, it found....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

March 19, 2010

Kangaroo 'knocks out jogger': An Australian man, David Striegl, was left bloodied and bruised after being assaulted and knocked unconscious by a wild kangaroo while out jogging.

In a real life example of the country's infamous "Boxing Kangaroo" mascot, the 25 year-old was out running when he was attacked by the rogue animal on Thursday.

The Australian Rules football player, from Canberra, the country’s capital, was then knocked unconscious after it punched him in the face and remembers little about the unprovoked attack....full story from The Daily Telegaph (UK)


Scientists hide gold with 3D "invisibility cloak": LONDON - German scientists have created a three-dimensional "invisibility cloak" that can hide objects by bending light waves.

The findings, published in the journal Science on Thursday, could in the future make it possible to make large objects invisible, but for now the researchers said they were not keen to speculate on possible applications.

"For now these...cloaking devices are just a beautiful and exciting benchmark to show what transformation optics can do," said Tolga Ergin of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology....full story from Reuters UK

March 18, 2010

Property tycoon 'lost Lamborghini while drunk': A property tycoon lost his £130,000 [US$238,513] Lamborghini sports car because he was too drunk to remember where he had parked it, a court heard.

Glenn Knowles, 35, and the co-owner of the car, Richard Mant, 39, were accused of trying to swindle an insurance company over the disappearance of the vehicle, which has never been traced.

But the jury accepted Mr Knowles’s claim that he had no idea what happened to the car after his drunken night out....full story from The Daily Telegaph (UK)


Australia customs mistakes iced tea for drugs: A 29-year-old tourist from the Philippines has spent five days in custody after Australian Customs officials mistook iced tea for drugs.

Tourist, Maria Silva bought three 800 gram bags of Nestle iced tea on her way to the airport in Manila before her flight to Melbourne.

On arrival at Melbourne Airport she was detected by sniffer dogs and arrested by Customs.

Customs' initial tests showed the packets contained 2.44 kilograms of methamphetamines....full story from ABC News

March 17, 2010

Playboy accidentally played out on children's TV: TV bosses in the US have apologised after preview clips of the Playboy channel were accidentally played out on two children's channels.

A Time Warner Cable (TWC) spokesman said a "technical glitch" was to blame for the mistake, which lasted two hours in parts of North Carolina on Tuesday.

The company was made aware of the error after parents called in to report it....full story from the BBC


Surfing alpacaPeruvian hits waves with surfing alpaca: SAN BARTOLO, Peru - Peruvian surfer Domingo Pianezzi has spent a decade training dogs to ride the nose of his board when he catches waves, and now he is the first to do so with an alpaca.

Pianezzi, 44, has slowly introduced his alpaca Pisco, a domesticated Andean highland animal that resembles a small llama, to the waters of the Pacific Ocean over the past several months.

The duo caught three waves on a yellow 10-foot (3-metre) longboard on Tuesday at a small break south of Lima, Peru's capital....full story from Reuters UK

March 16, 2010

Dog uses police car bumper as chew-toyHorse flies when helicopter rescues animal stranded on sandbar: The horse, named Colorado, spent five days stuck on the sandbar along the Gila River, south-west of Phoenix.

The Gila’s swift-moving current prevented an earlier rescue and the animal was trapped on the sandbar with a few bushes and trees to eat.

His rider was one of three people rescued after they tried to ride in the river on Friday....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


Jogger killed by plane: HILTON HEAD, SC - A 38-year-old father of two was jogging and listening to his iPod when he was hit from behind and killed by a small plane making an emergency landing on a beach in South Carolina, officials said on Tuesday.

Robert Gary Jones, 38, of Woodstock, Georgia., died instantly on Monday evening when he was hit by the single-engine plane, which had lost its propeller, said Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen. The pilot's vision was blocked by oil on the windshield....full story from the Belfast Telegraph (UK)

March 15, 2010

Help wanted: Space flight experience required: CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida - For astronauts worried about their future with NASA, good news: a private company is hiring.

Bigelow Aerospace, a Las Vegas-based firm headed by hotelier Robert Bigelow, owner of Budget Suites of America, posted a recruitment notice for astronauts on its website.

Only professionals with space flight experience need apply, which limits the pool of possible applicants worldwide to little more than 500....full story from Reuters UK


Dog eats $20,000 diamond: A New York jeweller's golden retriever was in the doghouse after eating a $20,000 (£12,000) diamond.

George Kaufmann brings his pet, Sollie, to his jewellery shop, Robert Bernard Jewellers, in Rockville, Maryland, every day.

Mr Kaufmann and his business partner, Robert Rosin, were meeting a diamond dealer in late January and perusing his gems when disaster struck....full story from The Daily Telegaph (UK)


Traders seek free camels from Australia: The Australian Government says it has been swamped by overseas requests for camels since efforts to control feral camels in Central Australia attracted international media attention.

Camel industry representatives say they have been receiving an average of four inquiries a day from people in the Middle East and North Africa who think Australia is offering free camels.

There are more than 1 million camels roaming outback Australia causing havoc, prompting a cull of the feral animals....full story from ABC News (AU)

March 14, 2010

Dog uses police car bumper as chew-toyWoman cited after dog attacks police cars: CHATTANOOGA, TN - A local woman was cited today by McKamey Animal Center after her bulldog attacked four cars, including two police patrol cars, according to Chattanooga police.

While running radar at 1410 Workman Road, Officer Clayton Holmes reported he felt his car shaking and upon investigating he found the bulldog chewing on his patrol car, said Officer Rebecca Royval, police department spokeswoman. The dog reportedly chewed two tires and the entire front bumper off the car, she said....full story w/larger pic from the Chattanooga Times Free Press


Detroit clamping down on employee scents: DETROIT - City officials in Detroit say workers at three city buildings will soon have to monitor their scents or face possible warnings.

The Detroit News said Sunday that placards will be put up in the three Detroit buildings detailing the new guidelines on employees' use of such scented items as cologne or perfume....full story from UPI


Siesta could get SOS in Spain: The Spanish practice of napping in the afternoon should be declared a protected art form, Madrid's conservative government has been told.

An application has been presented to Madrid authorities calling for the 'siesta' to be given a special cultural status to ensure its preservation.

It comes following the announcement earlier this month by Esperanza Aguirre, the President of the conservative regional government in Madrid, that the bullfight was to be included on the list of items of "special cultural value" that were protected by law....full story from The Daily Telegaph (UK)

March 13, 2010

IRS visits Sacramento carwash in pursuit of 4 cents: It was every businessperson's nightmare.

Arriving at Harv's Metro Car Wash in midtown Wednesday afternoon were two dark-suited IRS agents demanding payment of delinquent taxes. "They were deadly serious, very aggressive, very condescending," says Harv's owner, Aaron Zeff.

The really odd part of this: The letter that was hand-delivered to Zeff's on-site manager showed the amount of money owed to the feds was ... 4 cents....full story from The Sacramento Bee

March 12, 2010

Market in cemetery in the CongoCongo's cemetery-market: In the Kampemba district of Congo's second biggest city, Lubumbashi, there exists a cemetery known as the Tabacongo. It's amongst the headstones of this ancient cemetery, that the living locals sell their goods.

The Tabacongo district is located at the point where the Kampemba region's two main avenues meet. And like most cemeteries in the surrounding area, the Tabacongo is jam-packed....full story w/pics from France 24


Van towed with body inside: NEW YORK - A New York funeral director said a minivan outside the business was still carrying a corpse when it was towed for being parked illegally.

Paul DeNigris said he was shocked when he walked out of Redden's Funeral Home early Monday afternoon and discovered the minivan holding a body bound for a flight at New Jersey's Newark Airport was gone, the New York Daily News reported Friday.

DeNigris said he quickly learned the vehicle had been towed and taken to a city tow pound....full story from UPI


'Health and safety killjoys' kill cheese-rolling race: In grim news for those who think it's a bit of a wheeze to chase an 8lb Double Gloucester cheese for 200 yards down a near-vertical hillside, the organisers of the Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake have announced that this year's event is cancelled.

The Daily Mail points the finger firmly at "health and safety killjoys" for the decision - the first time in 200 years that the village of Brockworth [UK] will not celebrate the traditional annual stampede, of late held on May Bank Holiday.

In fact, the event has become so popular that last year saw 15,000 spectators flock to the site, three times its capacity....full story from The Register

March 11, 2010

Car that runs on 10,000 cups of espresso: Jem Stansfield, a BBC presenter, will travel 210-miles in a car fuelled by 10,000 espressos.

BBC1's Bang Goes The Theory host is driving from London to Manchester to test an experimental car he built which runs on coffee grounds.

The vehicle, made from scrap, needs to be refuelled every 40 miles....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


US Dept of Education Needs 27 Short-Barreled Shotguns: The U.S. Department of Education (ED) intends to purchase twenty-seven (27) REMINGTON BRAND MODEL 870 POLICE 12/14P MOD GRWC XS4 KXCS SF. RAMAC #24587 GAUGE: 12 BARREL: 14" - PARKERIZED CHOKE: MODIFIED SIGHTS: GHOST RING REAR WILSON COMBAT; FRONT - XS CONTOUR BEAD SIGHT STOCK: KNOXX REDUCE RECOIL ADJUSTABLE STOCK FORE-END: SPEEDFEED SPORT-SOLID - 14" LOP are designated as the only shotguns authorized for ED based on compatibility with ED existing shotgun inventory, certified armor and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts....read more from FedBizOpps.gov

March 10, 2010

Big Mac protestHave Big Macs ruined Russian sports?: At FP, we've been following Russia's soul-searching following its subpar Olympic performance. This has included the sacking the country's sports minister and the admission by Prime Minsiter Vladimir Putin that funds may have been misspent.

But, as RFE reports, a group of young nationalist activists sees a different (American, naturally) culprit....full story w/pic from Foreign Policy


Woman grows devil hornChinese woman Zhang Ruifang, aged 101, grows 'devil' horn: AN elderly Chinese woman has shocked friends and family by growing a devil-like horn from the top of her head.

The Sun reported today the strange growth began appearing on 101-year-old Zhang Ruifang's forehead last year.

Since then it has reached more than six centimetres and a matching horn looks to be appearing on the other side....full story from NEWS.com.au


No jail for kisser who triggered airport scare: A man who held up 16,000 passengers by breaching airport security to kiss his girlfriend has avoided a jail sentence.

Haisong Jiang ducked a security rope to spend a final 20 minutes with his girlfriend at New Jersey's Newark international airport in January.

The breach prompted an airport lockdown and the cancellation or delay of about 200 flights....full story from ABC News (AU)

March 9, 2010

Wedding dress, photographer, cake: must be a divorce party: An unusual trend is taking off in marriage-weary countries. Why mourn your failed marriage, when you can celebrate your divorce?

While it's been growing in popularity in North America for the past few decades, the "divorce party" is now flourishing in the UK too. From swanky London cocktail bars to your local Mexican eatery, venues are enticing the recently-divorced to play their wedding video backwards and trash the white frock....full story w/pics from France 24


Drunk Pedesrian sign in RomaniaRomanian street sign warns drivers of 'drunk pedestrians': Street signs warning Romanian drivers to be careful of drunken pedestrians lying on roads were erected by road safety chiefs worried about the "despairing" levels of accidents.

Officials in Pecica, a village town about 13 miles from the Hungarian border in the country’s west, ordered the bright red signs, complete with the phrase “Attention - Drunks".

The 10 road signs, which also show a person crawling on their knees while clutching a glass in one hand, were erected in popular nightspot areas close to the city's bars and restaurants....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


'Divine intervention' as woman survives 3,000ft skydive fall: Doctors have claimed "divine intervention" after a woman skydiver survived a 3,000ft fall, escaping with just bruises, a broken leg and concussion.

Lareece Butler plummeted to the ground when her parachute became entangled during a skydive.

Her boyfriend watched from the ground as she spiralled towards the earth before crashing into a field in South Africa on Saturday....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


Woman gives birth three hours after finding she was pregnant: A hairdresser gave birth to a baby girl - just three hours after being told she was pregnant by doctors.

Belinda Waite, 21, had been to her local hospital several times during the past nine months and says she was told she had a severe case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and gout.

In fact she was pregnant with a healthy baby girl who arrived a month ago....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

March 8, 2010

Sumo wrestler lifts cash machine: Two men including a suspected sumo wrestler were cuffed after bodily lifting a cash machine from a Moscow shop, the BBC reports.

The pair's heist plan was simple enough: walk into the premises on Marshal Fedorenko Street, rip the machine from its mounts and rely on the sumo-wrestling half of the gang to carry the 90kg ATM on his shoulders.

A terrified saleswoman, who was told to "be quiet if you know what's good for you" during the raid, wisely waited until the two had left the scene before alerting police....full story from The Register


Swiss voters reject lawyers for animals in referendum: All of the 26 Swiss cantons on Sunday voted against the proposal by animal rights activists to extend nationwide a system already in place in Zurich.

Overall, just 29.5 per cent of voters were in favour. In seven cantons the "No" vote was more than 80 per cent.

The Alpine country already has among the most stringent animal rights laws in the world....full story from The Daily Telegaph (UK)

March 7, 2010

Crash blamed on motorist shaving privates: KEY WEST, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol alleges a two-vehicle crash in Cudjoe Key, Fla., was caused by a female motorist trying to shave her private parts.

Trooper Gary Dunick alleges the woman was attempting to shave her bikini area while her former husband was holding the wheel when Barnes' car crashed into the back of a pickup truck, the Key West (Fla.) Citizen reported Friday.

"She said she was meeting her boyfriend in Key West and wanted to be ready for the visit," Dunick alleges....full story from UPI


Wild chickens attempt mass escape in NYC: NEW YORK - Dozens of wild chickens set to be moved from a New York parking lot to an upstate sanctuary were recaptured after attempting a mass escape, volunteers say.

The New York Daily News said Sunday that 35 of the elusive chickens were recaptured by determined volunteers after the birds made a dash for freedom before being sent to their new location by K&N Parking Lot manager Ramon Lopez.

"It's between serious strategy and luck," volunteer Kim Korona said of the amateur chicken wrangling Saturday....full story from UPI


Grenade found during grave digging in Georgia GRIFFIN, Ga. - Investigators say a grenade was found in Griffin, Georgia, by a man who was digging a grave for his dog in the backyard of a local home.

WGCL-TV, Atlanta, said after Griffin homeowner Jim Lepore found the explosive device Friday, authorities were contacted and a robot was used to remove the grenade from the property....full story from UPI

March 5, 2010

Aggressive hawk attacks town: An aggressive red-tailed hawk has attacked at least five people recently in a US town, including a woman who needed medical care after being cut on the head.

Police in Stonington, a shoreline town bordering Rhode Island in Connecticut, warned residents Wednesday by email and through the town's reverse 911 system to watch out for the large hawk.

Officials say the hawk has snatched a hat off a boy's head, snagged headphones from a man on a lawnmower and even attacked a car....full story from Stuff.co.nz


Korean man gets married to a pillow: A Korean man has married his dakimaura, a.k.a. a body pillow with a Japanese anime girl drawn on it.

The girl depicted on the newlywed pillow is Fate Testarossa from the anime Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha.

A Korean news outlet covered the wedding day....full story from CNews


Garbage spies feared in Britain: LONDON - Monitored by millions of cameras and spied on by a secretive domestic intelligence network, Britons could be forgiven for feeling up in arms over the latest threat to their privacy: Intelligent garbage bins that can monitor how much they throw out.

Although the technology is already nearly a decade old, a U.K. privacy rights group says the number of local authorities fitting their trash bins with sensors of some kind has risen dramatically in the past year - affecting at least 2.6 million British households....full story from CNews

March 4, 2010

Men lie more in online dating - except about their weight: Help is at hand for those who make use of - or perhaps help to run - online dating services. A new study has revealed who is most likely to tell lies about what aspects of themselves when seeking love on the interwebs.

In short, if you go to a romantic rendezvous with someone you met online and they turn out to be a different weight to what they said, that person is probably a woman....full story from The Register


Greeks asked to donate to cut debt: Greece has urged citizens to make charity contributions into a national fund in support of Government efforts to deal with a fiscal crisis.

Parliament will open a bank account in which native and expat Greeks can make donations, parliament speaker Filippos Petsalnikos said.

"There aren't just tax dodgers in Greece," Mr Petsalnikos said....full story from ABC News (AU)


German village sells potholes: A cash-strapped village in eastern Germany has put its many potholes up for sale in a novel effort to finance the repair of its crumbling roads, the mayor said.

People can buy a hole in Niederzimmern near Leipzig for 50 euros ($75). In return the authorities will repair it and put a personal message on top, Christoph Schmidt-Rose told local radio station MDR....full story from ABC News (AU)

March 3, 2010

Bottled GhostsTwo bottled ghosts for sale: TWO vials, which the owner claims contain the spirits of ghosts exorcised from a house in New Zealand, have been put up for sale on online auction site, TradeMe.

The auction description claims the spirits were captured by an exorcist from a spiritual church at a property in Christchurch, the largest city on New Zealand's South Island.

The seller claims that one spirit belongs to a man who died in the house in the 1920s....full story from NEWS.com.au


Pregnant wife pulls ranger husband from crocodile's jaws: A pregnant woman dragged her ranger husband from the jaws of a crocodile after the killer beast attacked him while he was washing his feet in a river.

Lawrence Munro was on an evening stroll with wife Kerryn and their dogs when the pair stopped to rest on some rocks, dipping their toes into a shallow part of the White Umfolzi river on a game reserve 125 miles north of Durban [Australia].

Moments later, the Nile crocodile launched its assault....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


New York airport jets 'directed by child': US officials are investigating how a child was apparently allowed to direct planes at New York's JFK airport - one of the country's busiest.

The probe comes after an audiotape caught the boy directing several pilots preparing for take-off last month.

In one exchange, the boy is heard saying: "JetBlue 171 contact departure."....full story from the BBC

March 2, 2010

$5 fee required to overthrow government: COLUMBIA, S.C. - In South Carolina, any group that plans to overthrow the federal government - or any other government in the U.S. - must register its activities. It's the law.

Now, some state legislators are looking to repeal it.

State Sen. Larry Martin said Monday the 1951 statute, meant to deter communists, is making South Carolina look bad....full story from CNews


German arrested after snorting drugs off police car: A nightclub reveller was detained by German police after they caught trying to snort amphetamines off the top of their unmarked patrol car.

The 26-year-old was lining up the powdered drugs on the roof of the car in a disco car park, when the two police officers surprised him, a Nuremberg police spokesman said on Tuesday....full story from The Daily Telegraph (UK)

March 1, 2010

'Topeka to be Google, Kansas': Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten signed a proclamation Monday calling for Topeka to be known for the month of March as "Google, Kansas — the capital city of fiber optics."

Bunten told city council members about the proclamation prior to a special meeting of the council held at noon at City Hall to hear the first reading of a proposal that wasn't linked to local efforts to convince Google to make Topeka a test site for an ultrafast Internet connection.

Bunten asked the seven council members on hand if they had a problem with his issuing the proclamation, which also encourages Topekans to recognize and support continuing efforts to bring Google's fiber optics experiment here....full story from the Topeka Capital-Journal


For sale: One des res nuclear bunker: Anyone who's looking for a no-frills bolthole with a Cold War heritage might like to check out a 1959 vintage Royal Observer Corps nuclear bunker, set in "an elevated position with panoramic views over the Derbyshire Dales".

The winning eBay bidder for this prime piece of real estate will secure the 50 x 50ft plot above the bunker, another 16 x 16ft piece of land "which was the original site of the ROC hut", plus "desk, chair, siren box, enamel bucket" and a handy rope "for hauling heavy items up the shaft".

The interior consists of a chemical toilet and a "large monitoring room" measuring 15ft x 7ft 6ins....full story from The Register


Raining fish in AustraliaAustralian town, 326 miles from river, hit by raining fish: Residents in a remote desert town in Australia, 326 miles from the nearest river, are recovering after witnessing two days of fish raining from the sky.

Lajamanu in the Northern Territory, population 669, has seen hundreds of small white fish fall from rain clouds with many still alive.

Weather experts in Australia believe the fish, spangled perch, were sucked up in a thunderstorm before being dumped over the tiny town....full story w/pic from The Daily Telegraph (UK)


5,200 strip for nude photo shoot: SYDNEY, Australia - About 5,200 naked people embraced each other on the steps of Sydney's iconic Opera House on Monday for a photo shoot by Spencer Tunick.

Tunick, who is known for his nude group photos in public spaces, posed participants for more than an hour in a variety of positions.

"It was difficult to get the straight participants to embrace the gay participants and vice versa," Tunick said....full story from CNews

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