Monday, May 31, 2004

May 2004 Archives

Tailor's bird has customers in stitches

A brainy cockatiel has learnt to sew after watching his owner working in a tailor's shop.

The nine-year-old bird called Baggio learnt how to stitch by copying Jack Territo.

The pet can now pick up a pin and thread it through the material with his beak.
Mr Territo, 60, who runs a tailor's shop in Park Street, Bristol, said: "I've never heard of a bird that can stitch but Baggio has a great sewing action.
"He has become a real hit with our customers."
Baggio is to appear on a new BBC1 talent show, Test Your Pet, next week.
The show is hosted by Rolf Harris, who is hoping to find Britain's smartest pet.
Mr Territo is confident his cockatiel will impress viewers with his needlework skills.
"When people see what he can do, I think he will be top billing. Other animals can do tricks but this bird can sew. There is no competition."
Viewers will decide in a phone poll vote which pet takes the title of Britain's smartest.

Brits get frisky in public

Over half of British adults have had sex in a public place, a new survey has found.
According to Sky the annual sex poll by FHM also found that 56% of men and women admitted to having been unfaithful in a relationship.
One in three women said they had faked their orgasms, while nearly a third of British men and 38% of British women said they had lost their virginity at 16 or under.
Commenting on the results, sex therapist Denise Knowles said about sex in public spaces: "People are all looking for that buzz and adrenaline in all aspects of their lives.
"The idea of getting caught out has always been in the fantasy books."
The relationship expert added that she was not surprised at the number of people who had been unfaithful.
"It's obvious that unfaithful behaviour has increased greatly over the years. There is more and more opportunity for affairs, with people going out more, and women going out to work.
"There is also a more relaxed attitude to sex and infidelity, and that kind of cocktail means more people are going to be unfaithful."

Woman offering house as a prize

A woman is offering people the chance to win her Ā£180,000 house for Ā£1.
According to the Daily Record, Joan Miller is charging people Ā£1 to enter a competition to think up a slogan for her website
The four-bedroom house, in Swindon, Wiltshire, will be listed on the website for eight weeks.
If the money from entries is higher than the reserve price, Joan will keep the money and the person judged to have the best slogan will win the house.
If the level of entries is insufficient, Joan will keep her house and the person with the best slogan will win all the money form entries, minus a 20 per cent fee.

Bank couldn't give money away

A British bank was shocked to find it could not even give away money.
The branch of Barclays Bank, in Croydon, London, put up a sign offering a Ā£5 note to anyone who stepped inside to collect it.
But bank officials told the BBC that no-one took up the offer.
The experiment, carried out for two hours one day in January, was to help Barclays understand "what engages customers as they walk past branches".
A spokeswoman for the bank said: "The basic conclusion that we came to was that people would much rather look at shops that are selling dresses than financial services.
"Obviously we are always looking for better ways to engage with our customers."
She stressed the experiment was a one-off.

tooth in head

A Rugby League player had a tooth enmbedded in his head after he was examined by a physio, after a recent Rugby League Match Castleford Tigers v Wigan ..... he just thought it was a head wound .so played on.!..... and you think American football is a tough game ?...padded up pouffes !

Woman, 97, handcuffed for motoring offence

Police in Dallas handcuffed a 97-year-old woman and took her to jail for a minor motoring offence.
Dolly Kelton was driving to a beauty shop when she noticed flashing lights in her rear-view mirror.
She was pulled over and arrested because she had failed to pay a fine for an expired car registration sticker.
The Dallas Morning News says local police have a no exceptions policy and everyone gets treated the same.
Police officers arrest, handcuff and jail all offenders - even people accused of minor traffic offences.
She was in police custody for about two hours before her attorney arrived and she was released.
Mrs Kelton said she had an unblemished 80-year driving record but accepts the blame and doesn't fault the police for doing their duty.
However, she added: "I think it's still stupid and uncalled for. They ought to be out on the street arresting criminals, not poor, aged ladies."

That's shorn it! Fleece cut after six years

A sheep which evaded humans for six years in New Zealand's Central Otago Mountains has been shorn in front of a live television audience.

According to Sky Shrek's fleece weighed in at 27.5kg and was removed by former world champion sheep shearer Peter Casserley.
Mr Casserley used an old-fashioned pair of cutting blades to remove the fleece, described as "rock hard" in places.
Shrek looked a little disorientated when the shearing was over, but seemed to adjust to his new shape quickly.
Strands of the fleece, measuring around 380mm in length, are being sold off in specially-marked boxes, with interested parties from around the world having put in bids for a woolly memento.
A limited amount of clothing made from the fleece will also be sold and all money raised from the auction of Shrek's wool will go to cancer-fighting charity Cure Kids.

Food, Tea, Queen Make Us British

LONDON - What makes Britons British? Fish and chips, drinking tea and the queen, according to them.
The Beatles, a traditional cooked breakfast of sausages and eggs and Buckingham Palace also made a list published Tuesday of people, places and pastimes that define Britain.

Top of the 100 Distinctly British Greats list was food ā€” fish and chips tied with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for first place, each nominated by 73 percent of people.

Queen Elizabeth II was in third place, chosen by 64 percent of voters, followed by Buckingham Palace in fourth with 58 percent.

Next came the cooked English breakfast (56 percent), The Beatles and the Houses of Parliament (both 55 percent), chain store Marks & Spencer (53 percent), the master painter Constable (52 percent) and drinking tea (51 percent).

Other things that made the list were traits such as queuing, keeping a stiff upper lip and an unwillingness to tackle foreign languages.

The list of 100 candidates was chosen by a panel for Tanqueray gin and pollsters TNS RSGB asked 1,000 people to choose three each from a list of 10 categories: public figures, national traits and cultural modes, music, actors, film and television, food and drink, icons and national symbols, artists, buildings and landscapes, and brands.

Tank driver fined for speeding

An Austrian soldier has been fined for speeding in a tank on a military exercise.
The tank driver was fined the equivalent of Ā£13 for driving the 25-ton tank at 40 mph in a 30 mph zone.
He had to pay the money out of his own pocket - even though he was engaged in an anti-terrorism exercise at the time.
The soldier was pulled over by police officers in the village of St Michael in the South of the country.

Plush hotel picked for poor area funding meeting

Bristol City Council has scored an own goal by booking a plush hotel for a meeting about giving grants to poor areas.
The choice of the Hotel du Vin has been described as insensitive by Liberal Democrat Councillor John Kiely.
The briefing is to give "key decision-makers" a rundown on a programme of European funding that aims to give financial help to community groups in deprived areas.
The council has said "with the benefit of hindsight", the choice of venue was inappropriate.
Councillor Kiely said he'd be attending to hear what was said, but would boycott the buffet lunch at Ā£16.50 per head.
The Bristol Evening Post reports that 20 to 25 people are expected to attend, with the total cost of between Ā£500 and Ā£600 being split between the European Union and the council.

Rampant Rhino Gets Amorous with Car

LONDON - A rampant rhinoceros gave a group of visitors a glimpse of nature in the raw at a British safari park when he tried to have sex with their car.

Sharka, a two-ton white rhino, got amorous with Dave Alsop's car when he stopped with three friends to take pictures of the animal mating with his partner Trixie at the West Midland Safari Park.

The 12-year-old rhino tried to mount the Renault Laguna from the side, denting the doors and ripping off the wing mirrors before Dave drove away with a puffing Sharka in pursuit.

"He was a big boy and obviously aroused," Alsop told the Sun newspaper on Thursday. "He sidled up against us. The next thing I know he's banging away at the car and it's rocking like hell."

A spokeswoman for the park, which says "rhinos are not particularly intelligent animals" on its Web site, said Sharka was a hit with the female rhinos and had fathered two calves in the last five years.

"He's got a bit of a reputation this lad and he was obviously at it again," she added.

Lawyer says client's rooster owned drugs

A lawyer has told a court in the Philippines that drugs found in a rooster's cage belonged by the bird and not his client.
Manuel Urbina said defendant Francisco Armando Rivera didn't own the 67kg of cocaine or the gun that was found in the cage.
Urbina argued in the court in Managua that the rooster and two hens owned the drugs and the weapon. Rivera was arrested and charged with cocaine possession.
Prosecutors however have dismissed the claim as "absurd and impertinent," reports Australia's Herald Sun.
Urbina said: "The drugs were in the possession of a rooster and two hens and the law is very clear that whoever is in possession of the drugs is the one who should be accused."
Urbina said the prosecution must prove that the drugs actually belonged to his client.
Attorney General Julio Centeno called the defence case "an absurd joke."
Teen must wear blindfold outside shop he stole from

Blindfold Justice

A teenager caught stealing adult videos from a shop in Painesville, Ohio, has had an unusual punishment handed down by a judge.
NewsChannel5says Jeremy Sherwood will have to stand outside the shop for four hours while wearing a blindfold.
He was found guilty of theft by Judge Michael Cicconetti, who is known for handing out unusual sentences.
He originally sentenced Sherwood to 60 days in jail, suspending 30 of those days. He also sentenced him to 12 months of probation and 15 hours of community service.
Sherwood was given the choice of serving the 30 days in jail or graduating from his high school and standing in front of the video store.
The teenager chose the more unusual sentence which he will serve on Saturday.

Dog had 28 golf balls in stomach

A German Shepherd has had an operation to remove 28 golf balls from her stomach.
Libby's owner Mike Wardrop couldn't understand why his dog had gone off her food and was losing weight.
It was only when he took her to the vet did he find out the reason why. Apparently she'd been swallowing the balls while being walked near the putting greens at Didsbury Golf Club in Manchester where Mr Wardrop works.
He said: "I was absolutely gobsmacked when the vets said they had found 28. To see all those golf balls at once was a staggering sight and they weighed over six pounds, so it was no wonder Libby wasn't feeling well.
"The vets gave every ball back to me. They were slightly discoloured but otherwise in great condition and will be great for practice."
It took two-and-a-half hours to get the golf balls out of the dog's stomach and they even placed bets on how many they would find, says the Daily Record.
Vet John Ford said: "We didn't even need to X-ray her she was clanking and we could feel them in her stomach."

'Darling' banned for new workers at English National Opera

New employees at English National Opera have been banned from using the word "darling" when addressing their colleagues.
The ENO is enforcing government guidelines on sexual discrimination at work.
It bans "suggestive remarks or lewd conduct that denigrates or ridicules or is intimidatory or physically abusive of an employee because of their sex, which is derogatory, or insults which are gender related".
It continues: "The use of affectionate names such as 'darling' will also constitute sexual harassment."
New staff who breach the guidelines can expect to be disciplined, reports The Times. A spokesman said: "Existing staff who call each other 'darling' can continue to do so but, if someone started here on Monday, they could not."

Huge win for small bet

Dorset punter has landed a massive Ā£878,939 - with just a Ā£2 bet.
The mystery man backed six horses on Saturday, then watched as they all won at overall odds of 105,729-1.
The 51-year-old's jackpot was swelled as it was the fourth rollover of the Tote's Scoop6 bet - where all money placed at bookies and courses nationwide is pooled.
And he could boost his winnings to nearly Ā£1.9m this Saturday as the bet entitles him to pick another horse at Sandown, reports The Sun.
If that's successful, he will win a bonus pot of Ā£983,495. The anonymous punter, from Poole, placed his bet at his local Corals. He was the only winner of the Scoop6 pot.
Corals spokesman Simon Clare said: "We have looked through the records and we think this guy is the biggest single winner in the history of betting shops.
"A win like this is every punter's dream. He's had some phenomenal luck, too. Apart from one race, he didn't pick horses that were outright favourites - most of them were pretty much long-shots."
Now the punter is looking forward to the Betfred Gold Cup on Saturday, where he hopes to pick the winner from a field of 20.
Mr Clare said: "He has nearly another million riding on that one. But whatever happens, he can't lose what he's already won."
this was obvoiusly written by a foreigner because there are missing U's in humour and neighboUr sorry about that

Heights 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

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."

Saturday, May 08, 2004

One in a million bullet victim

A MAN trying to slaughter a cow accidentally wounded a woman passenger in a passing car, sparking a major police alert near Caboolture yesterday afternoon.

Teams of police in bulletproof vests rushed to the Beachmere property after the Brisbane woman, 46, was shot.

A police spokesman said a man was trying to shoot a cow with a high-calibre rifle, but missed.

The bullet travelled across the Hanson St property, just north of Brisbane, through a car yard and lodged in the left thigh of the woman in a moving vehicle on Beachmere Rd 200m away.

"It appears to be a freak accident with a one-in-a-million chance of actually happening," the police spokesman said.
The woman's husband, who was driving, pulled into a service station seconds after he realised his wife had been shot.

She was taken to Caboolture Hospital, then to Greenslopes Hospital in Brisbane, where she was in a stable condition last night.

Service station employee Vikki Burnett said the distressed man pulled up and asked her to call an ambulance.

The woman had her hand pressed to the wound, and said she could feel the bullet in her leg.

"She looked strangely calm, but there was a lot of blood," Ms Burnett said.

A man in his 50s was questioned by police. It is understood he will not be charged with any serious offences.

"This guy had no idea he had shot someone in the leg and was very upset when he realised what had happened," the police spokesman said.

He said the man was butchering the cow when police arrived.

A spokeswoman for the man's family said it was a freak accident.

Grandma pays penalty for life in slow lane

WHEN police spotted a Honda Civic full of old ladies driving erratically at dusk on a busy main road, barely exceeding 5mph and standing on the brakes at every bend, they immediately assumed the driver had been drinking.
Other traffic was braking sharply to avoid a collision. The police car switched on blue lights and siren, but the Honda failed to pull over. It was looking like a clearcut breathalyser case.

When officers eventually persuaded the Honda to stop, they found it in the charge of Mary Limond, 75, entirely sober but lost, late and having dreadful trouble with her new glasses. Mrs Limond, a widow and grandmother from Bearsden, Glasgow, was fined Ā£200 and given six penalty points at Stirling Sheriff Court yesterday after pleading guilty to careless driving on a 60mph stretch of the A81 between Drumgoyne and Blanefield, Stirlingshire.

The court heard that Mrs Limond had bought a new pair of glasses only days before taking friends on a regular scenic drive to Tighnabruaich, Argyllshire. They had intended to return in daylight but became lost on the way home.

Gordon Fraser, for the defence, told the court: ā€?Mrs Limond had just obtained new lenses for her spectacles, and found herself being dazzled by the cars coming in the opposite direction. When the police car switched its lights on it was so close to her that she was dazzled; she thought the car was trying to overtake her.ā€¯

Mrs Limond, who has been driving blamelessly for 50 years and had never been in court before, said after the hearing: ā€?Because my eyes had not adjusted to the new lenses, I found myself being dazzled by the headlights of the other cars.ā€¯

Mrs Limond intends to continue taking her friends on their outings, but will try to make it home in daylight.

Saturday, May 01, 2004