Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Lion's ingrowing toenail keeps town awake

Lion's ingrowing toenail keeps town awake

A lion with an ingrowing 'toenail' is keeping residents of a Brazilian town awake at night.

Eight-year-old Maruk's poorly claw has him roaring loudly late into the night, reports Terra Noticias Populares.

The lion lives in a zoo, Parque da Cidade, in the northeastern town of Industrial, where residents say he roars so loudly that it sounds like he's outside their homes.

Zoo keepers say the problem is that the lion is 30kgs overweight which puts extra pressure on his feet.

They have put him on a special diet and say the pain from his foot should be bearable once he loses weight.

A police spokesman said: "We have received lots of complaints but what can we do? Arrest the lion?

"I don't think so. People will have to be understanding and wait until the vets deal with the problem."

Identical Number plates cause a row

TEHRAN (Reuters) - An Iranian who saw a woman driving what he swore was his own car accused her of stealing it, only to find two identical vehicles had accidentally been issued with the same registration plate.

"You are driving my car!" state television quoted him as saying on Wednesday, after he saw the car while walking down a street in the northeastern city Mashhad.
when she protested, he rang his family to find his car of the same color, model and registration still safely at home.

The carmaker said there had been a mix-up because of Iran's new system of issuing plates.
State television tracked down the two small brown cars and filmed them driving side by side down a street in Mashhad.

Mix-up sees wrong home shuttered

The council mixed up Patricia Driscoll's home for a nearby flat
A mother has described how she returned from a weekend break to find the council had boarded up her home.
Patricia Driscoll was told the shutters had gone up on her three-bedroom Cardiff council house because officials thought she had abandoned the property.

She had to spend the night with a friend after the authority mistook her home for a flat on the same estate.

The council has apologised and replaced the backdoor which was damaged in the work - and sent Miss Driscoll flowers.

Care assistant Miss Driscoll, 39, lives on the Brynfedw estate in Llanedeyrn with her 13-year-old daughter, Amber.

She said "They are not really sure how the number got twisted up, but the fact that it was a flat and I live in a house is a dead giveaway, isn't it! "

Her 19-year-old son, James, was house sitting for her while she was away for the weekend in Blackpool and Amber was at her grandmother's.

She said James had been at the property until 1230 BST on the weekday that she returned home, from the railway station some four hours later.

"As we drove up, I could see that there were shutters on my window frames.

"The first thing I did then was that I panicked and looked for black smoke marks on the house, but there weren't any. Then I thought the house had been smashed in."

Keith Moon's Drum Kit Gets Record 120,000 Pounds at London Sale

Sep. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Keith Moon's five-piece drum kit, custom-made for The Who drummer in 1968, sold for 120,000 pounds ($215,772) in London to an American collector, setting a world auction record for a set of drums, Christie's International said.
The price of the Premier brand drums, which Christie's had valued at no more than 15,000 pounds, was driven up by two bidders competing via telephone. They were part of a sale of pop memorabilia including Madonna and Beatles items that took in a total of 602,538 pounds including Christie's commission.
The sale showed that fans are willing to pay well over asking price for items associated with musicians who remain popular -- even after their death. A 1964 poster for a Rolling Stones concert in England sold for 6,000 pounds before Christie's commission, more than seven times the high estimate.

Man uses 32,000 coins to pay for goods

A Brazilian man has paid for goods in an electrical shop with more than 32,000 coins.

Ernesto Torres do Couto, 50, told Terra Noticias Populares said he was protesting against The Electronics Shop in Nova Iguacu, Rio de Janeiro.

He said two years ago he had waited almost six hours for his credit to be checked and at the end it was rejected.

Mr Couto said he then decided to plan his revenge.

He decided to pay for his next purchases at the shop with coins - all 32,052 of them.

He returned to the shop this week to buy a number of items and used the coins to pay.

Do Couto said: "I spent two years putting all the coins together, it was a lot of work, but I feel that I've got my revenge now."

It took 11 shop assistants almost three hours to count the coins.

Man fills in historic treasure after row with officials

A Dutch artist who discovered historic treasure in his garden has decided to cover his find up.

It's believed Gerd Jan Roos from Oudeschild on the Dutch isle of Texel found items dating back 400 years last week.

It resulted in him gaining national media coverage.

However, officials who came to see the items showed more interest in a garden shed he'd built without permission, so he's decided to ban any further inspections.

Roos, an artist, said: "I originally thought I'd dug up an old cesspit, which was full of old pipes, pottery, perfume bottles, vases and boots."

But now he's filled in the hole and built a pond.

He told the Noordhollands Dagblad: "No-one will be allowed to enter my garden anymore. No civil servants and no archeologists. As long as I live their will be no more digging."

Quirky holiday postcard business going well

A new service that sends postcards from exotic locations on behalf of holidaymakers is doing well in Germany.

The MayDayCard service enables people to have cards sent to friends or colleagues from exotic places even though they are holidaying somewhere else.

The service collects people's personally written cards and posts them from a variety of expensive holiday destinations, just so they can impress others.

For Ā£8.50 people can have a genuine, stamped postcard from Los Angeles or Mauritius, and for another Ā£5 people can have a card sent from Hawaii.

The scheme was set up by 37-year-old Edith Gailus, who said she never liked writing postcards herself.

A team of 20 people, consisting of pilots, flight attendants and Gailus and her husband, collects the postcards and posts them from the select destinations.

According to Gailus, cards from Hong Kong are especially popular among businessmen.

The MayDayCard service has been selling over 1,500 holiday cards a month since it was launched at the beginning of 2004.

Flamingo in flap over identity

A flamingo with an identity crisis is ruffling a few feathers at a nature reserve.

Andy, a 40-year-old male Andean flamingo, has spent the last fortnight incubating a pebble he has mistaken for an egg.

Wardens at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, are baffled by his bird-brained behaviour, as it is female flamingos which traditionally sit on the nest waiting for eggs to hatch.

Back-seat driver system to be tested

LONDON (Reuters) - Drivers may soon have no excuse for ignoring road signs.
Australian scientists have invented an electronic driver's assistant system, similar to the back-seat driver who forever points out road signs and warns against speeding.

"The Australian invention is part of a global effort to make drivers more aware of road signs, especially those concerned with safety," New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.
The new driver's assistance system (DAS) developed by National Information and Communications Technology Australia (NICTA) in Canberra detects road signs and warns drivers to slow down.
"DAS uses three cameras: one to scan the road ahead and a pair to monitor where the driver is looking," the magazine said.
A computer system fitted behind the dashboard collates the information with data on the speed the car is going.

If it appears the driver has not seen a sign or has not slowed down, a warning is issued.
In preliminary tests, DAS performed "pretty well" even at high speeds, according to its developers. They plan to test it in full-scale road trials with many types of road signs soon.

Toddler shocks doctors by surviving 30ft plunge

(The Scotsman)TWO-year-old Daniel Meehan astonished doctors by surviving a 30ft fall on to concrete after landing on his bottom.

The toddler escaped with only a broken ankle after somersaulting from the third-storey window of his home in Perth on Friday.

Stepfather Andrew Irvine said: "It wasn't as if Dan landed on grass or fell through a tree to break his fall because he landed flat on a concrete path. The doctors couldn't believe there was nothing wrong. They were as stunned as we were," he said.

A passer-by saw Daniel tumble as he fell and doctors believe it was the way he landed on his bottom that cushioned his fall.

Daniel's aunt, Sharon Meehan said that the toddler was happily playing and appeared fine apart from a small cast on his ankle. "He's back to his normal self. He can't walk but apart from that he's fine."

The accident happened after his mother opened her bedroom window to let a wasp out and then turned her back for a few seconds.

Daniel was taken to Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, and released on Monday.

Mr Irvine said: "Dan must have jumped up on a laundry basket and toppled out. The last thing I saw were the soles of his feet as he fell."

Dr Alistair Sutcliffe said Daniel's age gave him an advantage. "Children have chubbier bodies and a higher amount of body water so they are more robust to injury."