Odd News - October 2011 Archive


Odd News Archive - October 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.


October 31st, 2011

Steve Jobs' last words: 'OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.': (by Lewis Page) A eulogy for Steve Jobs written and delivered by his sister was published over the weekend. It reveals many personal details of the techbiz titan's life, among them his last words as he lay dying with his family around him.

According to Mona Simpson, Jobs' sister and a professor of English at the University of California, his manner as he summoned her to his home in Palo Alto for the final time was "like someone whose luggage was already strapped onto the vehicle, who was already on the beginning of his journey". Simpson goes on to say....read more from The Register


German police stop drunken 'Yoda' at wheel: German police called to a traffic incident were astonished to find themselves face-to-face with Jedi master Yoda from Star Wars, much the worse for wear after Halloween celebrations.

In the early hours of Sunday morning (local time), a 42-year-old male driver, resplendent in his Yoda costume, had a minor collision with a pedestrian and sped off in his car, only to be collared by a police vehicle two minutes later.

The pedestrian was left with only light injuries following the accident, but the Jedi master look-alike found himself on the wrong side of the law and, despite his green mask, was left decidedly red faced....read more from NEWS.com.au


Floods no barrier to Bangkok postman: High tides and heavy monsoon rains have left several districts in Bangkok swamped by water for more than a week.

But postman Somyod Somsamai is braving waist-deep, leech-infested water to continue mail deliveries in a community near the swollen Chao Phraya river.

As Thailand faces its worst floods for 50 years, he offers a welcome connection to normal life, which has been seriously disrupted for many of the city's residents....watch video from BBC News

October 30th, 2011

Two arrested in pizza war arson: LAKE CITY, Fla. - Two managers at a Lake City, Fla., Domino's Pizza restaurant were charged with arson after allegedly torching a Papa John's Pizza location, police said.

Lake City police arrested Domino's manager Sean Everett Davidson, 23, Thursday for the Oct. 20 fire, the Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner reported. The second manager, Bryan David Sullivan, 22, was arrested Friday after being questioned by police.

Police allege the two confessed to the crime and their motive was that their Domino's location would receive more business if the Papa John's Pizza restaurant was put out of business....read more from UPI


Russian clocks stay on summertime: Russia has not put its clocks back for winter this year, after President Dmitry Medvedev decided the country would stay permanently in summertime.

Mr Medvedev announced his decision in March, saying it was in order to relieve the stress of changing clocks.

Officials at the time talked about an annual increase in suicides....read more from BBC News

October 29th, 2011

Borrowed car sold on Craigslist: AUBURN, Calif. - Police in California said they were searching for a man accused of borrowing a woman's car and selling the vehicle on Craigslist.

Auburn police said Laurel Rudolph, 55, loaned her car Oct. 6 to an acquaintance named Jeff Keller or Kellar and she filed a stolen vehicle report when he failed to return the vehicle at the agreed-upon time, the Auburn Journal reported Friday....read more from UPI

October 28th, 2011

Drunk, topless woman leads cops on wild ride: Police say a nearly naked woman led officers on a car chase that reached speeds of 200 km/h [125mph] before she finally surrendered.

The chase happened along Route 422 in Bainbridge, just east of Cleveland, and only came to a stop when police laid spikes across the road to puncture her tires, reports the local Fox channel.

When police apprehended her, they discovered she was wearing nothing but a sheer bustier, a G-string and sneakers, the report said. She was cuffed and put in the back of a police car, where she allegedly hurled abuse at officers....read more w/video from CNews


Zimbabwean claims prostitute turned into donkey: (by Lester Haines) A Zimbabwean man collared having sex with a donkey sensationally claimed the object of his affections was actually a prostitute who mysteriously metamorphosed into a hot piece of ass.

According to this report, 28-year-old Sunday Moyo was cuffed after a couple of cops found him making the beast with six legs in his yard in Zvishavane, some 180 miles southwest of Harare....read more from The Register

October 27th, 2011

Beagle mix survives gas chamber: ROCKAWAY, N.J. - A New Jersey rescue group said it has taken in a beagle mix that somehow survived being euthanized in an Alabama animal shelter's gas chamber.

Cody Berry, 21, a worker at the Animal Control Department in Florence, Ala., said he was shocked when he opened the gas chamber after several minutes to find the 20-pound beagle mix, which has since been named Daniel, was completely unharmed, The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger reported Thursday.

"I opened the door, he stood right up and walked right out," Berry said. "He was fine."....read more w/video from UPI


I'm proud I nuked the fridge, says Spielberg: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull isn't very good.

A film about cross-dimensional crystal beings bestowing their knowledge on the world before disappearing into the "space between spaces" was never going to win over the fans.

We all know that but who should we blame?

Steven Spielberg says you should aim your bullwhip at George Lucas....read more from NEWS.com.au

October 26th, 2011

Giant 8ft lego man washes up on Florida beach: A Giant lego man sporting a bizarre message and found washed up on a popular beach has been taken into police custody.

But witnesses and police who found the 8ft toy on the Florida beach are at a loss as to how he got there, and who he belongs to.

Beach walker Jeff Hindman said he spotted the figure in the pre-dawn light while walking on Siesta Key Beach, south of Sarasota....read more from NEWS.com.au


Google report reveals YouTube takedown requests... by country: (by Anna Leach) The UK government asked Google to take down 135 YouTube videos for reasons of national security in the first half of this year, states Google's biannual Transparency Report, released yesterday.

The report also shows that the German government asked for videos that included Nazi memorabilia to be removed, and that US police wanted videos taken down because they showed their officers in acts of brutality.

UK content removal requests went up 71 per cent compared to the previous six month period, when the government made no requests at all for content to be taken down on grounds of national security....read more from The Register

October 25th, 2011

Ryanair jet window mended with tape before London takeoff: A plane with 200 passengers onboard had to turn back to London after tape used to patch up a pilot's window came loose.

Passengers watched in horror as ground crew put the tape around the edge of the windscreen of the Ryanair jet shortly before takeoff from London Stansted Airport to Riga, Latvia.

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said the tape was being used as an extra precaution to secure a new window seal....read more from NEWS.com.au


Brits outraged at Queen's mooning in Brisbane: An Australian accused of "mooning" the Queen in Brisbane yesterday has been condemned by angry Britons.

Sydney's Liam Warriner, 22, admitted to reporters yesterday that he exposed his rear end to the monarch as she travelled along Kingsford Smith Drive on her royal visit.

According to reports, he had the Australian flag wedged between the cheeks of his bare bottom when he exposed himself at about 11.40am....read more from Stuff.co.nz

October 24th, 2011

Tourists film 'alien' in the Amazon: Bizarre footage that appears to show a small alien-shaped figure standing next to a flash of light in the jungle has been released.

The video is believed to have been taken by two British tourists during a trip to the Mamaus region of the Amazon rainforest before being passed on to the Brazilian government, the Sun reports.

Paranormal writer Michael Cohen said the footage may be among the best proof that aliens exist....read more w/video from NEWS.com.au


Transparent ConcreteConcrete you can see through: (by Sun Joo Kim) Developed by Hungarian architect Aron Losonczi, LiTraCon (Light Transmitting Concrete) is the world’s first commercially available transparent concrete. The translucent material is created by combining concrete and thousands of optical fiber strands that act like aggregate. The optical fibers form a matrix between the two main surfaces of concrete block, connecting and directing light between the two block faces.

The fibers are oriented in a parallel pattern which produces a brighter side and a darker side of the block. The darker side reveals dramatic shadows and silhouettes. Making up just 4% of the total volume of the block, the optic fibers give the material a striated texture. The product is handmade, resulting in a unique pattern of light in each piece....read more from SmartPlanet


'Plump my ride': luxury car makers create bigger cars for fat drivers: (by Andrew Hough) Luxury carmakers have been forced to upsize their vehicles as a result of drivers and passengers becoming more overweight, it has emerged.

Typical family cars have become more than a foot wider and almost double the weight over the past 50 years as manufacturers struggle with the world’s obesity crisis.

Consequently some luxury manufacturers have begun road-testing the next generation of larger-sized vehicles....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Teenager evicted for all-night vuvuzela parties: A teenager, Toni Nicholson, has been evicted from her flat after holding all night vuvuzela parties.

Nicholson was finally kicked out of her flat in Ramsgate, Kent, last week after a string of complaints about drunken house parties over the past year.

The 19-year-old advertised parties at her two-bed flat on Facebook, encouraging people to bring along the super loud instruments, which hit the headlines during the World Cup in South Africa in 2010....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

October 23rd, 2011

Man's giant pumpkin passion grows over bet: KIRKWOOD, Mo. - A Missouri man who grew a 500-pound pumpkin said his obsession with big pumpkins was sparked by a bet.

Luke Puricelli of Kirkwood, Mo., and Brian Glarner were in the seed aisle of a local hardware store last year when they bet a case of beer on who could grow the biggest pumpkin, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Sunday.

The two grew competitively grew pumpkins in the summer of 2010, but Glarner's plants became infested with squash bugs, a problem Puricelli avoided by doing some Internet research....read more from UPI


Man accused of throwing mum out of wedding: A US man faces misdemeanour charges after authorities say he carried his mother out of a church when she arrived to stop his wedding.

The Record-Courier reports Justin Lew Harris of Gardnerville, Nevada, carried his 56-year-old mother out of the church as she loudly objected to the ceremony.

Harris' wedding at the Carson Valley United Methodist Church was called off after the disruption, church volunteer Jim Jameson said. Jameson didn't know what the mother's objections concerned....read more from Stuff.co.nz

October 22nd, 2011

Indiana identical twins give birth on same day: BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Two identical twins in Indiana now have another birthday in common: They delivered babies on the same day at the same hospital.

The Herald-Times reports 21-year-old Jessica and Jennifer Patterson gave birth Wednesday at Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital.

Jennifer Patterson gave birth first to a girl, Adalynn Rose Patterson, who was born with a collapsed lung but is now doing fine....read more from Associated Press


Missouri man reunited with long-lost Camaro: SALT LAKE CITY - A Missouri man said the old flame was rekindled when he travelled to Utah to take possession of the Chevy Camaro stolen from him 16 years ago.

Edward Neeley of Jefferson City signed the paperwork in Salt Lake City needed to secure the release of his red 1969 muscle car he had named Chelsey Pearl.

"She's back," Neeley joked as he prepared Chelsey for shipment to Missouri. "She already loves me, I can tell."....read more from UPI


Horror lovers get hitched at zombie wedding: TORONTO – It was the first Toronto Zombie Walk where hearts ruled over brains.

In front of a 7,000 strong horde of the walking undead in Trinity Bellwoods Park, walk organizers Thea Munster and Adam Pearson were wed in "unholy matrimony" in the city's first-ever public zombie wedding.

"I'm overwhelmed," said Munster, whose real name is Faulds. "We met at a horror convention and Adam started helping me with the walk and we just fell in love through that. The zombies are like our extended family, so it feels wrong not to involve them."....read more from CNews

October 21st, 2011

Shelf crash destroys 6,810 wine bottles: SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - A Wisconsin liquor store that lost 6,810 bottles of wine and champagne in a shelf collapse has posted footage of the incident to YouTube.

Superior Discount Liquor in Sheboygan posted security camera footage of the collapse, which occurred in July as Badger Liquor Co. salesman Nick Haen was restocking the shelf, to the video sharing Web site.

"I heard a little shift and all of the sudden I looked up and just saw bottles start coming, and so I turned around and booked it as fast as I could," Haen, 23, told Friday's Sheboygan Press. "It was a little bit of a rush, a little bit of a, 'Holy man, did that just happen?' It was unbelievable."....read more w/video from UPI


Madoff says feels safer in prison than in N.Y.: Imprisoned financial scam artist Bernard Madoff boasted in a jailhouse letter that he is "quite the celebrity" and treated "like a Mafia don," ABC News said on Thursday.

ABC, which will feature an interview with Madoff's daughter-in-law on news program "20/20" on Friday, released portions of a letter provided by Stephanie Madoff Mack, whose husband committed suicide in the wake of his father's conviction in a massive Wall Street fraud.

Mack told ABC she had written Madoff a letter detailing family events he was missing due to his life sentence of 150 years behind bars, as a way of rubbing salt in the wound....read more from Reuters UK

October 20th, 2011

Crap alchemist jailed for poo-into-gold experiment: (by Joe Fay) A Northern Ireland man has been jailed for three months for causing £3,000 of damage to his flat after attempting to turn his own faeces into gold using an electric heater.

Paul Moran, 30, admitted arson and endangering the lives of others, the Belfast Telegraph reports. He will spend 12 months on licence upon his release.

The would-be Dumbledore apparently used an electric heater in his Enniskillen flat in his misguided attempt to turn his own crap and "other waste products" into a noble metal, in July last year, the BelTel reports....read more from The Register


'Adult Baby' Cleared of Fraud, Still Getting Social Security Checks: The California man who lives his life as an “adult baby," complete with adult diapers, bottles, a crib and a mother-figure caregiver, says he has been cleared from suspicion of Social Security fraud and will continue to receive his disability checks.

Stanley Thornton, Jr. has a condition called paraphilic infantilism that involves role-playing as an infant. Though paraphilic infantilism is a sexual fetish for some, Thornton explains on his website that he pretends to be a baby because it makes him feel “safe" and helps him cope with the post traumatic stress he suffers from physical and sexual abuse he suffered as a child.

After Thornton’s lifestyle was showcased on National Geographic’s television show “Taboo," Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., accused him of defrauding Social Security because the episode shows him exhibiting work skills such as building a high chair and operating his website....read more from ABC News


MC Hammer launching his own search engine: (by Doug Gross) You can't Google this.

OK, maybe you can. But MC Hammer doesn't want you to.

The venerable rapper, who helped usher hip-hop into the pop mainstream in the early '90s, has rolled out a search engine he hopes will outperform Google, Bing and other established tools.

The project, called WireDoo, has been two years in the making, said Hammer (real name Stanley Burrell) Wednesday at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco....read more from CNN

October 19th, 2011

Debt collectors warned off pursuing punters on Facebook: (by Brid-Aine Parnell) Debt collectors should not be allowed to chase people who owe them money on social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter, the UK's Office of Fair Trading has said.

The OFT issued new guidance today that warned banks, law firms, tracing agents and debt collectors that using social networks to track down debtors was "unfair or improper".

"Posting messages on social networking sites in a way that might potentially reveal that an identifiable person is being pursued for the repayment of a debt" was "acting in a way likely be publicly embarrassing to the debtor, either deliberately or negligently", the OFT guidance said....read more from The Register


Silver-screen strategy nets New York robbers $217,000: Accused New York thieves have been using a Hollywood-born strategy to rob dozens of small stores, telling police they were inspired by the 2010 movie "The Town" to splash bleach on the crime scenes, according to the police.

In what were dubbed the "splash-and-dash" robberies, the suspects would throw bleach over cash machines and cash drawers in a bid to erase their DNA evidence, the New York Police Department said.

They targeted dozens of corner stores, discount stores and pizzerias, netting $217,000 (137,290 pounds) in the past year, police said....read more from Reuters UK

October 18th, 2011

From Jakarta to Bangkok in two weeks - by rickshaw: Sixty-six people from 12 nations are powering their way from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to Bangkok, Thailand's capital, in a race against time, mechanical breakdown and climactic extremes -- using Asia's ubiquitous auto rickshaws.

The rickshaw rally, organised by the secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a UK-based global adventure company, aims to raise money for charity and show that the region's diverse nations are connected.

The three-wheeled vehicles, each with a half-horsepower engine, set off from Jakarta on Sunday, headed first for Sumatra island. After crossing the Straits of Malacca to Malaysia's Penang, they will travel to Satun in Thailand and then to the goal in Bangkok -- a distance of some 3,000 km (1,864 miles)....read more from Reuters UK


Actress sues Amazon over her age on its IMDb site: An actress has sued Amazon.com for more than $1m (£639,000) after her age was posted on its Internet Movie Database.

The unnamed actress says the website misused her legal date of birth after she signed up to the IMDbPro service in 2008.

She says revealing her age on the site will lose her acting opportunities....read more from BBC News


Age brings wisdom, scientists say: Age really does bring wisdom, making the brains of older people as agile as their younger counterparts, research claims.

Scientists discovered that years of life experience makes older brains as effective when it comes to decision-making as much younger minds.

Older people were found to be less bothered by making a mistake and used their brains in a far more efficient way, only engaging certain parts of it at the exact moment that they were required....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

October 17th, 2011

Three-time loser turns himself in: Cops: A suspected attempted robber - who failed to actually take any money in three armed heists this summer – has given up and turned himself in, say police.

Police said the man tried to commit three armed robberies in 13 minutes in August, to no avail.

Police said a man brandishing a handgun aimed the weapon at the clerk at Mac's convenience store in Peterborough, east of Toronto, at 4:30 a.m. Aug. 19....read more from CNews


Swiss right-wing party goat mascot missing, feared dead: Zottel the Goat, the mascot of the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP), went missing a week before federal polls and is feared dead, Swiss media said on Monday.

Zottel and his "girlfriend" Mimo disappeared from their stables in the canton of Zurich early on Saturday. A police search for them began almost immediately, but has yielded no results so far.

Ernst Schibli, a Swiss MP who took care of Zottel, said the mascot received an anonymous letter with death threats to "fascist Goat Zottel" this summer....read more from RIA Novosti

FOLLOW UP: Swiss mascot Zottel the Goat found safe and sound

October 16th, 2011

Thousands of streets left in darkness to save money: (by Jasper Copping) Streets across Britain are being left in darkness as town halls cut back on lighting to save money.

Almost three quarters of councils have already reduced street lighting in their area, or are considering doing so.

The blackouts are being rolled across thousands of streets in rural areas, suburbs and city centres in almost every county in the UK, despite concerns from residents and police that the moves will lead to an increase in traffic accidents and crime....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Biggest haul of Roman gold in Britain could have been found: Britain's biggest haul of Roman gold, worth millions of pounds, could have been found in Worcestershire by a treasure hunter.

Details of the treasure remained sketchy and the identity of the lucky metal detecting enthusiast has not been revealed.

But it is understood Worcestershire County Council and the county coroner have been informed because of the potential archaeological significance....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

October 15th, 2011

Boy, 4, takes SUV on wild ride: FULLERTON, Calif. - A 4-year-old boy escaped serious injury after driving off in his mother's sport utility vehicle, flipping it and crashing in Southern California, police said.

The Orange County Register reports Fullerton police Sgt. Andrew Goodrich said the boy climbed into the driver's seat of the SUV and put it into gear while his mother stood outside it in the parking lot of a restaurant about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

The vehicle left the parking lot of the Summit House restaurant, sideswiping at least one vehicle, and traveled south along State College Boulevard through several intersections during rush hour, crossed into lanes of oncoming traffic, hit a tree and flipped over at least once, landing upright....read more from UPI


Italian retiree must prove he is alive: VERONA, Italy - A retired construction worker is struggling to prove to the Italian government he is still alive.

Giulio Marchetto, 62, said he discovered when he inquired why he was no longer receiving his pension that the government had him listed as dead, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. Marchetto, who lives in Boschi Sant'Anna near Verona, is getting together the documents he needs to demonstrate he is still alive....read more from UPI

October 14th, 2011

N.Y. artist can paint nude models only after dark: An artist arrested for applying body paint to a nude model in New York's Times Square will have charges against him dropped if his models strip naked only after dark, according to a court agreement reached on Thursday.

Police arrested Andy Golub, 45, in July and charged him with violating public exposure and lewdness laws. He has been painting nude models for about three years.

Golub's lawyer, Ronald Kuby, argued that New York laws do not prohibit public nudity in the name of art, and a compromise was reached that was the basis of the court ruling....read more from Reuters UK


Mile-high clubFornicating skydivers under investigation: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is investigating after two people were filmed having sex while jumping out of a plane over Kern County, California.

The video shows Alex Torres, a porn star who works weekends as a skydiving instructor at Skydive Taft, simultaneously skydiving and having sex with Hope Howell, a receptionist at the skydiving school.

Torres posted the video on his blog, and it proved to be a hit among local youth, until a police investigation forced him to take it down....read more from CNews


Driver's number plate flips to save toll: (by Chris Hawley) A US truck driver used a device out that could have come from a James Bond movie to try to get out of paying the US$65 (NZ$81) toll to cross the George Washington Bridge into New York City, police say.

Nelson Vaquiz of Beaverdam, Virginia, was arrested on charges of using a cable in his truck cab to flip up his front license plate while going through a gateless toll lane on Interstate 95 without a toll transponder, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said today (NZ time). Vaquiz had also bent up his rear plate so it couldn't be read by cameras, police said.

Truck drivers have complained about steep toll increases that the Port Authority says it needs to finish building the new World Trade Centre in Manhattan. By 2016 a five-axle truck will have to pay US$105 (NZ$131) to cross the bridge....read more from Stuff.co.nz

October 13th, 2011

Louisiana drivers get incorrect refund checks: BATON ROUGE, La. - Louisiana officials said 26,000 drivers who were incorrectly charged $3 fees were sent refund checks, but many of the checks were mistakenly made out for $300.

The state Office of Motor Vehicles said the drivers were erroneously charged $3 late fees when renewing their license tags during the summer due to a computer software error and the office's bank, JP Morgan Chase, mistakenly made out many of the refund checks for $300, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Thursday....read more from UPI


Outhouse in works for Mount Everest: Mount Everest may be No. 1, but it's being taken over by No 2.

So environmentalists have proposed building portable toilets at the top of the world.

The group, Eco Himal, which has headed a mission to clean up tons of less icky trash from the iconic slopes and peak -- including spent oxygen bottles, old ropes and abandoned tents -- say permanent toilets are just a proposal at this point....read more from CNews

October 12th, 2011

Seattle superhero arrested for assault: (by Iain Thomson) A Seattle self-styled “superhero" has been arrested on four counts of assault after intervening in a fight early on Sunday morning.

Phoenix Jones, aka Benjamin Fodor, is well known in Seattle for wandering the streets in a homemade superhero costume seeking out wrongdoers. But he appears to have bitten off more than he could chew after intervening in what he thought was a fight at 2:30 am near a local nightclub. Jones rushed into the scene, bellowing for onlookers to call 911, and sprayed two of the participants with pepper spray.

The group then turned on Jones, according to Peter Tangen, a freelance journalist writing about Jones and the Rain City Superhero Movement – a loose collection of ex-military and martial arts oddballs who stalk the Seattle streets seeking to right wrongs. A video shows another member of the group attacking Jones with her high-heeled shoes, but thanks to his bulletproof vest and codpiece he was able to escape, along with Tangen and another “superhero" called Ghost....read more from The Register


Family calls 911 from cornfield maze: A family in Danvers, Massachusetts, paid $45 to walk through a cornfield maze Monday evening only to find it was like a maze in there.

The couple and their young child got lost in the maze and had to call 911 for rescue, reports CBS Boston.

"We thought this would be fun. Instead, it's a nightmare," the caller told the 911 dispatcher....read more from CNews

October 11th, 2011

Zombies hurt in film set accident: Emergency crews called to an accident on a film set in Toronto were confronted with alarming blood and gore - but it wasn't as bad as it looked.

Actors dressed as zombies for the latest Resident Evil film were injured when a high platform moved suddenly.

"It did kind of catch us off-guard when we walked in," said police Sergeant Andrew Gibson....read more from BBC News


Drinkers stunned as bull rampages through pub in Ireland: (by Amy Willis) Punters who were having a quiet drink at their local were left dumbstruck when a bull came crashing into the bar.

The rampaging farm animal sent bar stools flying, wrecked a pool table and butted holes into the walls after it escaped from a nearby cattle auction.

As a final assault on the bar, the beast then urinated on the floor....read more w/pic from The Telegraph (UK)

October 10th, 2011

US woman gives birth hours after running Chicago Marathon: Amber Miller's day was far from over when she crossed the Chicago Marathon finish line on Sunday. She still had to give birth.

The 27-year-old from suburban Chicago was nearly 39 weeks pregnant at the start of the 26.2-mile race, and went into labor shortly after finishing, a spokeswoman from Central DuPage Hospital said on Monday.

Miller ran in marathons while pregnant with her son Caleb, but never close to 39 weeks pregnant, the spokeswoman said. Miller told reporters at Central DuPage Hospital that she did not plan to finish the race....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Mimes tackle traffic chaos in Venezuela: A part of Venezuela's capital is giving dangerous drivers the silent treatment, sending mimes into the streets to do what police alone have not: tame the lawless traffic.

About 120 mimes dressed in clown-like outfits and white gloves have taken to the streets of the Sucre district, wagging their fingers at traffic violators and at pedestrians who streak across busy avenues rather than waiting at crosswalks.

They've found plenty to keep them busy in a city where motorcycle riders roar down footpaths, buses drop passengers in the middle of busy streets and drivers treat red lights and speed limits as suggestions rather than orders....read more from Stuff.co.nz

October 9th, 2011

Big Ben becoming leaning tower of London, say engineers: (by Jaspar Copping) London's tower of Big Ben is leaning so much that its tilt can now be seen with the naked eye, civil engineers have discovered.

Surveyors have found that the clock tower at the Palace of Westminster has developed a tilt, which is getting worse every year.

The top of the tower is now almost one-and-a-half feet off the perpendicular – so far off that experts say the tilt is visible to the naked eye....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Man robs bank then dines on beer and pizza: Arizona authorities say they have arrested a man who robbed a Yuma bank then went and spent some of the stolen money on beer and pizza at a nearby restaurant.

Yuma police say 56-year-old Henry Elmer has been booked into county jail on a variety of robbery and theft-related charges.

Officers responded to a robbery call at the main branch of the Wells Fargo Bank across from the Yuma Police Station around 1.30pm Saturday....read more from Stuff.co.nz

October 8th, 2011

France bans ketchup in schools: PARIS - The French government said it is banning ketchup from being served with any dishes except fries in all school and college cafeterias.

Officials said the ketchup ban, which also stipulates fries can be served a maximum once per week, is aimed at promoting healthy eating among the country's youngsters, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

"France must be an example to the world in the quality of its food, starting with its children," Agriculture and Food Minister Bruno Le Maire said....read more from UPI


What the way you walk can reveal about you: (by Richard Gray) The unique way someone walks can betray who they are with almost as much accuracy as fingerprints, scientists have found.

Researchers have developed a method that can identify a unique "pressure signature" in their footsteps.

By analysing more than 100,000 pressure points created by people's feet as they walk, the scientists were able to pinpoint 70 key patterns that are unique to an individual....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

October 7th, 2011

Bring back dwarf tossing to provide job stimulus, says US politician Ritch Workman: A Politician wants to make "dwarf tossing" legal in Melbourne [Australia].

But Victorians shouldn't expect such a competition in their capital city any time soon.

It's the city of the same name in the US state of Florida where the push is on to provide employment opportunity for little people....read more from NEWS.com.au


Got a headache? Forget tablets, all you need is love: THE Beatles told us the answer to life's problems - "it's easy" - and they may be right, according to experts on a revamped TV series on sex education.

The 30-episode UK Lovers' Guide says sex is a natural solution to many simple health problems.

So if you've got a headache, a roll in the hay might just keep the doctor away....read more from NEWS.com.au

October 6th, 2011

German fashion designer makes clothes from milk: A young fashion designer from the German city of Hanover is revolutionising high fashion by designing clothes with a staple she can find in her fridge -- milk.

Anke Domaske, 28, has developed a fabric called QMilch made from high concentrations of the milk protein casein -- the first man-made fibre produced entirely without chemicals.

"It feels like silk and it doesn't smell -- you can wash it just like anything else," Domaske told Reuters....read more from Reuters UK


Woman's sight improves after bumpy ride: Joan Gluer can see again, thanks to a trip through Mt Cook's Tasman Valley.

The 77-year-old Australian tourist found she was able to see again after an Argo tour with Tasman Valley 4WD and Argo Tours while on holiday in New Zealand with her daughter.

After the bumpy ride, Mrs Gluer could see out of her left eye, which she started having trouble with three years ago....read more from Stuff.co.nz

October 5th, 2011

Cops lure fugitives with free TV offer: Instead of going home with $75 and a plasma TV, fugitives in Chicago were locked up.

In Operation C.W. Marketing, the Cook County Sheriff's Office sent 10,000 offenders wanted for a variety of reasons -- from unpaid child support, traffic offenses and violent felonies -- invitations to take part in electronics testing. The invites said that in exchange for their feedback, they would get $75 and could keep the electronic device they tested.

The invitations went to the most recent address for those on the wanted list, and while thousands were returned as undeliverable, more than 50 fugitives made appointments to take part....read more from CNews


Swiss speedster trapped by his own mobile phone: A Swiss motorist used his mobile phone to record himself driving on an autoroute near Geneva at 320 km an hour, nearly three times the speed limit, police said on Wednesday.

But the offence was only uncovered six months later when the 28-year-old was questioned in another case and investigators found the images still on the phone.

Some shots were focussed on the speedometer of his car, a Bentley Continental, according to a police spokesman....read more from Reuters UK

October 4th, 2011

Lap dancing company boss urges students to strip to pay for degrees: The boss of lap dancing company Spearmint Rhino has suggested hard-up students should consider stripping as a way to pay for university tuition fees.

John Specht, UK vice president of the company, said female students could earn good money while having "fun" working in lap dancing clubs.

His comments have sparked fierce criticism from student leaders who blame the government for forcing undergraduates into stripping to make ends meet....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


UK Motorist caught using laptop, drinking and writing quiz answers at same time: A motorist was caught driving while using a laptop, writing down the answers to a quiz on the radio and drinking coffee all at the same time.

The behaviour was observed during a crackdown on distracted drivers by Hampshire police, with other offences including a man eating a pear with a knife while driving and motorists using mobile phones.

The force hired an unmarked HGV cab for the initiative in order to get a good viewpoint from which they could observe and video offenders....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


The crazy drivers who have stunned police: Hampshire [UK] Police have revealed they spotted a motorist driving while using a laptop, writing down the answers to a quiz on the radio and drinking coffee all at the same time. Here are some other motorists whose driving left a lot to be desired.

Two motorists were banned from driving for taking part in dangerous "surfing" circuits around a car park.

CCTV footage released by police showed the pair driving at speed in circles while someone lies on the roof of their cars, clinging on by their fingertips....read more w/videos from The Telegraph (UK)

October 3rd, 2011

Lawyers guilty of having dirtiest desks: Lawyers and accountants are among the most unhygeinic office workers in country, a survey has found.

Dirty office desks are harbouring germs which can quickly spread among staff as firms are braced for an outbreak of sickness absence through colds and flu, a new report said.

A study of desks by office supplies firm Viking in hundreds of offices across the country found poor levels of hygiene....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Gun lovers' ashes turned into ammunition: There's something to be said for going out with a bang.

Two Alabama game wardens have devised a smoking send-off for avid hunters and gun enthusiasts. For a small fee, they will turn cremated ashes into ammunition that the deceased's loved ones can fire at will.

Since it launched in July, Holy Smoke LLC has had only two clients, but founders Thad Holmes and Clem Parnell said they have seen an uptick in prearrangements thanks to word-of-mouth and a recent flurry of international press....read more from Stuff.co.nz

October 2nd, 2011

NYC couple raising hens in apartment: NEW YORK - A New York City couple are raising chickens in their one-bedroom apartment as a way of eating local in a city with little green space.

Robert McMinn, 45, and Jules Corkery, 45, collect about two eggs a week from each of their three hens living in their Queens apartment, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

"I don't think it's the ideal situation," said McMinn, who began raising chickens in Idaho in 2003, but "they're cute. They're fun to [watch] run around. They're excited when we come home....read more from UPI


Woman charged in perfume assault: SUDBURY, Ontario - A couple was assaulted by a woman who blasted them with perfume in a local home.

A 25-year-old woman was arrested Friday night and charged with two counts of assault with a weapon and administering a noxious substance after an altercation about 7 p.m. with the couple in their 40s....read more from CNews

October 1st, 2011

Retiree who faked death gets 6 years: CANTERBURY, England An English retiree who tried to collect on his life insurance by faking his death in Honduras received a six-year prison sentence Friday.

A judge in Canterbury Crown Court said Anthony McErlean, 66, who tried to get the money by posing as his wife, was motivated by "overweening greed," The Independent reported. He was trying to collect a payout of 520,000 pounds (almost $800,000) and is reported to have told police after his arrest he did not want "to be destitute in old age."

"This is deliberate and calculated fraud, not only from corporate bodies but also from the public," Judge Adele Williams said....read more from UPI


Dog escapes kennel, takes train home: STOCKHOLM, Sweden - A Swedish woman said her dog escaped from a kennel and took a metro train across six stops to the station nearest to her home.

The woman, who was identified only as Caroline, said she took her 4-year-old black Labrador, Eira, to a day kennel Thursday in the Stockholm suburb of Hokarangen and the dog soon escaped, The Local reported Friday....read more from UPI

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