Odd News - June 2011 Archive


Odd News Archive - June 2011

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.


June 30, 2011

Australia offers Sydney residents cash to move: Sydney residents have been offered money to leave the city and resettle in rural New South Wales.

It is hoped the plan will boost rural areas recovering from a decade-long drought, as well as easing crowding in Australia's most populous city.

Australia is one of the world's most thinly populated countries, but almost a quarter of people live in Sydney....read more from BBC News


Mystery of dropped receipt for $100 million account: (by Jon Swaine) A mystery New Yorker left a receipt at a cash point that disclosed he or she had a balance of almost $100 million (£62 million) sitting in a high-street savings account.

The receipt, discovered hanging out of a Capital One ATM machine in East Hampton, showed that after dispensing $400 – and $2.75 for use of the machine – the account contained $99,864,731.94.

A picture of it was passed to Dealbreaker, a financial blog, which claimed it belonged to David Tepper, a 53-year-old billionaire hedge fund manager famous for having a brass pair of testicles on his desk....read more w/pic from The Telegraph (UK)


Wallet 'obsolete in four years': The old-fashioned wallet will be obsolete in the US within four years, an electronic payments company has claimed.

Scott Thompson, the president of PayPal, said: "We believe that by 2015 digital currency will be accepted everywhere in the US – from your local corner store to Walmart.

"We will no longer need to carry a wallet," said Mr Thompson, whose California-based company profits from customers switching from physical money to payments online and over mobile phone....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


German vulture detective hits turbulence: (by John Oates) German police in Lower Saxony hoping to train a vulture to seek out dead bodies are having issues with the bird's training.

Sherlock is one of team of three turkey vultures whom police had hoped to turn into a flying CSI unit. The plan was that they'd be fitted with GPS trackers so police could follow him when he swooped into action.

Unfortunately Sherlock is not keen on flying, preferring to hop around the training ground....read more from The Register

June 29, 2011

Bachmann won't 'mud wrestle' Palin: Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., vows she will disappoint critics who are hoping for a mud wrestling match between her and Sarah Palin. The presidential candidate made her remarks in a campaign stop in Charleston, S.C., Politico reported.

“They want to see two girls come together and have a mud wrestling fight, and I’m not going to give it to ‘em," she said, according to Politico....read more from Newsmax


Rapper on poleRapper atop pole stops traffic in Times Square: A rapper is waiting to find out whether he would face charges after stopping traffic in New York's Times Square by staging a performance - from atop a light pole.

"He was rapping to the police officers, rapping to everybody," Jason Krywko, a tourist from Sarasota, Florida, told the New York Post.

"He was lifting his shirt up. It was all for attention."....read more w/pic from Stuff.co.nz

June 28, 2011

Brewer bashes BBC over anti-beer bias: (by Lester Haines) A Cumbria brewer has levelled serious charges against the BBC that it is deliberately ignoring beer in favour of imported plonk.

Dave Bailey, of the Hardknott brewery in Millom, reckons the Corporation's foodie output is heavily biased towards wine, and is therefore "deliberately and recklessly damaging the UK economy by its unreasonable and deliberate rejection of beer as a beverage to drink with food".

He said: "I know of many well respected beer writers who have approached the BBC to try and raise awareness of this country’s great hand-crafted beers, brewed not just in Cumbria but nationally. However, time and time again it is only wine that gets given airtime."....read more from The Register


Man pretends to be female police officer to sneak into music festival: (by Josie Ensor) A man determined to see his favourite band play at a sold-out music festival stole a female police officer's uniform before taking the law into his hands.

With no ticket to see headlining band Kasabian play at the Isle of Wight [UK] festival, Daniel Tredinnick decided to break into a nearby police car and steal a bag containing a policewoman's uniform.

He then snuck into the festival - where Kate Moss and friends celebrated her hen night, a court heard yesterday....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


San Francisco weighs pet sale ban: The US city of San Francisco is weighing a proposal to ban the sale of pets within its borders.

Supporters say the ban would prevent needless suffering of animals, often bought on impulse by parents of children who soon tire of them.

The city's pet stores say the ban would put them out of business while doing nothing to prevent residents from purchasing pets elsewhere....read more from BBC News

June 27, 2011

US Spec-Ops offered camouflage for a specific site: (by Lewis Page) Everybody knows how obsessive the world's elite special-ops forces are about preparing for a task. Prior to the recent, headline-making raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed, US Navy SEALs built a complete mockup of the compound where he lived and spent weeks practicing attacks on it, for instance.

In future, as well as this sort of preparation, one American entrepreneur thinks they might also take photos of the target area - from spy planes or satellites far overhead, or even from smartphones held by agents on the ground nearby - and use these photos to create camouflage uniforms specifically tailored to the site. These would be printed out using "direct to garment" textile technology, and would be ready well before the rehearsals in the custom killing-house were complete....read more from The Register


Highway sign alerts Canadians to zombies: ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland - Some Canadian motorists were probably taken aback when they drove past an electronic traffic sign warning them: "Zombie invasion! Run!"

The electronic message board in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, was supposed to advise commuters about possible delays as construction got started on on Portugal Cove Road Monday. But pranksters gained control of it and programmed it with the heads-up about a zombie invasion....read more from UPI


Woman rescued after cockroach hunt triggers house blaze in Australia: Paramedics had to kick down a door and drag an elderly woman from her burning home in Melbourne's north last night.

The woman was using an aerosol spray to kill cockroaches when the spray came in contact with a heater and started the fire about 10.25pm.

Ambulance crews were called to the home in Gordon St, Coburg, after a call from the woman's son that she had fallen over....read more from the Herald Sun (AU)

Not the first time something like this has happened. From the Humor Etc archives: Man blows up apartment spraying for bugs

June 26, 2011

Streets of London really are paved with gold: (by Jasper Copping) Following the "urban miner" who makes a living finding precious metals on the sidewalks of New York's "diamond district", the Telegraph went to see if the streets of London might also be paved with gold.

Dick Whittington was right. The streets of London really are paved with gold – and you can find it if you scrape hard enough.

The Sunday Telegraph has collected quantities of the precious metal from cracks in the pavements outside the capital's most famous jewellers.

Our quest was inspired by 43-year-old New Yorker Raffi Stepanian, who crawls around on the sidewalks of Manhattan's "diamond district" looking for chips of gemstones and tiny pieces of gold....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

June 25, 2011

Pop star revealed as computer creation: It has been revealed that a Japanese pop star with thousands of fans is not human, but a computer-generated creation.

The singer is part of one of the country's most popular bands.

On her website, pop star Aimi Eguchi told her fans she was a normal 16-year-old who lived in Saitama, north of Tokyo, and loved sports....read more from ABC News (AU)

June 24, 2011

U.S. zoos attract visitors with sleepovers: For wild animal lovers not content with watching tigers and gorillas during the day, a growing number of zoos are offering a more thrilling after-dark experience -- overnight stays.

From Philadelphia to Denver nocturnal visitors are learning what happens when the gates slam shut, the sun goes down and the moon rises over some of America's most well-known zoos.

"You get the zoo to yourself," said Jennifer Labows of the Philadelphia Zoo, which is America's first zoo and home to more than 1,300 animals....read more from Reuters UK


Hacker's cheeky chicken revenge: A cocky computer hacker ordered more than $87,000 in chickens to an Australian fast food restaurant after resigning in a flap.

After quitting due to a heated disagreement with his boss at Red Rooster, Scott Evan McCormick sought revenge by accessing the business' stock-ordering system remotely.

The 23-year-old ordered A$67,732.73 (NZ$87,672.10/US$71,020) of "stock" - chickens - from five separate suppliers to be delivered to the franchise....read more from Stuff.co.nz


Alaskans irked after midnight solstice game halted: Baseball fans in Alaska were fuming after a traditional midnight game, held every year without lights during the twilight hours of the summer solstice, was postponed for the first time because a visiting California team complained it was too dark.

Umpires suspended the Alaska Baseball League amateur game with the score tied 1-1 in the 10th inning at about 1:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday, about three hours into the contest.

The game between the home team, Goldpanners of Fairbanks, Alaska, and the Waves of Oceanside, California, resumed on Wednesday evening, and the Goldpanners ultimately won 2-1....read more from Reuters UK

June 23, 2011

Plan wheeled out to replace stolen bridge: Police believe thieves used welding equipment to dismantle the 10-tonne steel bridge and a crane to lift it from its stanchions.

The bridge was originally part of the North Australian Railway, which was used to transport supplies and munitions during World War II.

The bridge was stolen during the 2004 wet season from Howard Springs, about 35 kilometres south-east of Darwin....read more from ABC News (AU)


Did Shakespeare Smoke Weed? Let's Dig Him Up and Find Out: To dig, or not to dig? That's the latest question.

Paleontologists are looking to examine the remains of William Shakespeare, hoping to unlock the mysteries of the life and death of the world's most famous playwright -- and to prove that the poet once puffed.

The bard is buried under a local church in Stratford-upon-Avon. And a team of scientists, led by Francis Thackeray -- an anthropologist and director of the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa -- have submitted a formal application to the Church of England for permission to probe the site where he sleeps, perchance where he dreams....read more from Fox News


Football player lifts Cadillac, saves man: (by Matt Hinton) Danous Estenor may sound like the name of a character from a Tolkien novel, and he may look like a grizzly bear who could maul anyone who crosses his path. At 6-foot-3, 306 pounds, he probably could, actually. Off the field, though, the South Florida offensive lineman is more of the "gentle giant" type, more likely to channel his natural power to more productive ends — such as last February, for example, when he hulked out on a 3,500-pound car to save a man trapped underneath....read more from Yahoo Sports


'Stolen' moon dust recovered in St. Louis auction house: ST. LOUIS - Moon dust stolen decades ago from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been recovered just before a planned auction in St. Louis, the U.S. attorney's office said Thursday.

The dust came from the film canister used by astronauts on the Apollo 11 mission and was believed to have been transferred to a one-inch piece of tape and then stolen by a NASA employee, they said.

"It wasn't much to look at, but I will never be that close to the moon again!" said U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan in a statement released Thursday announcing the recovery....read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Woman dies of heart attack caused by shock of waking up at her OWN funeral: A woman died from a heart attack caused by shock after waking up to discover she had been declared dead - and was being prepared for burial.

As mourning relatives filed past her open coffin the supposedly dead woman suddenly woke up and started screaming as she realised where she was.

Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov, 49, had been wrongly declared deceased by doctors but died for real after hearing mourners saying prayers for her soul to be taken up to heaven in Kazan, Russia....read more from the Daily Mail

June 22, 2011

Wild turkeys attacking vehicles in Ontario city: BARRIE, Ont. - City officials are calling for a solution in the midst of wild turkeys attacking vehicles and chasing people.

John Brassard, a Barrie, Ont., city councillor, fears the pesky birds could even hurt someone.

“They attacked my car," he said. “I stopped, honked my horn, but they started pecking at the grill."....read more from CNews


Wimbledon's women stars told: stop the grunting: (by Andrew Hough) Exclusive: Female tennis players who grunt too loudly are putting off their opponents and spoiling the game for the millions of spectators, the head of Wimbledon says.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Ian Ritchie admitted tournament officials were becoming increasingly uneasy about the practice.

As the Championships celebrate its 125th anniversary this year Mr Ritchie, the chief executive of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club (AELTC), said fans were also becoming frustrated with loud players who they believe are spoiling the game....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Scantily dressed visitors not allowed at U.S. jail: Skimpily dressed visitors to New York City's main jail complex can only see inmates if they cover up with an oversized, baggy, green T-shirt as part of a new dress code.

The new rules at Rikers Island aim to maintain a "family friendly" environment at the jail.

The city's Department of Corrections has purchased some 750 T-shirts in an easy-to-track shade of bright green. The shirts, all size XXL, are meant to be shapeless on all but the heaviest frames....read more from Reuters UK


Latvian beer coinLatvian coin featuring beer mug 'amounts to hidden alcohol advertising': (by Andrew Osborn) A new Latvian coin featuring a beer mug on one side has sparked a spat between the country's health ministry and central bank amid accusations it amounts to hidden alcohol advertising.

The silver coloured one Lat coin (which is worth about £1.30 [US$2.10]) was released earlier this month to mark the Baltic country's midsummer solstice festival where beer drinking looms large.

But the former Soviet republic's health ministry took exception to the new coin, writing an angry letter to the Bank of Latvia alleging that releasing one million coins with a frothy stein of beer on one side amounted to illegal alcohol advertising....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

June 21, 2011

Man arrested after cash and pot thrown from rooftop: Money may not grow on trees, but for some people in Victoria, B.C., it did fall from the sky.

Police were called around 4 p.m. Thursday after reports a man was throwing cash and marijuana from a rooftop. A witness collected more than $1,340 in $20 bills and, while handing it over to police, estimated it was about a third of the money thrown from the roof.

"Several other people collected the cash and marijuana and made off," police said in a release....read more from CNews


Patients to bang tambourine in case of emergency?: Staff in a British nursing home have apologized to patients and their families after placing a tambourine in a day room to be used in case of an emergency.

The Daily Mail reports a relative was furious after also finding a pair of maracas in the room at Cardiff Royal Infirmary in Wales and was told they were to be used if the tambourine broke.

"It is ridiculous. These people are pensioners, not members of The Monkees or Mick Jagger," the man told the newspaper. "Where is the dignity in asking old and frail people to bash on a tambourine if they are in trouble?"....read more from CNews


Women will wed for love, if partner has job - poll: Most women would marry for love over money -- unless the man is unemployed, according to a new survey.

Three out of four women said they would not wed someone without a job, and 65 percent would feel uncomfortable tying the knot if they themselves were jobless.

But more than 91 percent of single women said they would marry for love over money....read more from Reuters UK


Antarctic penguin takes wrong turn to NZ: Colin Miskelly, from New Zealand's national museum, said it was exceptional to find an emperor penguin so far away from its usual habitat.

A young emperor penguin, normally found in the Antarctic, has turned up on a New Zealand beach.

It is a rare event, the first confirmed sighting of an Emperor penguin in New Zealand in 44 years.

"I saw this glistening white thing standing up and I thought I was seeing things," said Christine Wilton, who found it while walking her dog....read more from BBC News

June 20, 2011

New York man makes $500 a week from gold in pavement cracks: (by John Swaine) An unemployed jewellery setter has taken to combing the streets of New York with a pair of tweezers to cash in on dropped gems and gold.

The streets of New York may not quite be paved with gold. But one man in America is proving that the cracks on Manhattan pavements really can bear riches.

Raffi Stepanian, 43, has begun crawling around the New York 'Diamond District' on his hands and knees, plucking jewels and fragments of precious metals from between the slabs....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Acrobatic US driver in 85mph back-seat drunk sex prang: (by Lester Haines) A court in Virginia must decide just whether it's actually possible to drive a car at 85mph while simultaneously engaging in drunken back-seat sex.

The answer is yes, according to a plaintiff who's filed a claim at Fairfax County Circuit Court for $75,000 damages against the driver who allegedly piled into his vehicle in May last year while over the speed limit, under the influence and on top of a female.

The taxi driver victim of the unnamed boy wonder states in his lawsuit....read more from The Register


Skinny dip recordBathers strip in bid for skinny dip record: Some 400 people in Wales have stripped naked and plunged into the sea in an attempt to break the world record for the biggest ever skinny dip.

The swimmers came from all over the UK to brave the chilly waters of the Gower Peninsula in Wales early yesterday.

The existing record is believed to stand at 250 naked bathers in one location and organisers of this event plan to submit it to adjudicators at Guinness World Records in a bid to steal the title....read more from NEWS.com.au

June 19, 2011

Canadian riot kiss couple turn down offer of millions by celebrity agents: IT was the smooch worth "$10 million"- but the Australian Romeo who stopped the globe with his kiss amid a Canadian riot doesn't want to cash in on it.

Scott Jones made worldwide headlines when he was photographed embracing his girlfriend, Alexandra Thomas, amid the chaos of this week's ice hockey final riots in Vancouver.

Mr Jones, a former Aquinas College student turned comedian, and his Canadian girlfriend yesterday turned down the offer of flights to New York to appear on The Today Show and Good Morning America....read more from NEWS.com.au


Eight million gallons of water drained from reservoir after man urinates in it: (by Nick Allen) Eight million gallons of water had to be drained from a reservoir in Oregon after a man urinated in it.

The operation is costing the state's taxpayers $36,000 (£22,000) and was ordered after Joshua Seater, 21, was caught on a security camera relieving himself in the pristine lake.

Health experts said the incident would not have caused any harm to people in the city of Portland, who are supplied with drinking water from the reservoir....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

June 18, 2011

$500 fine for lemonade stand: BETHESDA, Md. - The parents of children who set up a lemonade stand outside the U.S. Open in Maryland said an inspector shut down the stand and fined them $500.

Carrie Marriott said she and the parents of another child operating the stand in Bethesda were fined for allegedly ignoring warnings to shut down the stand before the county inspector forced them to shut it down, WUSA-TV, Washington, reported Friday.

"This gentleman from the county is now telling us because we don't have a vendors license, the kids won't be allowed to sell their lemonade," Carrie Marriott said....read more from UPI


India's oldest inmate Brij Bihari Pandey freed at 108: A convicted murderer, who was India's oldest inmate, has been released from prison at the age of 108.

Brij Bihari Pandey, a Hindu priest, was serving a life sentence for the murder of four people in 1987, when he was 84.

Officials at Gorakhpur jail in Uttar Pradesh state say Mr Bihari, who requires regular hospital visits, was freed on humanitarian grounds....read more from BBC News


Man advertises himself on billboard: An unemployed Irishman who spent his life savings on a huge billboard ad in a last ditch attempt to get off the dole has landed a job with the country's largest bookmaker.

Feilim Mac An Iomaire, who calls himself Jobless Paddy, spent close to $3,000 on the ad which pictured him, suitcase in hand, under the simple slogan of "Save Me From Emigration".

The unconventional campaign resulted in him sitting 20 interviews in less than a week and receiving several job offers....read more w/pic from ABC News (AU)

June 17, 2011

The mystery of Vladimir Putin's lawn: When Vladimir Putin announced he was visiting Pskov last month, the Russian city spared no expense installing new bins, freshly painting lamp posts and laying new lawns.

But a video on YouTube uploaded by a local resident shows that the freshly laid turf was removed when the prime minister left, leaving only bare mud behind.

Russian bloggers have dubbed the turf the 'Potemkin lawn', suggesting that it might have been "an exclusive lawn from Moscow that travels the country in Putin's baggage"....read more w/video from The Telegraph (UK)


New York airport geese to be cooked for poor: New York City plans to capture pesky geese that threaten planes departing area airports and send them to Pennsylvania to be cooked for meals for the poor, city officials said.

The plan is aimed at avoiding incidents like the forced landing of a U.S. Airways plane in the Hudson River in January 2009 after a flock of errant geese were caught in the engine during takeoff from LaGuardia Airport.

Mass culls to clear the geese from the area were authorized after the National Transportation Safety Board positively identified the remains of Canada geese in the engine of the aircraft....read more from Reuters UK


Mystery kissVancouver hockey riots kiss mystery: A couple photographed in a sensual kiss, lying on the street during the post-Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver yesterday, may now be the most sought-after pair on the internet.

As Vancouver Canucks hockey fans took to the streets after the team lost to the Boston Bruins in the deciding game of the Stanley Cup, Getty photographer Rich Lam snapped the candid photo.

The photo is quickly turning into the latest internet meme, with photoshopped versions already popping up....read more from Stuff.co.nz

UPDATE: from UPI....Canada's mid-riot kissers identified

June 16, 2011

At Bronx High School, Field Is 20 Yards Short of Being a Home: For decades it has been an inconvenience bordering on embarrassment. Herbert H. Lehman High School, with an enrollment of more than 4,000 students in the Bronx, has never played a home football game simply because its field, at 80 yards, is too short for regulation contests.

The result, over the years, has been extra travel for student-athletes — the team plays all of its games on the fields of other schools — and an understandable difficulty in building school spirit and support.

An end to the problem seemed to be at hand several years ago when the New York City Department of Education granted the financing for renovations of athletic facilities at a number of high schools, including what would become nearly $5 million to overhaul Lehman’s multipurpose athletic complex....read more from The New York Times


Man earns college degree at age 99: A 99-year-old Oregon man who dropped out of college in 1932 during the Great Depression has earned his college degree.

"It only took me 80 years to get it done," Leo Plass joked in an interview with Reuters.

At the urging of his nephew, Eastern Oregon University, formerly known as Eastern Oregon Normal School, looked over Plass' transcript and realized that under updated requirements Plass qualified for an associates degree in general studies....read more from Reuters UK


Iranian pimp plates arse up Afghan car sales: (by Lester Haines) An Iranian pimp dubbed "39" has been fingered as the possible cause of a dramatic slump in car sales in the Afghan capital Kabul, Reuters reports.

The Iranian in question apparently had a "flashy" motor whose number plate contained the number 39. This became his nickname and subsequently a signifier for "pimp".

The term recently spread to "deeply conservative" Afghanistan, and buyers are refusing to have anything to do with vehicles bearing the shameful digits. This is a bit of a problem since the latest five-number sequence on licence plates begins with "39". ...read more from The Register

June 15, 2011

Apocalypse how? French village seen as last refuge: PARIS - The tiny southern French hamlet of Bugarach has drawn scrutiny from a government sect watchdog over droves of visitors who believe it is the only place in the world that will survive a 2012 Apocalypse.

A report by the watchdog, Miviludes, published on Wednesday said the picturesque village near Carcassonne should be monitored in the run-up to December 21, 2012, when many believe the world will end according to an ancient Mayan prophecy.

Miviludes was set up in 2002 to track the activity of sects, after a law passed the previous year made it an offence to abuse vulnerable people using heavy pressure techniques, meaning sects can be outlawed if there is evidence of fraud or abuse....read more from CNews


Nurses warned over 'cleavage at work': Nurses have been banned from showing cleavage or baring midriffs after NHS trust warned they must uphold hospital standards.

East and North Hertfordshire [UK] NHS Trust has issued a strict new uniform policy for all staff after a series of complaints from patients.

Doctors and nurses face the threat of disciplinary action if they are caught wearing clothes which expose their ''midriff'' or ''excessive cleavage''.

The guidelines also ban the Trust's 5,000 clinical and non-uniform staff from wearing shorts, mini-skirts, denim or leggings while at work....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Move over hump day, roll on hump night: Wednesday really is hump day.

Your chances of hooking up with Mr or Ms Right-Now are better today than any other day of the week.

Researchers at US dating site OkCupid say you're most likely to get it on on a Wednesday night because more people who are up for it are out looking for it....read more from NEWS.com.au

June 14, 2011

Ice bar to be New Zealand's biggest: QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand - Officials with an upcoming Below Zero bar in New Zealand said the establishment is planned to be the largest ice bar in that region of the world.

Blair Pattinson, general manager of the bar in Queenstown on Searle Lane, said the bar will be primarily made from 36 tons of ice imported from Las Vegas and will be the largest ice bar in New Zealand and Australia, the Otago Daily Times reported Tuesday....read more from UPI


Careless tweets cost lives, warns UK Ministry of Defence: (by Lester Haines) The Ministry of Defence has knocked together a couple of videos warning just how a careless tweet or unguarded Facebook comment could end up with someone on the wrong end of an AK-47.

The MoD accepts social networking sites are "great for keeping in touch with family and friends, and letting the world know what you’re up to", but cautions that "there may be those who are using such sites for unsavoury reasons".

Indeed, among the many security threats we face is the disco-dancing terrorist....read more w/video from The Register


Lifeboat's 'ship in trouble' was BMW on car ferry: A lifeboat was launched after receiving a distress signal at sea, only to discover the SOS message had come from a BMW car on a cross-channel ferry.

Coastguards launched the lifeboat after picking up an emergency signal four miles out at sea off the Welsh [UK] coast.

But after a three hour search operation the signal was traced to an anti-theft tracking device fitted to a BMW safely parked on the car ferry from Dublin to Liverpool....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

June 13, 2011

Crows dive-bombing police officers: EVERETT, Wash. - Police in Washington state said a trio of crows are playing a real-life game of "Angry Birds" by dive-bombing officers outside a police station.

The Everett Police Department said the crows, which live in a tree next to the north precinct office, have been dive-bombing officers for the past few days, The (Everett) Daily Herald reported Monday.

Everett police Lt. Bob Johns said he recently "got zinged" by the birds....read more from UPI


Three in family arrested for drunk driving same night: t must have set a record, but it's one a South Canterbury [New Zealand] family would surely much rather not have, after three of them were booked for drink-driving on the same night.

The saga began about 12.15am on Saturday when a 15-year-old boy was stopped and arrested for drink-driving on State Highway 1 near Pareora. He blew 529 micrograms per litre of breath, more than three and a half times the youth limit.

The teenager was taken to the Timaru police station for processing, where his mother was called to collect him. She was subsequently stopped and arrested for drink-driving on Craigie Ave at about 2.14am, after blowing 776 mcg, nearly twice the adult limit of 400....read more from Stuff.co.nz

June 12, 2011

Biker pulled over for 'distracting' outfit: NEW YORK - A Dutch tourist said a New York cop pulled her over for riding her bike around the city in an outfit deemed "distracting" and "dangerous."

Jasmijn Rijcken, 31, was in New York to attend the New Amsterdam Bike Show and as a general manager of a bicycle company in the Netherlands, she thought she'd take advantage of a sunny May 3 day to go cycling in the city, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

Rijcken alleges she was pulled over by a New York police officer for showing too much skin while on two wheels....read more from UPI


2ft Filipino declared world's shortest man: A poor Filipino blacksmith's son who stands less than two feet tall was declared the world's shortest man by Guinness World Records on his 18th birthday.

The title was bestowed on Junrey Balawing in Sindangan in the southern Philippines, with his parents, villagers and officials showering the coastal town's newly famous resident with a feast of roasted pigs and seafood, cake, balloons and cash gifts.

Balawing measured 23.5 inches during the ceremony attended by about 100 villagers and journalists at the town hall. Guinness World Records representative Craig Glenday presented Balawing with official recognition of his status as the shortest adult man in the world, with the framed certificate nearly reaching the ears of the standing recipient....read more w/pics from The Telegraph (UK

June 11, 2011

Ottawa cyclists bare almost all for naked bike ride: OTTAWA — Nearly nude cyclists at Saturday's World Naked Bike Ride had their undies tied in knots -- literally.

Ottawa Police, who have escorted the fleshy, safe cycling protest in years before, told the crowd at their starting point in Confederation Park to keep their pants on, or risk arrest.

After outcries and disappointed shouts, the riders accepted the slight defeat and stripped down to the bare -- and legal -- minimum....read more w/video from CNews


Clocks in Sicily inexplicably run ahead: For over a week digital clocks and watches in Sicily are complicating their owners by running more than 15 minutes fast, local media said.

The mysterious time changes caught the attention of two young locals, who set up a Facebook page calling for those affected to come forward.

One of the young men, Francesco Nicosia, told French online magazine Rue89 "I realised something was wrong when I started getting to work earlier. After some investigation I noticed that I wasn't the only one who was on time, which is quite rare here in Sicily....read more from RIA Novosti (RU)

June 10, 2011

Fake gator head rids neighborhood of geese: WOODBURY, Minn. - A Minnesota man said he solved the problem of goose droppings in his neighborhood by installing a fake alligator head in a pond.

Jim Orsello, 67, of Woodbury, said he scared away the geese responsible for messing up lawns and sidewalks with a floating gator head he purchased online, the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press reported Friday.

"It worked very well," Orsello said....read more from UPI


Larry the Downing Street cat in-or-out drama: In or out?

It's the classic cat conundrum - and Larry the Downing Street puss has proved even famous moggies are not immune to decision-making difficulties.

Yesterday, little Larry almost ruined one of British Prime Minister David Cameron's publicity stunts when he decided to venture outside the famous black door, minutes before the guest of honour, BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer, arrived....read more w/pic from Stuff.co.nz

Related; from The Telegraph (UK)....Larry the Downing Street cat kills mouse 'that looked at David Cameron'


Moose barges into Swedish retirement home: A Moose burst through the dining room window of a retirement home in southwestern Sweden, knocking over furniture and flower pots before taking off into the wild again.

Police say aside from the moose, who was scratched by the broken window, no one was injured in the overnight surprise visit at the Brunnsgarden retirement home in the small town of Alingsas.

Helen Gillquist, head of the home, said residents had just finished lunch and left the ground-floor dining room when the moose jumped through the three-panelled glass window....read more w/pics from NEWS.com.au


Machine gun cannonLeonardo da Vinci's 'machine gun' cannon discovered by archeologists: Archeologists in Croatia have identified what they believe is the world's only triple-barrel cannon inspired by the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci.

The bronze cannon, from the late 15th century, bears a striking resemblance to sketches drawn by the Renaissance inventor, notably in his Codex Atlanticus - the largest collection of his drawings and writing.

Mounted on a wooden carriage and wheels, it would have allowed a much more rapid rate of fire than traditional single-barreled guns - in a precursor to modern day machine guns. Soldiers would have been able to fire three cannon balls instead of one....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

June 9, 2011

Law bans Internet images that cause 'emotional distress': There goes the Internet.

A new Tennessee law makes it a crime to post an image online that might "frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress" to someone.

As reported by the technology website Ars Technica, the state already has a law against making phone calls, sending e-mails or otherwise communicating with someone in a way that would cause emotional distress. This latest ban, signed by Gov. Bill Haslam last week, is an update to that law....read more from CNews


Fly fishermen, fashionistas fight over feathers: For the first time in 40 years, Philip Greenlee cannot get the choice feathers he ties into fishing lures to tempt trout from the blue-ribbon streams in the western United States.

A new nationwide trend of attaching feathers to hair, known as feather extensions, has spurred a run on the decorative plumage of designer roosters produced at just three farms in the country.

Until this year, the long, skinny and spine-free feathers were the almost exclusive province of fly-fishing devotees. Now the multibillion-dollar beauty industry is hawking feather extensions, triggering a shopping frenzy that has pitted fishers against fashionistas....read more from Reuters UK


Lightning strikes 77 army cadets on Mississippi military base: A lightning strike at a southern Mississippi military base injured a troop of cadets, with 77 of them sent to hospital.

The cadets, enrolled in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg were admitted after a bolt struck during a severe thunderstorm.

Two cadets were transported by ambulance and the rest by bus....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

June 8, 2011

He YanqingChinese businessman takes horse to work to avoid traffic: A wealthy Chinese businessman has become so fed up with the snail’s pace of the traffic in the northwestern city of Xianyang that he has taken to riding his horse to get to work.

He Yanqing, a successful property entrepreneur with a fleet of cars in his garage at home worth several hundred thousand pounds, said he’d opted for four legs over four wheels because of the constant snarl up and jams.

Mr He, who can now be seen trotting down the city’s bike lanes most mornings – usually accompanied by his secretary – said his commute had been cut from 40 to 20 minutes since taking to the saddle, with a host of other benefits besides....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

-Hopefully the kid on the bicycle got out of the way in time....


Hotels in 2030 'will feature virtual love making': Virtual love making, dream management, and high-tech contact lenses that allow guests to check their emails will all feature in the hotel rooms of the future, according to a new report.

The budget hotel chain Travelodge has published a study into how technology could change hotel accommodation by 2030.

It hired the engineer and futurologist Ian Pearson to produce the report, entitled The Future of Sleep.

Mr Pearson claimed that technology will monitor guests energy levels, health and mood to ensure they get a better night’s sleep, while medical conditions could also be diagnosed....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Thief hides inside luggage: Spanish police have arrested a man said to have smuggled himself in a case on to Barcelona airport coaches in order to burgle the luggage compartments.

An alleged accomplice was also arrested after the first man was found "doubled up almost like a contortionist" inside the case, police said.

Asked what he was doing, the suitcase man, who wore a head lamp, said he had been unable to pay the coach fare....read more from BBC News

June 7, 2011

Aussie military loses X-Files: Report: CANBERRA - Australia’s military has lost its X-Files, detailing sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs, across the country, a newspaper report said on Tuesday.

After a two-month search in response to a newspaper Freedom of Information (FOI) request, which forces government officials to release documents of public interest, Australia’s Department of Defence had been unable to locate the files, the Sydney Morning Herald said.

“The files could not be located and Headquarters Air Command formally advised that this file is deemed lost," the department’s FOI assistant director, Natalie Carpenter, told the paper. Defence officials could not be contacted by Reuters....read more from CNews


Germans completely humourless: Official: (by Lester Haines) A survey of 30,000 people across 15 countries has confirmed what the world knew all along: Germans are completely humourless.

The poll for social networking site Badoo.com found that the national stereotype of Germans as ruthlessly efficient in matters of manufacturing and football, but entirely inadequate in the wit department, is in fact true.

However, before the Inselaffen among you run cheering to the pub for a round of German jokes washed down with real ale, you should know that we Brits aren't rated much funnier by the international community....read more from The Register


Missing scales of JusticeJustice denied as scales go missing from Brisbane Supreme Court: Queensland's [Australia] justice system is suffering "perceived bias" after the scales of justice went missing.

The statue of Lady Justice - a woman armed with a sword and scales outside the Supreme Court on George Street - has been stripped of half her tools, reports the Courier Mail.

As one onlooker quipped: "She now looks like she's cheering before she goes into battle."

But those who question the missing scales can rest assured....read more w/pics from NEWS.com.au


Naked Irish rower rescued off Australia: An Irishman attempting to row across the Indian Ocean naked was rescued on Tuesday after he was hit by a large wave and banged his head.

Keith Whelan, 30, was trying to become the youngest man, and first Irishman, to complete the 6,000 kilometre (3,720 mile) crossing, but came to grief in rough seas off Western Australia.

He was picked up by a Japanese ship some 206 kilometres northwest of Geraldton....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

June 6, 2011

Titanic II sinks on maiden voyage: DORSET, England - When Mark Wilkinson took ownership of a cabin cruiser called Titanic II, perhaps he should have realised the omens were not good.

When he took his new 16ft boat out for its maiden voyage, it lived up to its namesake, and sank.

Mr Wilkinson was left floundering as the vessel sprang a leak and began taking on water before disappearing beneath the waves....read more w/pic from The Telegraph (UK)


Bikini zombieMan 'alarmed' by bikini zombies: ENFIELD, Connecticut - Police responded to a complaint about a group of women in bikinis Sunday evening.

Police said that a resident on Mathewson Street called police at 5:15 p.m. and said he was "alarmed" by a group of young woman in bikinis with zombie make-up taking photographs on the street.

Police said that the women, when made aware of the complaint, voluntarily moved to another street....read more from the Hartford Courant (via UPI)

Related: Zombie movie causes traffic delays in Connecticut

June 5, 2011

Citation issued in 'penny payment' dispute: VERNAL, Utah - A Vernal, Utah, man was charged with disorderly conduct after trying to pay a disputed $25 medical bill in pennies, police say.

Assistant Vernal Police Chief Keith Campbell alleged Jason West, 38, went to Basin Clinic in Vernal on May 27 to dispute outstanding charges, the Deseret News reported.

"After asking if they accepted cash, West dumped 2,500 pennies onto the counter and demanded that they count it," Campbell said. "The pennies were strewn about the counter and the floor."....read more from UPI

June 4, 2011

Cane toads aren't evil, just misunderstood: Filmmaker Mark Lewis reckons cane toads get a bad rap. Sure, they are monstrously ugly and toxic and reputedly Australia's most notorious environmental blunder, but the lumpy amphibians deserve our respect for, if for nothing, else, their simplicity of thought.

"Here is an animal whose sole pursuit is food and sex," says Lewis, whose new documentary Cane Toads: The Conquest opened in cinemas this week.

"There's nothing wrong with that. And in fact, if my life was simplified down to food and sex and the pursuit of that, I would be a very happy man....read more from NEWS.com.au


School to ban kids who are not toilet-trained: LONDON: A group of parents here have turned an agitated lot after a primary school threatened to ban their children if they were not sent properly toilet-trained.

Headmistress Patricia Deus warned parents that her teachers were spending hours every week helping children as old as five to go to the loo. Many are still wearing nappies, Daily Express reported Saturday.

Writing to parents of all children aged three to five - known as foundation stage - at the 332-pupil inner-city Trinity Catholic primary school in Vauxhall, Liverpool, Deus said: "We have at the school a number of children entering foundation stage who are not properly toilet-trained....read more from The Times of India


Hypnotist's mishap leaves people in trance: Three people were left in a trance on stage when a hypnotist knocked himself out during a show in Dorset [England].

Entertainer David Days, from Weymouth, was performing at Portland's Royal Manor Theatre on Friday evening when he tripped over an audience member's leg.

He was in the middle of bringing the participants out of a hypnotic state and could not be roused by his stage team....read more from Sky News

June 3, 2011

'Groaning' house collapses in Iowa: CLINTON, Iowa - A house in Clinton, Iowa, "creaked and groaned" when a sinkhole swallowed it, a neighbor said.

Larry Stuart was not home when his dwelling collapsed Sunday, but the property is a total loss, officials told WQAD-TV, Moline, Ill. He is staying with relatives.

Neighbor John Montieth said: "We could hear the house creaking and groaning and popping. Somebody said we better get away in case glass starts breaking, so we went across the street."....read more from UPI


Terrorists get a lesson in cupcake making: LONDON - British spies hacked into an al-Qaida website to replace instructions on how to build a bomb with recipes for making cupcakes, newspapers reported on Friday.

The cyber offensive took place last year when the English language magazine called Inspire, aimed at Muslims in the West, was launched by supporters of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

British intelligence officers based at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the state eavesdropping service, attacked the 67-page magazine, leaving most of it garbled, British newspapers said....read more from CNews


German cops unleash corpse-hunting vultures: (by Lester Haines) German cops have recruited three vultures which they reckon could prove handy in locating corpses, the BBC reports.

The trio of airborne detectives – dubbed Columbo, Miss Marple and Sherlock – have just completed a training exercise at the Weltvogelpark (World Bird Park) Walsrode in Lower Saxony, in which a delicious "piece of shroud from a mortuary" acted as an objective for their sharp eyes and keen noses.

Hanover police officer Rainer Herrmann said the feathered Poirots "may work much more effectively than sniffer dogs", since they can soar over wide areas of difficult terrain....read more from The Register


Drunk Swedish sailor sparks rescue alert for forgotten wife: A Drunk Swedish sailor sparked a major sea rescue alert after reporting that his wife fell overboard, only for police to discover that he forgot to take her on the trip, Sweden's English-language news website The Local reported today.

The man sounded the alarm as he sailed near Kalmar, off the southern coast of Sweden, believing that his wife had fallen overboard and drowned.

But when rescuers arrived, they found him drifting with a broken tiller, and no sign of his wife....read more from NEWS.com.au


N Korean tap shoe smugglers brought to heel: A United Nations report has revealed Italy foiled an attempt by North Korea to import tap-dancing shoes, in breach of a ban on the sale of luxury goods.

The report said many banned goods reached North Korea via an unnamed trans-shipment hub, which Western UN envoys speaking on condition of anonymity said was located in China.

"In December 2010, a shipment of high-quality tap-dancing shoes was blocked at Orio al Serio Airport (Milan)," said the report by the so-called UN Panel of Experts, which monitors compliance with UN sanctions against North Korea....read more from ABC News (AU)

June 2, 2011

Police shoot concrete alligator: INDEPENDENCE, Missouri - A police officer in Independence, Mo., who thought he was killing an alligator on the loose, discovered he had shot a life-size concrete lawn ornament.

The police department ended up apologizing to Rick Sheridan, the cement gator's owner, WDAF-TV, Kansas City, reported. Sheridan said he heard gunfire as he worked in his garage last weekend and went out to investigate, discovering several police officers with their guns drawn.

"The officer fired two rounds, and killed my concrete, ornamental alligator," Sheridan said....read more from UPI


Tesco pricing cock-up provokes beer stampede in Scotland: (by Lester Haines) Scots with an eye for a bargain and a healthy thirst mobilised en masse yesterday to storm several Tesco stores after a pricing error offered boxes of beer at irresistable prices.

The deal was supposed to be "buy three boxes of beer and save £11 [US$18]", but punters soon realised that instead of charging 20 quid for the triple whammy, Tesco was asking just 11.

News that for a little over a tenner locals could fill their fridges with up to 45 small bottles of lager or 36 cans, quickly spread over the interwebs from 7pm last night. According to the BBC, a Rebecca Macdougall tweeted: "Was casually chatting to my dad about the beer situation at Tesco mention 3 crates for 11 quid and he sprints to the car."....read more from The Register


Man ordered to apologize 100 times on Twitter: It's tit for tat on Twitter.

A Malaysia man has been ordered by a court to tweet an apology 100 times over three days after slandering a publishing company on the social media service.

Fahmi Fadzil (@fahmi_fadzil), who describes himself as a performer and writer on his Twitter bio, is doling out the contrite tweets at about one an hour. As of Thursday morning, he was at 25....read more from CNews


Angry senior citizen locks bell ringers in British church tower: A group of professional bell ringers was locked up in a British church tower by a fed up senior citizen.

The team had travelled from the south of England to the northern English village of Sharow to practice a three-hour peal, but the man - believed to be a local resident in his 70s or 80s - took offense to the noise, The York Press reported today.

He confronted the group in the belfry of St. John the Evangelist Church and threatened to damage their cars before lodging the door to the tower shut with a piece of wood....read more from NEWS.com.au

June 1, 2011

Patio umbrella knocks out town's power: SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario - You can blame it on the weather, or you can blame it on the umbrella.

In windy weather, a patio umbrella blew up into high voltage lines in this northern Ontario city and tripped a breaker, turning off the lights for about 1,700 homes and businesses for a while Tuesday afternoon.

Local utility operations head Dominic Parrella said a blackout due to umbrella is a first for him....read more from CNews


S Korea army uses Kim picture for target practice‎: SEOUL - (by Lucy Williamson) South Korea has said it will tell its army training units to stop using photographs of North Korea's ruling family for target practice.

Military units have admitted to using the pictures of Kim Jong-il, his youngest son, and the leader's late father as targets during firing drills.

Images of the portraits positioned in the crosshairs of a target have been splashed across the local press here....read more w/pics from BBC News


Mac recovered with 'Hidden' app clues: California police recovered a stolen laptop after a software programme sent its owner the suspect's location and photograph taken on the Mac's camera.

Joshua Kaufman, an Oakland interaction designer, reported the theft in March.

But police only acted on Tuesday after Mr Kaufman's blog on the theft attracted news media attention....read more from BBC News


Police robot attacks and burns down house: (by Lewis Page) A mobile home in Tennessee was left a smoking ruin last month after it was attacked by a heavily armed police robot firing advanced triple-warhead gas grenades.

Despite the uncompromising tactics employed by the no-nonsense tin cop, and the fact that satellite and heat-sensing technology had apparently confirmed that the residence housed a dangerous fugitive tooled up with a deadly arsenal of weaponry, feds and local lawmen who combined to launch the assault were left egg-faced following the inferno. The ashy wreckage left behind following the robocop's orgy of mechanical destruction contained no trace of their quarry, who had plainly escaped during the mayhem....read more from The Register


Russian man dies after self-burying 'endurance test': A Russian man died after burying himself alive in a friend's garden in the eastern city of Blagoveshchensk in an endurance test that went wrong.

"According to his friend, the man, 35, wanted to test his endurance and insistently asked his friend to help him spend the night buried," said Alexei Lubinsky, a senior aide to the region's chief investigator.

The two men dug a hole in the garden and put inside an improvised coffin with holes for air pipes. The man also took a blanket, a bottle of water and a cell phone....read more from NEWS.com.au

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