Odd News Archive - September 2011

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September 30, 2011

Britain's cure for economic slowdown - drive faster: The government has come up with a literal cure for economic slowdown -- it wants drivers to drive faster on the nation's motorways.

"Now it is time to put Britain back in the fast lane of global economies and look again at the motorway speed limit which is nearly 50 years old, and out of date thanks to huge advances in safety and motoring technology," Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said.

The speed limit on Britain's motorways is 70 miles per hour (120 kph), lower than in many countries in continental Europe....read more from Reuters UK


Two beach patrol Land Rovers submerged by high tide: A beach safety team send a Land Rover to rescue their own stranded buggy - only for both vehicles to become submerged as the tide came in.

First the patrol's six-wheel buggy became stranded a mile out from Cleethorpes Pier, NE Lincs [UK], and then when the team's yellow Land Rover was dispatched to rescue them it got stranded as well.

The embarrassed officers, who walked to safety as the tide came in, called for the Cleethorpes Lifeboat for help, which was refused....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Duck survives 100kmh [62mph] car crash in New Zealand: An indestructible duck hit by a car at almost 100kmh survived with bruises after getting stuck inside the vehicle's grill for a day.

Wellington [New Zealand] man Phillip Johnson was driving on State Highway 1 near Levin on Wednesday when two ducks waddled onto the road. He braked to avoid the pair, but heard a thump and thought he had clipped one.

"I looked in the rear view mirror and it was walking. I thought the other one had flown away." Mr Johnson forgot about the incident till the next day, when he thought he should check the car for damage....read more w/pic from Stuff.co.nz

September 29, 2011

Japan tsunami: 10m yen donation found in Tokyo toilet: An anonymous donor in Japan has left 10m yen ($131,000; £83,000) to charity by dumping it in a public toilet.

The money was found with a letter saying it should be donated to victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March.

The neatly wrapped bills were found in a plastic shopping bag in a toilet for disabled people in the city hall of Sakado in the Tokyo suburbs....read more from BBC News


Massachusetts cat with 2 faces lives 12 years, sets record: WORCESTER, Mass. - Frank and Louie the cat was born with two faces, two mouths, two noses, three eyes — and lots of doubts about his future.

Now, 12 years after Marty Stevens rescued him from being euthanized because of his condition, the exotic blue-eyed rag doll cat is not only thriving, but has also made it into the 2012 edition of Guinness World Records as the longest-surviving member of a group known as Janus cats, named for a Roman god with two faces.

"Every day is kind of a blessing; being 12 and normal life expectancy when they have this condition is one to four days," Stevens said, stroking Frank and Louie's soft fur as he sat on her lap purring. "So, he's ahead of the game; every day I just thank God I still have him."....read more w/pic from The Oklahoman

September 28, 2011

Survey: Scientists need coffee the most: CANTON, Mass. - A survey commissioned by Massachusetts-based Dunkin' Donuts ahead of National Coffee Day indicates scientists have the most need for coffee in their workdays.

The online survey of 4,700 U.S. workers, which was jointly commissioned by Dunkin' Donuts and Web site CareerBuilder ahead of Thursday's National Coffee Day, found 34 percent of respondents said they need coffee to get through their workdays and 46 percent of those said they are less productive without coffee....read more from UPI


Drunken tractor joyride lands man in jail: SARNIA, Ontario - A drunk driver with four prior convictions got nearly two years of jail time for his erratic actions behind the wheel of a farm tractor.

Jeffrey Kerr, 49, who had previously pleaded guilty to impaired driving, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified, was in court once again Tuesday in the southwestern Ont. city of Sarnia.

Kerr forced other vehicles off the road when he went on a joyride June 18, 2010. He was swerving from one side of the road to the other, then went into the ditch and apparently passed out but returned to the road with a beer in his hand....read more from CNews


Auckland teenager freed from vending machine: An Auckland [New Zealand] teenager has been extricated from a vending machine after getting his arm stuck while allegedly trying to steal a can of Coca-Cola.

Firefighters arrived to find a 15-year-old boy with his entire arm stuck up the vending machine at the Genesis Training Centre on Glendale Rd, Glen Eden.

Specialist tools were used to free him....read more from Stuff.co.nz

September 27, 2011

Prisoners demand more sports channels: (by Andrew Hough) Inmates at a jail in South Wales already have Sky Sports 1, but have lodged a formal complaint with the prison authorities that they do not also get Sky Sports 2 and 3.

The limited choice of channels meant criminals missed out on watching Brighton play Liverpool in the Carling Cup last Wednesday night – and seeing Manchester City play Everton on Saturday.

The fight for "sports rights" led David Davies, the MP for Monmouth, to point out that many people outside prison could not afford the channels. "It beggars belief they are complaining about this – I haven't even got Sky Sports myself," he said....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

September 26, 2011

New York man patents perfect snowman: A New York man has received a patent for building the ultimate snowman.

Ignacio Marc Asperas submitted the patent application in 2006 "for facilitating a construction of a snow man/woman."

"The following is not a joke patent. It's completely serious and is a serious undertaking to obtain a patent," Asperas wrote on his patent application....read more from CNews


Doritos inventor Arch West dies, will be buried with chips: When Arch West, the man credited with inventing Doritos, is buried on Oct. 1, he will be joined by a sprinkling of the bright orange chips that have become a cheesy, tangy, American institution.

His daughter, Jana Hacker of Allen, Texas, told the Dallas Morning News that the family plans on "tossing Doritos chips in before they put the dirt over the urn."

West, who was 97 when he died of natural causes last week, was a former Frito-Lay executive. He reportedly came up with the idea of Doritos when he was on vacation with his family in Mexico and came upon a snack shack selling fried tortilla chips....read more from the Los Angeles Times


Washington Monument closed indefinitely: (by Michael E. Ruane) The National Park Service said Monday that the Washington Monument will be closed indefinitely and that the 5.8-magnitude earthquake in August had done more damage to it than had been previously disclosed.

Officials said a “debris field," made up mostly of mortar that had fallen during the quake, had been found at the base and that more substantial pieces of stone had fallen loose inside the monument.

The Park Service posted a video on its Web site taken from a security camera in the observation deck near the top during the quake. It shows debris falling from the ceiling, the entire structure shaking violently, and terrified visitors falling and running for safety....read more w/video from The Washington Post

September 25, 2011

Skunks moved into Florida couple's home: PALM BAY, Fla. - A Florida couple returned after a month-long visit with their children to find 10 skunks had invaded their home through a window left cracked open.

"I was sitting having coffee, and I saw five of them walking around my kitchen," said Stephanie Palieri. "I wanted to sit on the dining room table. I was scared. I wanted to be someplace high."

Retired and living on a fixed income, Palieri, 77, and husband Bill had no money to pay a trapper to rid their Palm Bay home of the smelly pests. Moved by their story, James Dean, who owns AAA Wildlife Removal, stepped in to help free of charge, Florida Today reported Sunday....read more w/video from UPI


Cup noodle museum an instant hit in Japan: Japan is renowned for its weird museums and a new member of that club has opened its doors in Yokohama.

The museum pays tribute to the instant snack that has sustained generations of Australian university students, cup noodles.

But it is much bigger than that, last year the humble cup noodle was scoffed, slurped and swallowed 95 billion times around the globe....read more w/audio from ABC News (AU)

September 24, 2011

Put the brakes on for the RoadKill Festival: Waikiki has its Spam Jam and Raleigh, North Carolona, boasts a BugFest.

But you're unlikely to find a more weird and wackier food festival than the one happening in the small town of Marlinton, West Virginia, Saturday.

Welcome, if you have the stomach for it, to the West Virginia RoadKill Cook-off and Autumn Harvest Festival....read more from CNews


Judge tells offenders to go to jail or church: Go to jail or go to church for a year.

That's the unique option being offered to non-violent offenders in a southern Alabama town.

According to The News Tribune, the city judge in Bay Minette will let misdemeanour offenders choose to work off their sentences in jail and pay a fine or go to church every Sunday for a year....read more from CNews


Australians think they can understand what dogs and cats are 'saying': MORE than 80 per cent of Australia's dog and cat owners believe they can understand what their pet's woof or miaow means, a survey has found.

The survey of 800 Australian pet owners found more than 95 per cent of dog owners talked to their pets, while just over 89 per cent spoke to their cats.

And 87 per cent said they understood what their pets were trying to say, according to the survey commissioned by an animal healthcare company....read more from NEWS.com.au

September 23, 2011

Man 'spontaneously combusts': (by Nick Collins) Spontaneous human combustion has long been the stuff of fiction, endorsed by eccentric scientists and employed by novelists including Charles Dickens as a convenient plot twist.

But yesterday the most unlikely cause of death, in which people burst into flames without any external source of ignition, was given official sanction when Irish coroner found a pensioner had burned to death for no apparent reason.

Michael Flaherty, 76, was found dead at his home in Galway [Ireland] last December after a neighbour heard the smoke alarm in his house go off in the middle of the night.

But while his body had been burned to cinders, fire officers who attended the scene were astonished to find nothing else had been damaged apart from the floor below him and a patch of ceiling above....read more from The Telegraph


Man accused of breaking into home to do laundry: A Florida man has been arrested for allegedly breaking into a home to do his laundry.

Robert James Luther III, 23, faces charges of burglary after the owner of the home said he was sitting in his truck when he saw a man and a woman pry open the door to the laundry room and go inside, reported the Naples Daily News....read more from CNews


Open an account, get a free AK-47: A Florida company is giving away free AK-47s to new customers who sign up for its credit-card-processing service.

MerchantService.com, based in Sarasota, isn't packing heat at its offices, though. New customers will get a voucher, to be used "towards the purchase of a firearm at any reputable gun shop where you must go through the proper background checks and waiting period that the law requires," according to the Florida blog, The Pulp.

The voucher can also be redeemed for cash....read more from CNews

September 22, 2011

Moon rock turns up among Clinton papers: LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A moon rock given to Arkansas 35 years ago has turned up in a box of Bill Clinton's papers and memorabilia dating to his days as governor, an official said.

An archivist going through some 2,000 boxes at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies found the rock in one of them, the Arkansas News reported.

"It's sort of a mystery solved," said Bobby Roberts, director of the Central Arkansas Library System....read more from UPI


Green glowing catSomalian children win guns in radio contest: Children in Somalia have been given guns, cash and religious books for winning a radio contest, according to reports.

The BBC reported the first-place winners of a contest in which the kids recited the Koran on the air received an AK-47 and the equivalent of $700, while the second place winners got an AK-47 and $500. Third place winners were given two hand grenades and $400. All the winners were also given religious books....read more from CNews

September 21, 2011

Turkish mortuary alarm to detect life among the dead: A local council in central Turkey has built a morgue with a warning system, in case apparently dead bodies come back to life.

The Turkish Anatolia news agency reported the mortuary's refrigerators are sensitive to movement inside.

A cemetery official said the slightest motion would set off an alarm....read more from BBC News


Cop caught car surfing in Quebec: There have been a number of car surfing cases in Canada, some of them fatal, but none like the one captured on video and sent to QMI Agency.

A Quebec provincial police officer can been seen riding on the hood of a cruiser travelling at low speed near Mont-Tremblant, 150 km northwest of Montreal.

Pascal Ricard filmed the officer in June and voiced his outrage in an interview with QMI Agency on Wednesday....read more w/video from CNews


Ukraine man wins dumpling eating contest, then dies: A 77-year-old Ukrainian man won a jar full of sour cream for coming first in a dumpling eating contest and then promptly died, local media reported on Wednesday.

Ivan Mendel ate 10 dumplings in half a minute to win first place and a one-litre jar of sour cream in the contest held in the town of Tokmak in the southeastern Zaporizhya region on September 18, Fakty I Kommentarii newspaper said.

Shortly afterwards, Mendel became unwell and died, according to local news websites....read more from Reuters UK

September 20, 2011

Frenchwoman gets 13-euro tax bill 60 years after death: “I didn’t think I’d hear any more about my grandfather, whom I never knew," Martine Courtois told AFP, after reading the 13-euro [£11-US$18] land inheritance tax bill addressed to her grandfather, Pierre Barotte.

“Everything was done legally at the time, we didn’t get any demands from the tax office," said Courtois, who lives in the small eastern town of Bruyeres.

The local tax office said the situation was entirely normal and “happens all the time" when an unpaid tax debt, through interest or late payment fees, goes beyond 12 euros....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


US survey: 1 in 5 telecommuters work an hour or less a day: Almost one in five Americans who work from home only clock in for an hour or less a day, according to a survey, while a third stay in their pyjamas.

Forty per cent of telecommuters say they work between four and seven hours, 17 per cent are doing the bare minimum and just 35 per cent are working eight or more hours, the CareerBuilder survey of 5,299 people revealed.

As bad as that sounds, it's much better than it was in 2007, when only 18 per cent were able to manage eight hours or more....read more from The Register


US justice department paid $16 for muffins: Muffins costing $16 (£10) and biscuits at $10 were among the "extravagant and wasteful" conference spending by the US justice department, a report has found.

Critics voiced outrage at the spending shown in the internal audit, including $8 coffees and $32-per-person snacks.

The justice department said it accepted the findings, adding that it had taken steps since 2009 "to ensure that these problems do not occur again"....read more from BBC News

September 19, 2011

Alligators seized in US drug raid:Atlantic City police made an unexpected discovery when they raided the home of a suspected drug dealer.

Two small alligators were found inside the Pennsylvania Avenue residence, along with 500 grams of marijuana and more than US$2600 (NZ$3153) in cash.

The alligators — each about 30-40 centimetres-long — will be turned over to state wildlife officials, who will try to return them to their natural habitat....read more from Stuff.co.nz


Sailor finds teen's bottled-up memories: A Japanese girl has thanked a US sailor in Hawaii for finding a bottle she had tossed into the sea off Japan's southern coast as a child, and is delighted to be reconnected with her old classmates as a result.

Seventeen-year-old Saki Arikawa says she'd almost forgotten about the bottle and initially couldn't believe it was found after five years.

In a telephone interview from her hometown in Kagoshima, she said "it's a miracle" the bottle was found....read more from NEWS.com.au

September 18, 2011

Armless 'Hot dog Man' statue case solved: COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa - Police in Council Bluffs, Iowa, say the mystery of where the armless "Hot dog Man" statue came from has been solved -- its owner has claimed it.

The 6-foot-tall cartoon-like hot dog statue was found Sept. 2 sans arms, The Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs reported Thursday. Despite tips from across the country and even around the world, where it came from puzzled police, Capt. Terry LeMaster says, until Curtis Wennhold came forward to claim it.

"[Wennhold] has the arms; to me, that's enough proof that it is his," LeMaster told the newspaper. "We'll be glad to give it back to him."....read more from UPI


Robbers say they were scared away by lion: UPPER DARBY, Pa. - Two 19-year-old Pennsylvania women are charged with burglarizing 25 homes, one of which they claimed they fled after encountering a lion inside, police say.

Harley R. Gifford and Britney Singleton face 25 counts of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and related offenses, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Sunday.

The women admitted to the burglary of the homes, all of which occurred since July and during daylight hours, police said. They allegedly stole electronics, jewelry, clothing items, makeup and about $22,000 in cash, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported....read more from UPI

September 17, 2011

LA woman boasts longest tongue: LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles woman can claim the distinction of having California's longest tongue -- nearly 4 inches from tip to lip, the Guinness Book of World Records says.

But Chanel Tapper's 3.8-inch tongue fell shy of the world record, held by Stephen Taylor of the United Kingdom, whose tongue measures 3.86 inches, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Another Southern Californian, Charlotte Lee of Huntington Beach, holds the record for most rubber ducks, Guinness says. Lee owns 5,249 of them and keeps them in glass showcases in a room just for the ducks....read more from UPI


Pumpkin found hanging in pear tree: An US couple have discovered an eerie presence in their pear tree, just in time for the approaching Halloween season.

Des Moines television station KCCI reports that Phil and JaNelle Lovely recently discovered a pumpkin that appears to be growing in the tree at their Greenfield home, 80km southwest of Des Moines.

They say they have no idea how the pumpkin ended up in their tree, but it appears to be the work of Mother Nature. A nearby garden vine climbed the tree, giving the now-green pumpkin the appearance of having sprouted from one the tree's branches....read more from Stuff.co.nz

September 16, 2011

Top 10 toilets around the world: Whether you call them a restroom, loo, lavatory, toilet, or "the facilities," they are always an important part of being on the go. With this in mind the members and editors of travel website VirtualTourist.com (www.virtualtourist.com) have compiled this list of the "World's Top 10 Toilets." Reuters has not endorsed this list....read more from Reuters UK


German police seek help over mystery 'forest boy': Berlin police have appealed for information to help them establish the identity of a teenager who appeared in the city saying that he had been living in the woods for five years.

The teenager is about 17, and speaks English and a little German.

He told the police that he and his father went to live in the woods after his mother died....read more from BBC New


Pair 'drive dead friend to bar': Two US men face charges in Denver for allegedly driving around with the body of a friend after discovering him dead.

The pair bought drinks, dinner and took $400 (£253) from Jeffrey Jarrett's bank, visiting a strip club before reporting his death, police said.

Robert Young, 43, and Mark Rubinson, 25, are charged with identity theft, criminal impersonation and abuse of a corpse....read more from BBC News

September 15, 2011

Drunk elk walks off with swing set: STOREBRO, Sweden - Authorities in Sweden said an elk got drunk from eating fermented apples and walked off with a family's backyard swing set.

A Storebro homeowner told police he arrived home Wednesday to discover bits of apple littering his garden and his children's backyard swingset missing, the Swedish news agency TT reported Thursday.

Police suspected an inebriated elk, a common site in Sweden when the apples begin to ferment, to be behind the incident and called a local hunter to track the animal....read more from UPI


'Missing' South African scuba diver found in jail: A rescue team was mobilised to search for a missing scuba diver in South Africa, until his mother disclosed that he was in fact in a police cell.

The rescue team's spokesman Craig Lambinon said a friend reported the diver missing off the Cape coast.

A police helicopter was sent to help in the search, but the diver's mother later told them that police had detained her son, Mr Lambinon said....read more from BBC News


Flight crew relieved from duty following landing at wrong airport: A regional airline has relieved a flight crew involved in a landing at the wrong airport earlier this month in Louisiana, leading one lawmaker to demand answers.

Continental Connection Flight 3222, which originated from Houston, was bound for Lake Charles, La., with 23 passengers and three Colgan Air crew members aboard on Sept. 7. The aircraft, however, landed some eight miles away at Southland Field, a private airport to the west in Carlyss, La.

"Even though Colgan Flight 3222 from Houston to Lake Charles, La., landed safely at Southland Field, we are taking this incident very seriously," read a statement from Colgan spokeswoman Amy Howell. "Safety is a top priority for Colgan, and when the investigation is complete, we will file a report with the FAA and take any actions that are warranted."....read more from Fox News

September 14, 2011

Restaurant fines diners for leftovers: DAMMAM, Saudi Arabia - A restaurant owner in Saudi Arabia says he is cracking down on food wastage by fining diners who don't eat everything they order.

Fahad al Anezi, of Dammam, said customers often order a large quantity of food as a status symbol at his establishment, the Marmar Restaurant, the (United Arab Emirates) Gulf News reported Wednesday....read more from UPI


Would-be 'Gumby' robber released by police after turning himself in: A man who attempted to rob a 7-Eleven store in the US city of San Diego dressed in a full-body Gumby costume has handed himself in to police.

Jacob Kiss, 19, who dressed as the famous claymation character during the stunt, surrendered voluntarily with alleged 19-year-old accomplice Jason Giramma, The San Diego Union-Tribune said.

The bizarre robbery attempt began when Mr Kiss entered a 7-Eleven store shortly after midnight last Monday (US time) clad in a full-body Gumby costume, including Gumby's trademark steeply slanting head with cheerful red and yellow facial features....read more from NEWS.com.au


No charges filed against wife in discovery of husband's body buried in backyard: NOVATO, Calif. - A Novato woman won't be charged with a crime after her husband's body was found underneath a barbecue pit she built in their yard, her attorney said Tuesday.

The body of Dale Smith, 74, was found Feb. 23 buried at least 4 feet beneath the patio of the home he shared with his wife, Evelyn Smith, 55, investigators said.

Neighbors had not seen Dale Smith since at least September 2010. It was around that time that his wife and two laborers put in a brick barbecue pit in the backyard of the home on Rebecca Way, neighbors said....read more from the San Francisco Chronicle

September 13, 2011

Thailand tourist park hunts for escaped crocodiles: The owners of a tourist park just outside the Thai beach resort of Pattaya are scrambling to track down missing crocodiles after dozens escaped when floods swept the area over the weekend.

Suthawut Temtub, a spokesman for the Million Years Stone Park and Crocodile Farm, said Tuesday that 28 crocodiles have been recaptured since breaking away from a park enclosure on Sunday night.

He said the farm houses more than 2,000 crocodiles and it is not yet known how many are missing....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


China detains 32 for selling cooking oil made from waste: Chinese authorities detained 32 people for making and selling tonnes of cooking oil dredged from gutters, the ministry of public security said on Tuesday, in the latest food safety scandal to hit the country.

Police confiscated more than 100 tonnes of the "gutter oil" -- used cooking oil fished from drains behind restaurants -- in a crackdown on a criminal network that operated in 14 provinces, the ministry said on its website (www.mps.gov.cn).

"This case, through a difficult process of investigation ... not only struck down a criminal chain of gutter oil producers, but also uncovered hidden details of the offenders' greedy and unconscionable production of poisonous and harmful cooking oil," the statement said....read more from Reuters UK

September 12, 2011

Smoking marijuana not linked to obesity - study: Anybody who's smoked marijuana knows about "the munchies," that desire to eat everything within reach. But a study from France has found that, surprisingly, pot smokers are actually less likely than non-smokers to pack on weight.

Using data covering more than 50,000 U.S. adults, researchers headed by Yann Le Strat, a psychiatrist at the Louis-Mourier Hospital in Colombes, France, found that roughly 14 percent to 17 percent of the people reporting that they smoked pot at least three days per week were obese.

That compared with a 22 to 25 percent obesity rate among people who said they had not used pot in the past 12 months....read more from Reuters UK


Woman blames neighbor for 150 lbs of mail: JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida woman says she believes her neighbor is behind a harassment campaign that has resulted in 150 pounds of unsolicited mail arriving at her home.

Dana Kraus of Jacksonville said the unwanted items, which have been arriving since January, include about 70 magazine subscriptions. She said the falsified subscriptions left her on the hook for about $1,000, First Coast News, Jacksonville, reported Monday.

Kraus said she believes her neighbor, Randall Green, is behind the campaign. Kraus obtained an injunction against Green after authorities discovered he had ordered materials from a hair restoration company in her name....read more from UPI


Smoking orangutan goes cold turkey: Shirley, the famous cigarette-smoking orangutan, is getting the monkey off her back.

Malaysian wildlife officials removed her and four other animals from a zoo in the state of Johor, reports the BBC, after a local newspaper report about the poor conditions at zoos across the country.

Shirley's bad habit is a result of visitors throwing lit cigarettes into her enclosure....read more from CNews

September 11, 2011

Canadian grandma graduates basic training: VICTORIA, British Columbia - A 56-year-old Canadian grandmother has graduated from basic training with the Canadian military, becoming the oldest reservist to do so, officials say.

Debbie Dompierre, whose husband and son both have a background in the military, decided to join because she was unable to find a job after a move to Victoria, British Columbia, the Victoria Times Colonist reported.

The grandmother of four was sworn in Feb. 3 and began her nine-week training course in June, a grueling process that saw five others in their 20s quit....read more from UPI


Smelly blobs wash ashore on Virginia beach: VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Beach-goers say they were upset to find smelly softball-sized blobs washed ashore at Chic's Beach in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Erik Brickson thought the blackish to grayish blobs on the beach Saturday were rocks at first, until he noticed the smell, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported.

Health Department officials said they were unable to identify them because no one brought them a sample. Officials speculate that they were skunk sponges....read more from UPI


Green glowing catGreen-glowing cats are new tool in medical research: (by Julie Steenhuysen) U.S. scientists have developed a strain of green-glowing cats with cells that resist infection from a virus that causes feline AIDS, a finding that may help prevent the disease in cats and advance AIDS research in people.

The study, published on Sunday in the journal Nature Methods, involved inserting monkey genes that block the virus into feline eggs, or oocytes, before they are fertilized.

The scientists also inserted jellyfish genes that make the modified cells glow an eerie green color -- making the altered genes easy to spot....read more from Reuters UK

September 10, 2011

Coffee servers cited for nudity: SAN JOSE, Calif. - Police in California said three women were issued public nudity citations for allegedly serving customers in a Vietnamese coffee shop while topless.

San Jose police said officers conducting a routine check of the Quyen Cafe at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday spotted the women, ages 22, 22 and 23, serving coffee while topless, and they were each issued a citation for public nudity and will have to appear in court, the San Jose Mercury News reported Friday....read more from UPI


School bus stop moved from strip club: ATLANTIC BEACH, S.C. - A South Carolina school district announced it is moving a bus stop after parents complained about its location directly behind a strip club.

The Horry County School District said the bus stop at 4th Street and 30th Avenue South in Atlantic Beach will be replaced by two different stops farther from the adult entertainment establishment, WPDE-TV, Myrtle Beach, reported Friday.

Jim Wright, transportation director for the district, earlier said the stop was placed behind the strip club because it was the most central location for the children serviced by the stop. He announced the change Thursday....read more from UPI

September 9, 2011

NASA warns of fresh risk from £468m satellite falling from space: (by Andrew Hough) The $750 million (£468 million) Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) satellite, launched 20 years ago to study climate change, is set to breach the atmosphere within weeks.

In a new alert issued this week, officials warned pieces could land in densely populated areas on six continents including parts of Britain, Europe, North and South America and Asia.

NASA claimed the risk to public safety from the “dead" satellite – which is orbiting just over 155 miles above the earth with an inclination of 57 degrees – was “extremely small"....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Apollo 17 Moon landing: Shock revelations: (by Lester Haines) The recent release of Apollo landing sites snaps, captured by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), was a serious kick in the 'nads for the black helicopter brigade and their tiresome insistence that the good old US of A faked the Moon landings.

American astronauts did indeed walk on the lunar surface, and that would seem to be an end to the matter.

Well, it would be if we at El Reg had not received sensational proof of a massive cover-up reaching to very highest echelons of the US administration and fast food industry....read more from The Register


UK teacher quits to be Somali deputy PM: A north London school support teacher has resigned from his job after unexpectedly being appointed as deputy prime minister of Somalia.

Mohamed Ibrahim had been a learning support teacher at Newman Catholic College in Harlesden for two years when he was appointed to the post.

The 64-year-old has also taken up the role of minister for foreign affairs....read more from BBC News

September 8, 2011

Drunk MooseSceptical clerk thwarts would-be Gumby robber: A person dressed as Gumby walked into a US convenience store, claiming to have a gun and demanding money, but costume trouble and a sceptical clerk thwarted the would-be robber.

Surveillance video shows someone - police think it was a man - in a bulky, green costume and another man entering 7-Eleven in Rancho Penasquitos, southern California, early Monday (Tuesday, NZ time).

Gumby demanded money, but the store clerk thought it was a joke and ignored the life-size Claymation character, telling him he was cleaning up and didn't have time to waste, said San Diego police Detective Gary Hassen....read more from Stuff.co.nz


Seized Ferrari used as police patrol car: A luxury Ferrari that used to belong to a drug boss is being used as a police patrol car in Colombia, as a message to criminals that their goods will end up in public hands.

The Colombian daily El Tiempo reports the Ferrari, worth $US250,000 ($NZ300,125), used to be the favourite car of drug lord Hernando Gomez, known as Rasguno.

The car was once black, but has been painted green and white in line with other police patrol cars....read more from Stuff.co.nz


Drunk MooseSeemingly drunk Swedish moose found stuck in tree: STOCKHOLM — A seemingly intoxicated moose has been discovered entangled in an apple tree by a stunned Swede.

Per Johansson says he heard a roar from his vacationing neighbor's garden in southwestern Sweden late Tuesday and went to have a look. There, he found a female moose kicking about in the tree. The animal was likely drunk from eating fermented apples.

With the help of police and rescue services, the 45-year-old Johansson later managed to set the moose free in part by sawing off tree branches....read more w/pic from The Denver Post

September 7, 2011

Bear takes California family's Prius for a spin, leaves it wrecked: The McCarthy family of Pleasanton, California, have an unusual explanation for how their 2002 Toyota Prius got totalled over the northern summer.

In short, a bear took the vehicle for a spin from the driveway of their west Lake Tahoe cabin, the Contra Costa Times said.

It seems the bear got into the car easily enough, but once inside became stuck, and got mad about it - ripping seats open, biting a chunk out of the steering wheel and damaged the gear box, which shifted the car into neutral....read more from NEWS.com.au


Woman deposits suspected criminal at police headquarters: KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A woman crashed through Kansas City Missouri police headquarters to deposit a suspected criminal Tuesday afternoon.

Police said it is the first time they can remember it ever happening.

Officers said it all began when a man jumped on the hood of a woman's car on 71 Highway in Kansas City....read more w/video from KSHB- TV (Kansas City)

September 6, 2011

Painters wrap Forth Bridge job after 121 years: The English language is preparing to mourn the loss of one of its most agreeable similes as painters finally apply the last lick of paint to the Forth Bridge.

For well over 100 years, chaps armed with buckets and brushes have scaled the famous structure in a Sisyphean endeavour to keep it spick and span.

Now, however, after a 10-year, £130m [US$209m] application of epoxy-based paint – similar to that used on oil rigs – it is almost time for workers to call it a day....read more from The Register


NASA releases stunning new moon-landing snaps: (by Rik Myslewski) NASA has released a series of photos of Apollo moon-landing sites that are dramatically improved over previous photos taken as recently as 2009.

The photos were taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which was launched on June 18, 2009 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, along with the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS).

The landing sites in the new photos included those of the second manned moon landing, Apollo 12 of November 1969; the third, Apollo 14 of January 1971 (all Tom Hanks fans know what happed to Apollo 13); and the final visit of man to the moon, Apollo 17 of December 1972 – nearly 39 years ago....read more w/pics from The Register

September 5, 2011

Man makes cash telling jokes for $1: NEW YORK - An out-of-work New York man said he found a way to bolster his finances by telling jokes for $1 a laugh in the city's Central Park.

Jason Schneider, 26, known as Jason the Joke Guy to park-goers, said he first decided to spend the day telling $1 jokes with a money-back laughter guarantee in April and he made $140 during his first 6 hours, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

Schneider, who said he failed to find steady work after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007, said he takes his humorous profession seriously....read more from UPI


Forgotten mooncakes spark Taiwan station bomb scare: Police in the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung mobilised the bomb squad after a suspicious package was found in a subway station toilet, only to find it contained nothing more dangerous than mooncakes.

A cleaner called police to report the package left on top of a waste bin on Saturday. Part of the station, known for its stained glass ceiling, was cordoned off and explosives experts were called in.

TV pictures showed a police officer in a full protective suit entering the toilet carrying specialist equipment while other officers waited outside with more gear....read more from Reuters UK

September 4, 2011

Christmas merchandise hits the shelves: NEW YORK - New York retailers are taking advantage of the upcoming Halloween holiday in order to push Christmas merchandise as early as September, retail analysts say.

Stores throughout Manhattan are already showcasing Christmas ornaments and decorations in their window displays, the New York Post reported Saturday.

"While we won't see retailers fully deck the halls until November, there is definite demand from their shoppers to bring out the holiday decor as early as September," National Retail Federation spokeswoman Kathy Grannis said....read more from UPI


Group breaks bar-hopping record: NEW YORK - A group of 13 drinkers visited 200 bars throughout New York's Manhattan to set a new Guinness World Record for most pubs visited within a 24-hour-period.

The "Thirsty 13" hit the 200 pub mark after 10 hours of bar-hopping that began at 8:45 a.m. Saturday at O'Hanlon's Pub on 14th Street, the New York Daily News reported. After visiting pizza joints, sake bars and European bistros, the group ended its record-breaking day at Solas on E. 9th Street where group leaders Chris Solarz and Bea Reigh celebrated their wedding anniversary. The two met three years ago at Solas during a speed dating event....read more from UPI


Roasted crickets and toasted ants – coming to you courtesy of EU research millions: (by Adam Lusher) Fancy some scorpion soup? How about a mixed locust salad with bee crème brûlée for dessert?

It may not sound like the most appetising of prospects but the European Union thinks all these could soon be on the menu.

Experts in Brussels believe insects and other creepy crawlies could be a vital source of nutrition which will not only solve food shortages but also help save the environment....read more from The Telegraph (UK)

September 3, 2011

Man, 61, joins college football team: MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A 61-year-old college junior in Alabama said he will become the oldest man to play football with a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics team.

Alan Moore, who will turn 62 in February, said he left school in 1968 to fight in Vietnam and he decided to return to college and try out for football after he recently watched his old team, Jones Community College in Mississippi, play, The Birmingham (Ala.) News reported Friday.

Moore said he found a new school, and a football team, at Holmes Community College, also in Mississippi, and he learned after his sophomore year that he was eligible to play in the NAIA....read more from UPI


Far out pizzaDomino's plans first pizza restaurant on Moon: LONDON: Domino's Pizza has announced plans to launch its first pizza restaurant on the Moon.

After rival chain Pizza Hut delivered a pizza to astronauts orbiting the Earth in the International Space Station in 2001, Domino's hit back last year in a series of events to mark the 25th anniversary of its arrival in Japan.

And now, the construction firm Maeda Corp has come up with the plan to open a dome-shaped concrete Domino's restaurant on the surface of the Moon....read more from The Times of India

September 2, 2011

A-rated school may be X-rated after hours: A Florida school may be going from glee club by day to nightclub after dark.

The Balere Language Academy in Miami -- a charter school for kindergarten through Grade 8 with an A rating from Florida's education department -- is the address noted on flyers advertising the "Push It To Da Limit" party supposed to take place Saturday, reports the Orlando Sentinel. And it's not the first after-hours party believed to have been held there.

Parents, tipped off by empty beer bottles and the lingering smell of smoke at their children's school, started complaining to the school district last week, the report says....read more from CNews


Canadian workers ill after cannabis brownie mix-up: Three office employees in the Canadian city of Victoria fell ill after a colleague unwittingly gave them chocolate brownies laced with cannabis.

Police were investigating a possible case of poisoning at the workplace after the three were taken to hospital feeling dizzy and disorientated.

The woman who brought in the cakes said she simply found them in her freezer....read more from BBC News

September 1, 2011

3,000 Pair of panties found along Ohio highway: (by Joe Daues) Deputy Sheriff Gary Hummel says what started as a bizarre scene in a Fairfield County, Ohio field grew and grew, into an even more unusual discovery. "I came up and looked for myself and after I got here I couldn't believe what I was seeing," he said.

Someone dropped all these drawers in not one or two, but 4 spots along Crawfis road in the county. Road crews and a neighbor discovered the first batch; 16 hundred pairs in all, some new, some used.

Deputy Hummel had the task of collecting the evidence. It took about two hours. He filled 10 giant garbage bags just at that location alone....read more w/video from KSPR-TV (Springield, MO)


Game show in The Netherlands 'pits asylum seekers against each other’: A game show in The Netherlands supposedly pits failed asylum seekers against each other to win cash to spend after being deported back to their home country.

In the show called Weg van Nederland which means either Leaving the Netherlands or Mad About the Netherlands, contestants are flanked by women dressed as air hostesses as they answer questions about Dutch culture, language and history.

The would-be immigrant who has learnt the most about the Netherlands during his stay wins £3,500 to spend after deportation....read more from The Telegraph (UK)


Tomato fight in SpainTomato fight paints Spanish town red: Tens of thousands of revellers have splattered each other with 120 tonnes of squashed tomatoes in a gigantic annual food fight known in Spain as the Tomatina.

The streets ran red with slippery juice as nearly 40,000 people, many stripped to the waist and drunk with sangria, pelted each other in the Plaza Mayor and nearby streets of Bunol, in eastern Spain.

Five trucks unloaded the ammunition on participants from around the world, including tourists from Australia, the United States and Japan, before the battle commenced with a firework being set off....read more w/video from ABC News (AU)

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