Friday, April 30, 2004

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Batman and Robin fighting crime - in Whitley

Two mystery men dressed as Batman and Robin have been fighting crime and saving damsels in distress in a small English town.
The pair have been spotted springing into action a number of times in recent weeks on the streets of Whitley, near Reading.
The Reading Evening Post asked readers for news of the duo after they dealt with a pair of streakers at a local football cup final.
And the newspaper was besieged with calls from residents who claimed to have seen the 'superheroes' in action.
Michelle Kirby was stranded when her Peugeot 206 ran out of petrol on Easter Sunday - until Batman and Robin appeared out of nowhere and pushed her car to the nearest petrol station.
She said: "They just appeared. I saw them running down the road in Batman and Robin outfits - I was laughing so much.
"It was like a scene out of Only Fools and Horses and they stayed in character the whole time.
"They said, "I'm Batman, I'm Robin" and I said, "No, you're not" and asked them if they were going to a fancy dress party but they said they were going back to Gotham City."
Ray Cox, 61, spotted the caped crusaders at about 11.30am after doing his morning shopping.
"I said to my wife, it would make it a better and safer place with these men," he said. "Batman was quite a broad chap. They would scare a few muggers off and I'd feel safer in Whitley."

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Height's a pain

At age 33, Leonid Stadnik wishes he would stop growing. He's already 8 feet, 4 inches. Recent measurements show that Stadnik is already 7 inches taller than Radhouane Charbib of Tunisia, listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest living man.

He's also gaining on the 8-11 Robert Wadlow, the tallest man in history. Yet for Stadnik, the prospect of becoming a record-holder would be little comfort.

"My two-year-old suit's sleeves and pants are now 30 centimeters (12 inches) shorter than I need," said Stadnik. "My height is God's punishment. My life has no sense."

Stadnik's height keeps him confined to this tiny village 130 miles west of the capital, Kiev.

"Taking a public bus for me is the same as getting into a car's trunk for a normal person," he said.

Stadnik's unusual growth began after a brain operation at age 14, which is believed to have stimulated his pituitary gland. Since then, life just keeps getter harder.

Although he once was able to work as a veterinarian at a cattle farm, he had to quit three years ago after his feet were frostbitten because he wasn't able to afford proper shoes for his 17-inch feet.

This month, he finally got a good pair, paid for by some local businessmen. Their $200 cost was the equivalent of about seven months' worth of the tiny pension that Stadnik receives in the economically struggling country.

Stadnik sleeps on two beds joined lengthwise and moves in a crouch through the small one-story house that he shares with his mother Halyna.

His weight of about 440 pounds aggravates a recently broken leg, and he suffers from constant knee pain.

Despite his aches, he tries to keep himself busy with the usual routine of country life. He works in the garden, tends the family's cows and pigs, and helps neighbors with their animals.

To relax, he cultivates exotic plants and pampers his tiny, blue and yellow pet parakeet with his huge hands.

Bronyslav, a neighbor who refused to give his last name, described Stadnik as the "most unselfish, diligent man of a pure soul."

His friends, in turn, treat him with the same sort of soft good humor. They're trying to organize a trip for him to the Carpathian Mountains to show him that "there's something in the world taller than you," Bronyslav said

Sunday, April 04, 2004

April 2004 Archives

Tosser Piers resigns

The Mirror board said Morgan would be stepping down immediately
Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan has been sacked after the newspaper conceded photos of British soldiers abusing an Iraqi were fake.
In a statement the Mirror said it had fallen victim to a "calculated and malicious hoax" and that it would be "inappropriate" for Morgan to continue.

The Queen's Lancashire Regiment (QLR) said the Mirror had endangered British troops by running the pictures.

Roger Goodman, of the QLR, said the regiment now felt "vindicated".

Mr Goodman added: "It is just a great pity it has taken so long... and that so much damage has been done in the meantime."
The Daily Mirror... apologises unreservedly for publishing the pictures and deeply regrets the reputational damage done to the QLR and the Army in Iraq

Mirror statement

At a news conference in Preston on Friday afternoon, the regiment demonstrated to reporters aspects of uniform and equipment which it said proved the photographs were fake.

The regiment's Brigadier Geoff Sheldon said the vehicle featured in the photographs had been located in a Territorial Army base in Lancashire and had never been in Iraq.

He said the QLR's reputation had been damaged by the Mirror and asked the newspaper to apologise because the evidence they were staged was "overwhelming".

The Conservatives said they hoped lessons had been learned from the row.

Deputy leader and foreign affairs spokesman, Michael Ancram, said: ''Looking at the facts objectively, this is the right thing for Piers Morgan to have done.

"The photos that were published in the Daily Mirror have done great damage to the reputation of our troops, who are serving under some of the most difficult conditions in Iraq.''

'Recruiting poster for al-Qaeda'

The photos published in the Mirror on 1 May appeared to show British troops torturing an Iraqi detainee.

In one picture a soldier is seen urinating on a hooded man while in another the hooded man is being hit with a rifle in the groin.

Colonel Black, a former regiment commander of the QLR, said the pictures put lives in danger and acted as a "recruiting poster" for al-Qaeda.

Downing Street refused to comment on the issue, saying it was a matter for the Mirror board.

This was about the life of British soldiers, and you can't tough it out when you're wrong

Andrew Neil, former editor of the Sunday Times
Morgan will be replaced on a temporary basis by his deputy, Des Kelly.

The newspaper released a statement saying: "The Daily Mirror published in good faith photographs which it absolutely believed were genuine images of British soldiers abusing an Iraqi prisoner.

"However there is now sufficient evidence to suggest that these pictures are fakes and that the Daily Mirror has been the subject of a calculated and malicious hoax.

"The Daily Mirror therefore apologises unreservedly for publishing the pictures and deeply regrets the reputational damage done to the QLR and the Army in Iraq.

"The paper will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation.

"The board of Trinity Mirror has decided that it would be inappropriate for Piers Morgan to continue in his role as editor of the Daily Mirror and he will therefore be stepping down with immediate effect."

The Sun newspaper had offered a Ā£50,000 reward for "information about the fake Mirror photos" but withdrew the offer following the sacking of Morgan.

Italian police get Lamborghinis

Italian police have been given something of a helping hand in their bid to catch crooks.
The latest addition to their fleet of cars is a Lamborghini sports car with a top speed of 192mph.

The 2-seater Lamborghini Gallardo will be used along highways in southern Italy.
The car, a gift from the Italian car factory, uses a V10 cylinder DOHC four valve V90 5 litre, 500 Hp engine.
So beware !! Itie thieves

Boomerangs 'are British'

A carving on a rock in Yorkshire proves ancient Britons and not Australian Aborigines invented the boomerang, an author claims.
Terry Deary says the markings on the Swastika Stone on Ilkley Moor are curvy boomerangs and not a sun or fire worship symbol.
Sky News reports that the writer of the Horrible Histories books was jogging past the rock when the thought occurred to him.
He suggests the carving - dating from around 3,000 to 4,000 BC - is in fact a depiction of a quadrang-style boomerang.
Mr Deary said: "It's the earliest representation of a boomerang. There's nothing else it could be."
Aerodynamic throwsticks were developed by a number of stone age civilisations thousands of years ago, but Aboriginal Australians have commonly been associated with their invention, some 10,000 years ago.
Mr Deary, however, claims the Swastika Stone carving is the first representation of a return boomerang.
He says early ones would have been four-armed as it was easier to get them to return.

Indian man aiming for 100th marriage

An Indian man who's become famous for marrying 90 times wants to marry 10 more women for his "century".
Udaynath Dakshiniray, 80, of Orali in Orissa, claims he's received nine recent offers of marriage from overseas.
He says he's had three proposals from both the US and Japan, two from Hungary and one from Germany.
Born in an affluent family of landowners, Udaynath's first marriage ended when he refused to leave his village and settle with his bride in the neighbouring town of Dhenkanal.
It is reported that the young man was shocked and frustrated and vowed to marry at least 100 women.

Safe Driver Did not hold a licence

A PENSIONER on his way to receive an award for 25 years accident-free driving was stopped by police at a roadside check - and then admitted he did not have a licence. Wilibald Schmidt, 77, had been forced to hand over his licence for driving offences a quarter of a century before, but had carried on driving illegally without it, according to a report in the German daily newspaper, Bild.

Because Mr Schmidt had not had an accident since 1978, the local motoring club in Essen, Germany, where he was a member, had invited him to receive an award for his "careful driving and good example to other motorists".