Monday, December 29, 2008

Unwanted Sprouts ...

... For sale on eBay ....

Hurry, there's only 2 days left!

There have been 48 bids so far with the highest bid being around $156.04

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Urinate here signs

“A PRANKSTER has put up signs on walls across Nottingham telling people they can publicly urinate in the street after 7.30pm.

The signs, which show a male toilet logo, have an accompanying letter headed with the Nottingham City Council logo, claiming the measures have been brought in over the holiday period to “address the growing problem of householders having to clean up after late night revellers.”

They have appeared in the city centre, including at the back of the Royal Concert Centre, at the bottom of Exchange Walk, as well as Radford, West Bridgford and Arnold.

Stunned Radford resident Jake Higgs took photos which clearly show the public have taken them as legitimate signs.

“There are quite a lot of them. I thought it could be genuine when I first saw them,” said Mr Higgs, 29.

“I took a closer look and there was a laminated letter attached in the same style as when the council notifies the public about planning permission. I read that and it made it out that it was a trial scheme. I think it was someone having a Christmas joke.”

World's tallest cake

An Indian bakery has attempted to break a world record by making a cake 32ft (9.75m) tall to celebrate Christmas. The cake was made by a bakery in the city of Kochi (Cochin) in the southern Indian state of Kerala, and was supported by iron pipes and wooden planks in an effort to make it stable.

Organiser Jayachandran Pillai told reporters that the cake took 15 days to make and weighed over 550kg.

"We planned to make this Christmas season something different [and] therefore, we planned to make an amazing cake. We searched on the internet and we got information about a cake of 30ft height. So we planned to make a cake 32ft high to make the record. We made this cake and right now it is a grand success and we got [a] very good response from the public," Mr Pillai said.

The cake is on display until Christmas Eve, and will then be cut and distributed to orphans across the city. There was no confirmation of whether the bakers officially broke a world record.

Wheely stuck

More than 100 people were trapped for several hours after the world's largest observation wheel, the Singapore Flyer, suffered a breakdown. The wheel ground to a halt just before 1700, when one of the drive motors experienced a short circuit, a spokeswoman told AFP news agency.

About 173 people were on board at the time. Some were later lowered to the ground in harnesses, witnesses said. The wheel restarted just after 2300, six hours after it stopped, AFP said.

The wheel is 165m (541ft) high and looks out over Singapore's Marina Bay. It is 30m taller than Britain's London Eye. One passenger who had been trapped for several hours told Channel News Asia that the wheel jerked and then ground to a halt.

About 10 people were in her cabin, she told the channel. It had been very hot when the air-conditioning went off but then it came on again, she said.

The wheel became operational in February, and a ride in it takes about 30 minutes.

Video HERE

Sunday, December 21, 2008


NEW ALBANY, Ind. -- A Floyd County man showed up at the city-county building in New Albany to pay his property taxes with more than $21,000 in coins. Frank Alford, who owns several single-family rental homes, said it's his way of protesting higher taxes, reported WLKY-TV in Louisville, Ky.

When he walked into the Floyd County treasurer's office Thursday morning, a deputy clerk immediately recognized Alford because last year, he paid his taxes with dollar bills.

Alford loaded a garbage can with $21,333 in Susan B. Anthony dollar coins, and he carried a sign that read, "Property taxes gone wild."

"I'm letting them know I'm a very unhappy taxpayer," he said.

Alford said his property taxes have gone up 48 percent since 2006, and tax relief recently passed by the Indiana Legislature has done nothing for people who own rental property.

"The owner who lives in their property got all kinds of tax breaks. They don't give you no homestead exemption, no mortgage exemption, nothing," he said. "You're paying double what you're paying than owning your own home."

Alford, a retiree with two hip replacements, loaded what he estimated was 400 pounds of coins and then headed inside to the treasurer's office to settle up.

Deputy clerk Bette Buechler did a quick tally of Alford's property taxes.

When asked if the office has to accept the Susan B. Anthony coins, Buechler said, "I think I'm understanding if it comes in pennies, we don't have to."

A Floyd County deputy sheriff was asked to lend a hand getting the money to a nearby bank to be counted.

As for Alford, this may not be his last protest.

"If we don't get some relief, it may be in quarters, dimes or pennies next year," he said. "I'm angry at them."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tater record

A farmer in southern Lebanon has dug up what might be the heaviest potato in the world.

"This giant weighs 11.3 kilos (24.9 pounds)," Khalil Semhat told the AFP news agency at his farm near Tyre, 85 kilometres (50 miles) south of Beirut. "I've been working the land since I was a boy, and it's the first time I've seen anything like it."

Mr Semhat, 56, said he had to ask for help from a friend to get the huge vegetable out of the ground. He insisted that he had used no fertilizer or other chemicals to produce it. Mr Semhat said he hoped his potato will be recognised as the heaviest potato in the world.

The current world record, as recorded in the Guinness Book of Records, is held by K Sloan of the Isle of Man in Britain for a potato weighing a mere 3.5 kg (7 lb 13 oz).

2008 is the International Year of the Potato, a project sponsored by the United Nations which aims to focus attention on the importance of the vegetable in providing food security and alleviating poverty.

Al Capone statue stolen

A life-size statue of Al Capone has been stolen from a garden in Kent, England.

Owner Pauline McCook, who discovered the fibre glass figure was missing from her Isle of Sheppey home on Wednesday, said it was like "part of the family".

The grandmother, who likes to decorate the statue for Christmas, only discovered the theft when she went outside with tinsel to drape over it.

Her family is offering a reward for the return of the statue, which was taken between 1 and 10 December.

Kent Police said it was "an extremely unusual item to steal".

Rower falls short

An Italian man who was trying to row solo across the Pacific Ocean has had to be rescued just short of his destination in Australia. The rower, Alex Bellini, had been at sea since leaving Peru in February and was about to reach Sydney.

But he was forced to call for help just 65 nautical miles away from land as fierce storms battered the eastern coast of Australia. Mr Bellini said he was nonetheless happy with his achievement.

He would have been only the fifth person to complete the crossing in a rowing boat, a journey of 18,000 kilometres (10,000 nautical miles). But facing storms and, according to Australian police, "nearing exhaustion", he was forced to radio for help.

A New Zealand tugboat which was in the area towed the adventurer's boat in Newcastle harbour in New South Wales.

"I'm not disappointed. I'm not disappointed at all," he told the AFP news agency.

"I've been not able to reach land... but the crossing has been made. I didn't put the cherry on top of the cake. But the cake is very good, very big and I will never forget about it."

He said that seeing his wife Francesca waiting for him was "one of the best moments in my life". Bellini said that he had not walked more than a few metres since February, as he averaged about 30 miles a day in his 7.5-metre (25-foot) boat.

His body weight dropped by 15kg (33lbs) during his 10 months at sea. Fear, he added, was his companion on the voyage. He kept in contact with a support team via a satellite phone and lived on dried food, drinking rain water and purified sea water.

Video HERE

Police seek tree poisoner

New Zealand - Palmerston North police are investigating the poisoning of an ash tree worth over $32,000, Senior Sergeant Brett Calkin said today.

The council-owned tree, on Totara Road on the outskirts of Palmerston North, was about 20 years old.

Mr Calkin said 13 large holes had been bored into the base of the tree, and it appeared agricultural chemicals were poured into the holes. The damage was first noticed by a resident on November 13.

It appeared likely the tree would die, and would have to be removed and replaced at a cost to ratepayers, he said. Palmerston North City Council had valued the tree at $32,452 using the standard tree evaluation method (STEM).

Damage to the tree was not a random act, Mr Calkin said, and some planning and preparation had been required.
"It would seem someone has taken a dislike to the tree for some reason, and then decided to get rid of it," he said. "It's a slow but effective way of killing the tree. I suspect the offender had no comprehension of the actual value of the tree."

Britain's oldest brain unearthed

Archaeologists have discovered what they say is the oldest surviving human brain in Britain, dating back at least 2,000 years to the Iron Age. The remains of the brain were found in a skull unearthed during excavations at York University in northern England, a statement from the university said Friday.

The dig site was described by investigators from York Archaeological Trust as being in an extensive prehistoric farming landscape of fields, track ways and buildings dating back to at least 300 BC.

They believe the skull, which was found on its own in a muddy pit, may have been a ritual offering.

Rachel Cubitt, who was taking part in the dig, described how she felt something move inside the cranium as she cleaned the soil-covered skull's outer surface. Peering through the base of the skull, she spotted an unusual yellow substance.

"It jogged my memory of a university lecture on the rare survival of ancient brain tissue. We gave the skull special conservation treatment as a result, and sought expert medical opinion," she said in a statement on York University's Web site.

A sophisticated CT scanner at York Hospital was then used to produce startlingly clear images of the skull's contents.