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.
Malaysia to seek out dirty toilets: A Malaysian state plans to set up "toilet squads" to monitor cleanliness at key tourist destinations following criticism of standards, reports said Sunday.
Northern Perak state was criticized in a recent Auditor-General's report which charged that toilets in most recreational parks in the state were deplorable, poorly maintained and dirty, the New Sunday Times said.
Perak tourism committee chairman Mohamad Radzi Manan was quoted as saying that several squads would be formed to visit public toilets in tourist locations and report on hygiene and cleanliness....full story from TCV
Bears galore raiding Alaska trash cans: Bears are a growing nuisance in parts of Alaska where police calls have already topped last year's totals.
Ketchikan police say they have received more than 80 calls about interloping bears, and the busy season for bear activity is only just getting started.
The Ketchikan Daily News said Saturday bears have largely lost their fear of humans while developing a taste for their trash as a source of food....full story from UPI
Argentine man, 24, weds 82-year-old bride: A 24-year-old Argentine man has married a woman 58 years his senior.
The groom, Reinaldo Waveqche, told reporters after the ceremony in Santa Fe, northern Argentina: "I've always liked mature ladies."
Mr Waveqche added: "I don't care what other people say....full story from the BBC
Chinese ban bra ads: Days after banning "sexually provocative sounds" on television, China has now stopped networks showing "saucy" adverts for push-up bras and figure-hugging underwear ahead of a major Communist Party meeting next month.
Other targets of the crackdown are "low-brow and base" commercials for sex toys and those featuring famous people or experts attesting to the efficacy of medicines, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said on its Web site (www.sarft.gov.cn) on Friday....full story from Reuters UK
Brazil braces for TV soap-induced blackout: Brazil's power generators are on Defcon red in anticipation of a whopping power surge at the end of hit soap opera Tropical Paradise, which could theoretically blackout the entire country should the flow of juice prove inadequate.
According to AP, TV Globo says 90 per cent of the nation's TV viewers will be glued to their sets on Friday "to learn who murdered the scheming villain Tais and to find out if Bebel, the Pygmalion-like prostitute, will live happily ever after".
An anonymous power company spokesman explained: "We are worried about a possible blackout caused by a sudden surge in electricity at the end of the program....full story from The Register
Nokia to sell $25,000 Ferrari phone: The luxury unit of Nokia has started selling a phone designed jointly with Ferrari for about 18,000 euros ($25,400) at its stores in London, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore, it said on Thursday.
The Vertu unit produced the Ascent Ferrari 60 phone to celebrate Ferrari's 60th anniversary....full story from Reuters
'Meteorite' crash breeds mass hysteria in Peru: On what started as a normal Saturday night one week ago, residents of a small, remote Peruvian town saw a bright light streak across the sky, heard a resounding bang and suddenly found themselves at the center of a media frenzy.
Initial suspicions of an airplane crash quickly spiraled into widespread reports that a meteorite had plummeted to Earth and left a smoking, boiling crater whose supposedly noxious fumes were reported to have sickened curious locals who went to peer at the hole....full story from Space.com
Peeved Ohio man accused of sawing house in half: A man angry that he wasn't going to be sold a house is accused of using a power saw to turn the abode into a convertible.
Rodney Rogers of Hillsboro, Ohio, apparently thought an acquaintance was going to build a house and sell it to him, and he was living in it while it was being completed, Highland County Sheriff Ronald Ward said Wednesday....full story w/pic from MSNBC
Russian woman's 12th baby weighs in at 17.1 pounds (7.75kg): A Siberian woman who gave birth to her 12th child -- doing more than her fair share to stem Russia's population decline -- was stunned to find that little Nadia weighed in at a massive 7.75 kg (17.1 lb).
Nadia was delivered by caesarean section in the local maternity hospital in the Altai region on September 17, joining eight sisters and three brothers, a local reporter said.
"We were all simply in shock," said Nadia's mother, Tatyana Barabanova, 43....full story from Reuters UK
Venezuela to shift clocks half an hour: Venezuelan prez Hugo Chavez today postponed a scheme to secure his place in the pantheon of classic comedy Latin American despots by shifting back his country's clocks half an hour, Reuters reports.
Chavez rather gamely admitted that his cunning plan, slated for activation today and which "would allow children to wake up for school in daylight instead of before sunrise", might be considered in some quarters "crazy", but decided to go ahead anyway with just eight days' notice. He announced that the move would liberate the nation from the shackles of Yankee imperialist hourly divisions - a slur likely to earn him a congratulatory exploding cigar from the CIA, we suspect....full story from The Register
Outdoor advertising hits new heights: LONDON: With airlines turning seat backs, tray tables and even overhead bins into advertising platforms, looking out the window of an airplane has been one of the last ways to enjoy a marketing-free moment.
It looks as if that, too, is about to change - at least during that tedious time on the approach to landing, between the end of the in-flight entertainment program and touchdown on the runway....full story from IHT
Texas capital bans dog tethers: A new law could fine Austin, Texas, dog owners $500 if their pooches are left chained or tethered outside without supervision.
The law, which was passed in June and takes effect Oct. 1, makes tethering a dog outside a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500, the Austin American-Statesman reported Monday.
Dorinda Pulliam, director of Town Lake Animal Center, told the newspaper dog owners who don't immediately follow the new law will first be given a notice to comply....full story from UPI
NFL bans cheerleaders from flaunting it in front of visiting players: CBS NFL analyst Charlie Casserly reported on today's pregame show that the NFL sent a memo to all 32 teams last week informing them that home teams are not permitted to tell their cheerleaders to warm up, stretch, or otherwise do anything in front of the visiting team's bench that might distract the players before the game.
Apparently there were concerns around the league that some teams had specifically told their cheerleading units to warm up prior to the game right in front of the visiting team, in hopes that the visiting team's players would be too distracted checking out the cheerleaders to pay attention to their coaches' pregame instructions....full story from AOL Sports
Messaging snafu madness blows pot deal up in smoke: A West Virginia man sent a text offering weed to the State Police by mistake Wednesday, and is now cooling his heels in the big house, AP reports.
Joshua Wayne Cadle, 19, allegedly sent the message Wednesday to a phone number that used to belong to a 'friend', only to discover that the cursed number now belonged to the state police.
State Police Trooper B.H. Moore said Thursday that an unidentified officer received the errant text on Wednesday and set up a meeting in a shopping center parking lot that night....full story from The Register
Politically correct weddings in Stockholm: Brides in Stockholm who want their fathers to walk them down the aisle are likely to be told it can't be done, as some pastors are refusing to allow the practice they say is sexist, a pastor said today.
"In Sweden we have worked hard in many different ways to eliminate everything that is unequal," a Lutheran Church vicar in the Stockholm region, Yvonne Hallin, told AFP.
She said she would not allow the custom in her parish, and noted that Stockholm's bishop issued a recommendation in 2003 that pastors discourage it....full story from NEWS.com.au
Canadian cops recover stolen beer trucks: It appears the thieves who made off with two tractor-trailers of Moosehead beer from a warehouse in Mississauga, Ontario, prefer bottles, not cans.
Police recovered the two trailers on Friday after they went missing Wednesday.
While one trailer with 70,000 cans of Moosehead Lager appears to have been untouched, 44,000 bottles were cleaned out of the second trailer....full story w/pic from CNews
Amsterdam to cut back on brothels: The Dutch city of Amsterdam is to close one-third of the brothels in its famous red light district.
The city has reached a 25m euro (£18m) deal to buy 18 buildings and turn them into shops or housing.
The mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, said that although prostitution was legal in the Netherlands, there was too much of the sex trade in the city centre....full story from the BBC
'God' apparently responds to lawsuit: A legislator who filed a lawsuit against God has gotten something he might not have expected: a response. One of two court filings from "God" came Wednesday under otherworldly circumstances, according to John Friend, clerk of the Douglas County District Court in Omaha.
"This one miraculously appeared on the counter. It just all of a sudden was here - poof!" Friend said....full story from TCV
Follow-up article Sept.21 from TCV
Vet extracts toy lizard from real lizard: Seven-year-old Finley Collins thought her pet 12-inch bearded dragon might be giving birth when she noticed an unusual protrusion near the lizard's tail.
But Finley's father, Jeff Collins, feared it might be something more ominous and rushed Mushu to an animal hospital, where a veterinarian pulled out a 7-inch toy rubber lizard.
"I've never extracted a lizard from another lizard before," said Jacksonville, Florida veterinarian John Rossi....full story from TCV
Chinese bloke games himself to death: A Chinese man who indulged in three-day marathon gaming session joined his ancestors after succumbing to exhaustion, the Beijing News reports.
The unnamed 30-year-old from the province of Guangzhou collapsed in a net cafe and later died in hospital despite doctors' efforts to revive him. The authorities have "ruled out the possibility of suicide", the Beijing News notes....full story from The Register
Venezuelan man survives autopsy: A Venezuelan car crash victim who had been declared dead gave morgue examiners a nasty shock by waking up as he went under the knife, Reuters reports.
Carlos Camejo, 33, was not as deceased as he should have been for the planned autopsy, and was woken from his undead state by the "excruciating pain" of a scalpel to the face. He told local paper El Universal: "I woke up because the pain was unbearable."
When his missus turned up to identify her other half's body, she found him very much alive and with a newly-stitched facial wound....full story from The Register
Woman sees zebra trotting down driveway: Sharon McConough says a zebra has been visiting her home and she has the photograph to prove it. McConough, who lives in the Ranger Creek area east of Fort Gibson Dam (Oklahoma), said her dog starting barking and she went outside to see what was causing the disturbance. A zebra was trotting down her driveway. It was wearing a halter....full story from TCV
Cities cracking down on saggy pants: It's a fashion that started in prison, and now the saggy pants craze has come full circle - low-slung street strutting in some cities may soon mean run-ins with the law, including a stint in jail.
Proposals to ban saggy pants are starting to ride up in several places. At the extreme end, wearing pants low enough to show boxers or bare buttocks in one small Louisiana town means six months in jail and a $500 fine....full story from TCV
Venezuela claims big soup record: Venezuelan officials claimed a world record Saturday for making the largest pot of soup, a giant cauldron of stew prepared by President Hugo Chavez's government.
The hulking stainless steel cooking pot, set up outdoors in downtown Caracas, contained about 3,960 gallons of "sancocho" stew, Food Minister Rafael Oropeza said. That would dwarf the current record-holder listed on the Guinness World Records Web site, a pot of 1,413 gallons of spicy soup prepared in Durango, Mexico, in July....full story from TCV
A "Baby Bjorn" sperm crisis in NYC: New Yorkers looking for a bouncy, blond, blue-eyed baby are in a panic as the city's largest sperm bank - and the only one with imported goods - is running dry.
Cryos International, based in the Financial District, has gone to seed because the Food and Drug Administration banned sperm samples from 30 countries to prevent the spread of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare, fatal disorder caused by eating beef contaminated with mad-cow disease....full story from theNew York Post
Cane Toads poised to invade Darwin, Australia: It can grow to the size of a small dog and has virtually taken over the top end of Queensland and the Northern Territory. The cane toad is wreaking environmental havoc and the locals are saying enough is enough.
They have decided to man the barricades, arm themselves and make a last stand against bufo marinus, aka the cane toad, the scourge of the Top End....full story from The Age
Waiter sacked for being a hero: A Florida man has been besieged with job offers - after he was sacked for saving a woman from an armed robber.
Juan Canales, 42, lost his job as a waiter with a Thai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale after his boss got sick of the media attention....full story from Anavova
Driving instructor drunk while teaching his students: A Driving instructor has been banned from driving for 12 months after a court heard he was drunk while teaching a student how to drive.
The 57 year-old man from Camira, Queensland, Australia, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrate's Court yesterday to being in charge of a car while he had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.197....full story from NEWS.com.au
Manure spawns neighbor's lawsuit: In court documents filed in Milford Superior Court (Connecticut), Gino Sciortino says his neighbor, Helen Catlin, is permitting significant quantities of horse manure to accumulate in piles on her property and the foul odor can often be smelled at his home. Helen and David Catlin have lived on Park Road more than a year and own three horses.
Sciortino is asking for more than $15,000 in damages as well as an injunction from the court ordering Catlin to relocate the horse manure and other debris and to re-grade the soil near their property line....full story from the Connecticut Post
California college offers YouTube course: Here's a dream-come-true for Internet addicts: college credit for watching YouTube.
Pitzer College in Clermont, California this fall began offering what may be the first course about the video-sharing site. About 35 students meet in a classroom but work mostly online, where they view YouTube content and post their comments....full story from IHT
NZ surveillance target attempts to sell tracking device: A New Zealand man under covert electronic surveillance by police turned the tables on his snoopers by attempting to sell tracking kit he found in his car.
Ralph Williams, of Cromwell in central Otago, discovered a pair of tracking devices hidden in his daughter's and flatmate's cars after both vehicles were seized by police as part of an investigation. Rather than throwing the tracking devices away in a fit of pique, Williams enterprisingly offered the kit for sale on Trade Me, a local listings site....full story from The Register
Enraged bee bursts Taiwanese woman's breast implant: A Taiwanese woman was sporting a brand spanking new breast implant this week after her previous joy bag was punctured in a freak bee stinging incident.
The apine dive bomber attacked the 31 year old last month as she was riding her motorcycle while wearing a low cut dress, Ananova reports. Despite the fact that saline implants are supposed to withstand pressures of 200Kg, the woman said her right breast "disappeared" in just two days....full story from The Register
Google sponsors race to the moon: Google announced today it is sponsoring a $30 million robotic race to the moon, organized by the X PRIZE Foundation, a Santa Monica non-profit famous for issuing multimillion-dollar scientific challenges.
A $20 million grand prize will go to the first team that lands a privately funded spacecraft on the moon and carries out certain tasks. Google is also offering a second prize of $5 million and bonus prizes of $5 million for teams meet additional challenges, such as finding lunar ice....full story from SiliconValley.com
EU provides reprieve for mile and pint: In what was being celebrated as a triumph for the British David over the European Goliath, the European commission has capitulated to England's "metric martyrs" and reprieved the imperial measure.
Traditionalists will still be able to walk a mile to the local for a pint of bitter after popping into the greengrocer for a pound of carrots without fear of prosecution from the commissars of metric Europe, despite longstanding orders to Britain and Ireland to phase out their system of measurements by 2009....full story from the Guardian
British couple check into hotel....for 22 years: When British couple David and Jean Davidson checked into a modest hotel room, the prospect of not having to cook or clean for themselves was so appealing, they decided to stay - for 22 years.
The pair first stayed at a roadside Travelodge in 1985 while visiting an elderly aunt who was ill in Staffordshire, England.
When the aunt died four months later, the Davidsons moved out of their flat in Sheffield and moved into the Travelodge in Newark, Nottinghamshire....full story from NEWS.com.au
Three-day wait proposed for magic mushrooms in Amsterdam: A New proposal from the mayor of Amsterdam is sure to be considered a bummer by certain visitors to the Dutch city: a three-day waiting period to buy hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Mayor Job Cohen wants to require the wait period to allow mushroom buyers to fully understand exactly what it is they are purchasing, ANP news agency reported overnight....full story from NEWS.com.au
Bank robber uses own check in Colorado robbery: A man robbing a bank demanded the money by writing a note on one of his own checks, authorities say. Not surprisingly, he was caught soon afterward.
Forest Kelly Bissonnette, 27, apparently tried to cover his name on the check, then handed the note to a teller Sept. 5 at the Bank of the West in Englewood, Colorado, according to authorities....full story from TCV
Colombian armed robber targets karate school: A Colombian armed robber evidently not au fait with martial arts is recovering in hospital after ill-advisedly targetting a karate school, Reuters reports.
The attempted blag took place in the nothwestern town Bucaramanga, and local police commander Colonel Julio Cesar Santoyo simply told Caracol radio: "An individual entered a martial arts school with a firearm but they managed to react, put their knowledge to use and disarmed him.....full story from The Register
San Jose condo complex for cars: Signaling that the Silicon Valley economy is revving up, three car connoisseurs are building condominiums exclusively for cars.
Yes, for cars - not people.
Club Auto Sport, now under development in San Jose, will offer up to 70 condos for cars, as well as a concierge and club room where "car guys" can hang out, watch races and talk about . . . cars....full story from SiliconValley.com
Viking ship found under English pub: A team from Nottingham University's archaeology department believes it has rediscovered the remains of an intact Viking boat under a Merseyside pub - originally unearthed in the 1930s by builders excavating the boozer's basement, but quickly reburied because they feared "an archaeological dig would disrupt their work".
According to The Times, builder John McRae found the 10th-century vessel under the Railway Inn on the Wirral, "uncovered the bow and excavated 5ft" before his foreman intervened. McRae's son, also called John, recounted: "The foreman, who was called Alf Gunning, came along and said: 'For God's sake cover it up. We don't want an archaeological dig to stop the build....full story from The Register
Russian "Married with Children" a big hit: Turn on the sitcom that is the hottest television show in Russia, and it all seems so familiar. Moored to his living room couch is a shoe salesman who is more interested in watching sports than conjugal relations. His wife has shocking hair and an even more shocking mouth. A couple of ne'er-do-well teenagers round out this bawdy, bickering bunch....full story w/pic from IHT
Lake cleanup in Texas yields kitchen sink: Philanthropic pirates plundered the high seas, well a lake in Texas, to lay claim to a year's worth of bounty resting on the lake's bed.
In the 13th annual Lake Travis Underwater Cleanup, more than 1,000 volunteers grabbed as much garbage, debris and hidden treasures from the Austin-area body of water, the Austin American-Statesman reported Monday.
And what a bounty! Divers Sunday found a kitchen sink, a bottle of wine, a debit card, underwear, a sunken personal watercraft, and about 600 pounds of aluminum cans....full story from UPI
Mugger in Germany foiled by blind judo expert: A blind judo expert astounded a mugger by pinning him to the ground after he tried to steal his cigarettes, police said on Monday.
The assailant, a 17-year-old man of Asian origin, spotted the 33-year-old, who police identified only as Emil E., at a train station in the southwestern town of Giessen and thought he would be easy prey, police spokesman Rolf Wellershausen said....full story from Reuters UK
Airline passenger told her skimpy outfit won't fly: A 23-year-old woman who boarded a Southwest Airlines plane in a short skirt for a flight to Arizona says she was led off the plane for wearing an outfit that was considered too skimpy.
Kyla Ebbert said a Southwest Airlines employee asked her to leave her seat while the plane was preparing to leave San Diego on July 3.
Ebbert, a student who was headed to Tucson for a doctor's appointment, said Friday on NBC's "Today" show that the employee told her she would have to catch a later flight....full story w/pic from CNews
Follow-up article Sept.14 from the San Jose Mercury News
Lovers 'bring down' Chinese boss: Eleven former mistresses of a senior Chinese official have accused him of corruption, state media say.
They say the lovers of Pang Jiayu from the central Shaanxi province joined forces after some of their husbands had been sentenced to death for corruption.
They say Mr Pang, 63, seduced the wives of his subordinates, and in return helped their husbands make money by giving them big financial projects....full story from the BBC
Duo reflect on co-drunken driving charge: How do you become a celebrity? How about being charged with drunken driving while you and a friend are trying to drive the same pickup truck home. It worked for two men, Harvey Miller, 43, and Edwin Marzinske, 55.
"I always thought I'd be famous, just not this way," said Miller, a paraplegic who was steering a pickup truck with Marzinske on the gas pedal and brakes when they were stopped on a Friday night in August in Colby-Abbotsford, Wisconsin....full story from TCV
Leech invasion makes Japan residents see red: Long confined to the mountains, Japanese leeches are invading residential areas, causing swelling, itching and general discomfort with their blood-thirsty ways.
Yamabiru, or land leeches, have become a problem in 29 of Japan's 47 prefectures, according to the Institute for Environmental Culture, a private research facility in Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo.
The little suckers are riding into towns and villages, hitching lifts on deer and boar whose numbers have grown due to re-forestation and dwindling rural populations....full story from Reuters UK
Momma moose bashes through woman's door: Anita Ovard moved to her small home in this town in the western foothills of the Rocky Mountains because she wanted to see more wildlife. But the view got a little too close when a moose decided to make itself at home in her front room.
Ovard spotted two baby moose in her yard when she pulled into the driveway Tuesday. She immediately started looking for the mother moose, spotting the massive animal just before it plowed through her storm door and front door....full story from TCV
Germans plan 578m-high (@2000ft) "Great Pyramid": A German consortium has announced its plan to build the world's largest structure - a 578m-high "Giant Pyramid", designed to offer paying customers the chance to "outlast personal physical existence", as the group's website puts it.
The plan is pretty simple: build a big pyramid where anyone willing to stump up about €700 can get a burial spot. The blurb explains:
"The Great Pyramid can potentially be any human being's grave or memorial site....full story w/pic from The Register
Nepali airlines sacrifices goats to 'appease sky god': Nepal's troubled national carrier has taken a spiritual approach to recent maintenance troubles with one of its Boeing 757s by sacrificing two goats in front of the plane to appease a Hindu god.
The carrier was forced to suspend international flights for around 10 days in August as both the aircraft it uses for foreign flights were grounded due to technical problems....full story w/pic from NEWS.com.au
-Probably not something found in the Boeing owner's manual....
Pee-powered battery unveiled: The trouble with batteries is that there never seems to be a power socket in sight when you want to charge them up. Thankfully, one manufacturer has developed a battery that should be slightly easier to recharge, thanks to its ability to run off a variety of liquids, including water and urine.
Dubbed NoPoPo, the battery has been developed by the Japanese company Aqua Power System and comes in standard AA and AAA formats. Although, larger capacities for use as auxiliary power supplies have been rumoured....full story from The Register
Cuban migrants' first sight: Waffle House: Late-night diners had some unexpected dinner guests at an Oakland Park, Florida, Waffle House: 25 Cuban migrants, who came ashore earlier in the day.
The group arrived at the restaurant, 4840 NW Ninth Ave., shortly before 11 p.m. Monday, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office. They were dropped off at the Waffle House by an unidentified truck or van driver who had picked them up when they reached the United States....full story from the Miami Herald
Aussie bids $123,000 to fly A380: Julian Howard of Sydney, Australia, is paying $123,000 to be the first person to buy a seat on the first commercial flight of the world's largest airliner, the Airbus A380.
The pair of first class suite tickets, one-way from Singapore to Sydney, with Singapore Airlines, was sold at a charity auction that continues to fill the remaining 520 or so seats on the October 24 flight....full story w/pic from NEWS.com.au
Rich Russians cool down in summer snow: In a city famed for its bitter winters, summer snow has become the latest luxury fad for a select few wealthy Moscow residents.
Snow-making machine salesmen say at least half a dozen individuals in this booming megalopolis have spent in the region of $329,000 dollars on the latest must-have accessory: a private snow room.
Mega-rich Muscovites are fitting out their private spas with expensive snow-making equipment to replicate the age-old local tradition of diving into the snow after a steam bath....full story from NEWS.com.au
Maine sand castle builders seek record: The creator of a sand castle built nearly 32 feet high to raise funds for terminally ill children and their families hopes the structure will be named the world's tallest.
Organizers said Saturday the elaborate sand castle measured a height of 31 feet, 7 inches. Plans called for verification paperwork to be sent to the Guinness Book of Records, which will determine whether the castle makes the record book....full story w/pic from TCV
Sand castle dispute pits S.C. and Maine Follow-up article Sept.4 from TCV
Good Samaritan arrested in Chicago: A Chicago man is suing cops, alleging they mistook his kindness as an attempt to solicit sex from an undercover officer.
Erasmo Palacios was driving with his wife when they pulled up to a woman who was waving her arms in a way they took to mean she needed help....full story from the New York Post
World's best whiskers vie for honors: One contestant had a mustache twisted into the shape of London's Tower Bridge; others sported bushy beards that would make Grizzly Adams envious. In the end, Beard Team USA nabbed four of the top honors - by a whisker - at the World Beard and Mustache Championships.
About 250 shaggy men from around the world competed Saturday in 17 different classes of facial hair at the competition in Brighton, England....full story from TCV and more from handlebarclub.co.uk
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.