Friday, November 20, 2009

Cafe stolen

A roadside cafe weighing two and a half tonnes has been stolen from a lay-by in West Yorkshire, England.

Michelle Palmers had been running the Tip Top Tasters cafe on Halifax Road in Keighley for a year, when it disappeared overnight on Tuesday.

The cafe contained catering equipment worth thousands of pounds and Ms Palmers has offered a reward for its safe return.

West Yorkshire Police said its officers were investigating the theft.

Ms Palmers discovered the portable building had gone when she arrived for work at 0630 BST on Wednesday.

She said: "For the size of it you wouldn't think it would go so easily. No one seems to have seen anything."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Woman passes 950th driving test

A South Korean woman is celebrating after passing the written exam for a driving licence - on her 950th attempt. After four years of trying, 68-year-old Cha Sa-soon finally managed to secure the 60 out of 100 points needed to pass the test.

The grandmother has spent more than 5m won ($4,200, £2,600) on application fees for the test. Now Mrs Cha, who lives in Jeonju, 130 miles (210km) south of Seoul, must pass the practical test to get on the road.

According to the Korean Driver's Licence Agency, the 50-minute written test consists of 50 multiple-choice questions on road regulations and car maintenance. Mrs Cha had been trying to pass it since 13 April 2005, the Korea Times reported.

She wanted a licence so that she could use a vehicle to sell vegetables and other goods, the newspaper said. And her determination to pass the test has made her well-known at the Jeonju centre.

"She is really famous here. Not only agency employees but even some test-takers know her. Her challenging spirit is really amazing," one official was quoted as saying.

Speaking in February - after her 775th failure - Mrs Cha had appeared undaunted.

"I believe you can achieve your goal if you persistently pursue it," she told Reuters news agency. So don't give up your dream, like me. Be strong and do your best."

1,000 suitcases recovered

An Arizona couple are accused of stealing at least 1,000 pieces of luggage from the Phoenix airport and stashing — or at times, selling — the suitcases.

Keith King, 61, and Stacy King, 38, were arrested at their home in Waddell Friday for allegedly stealing the luggage from Sky Harbor Airport, reported. They were charged with burglary and tampering with evidence.

Police say the Kings are suspected in an alleged scam involving at least 1,000 stolen suitcases and maybe even thousands of pieces of luggage.

A Sky Harbor Airport officer grew suspicious when he witnessed Keith King allegedly walking out with a bag a few weeks ago. Investigators say King visited the airport more than 60 times recently without ever boarding a plane, reported.

Neighbors say they noticed strange activity at the Kings' house.

"They'd take their trailer out at sunset, come home at 4 o'clock in the morning," said one neighbor, Eugene Huneycutt. "It was a horse trailer. They don't have horses over there, so it was very suspicious what was happening."

Another neighbor said the couple sold luggage at frequently-held yard sales.

Friday, October 23, 2009

848 mile golf course

Attention die-hard golfers! The world's longest golf course, spanning 848 miles, is now open!

Nullarbor Links, an 18-hole, 72-par golf course, stretches through several towns situated along the desolate Eyre Highway. Golfers play a hole in one town, then drive to the next tee which could be as far as 62 miles away.

To give golfers the "quintessential Australian experience," the course features a "somewhat rugged, outback-style, natural terrain fairway," which means there are very few manicured greens, or pristine fairways. The course could take as long as 4 days to complete.

”I think people are looking for an adventure, and an experience,” Alfie Caputo, the course's project manager, told ”This is the real Australia, it really is. They'll never play anything like this anywhere in the world.”

VIDEO: World's longest golf course opens

Thursday, October 22, 2009

2 mile long wedding veil

3rd video in :-)

Oct. 20: A woman in Lebanon claims she was married wearing the world’s longest veil. It measured 2 miles and 453 feet.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Irish police ticket Mr. Driving licence

Irish police have received an international award for their search for the country's worst motorist.

Earlier this year it emerged that officers had issued 50 driving tickets to a Mr Prawo Jazdy, which is Polish for "driving licence".

At the Ig Nobel ceremony in the US the force topped the literature category.

The prize was accepted by Karolina Lewestam, "a Polish citizen and holder of a Polish driver's licence", who is a graduate student at Boston University.

She "expressed her good wishes to the Irish police service".

The aim of the Ig Nobel awards is to honour achievements that "first make people laugh and then make them think". It is organised by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research.

Designers of a bra that turns into gas masks and a team who found that named cows produce more milk were among the other award winners.

Irish police had to send out a memo to officers in the force explaining what was behind the repeat offender.

"Prawo Jazdy is actually the Polish for driving licence and not the first and surname on the licence," read a letter from June 2007 from an officer working within the Garda's traffic division.

"Having noticed this, I decided to check and see how many times officers have made this mistake.

"It is quite embarrassing to see that the system has created Prawo Jazdy as a person with over 50 identities."

The officer added that the "mistake" needed to be rectified immediately and asked that a memo be circulated throughout the force.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

World Gurning Champion 2009

Gordon Blacklock has been crowned the winner of the annual World Gurning Championships.

Mr Blacklock, who lives in the village of Egremont - where the event took place - had been taking part for 13 years before winning.

Former champion and record-holder Tommy Mattinson was unable to take part this year. The event dates back in 1297 at the Egremont Crab Apple Fair.

The apples there were so bitter that people would pull faces and gurning was born.

Naked ramblings of a German

Germany is traditionally tolerant of nudity, but a plan to give naked ramblers their own wilderness path is still some way from the sunny uplands. A campsite manager, Heinz Ludwig, aims to establish Germany's first official naked ramblers' footpath - an 18km (11-mile) route in the Harz Mountains.

"But some people are against - it is not directly supported by the community," he told BBC News. "I want people to calm down, then we'll try again next year."

But he says fans of Freikoerperkultur - Free Body Culture, or FKK for short - have expressed support for the scheme. It would attract naturists to the Wippra and Dankerode areas, in the central German mountain range. Fully-clothed walkers would be free to use the path, too.

"It's a secluded area, away from traffic," Mr Ludwig said. "In the GDR [former communist East Germany] people used to bathe there, too."

He says some keen naturists have already tested the trail. The plan is to open it officially next May.

A sign has been put up warning those averse to naturism that they might prefer to go elsewhere.

"If you don't want to see people with nothing on then you should refrain from moving on," it reads.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

One-way mayhem

There has been traffic chaos in two Paris suburbs after their feuding mayors declared the same busy road one-way, but in opposite directions.

Patrick Balkany, the conservative mayor of Levallois-Perret, initially made the D909 one-way to reduce the amount of commuter traffic through his district.

But Gilles Catoire, the Socialist mayor of neighbouring Clichy-la-Garenne, said this increased congestion in his area.

He made his section of the road one-way in the opposite direction.

With the contradictory road-signs in place, the unsurprising result was gridlock, prompting the deployment of municipal and national police to direct traffic away from the area.

"What Clichy has done is not a long-term solution, but it is a response to a unilateral decision by the town of Levallois," Clichy's deputy mayor, Alain Fournier, was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

But Mr Balkany insisted: "The mayor of Clichy has taken a position that is unreasonable and is hurting his own constituents."

Thousands of motorists pass between the two suburbs each day on their way into and out of the French capital.

Jail threat for donkey bloggers

Two bloggers from Azerbaijan are facing up to five years in jail after posting a video of a donkey giving a news conference on YouTube.

Shortly after the video was released, Andnan Hajizade and Emin Milli were held on hooliganism charges following a scuffle in a restaurant. Their lawyer says the arrests were politically motivated.

But authorities insist they are investigating a simple criminal case.

In the video, the donkey extols the benefits of living in Azerbaijan and praises the government for its positive attitude towards donkeys. The video was seen by many as a send-up of government news conferences, which critics say are often little more than propaganda events.

"This incident is definitely politically motivated," said the bloggers' lawyer, Isakhan Ashurov. My clients did not beat anybody, quite the opposite."

The Azerbaijani government denies that the bloggers' arrest was politically motivated.

"People are not arrested in Azerbaijan because of political activity," said Ali Hasnov, a senior adviser to President Ilham Aliyev, in a statement. There was a scuffle between some young people and some of them were injured. Law enforcement agencies are investigating the case and will give an impartial assessment," he added.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

French army sets fire to Marseilles

The French army were branded 'imbeciles' after a shelling exercise set fire to a suburb of Marseille. The government spoke of its fury as hundreds of residents were evacuated from one of the worst wildfires in recent years.

The Foreign Legion conducted the artillery practice depsite scorching summer temperatures - meaning virtually every shell that landed on a hillside started a fire. Dozens of buildings were destroyed in the blazes hit the eastern Trois-Ponts suburb including a retirement home housing 120 pensioners .

No serious injuries were reported but residents had to be evacuated to nearby gyms and public buildings. The National Forestry Office reportedly said 400 to 500 houses were threatened by the fire over an five-mile front.

Thousands of acres of tinder dry scrub have already been ravaged for the flames. regional government prefect Michel Sappin branded the army "imbeciles" and demanded court martials for officers who ordered the exercise

In such weather conditions, with high winds, the army should refrain from carrying out shelling practice, he said.

The army apologised for its "terrible error."

Friday, July 10, 2009

'Rude' French are worst tourists

French tourists are the worst in the world, coming across as penny-pinching, rude and terrible at languages, according to a new survey.

The study by travel company Expedia asked 4,500 hotels worldwide to rank tourists on their behaviour.

Japanese tourists - seen as clean and tidy, polite, quiet and uncomplaining - came top for the third year running.

French travellers made amends on elegance - classed third - as well as for their discretion and cleanliness.

But the French were the least ready to try a new language, unlike US tourists who were most likely to swallow their pride and order a pizza, baguette or a paella in the local lingo.

Read the full article HERE

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Stoned wallabies make crop circles

The mystery of crop circles in poppy fields in Australia's southern island state of Tasmania has been solved -- stoned wallabies are eating the poppy heads and hopping around in circles.

"We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles," the state's top lawmaker Lara Giddings told local media on Thursday.

"Then they crash. We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high," she said.

Many people believe crop circles that mysteriously appear in fields around the world are created by aliens.

Poppy producer Tasmanian Alkaloids said livestock which ate the poppies were known to "act weird" -- including deer and sheep in the state's highlands.

"There have been many stories about sheep that have eaten some of the poppies after harvesting and they all walk around in circles," said field operations manager Rick Rockliff.

Australia produces about 50 percent of the world's raw material for morphine and related opiates.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pitt slow down

MOSCOW — Brad Pitt is accustomed to stopping passersby in their tracks. The Hollywood heartthrob's next job is slowing traffic in Siberia — or so Russian traffic police hope.

A Russian newspaper reports that cardboard cutouts of Pitt dressed as a traffic cop have been placed by the most dangerous intersections in the city of Omsk.

It's the latest move by authorities in their endless battle against speeding. Traffic accidents in Russia are among the highest in Europe.

The campaign seems to be working. Omsk officials say accidents are down as star-struck drivers ease off the gas to gaze at the unusual image.

The paper, Argumenty i Fakty, quotes Dmitry Ziryanov, a local official who came up with the idea as saying Pitt is "kind of like a colleague for us."

Where the heart is

If home is where the heart is, a new survey suggests that most people aren't sure exactly where they live. More than half of people cannot pinpoint the exact location of the human heart on a diagram, and nearly 70 percent can't correctly identify the shape of the lungs, according to the survey.

This lack of knowledge isn't just embarrassing -- it could lead to a poorer quality of health care, some experts say.

In the study, published in the journal BMC Family Practice, a research team surveyed 722 Britons -- 589 hospital outpatients and 133 people in the general population. They gave the volunteers four diagrams of human figures and asked them to choose the one that showed the correct size and location of a specific organ. (For example, the heart diagrams showed various size organs on the far left side of the chest, directly in the center, anchored on the center/left chest, and on the right side of the chest.)

Overall, people knew less basic anatomy than the researchers expected -- even those patients being treated for a specific condition involving that organ. Participants generally answered half the questions correctly, including 46.5 percent who knew which drawing represented their heart. In all, 31.4 percent correctly identified the lungs, 38.4 percent the stomach, 41.8 percent the thyroid, and 42.5 percent the kidneys.

The intestines and bladder were the most easily identified, with 85.9 percent and 80.7 percent, respectively, answering the question correctly.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Don't trample the Jellyfish!

A 250m-long (825 ft) crop circle of a jellyfish has appeared on farmland. The owners of the land in Oxfordshire have urged visitors to stay away from the circle, which is also 60m (197ft) wide, to avoid further crop damage.

Sally Ann Spence and husband Bill, who own Berry Croft Farm near Ashbury, said hundreds of visitors have been trampling over their field.

They said it was "beautiful" but the flattened crops were now "useless" and the damage would cost about £600.

"We have not given permission for people to walk on our land," Mrs Spence said. The pattern has already cost a great deal of damage - possibly about £600. People can get a better view from the air."

She said she was not concerned about tracking down the culprits and the incident has not been reported to the police. It is not the first time crop circles have appeared on their land, they said, but the jellyfish is one of the most spectacular.

Penal Tour de France

Nearly 200 French prisoners are preparing to take to their bikes in the first ever penal Tour de France. The 194 inmates, escorted by 124 prison guards and sports instructors, will set off from Lille and cycle about 2,400km (1,500 miles), ending up in Paris.

They will have to cycle in a pack, will not be ranked and, for obvious reasons, breakaway sprints will not be allowed.

Prison authorities say they hope the race will help the inmates learn values such as team work and self esteem. The prisoners, all serving jail terms of between five and 10 years, will make stopovers in 17 different towns, each of which has a jail.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Exploding cows

Seven bulls exploded and caught fire after power lines fell on a dairy farm in New Zealand. The incident happened north of Auckland at Wilks Road farm.

Dave Taylor, who leases the farm, said he got a phone call from his father who was driving along the motorway, telling him his cows were exploding.

'I found seven dead and on fire in the paddock,' he said.

Three bulls were electrocuted after the power lines fell and four were killed when they walked into the live area.

A hedgehog was also killed.

"Licence to chill"

"Del Monte's new "licence to chill" smoothie lolly, which is modelled on 007 Daniel Craig's sculpted torso."

Picture: PA

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The grateful dead

The Australian government has admitted that cash hand-outs aimed at stimulating the economy have been sent to thousands of people who are dead. The money was part of a multi-billion dollar package under which every tax-payer was entitled to a payment of up to A$900 ($700, £440).

About A$14m of the money went to dead people, ministers said, and A$25m to Australians living overseas. Local media have dubbed the deceased recipients "the grateful dead".

Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner said that the money would still help Australia's economy.

"Even where they go to people who are dead, of course they go to the estate," he told local media. The estate typically is going to consist of ordinary Australians who will in turn get the payments, and on balance over time, will spend those payments."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Banana robbery

Authorities say a North Carolina teen who was thwarted as he tried to rob a store with a banana ate it before they could arrive.

Winston-Salem authorities say 17-year-old John Szwalla held the banana under his shirt when he entered the store Thursday, saying he had a gun and demanded money.

Owner Bobby Ray Mabe says he and a customer jumped Szwalla, holding him until deputies arrived. While they waited, Mabe says the teen ate the banana. Mabe says deputies took pictures of the banana peel. Forsyth County Sheriff’s office spokesman Maj. Brad Stanley says deputies joked about charging Szwalla with destroying evidence.

Szwalla faces a charge of attempted armed robbery. Jail officials say he doesn’t have an attorney.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pub "research centre"

Barnsley, UK - Enforcement action was expected today against a pub landlady who tried to sidestep the smoking ban by exploiting a legal loophole. Kerry Fenton, landlady at the Cutting Edge in Worsbrough, Barnsley, turned the pub's tap room into a "smoking research centre", where people could smoke if they filled in a questionnaire.

It included questions such as how many cigarettes people smoke, and whether they like a smoky atmosphere in pubs.

The idea was dreamed up by pub regular James Martin, a 40-year-old Sheffield printer, who saw that part two, item nine of the Smoke-free (Exemptions and Vehicles) Regulation 2007 sets out conditions for research into smoking. The regulations state that a "designated room in a research or testing facility" does not have to be smoke-free "whilst it is being used for any research or tests".

But Barnsley Council officials have pointed out that the Cutting Edge is "clearly not a research or test facility" and therefore not exempt from the smoking ban.

Enforcement officers were expected to visit the premises in Bank End Road today and take action, which could lead to a maximum penalty of £2,500.

The ruling will be a blow for non-smoker Ms Fenton, who claims trade has doubled since the "centre" was set up on Friday, May 8. She said: "Before Friday we were lucky to get 10 people in at a weekend. On Friday we had 29, on Saturday 31 and on Sunday 46."

Signs on the door of the tap room, which has its own bar and is completely separate from the rest of the pub, indicate the place is a "Designated Smoking Room."

Ms Fenton, 36, also asks smokers to put 50p in a charity box and part of the money goes to a cancer research fund. The landlady says she has not taken legal advice on the scheme - instead relying on Mr Martin's interpretation of the rules - but she believes that she has complied with the regulations by making sure the smoking room is entirely separate from the lounge.

The "research centre", however, has not found favour with the pub's owners Punch Taverns. A spokesman for the company said: "Punch does not endorse this activity and will not be rolling it out across any of our other sites. Our licensee will be advised against undertaking this activity."

Customers at the Cutting Edge, however, say they are all in favour of the smoking room. Regular Christopher Pick said: "I think it's brilliant. Before this I was standing outside no matter what the weather was like. I don't know whether they can get away with it but there you are."

Non-smoker Rob Hudson, who has been coming to the Cutting Edge for 35 years, said: "I would rather come into a full pub than an empty room. I have the choice of the tap room and the lounge and I come in here."

Moldy old d'oh!

An office worker cleaning a fridge full of rotten food created a smell so noxious that it sent seven co-workers to the hospital and made many others ill.

Firefighters had to evacuate the AT&T building in downtown San Jose on Tuesday after the fumes led someone to call 911. A hazmat team was called in.

What crews found was an unplugged refrigerator crammed with moldy food.

Authorities say an enterprising office worker had decided to clean it out, placing the food in a conference room while using two cleaning chemicals to scrub down the mess.

The mixture of old lunches and disinfectant caused 28 people to need treatment for vomiting and nausea.

Authorities say the worker who cleaned the fridge didn't need treatment - she can't smell because of allergies.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Burrito craving

A suspected drug dealer who led police on a 90mph chase in Indiana was arrested after he stopped for a snack at Taco Bell. Fort Wayne police Sgt Mark Walters said 36-year-old Jermaine Askia Cooper was picked up in the car park of Taco Bell.

He told officers he "knew he was going to jail for a while" and wanted to get one last burrito. He did not get the burrito, police said.

Cooper was held without bail on four counts of dealing cocaine, one count of resisting arrest by fleeing and other charges.

Police say the chase began Tuesday after officers spotted Cooper, who was wanted on other charges. The chase ended in nearby Decatur.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Inspired Bicycles - Danny MacAskill April 2009

Filmed over the period of a few months in and around Edinburgh by Dave Sowerby, this video of Inspired Bicycles team rider Danny MacAskill features probably the best collection of street/street trials riding ever seen. There's some huge riding, but also some of the most technically difficult and imaginative lines you will ever see. Without a doubt, this video pushes the envelope of what is perceived as possible on a trials bike.

Danny MacAskill's mini film, Inspired Bicycles, is third in YouTube's worldwide most viewed on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old street trials biker jumps across roofs, off roofs and even along a spiky railing in the video.

He told BBC Scotland he took it as "the best compliment" that some people thought his stunts were fake.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The force is strong

Eight police officers serving with Scotland's largest force listed their official religion as Jedi in voluntary diversity forms, it has emerged.

Strathclyde Police said the officers and two of its civilian staff claimed to follow the faith, which features in the Star Wars movies.

The details were obtained in a Freedom of Information request by Jane's Police Review.

Strathclyde was the only force in the UK to admit it had Jedi officers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Egg Jarping Champion

About 40 people turned up to contend a bizarre Easter-inspired world championship in County Durham. The 26th world egg-jarping championship took place at a Peterlee social club on Monday evening.

The event resembles a game of conkers, with two players clashing the pointed end of hard boiled eggs together to see which one cracks first.

Ann Watson, 65, of Peterlee, won the knockout competition and received a first prize of £75. Ms Watson, who entered on impulse, said: "I was surprised to win - I guess I just had a good egg!"

The event also raised £100 for Macmillian Cancer Support.

Entrants in Monday's event at Helford Road Sports Club in Peterlee, submitted eggs to be hard boiled the day before, which were stamped and locked away. Strict rules are in place to prevent competitors toughening the shell.

Judges especially look out for eggs which have been dipped in beer, brushed with nail varnish or warmed against radiators.

Organiser Roy Simpson, added: "We've been told that egg-jarping is springing up all over the world. We've got ex-pats from the North East organising contests in Majorca and even in Poland."

Russian doctors find tree growing in man's lung

Surgeons in Russia's Urals Region were staggered to find a 5-centimeter high spruce growing inside a man's lung, the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily reported on Monday.

The discovery was made while Artyom Sidorkin, 28, from the Urals city of Izhevsk, was undergoing surgery.

Sidorkin had complained of extreme pain in his chest and had been coughing up blood, doctors suspected cancer.

"I blinked three times and thought I was seeing things," Izhevsk surgeon Vladimir Kamashev told the paper.

Medical staff believe Sidorkin had somehow inhaled a seed, which later sprouted inside his lung. The spruce, which was touching the man's capillaries and causing severe pain, was removed.

"It was very painful. But to be honest I did not feel any foreign object inside me," Sidorkin said.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lego Jesus

Parishioners at a church in Sweden celebrated Easter on Sunday by unveiling a 6-foot-tall (1.8-meter-tall) statue of Jesus that they had built out of 30,000 Lego blocks.

It took the 40 volunteers about 18 months to put all the tiny plastic blocks together, and their creation shows a standing Jesus facing forward with his arms outstretched.

The Protestant church was filled to capacity with about 400 worshippers on Sunday when the statue went on display behind the altar, and some of the children in the congregation couldn't help but touch the white art work.

Church spokesman Per Wilder said the statue at the Onsta Gryta church in the central Swedish city of Vasteras is a copy of Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen's "Christus" statue on display in Copenhagen.

He also said that even though the statue is all white on the outside, many of the donated Legos that the church received were of other colors and were placed inside.

Polish Drunk Cyclists

Poland's Constitutional Court upheld a ruling this week that drunken cyclists should be treated like drunken motorists and face prison if caught. Two thousand Poles are currently in prison for riding a bicycle whilst under the influence of alcohol.

The ruling has sparked a lively debate about whether cyclists should face such strict punishment. The Constitutional Court ruled that drunken cyclists should be tried as criminals just as drink drivers are.

Under a law passed in 2000, anyone riding a bike under the influence of alcohol faces a fine or up to two years in prison, depending on the level of their intoxication.

Many courts here apply the stricter penalty and the average sentence is 11.5 months imprisonment. Such a state of affairs has been criticised by both the prison service and some judges.

Jaroslaw Sielecki, a 37-year-old judge from western Poland, called it absurd and draconian, adding that it can drag whole families into poverty. He argued that intoxicated cyclists should be treated like drunken pedestrians, who face a fine rather than jail, as both use their own muscles to achieve motion.

The Constitutional Court, however, ruled that cyclists use public roads and are considerably more dangerous because of the speed they can travel.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rue Matics

Crash test dummy

A Philippine plane with 80 passengers aboard narrowly avoided a crash - after a man teaching his girlfriend to drive sped across the runway as the aircraft landed.

The Cebu Pacific plane briefly touched down at Legazpi airport in the central Philippines on Saturday, but took off again as the van being driven by the couple crossed the runway.

'That van could have turned us into a fireball had I not successfully aborted landing,' said pilot Christopher Nowioki. According to the Philippine Star newspaper, the culprit was actually the son of the airport manager.

It's thought that he may have thought all the flights to the airport were completed for the day, and decided to use the runway to give his girlfriend a driving lesson. However, a recent increase in the number of scheduled flights, combined with poor visibility, caught him out.

His father, Frisco Sto. Domingo, has now been sacked, the Philippine Star reports.


Police in Spain have seized a 'crockery' dinner set made out of 20 kilos of cocaine. Madrid police said that they had detained a 35-year-old man who received a parcel in the mail from Venezuela containing the pretend 42-piece dinner set made up of cups, plates and bowls, which had arrived at his home in Barcelona.

The package, containing 44 lbs of the drug, was sent to Barcelona from Maracaibo, Venezuela's second-largest city, via London in the middle of February. Police suspect the man had been recruited by a Venezuelan drug trafficking gang to receive the package which he was supposed to hand over to members of the group who would then extract the cocaine so it could be packaged and sold.

Barcelona has been the scene in recent days of several creative attempts to smuggle cocaine into Spain, the main entry point for the drug into Europe.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tongue insured for $14m

The tongue of the chief coffee taster for a worldwide chain of coffee shops has been insured for £10m ($13.95m).

Gennaro Pelliccia personally tastes a sample of each batch of raw coffee beans at its London plant before they are roasted and shipped to its stores.

"My 18 years of experience enable me to distinguish between thousands of flavours," he says.

Costa Coffee, which sells 108 million cups of coffee worldwide each year, aims to double its number of outlets.

The insurance policy was taken out with Lloyds of London.

"The taste buds of a Master of Coffee are as important as the vocal cords of a singer or the legs of a top model, and this is one of the biggest single insurance policies taken out for one person," said a spokesman for Lloyd's broker Glencairn Limited, which arranged the insurance cover.

"In my profession my taste buds and sensory skills are crucial... and allow me to distinguish any defects," said Mr Pelliccia.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gay Ducks

Keepers at a bird sanctuary in West Sussex hoped that the last remaining female Blue Duck in the country - called Cherry - might mate with either of the drakes, Ben or Jerry.

But neither male duck appeared interested and are now inseparable at the Arundel Wetland Centre, leaving Cherry to her own devices. Centre warden Paul Stevens said he was disappointed that efforts to produce new Blue Duck offspring had failed but said the two male birds made "a lovely couple".

"They stay together all the time, parading up and down their enclosure and whistling to each other as a male might do with a female he wants to mate with," he said.

"People who visit the centre think they're a fantastic couple, without really coming around to the idea that they are two males. They both have very big personalities and people come from all over the country to come and see them. Cherry doesn't seem bothered by it, she's just happy to keep herself to herself."

Blue ducks originate from New Zealand but there were thought to be just three birds in the UK. Keepers initially introduced Ben to Cherry, but neither seemed keen. They then brought Jerry down from a sanctuary in London.

Mr Stevens said: "Cherry showed some interest in him. She displayed typical mating behaviour - she approached him and called to him, she even looked like she was nesting.

"We thought it was great and it was all going to happen but nothing ever did."

Mr Stevens said the male ducks were then placed in the same enclosure: "To our surprise the two males really took to each other and it was obvious that they really liked each other.

The long and short of it ...

A pony with short legs and a long body has caused numerous people to call the emergency services in England, in the mistaken belief she is stuck in the mud. Hampshire fire crews were last alerted on Tuesday as Mayflower was grazing by the River Test in Southampton.

An animal rescue expert said Mayflower seemed to be a cross between a Shetland and a New Forest pony, making her look like a "sausage-dog horse".

Her owner is now considering erecting signs advising passers-by.

Rescue specialist Anton Phillips said Mayflower could appear to be stuck in mud as she was half the height of other nearby ponies.... "We have been called out several times for the animal now and it is getting a bit ridiculous. We are changing our mobilising policy for this particular area now and in future we will only send out an animal rescue specialist to evaluate the call-out before sending a full team out," he said.

"These calls from the public are with good intent. When viewed at long range, this pony looks like it is trapped, particularly if it is standing still next to its mates which are twice its height."

Bush "shoe thrower" Jailed

An Iraqi journalist hailed as a hero in the Arab world for throwing his shoes at former US President George W Bush has been jailed for three years.

Muntadar al-Zaidi had told the court his actions were "natural, just like any Iraqi" against a leader whose forces had occupied his country.

Shoe hurling is a grave insult in Arab culture, but Mr Bush - on a farewell trip to Iraq - shrugged off the attack.

Defence lawyers described the sentence as "harsh" and said they would appeal.

The head of Zaidi's team Dhiaa al-Saadi said the sentence was "not in harmony with the law" because his client had not meant to cause injury, but rather to express contempt

Man vs Truck vs Train

There’s luck, and then there’s the luck Turkish haulier Cem Tokac has.

Tokac was waiting by a rail line for a train to pass, when a truck drove in front of the train next to where he was standing. The train hits the truck, and the truck hits Tokac, who goes straight to the ground.

His injuries: cuts, bruises, and probably a soiled pair of pants.

The entire incident was captured on CCTV at two different angles. Watching it you just can’t believe that he walked away.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Can you break a $1,000 ?

Three teenagers fell foul of the law after ignoring one of the cardinal rules of safe-robbing: if you try to use the money you've taken from the safe, make sure that it's not antique bank notes that haven't been printed in over 60 years.

According to authorities, the teenaged friends allegedly stole the safe containing the bank notes last Thursday from one of their parents in Texas Township, which (confusingly) is in Michigan.

They then drove south in a stolen van, eventually winding up around 600 miles away in Birmingham, Alabama. That's where the 18-year-old member of the party tried to exchange a $1,000 bill at a bank.

Unfortunately for them, the U.S. Treasury hasn't printed $1,000 bills since 1945.

The bank called police, who arrested the 18-year-old and his 15-year-old friends. They remain in custody, waiting to be taken back to Michigan.

Caving in

A family that is living in a cave to see out the recession may be booted out after falling back on payments. Curt and Deborah Sleeper bought the three acres property and a cave in Festus, Missouri after they spotted it online.

They fell in love with the unique geography of the old mining cave and figured out how to build a house inside it.

But they've got a big payment coming due on the property and don't think they can afford it. If they can't secure new financing, they've got a backup plan - auctioning their cave home through eBay. Bidding starts at $300,000.

"I get the financing, or I sell the property, or I lose everything," Curt Sleeper, a self-employed Web designer and small business consultant, said while giving a tour of the home.

Inside, the walls and ceiling are comprised of the natural cave stone. Three large dehumidifiers keep the interior from getting too damp or musty.

Curt Sleeper said there are no bats in the cave, and no bugs beyond the normal stuff. "Nothing a cat or two won't handle," he wrote on a Web site.

One plus to living in a cave is climate control. The cave is at a constant 62 degrees. In fact, the home doesn't even include a furnace or air conditioner.

Sleeper said he'd never want to own a traditional house after his time in the cave home.

"I'd never live in a box again," he said.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pee charge

Irish budget airline Ryanair has said it is considering charging passengers for using the toilet while flying. Chief executive Michael O'Leary told the BBC that the Dublin-based carrier was looking at maybe installing a "coin slot on the toilet door".

Consumer group Which? said the airline was putting "profit before passengers". Ryanair's PR chief Steven McNamara later played down the idea, saying: "I don't think it's going to happen in the foreseeable future".

"Will it happen long-term, I'm not really sure," he said.

"It's one of those things that when Michael starts looking at something, you know, it's always up for discussion."

Last week Ryanair confirmed it planned to close all of its airport check-in desks by the end of the year in a bid to reduce the cost of its flights.
Ryanair aims to offer low basic ticket prices, and then charge extra for items such as checking in at the airport or for additional luggage.

"One thing we have looked at in the past, and are looking at again, is the possibility of maybe putting a coin slot on the toilet door, so that people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in future

Robber applies for police job

A man suspected of robbing a California store has landed in custody after turning up to take a police entrance examination in the same town.

Chula Vista police realised Romeo Montillano was a suspect in the December robbery when he signed up for a police test two months later.

Detectives doubted he would show up after he phoned in from Las Vegas to say he was having car problems.

But he arrived on time, by bus, only to be arrested by astonished officers.

Detectives were waiting at the registration table when he walked up and signed himself in as Romeo Ogilve Montillano, Chula Vista police spokesman Bernard Gonzales was quoted as saying by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Momentarily stunned, they called Mr Montillano out of the exam room and into a nearby office, where they arrested him for the robbery of the town's KMart discount store on 8 December last year.

In the robbery, a man stole a TV set, a DVD player and a telephone from the store, according to reports in the Union-Tribune.

During his arrest, Mr Montillano asked if he would still be able to take the exam.

When told that he could not, he then asked if he could re-apply and maybe take the test later, Mr Gonzales added.

Romeo Montillano was arrested for investigation of robbery, making criminal threats and grand theft, and remained in jail on Saturday in lieu of $110,000 (£77,000) bail, the Associated Press reports.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


A cannabis grower let police in on his secret hobby after posting home videos of the crop on YouTube. The 25-year-old was arrested after officers saw footage on the website documenting the stages of growth at his home in Bridgwater, Somerset, UK.

The man made his arrest even easier after using his real name as his "internet handle".

Police searched the house and seized one large cannabis plant and associated hydroponics equipment used to maximise heat and light conditions.

PC Adrian Peck, of Avon and Somerset police, said: "The male had been videoing the growth of the plant over a number of months and uploading his horticultural endeavours onto the site to document it - providing us with fairly conclusive evidence.

"The cultivation of cannabis is illegal. If you break the law and are foolish enough to then advertise your criminal activities on the internet, it makes it very easy for the Police to catch you."

Police said the cannabis produced by the single plant could have had a potential street value of up to £500 ($750); both the plant and growing equipment will be destroyed.

The man admitted the offence of cultivating cannabis, now a Class B drug, and received an official police warning.

The force said it was not its policy to release the names of people who are warned.

Monday, February 23, 2009


A Queensland man has broken his own world record by smashing 47 watermelons with his head.

The four-day Chinchilla Melon Festival began on Saturday in Queensland's southern inland.

Festival president Jason Johnston says 29-year-old John Allwood set a record last year by using his head to break 40 melons in one minute - and he smashed that number this year.

Plane stopped play?

A helicopter stopped play in a domestic cricket game in India after the pilot mistook the pitch for a landing pad, local media reported on Sunday.

Players were forced to abort Saturday's one-day game and scurry for cover when the hapless pilot set the chopper down on the letter 'H' painted in the corner of the cricket ground.

The 'H' stands for the name of the Himachal Pradesh team in the north-west Indian state.

A fire near the stadium also added to the confusion of the pilot, who misinterpreted it for smoke signals, according to the Hindustan Times.

The unscheduled arrival of the helicopter, owned by a private airline, halted play for almost half an hour before the red-faced pilot buzzed off again.

"It landed suddenly. No one knew what was happening," the competing Punjab team manager told the paper after his side won the interrupted game. "There was chaos. Everyone ran for cover."

Coke Can Survives 300 Mile Horror Trip On Bumper

A person moving from North Carolina to Pennsylvania says that a Coke can survived a trip on a truck bumper for over 300 miles without falling off.

According to the driver, his family was moving from eastern North Carolina to the Pennsylvania Tri-State area up north. As they were loading up the U-Haul truck, one of the members of the family left a half-empty Diet Coke can on the back bumper.

About an hour into their trip, as the family got gas in Virginia, they incredulously noticed that the Coke can was still on the bumper of the truck.

Deciding to see how long the can would last on the back bumper, the family left it there.

Driving in the U-Haul truck and another car, the family still saw the Coke can on the bumper despite driving over railroad tracks, through the Cheseapeake Bay tunnel, on Interstates and highways, and on-ramps and off-ramps.

When the family arrived near their new home in the Delaware River area, amazingly the Coke can was still there despite the over 300 miles driven in a seven hour period through NC, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

"We were shocked," said the Telegram reader, who sent in a picture of the can on the truck. "We thought for sure during some of those stops and big bumps that it would have fallen off during the did shift around some on the bumper, but we still can't figure out how it stayed on there without falling off."

After the family had unloaded the truck and had to return it to a local U-Haul center, they decided to leave the Coke can on the bumper.

Strangely, after driving only three or four miles when they arrived at the U-Haul center they were disappointed -- the Coke can had fallen off.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Voodoo soccer doll

A Mexican newspaper has kicked off a campaign encouraging soccer fans to cast a voodoo hex on the U.S. national team with a new U.S.-based co-sponsor: Blockbuster Inc. Readers of the Record newspaper began trading in coupons on Friday for voodoo-doll likenesses of U.S. soccer players in Blockbuster stores in Mexico City.

Accompanying instructions direct fans to grasp a doll, close their eyes and wish for a Mexico goal when they played the U.S. in World Cup qualifying on Wednesday.

"Hold a needle firmly between your thumb and index finger and prick slowly the part of the doll's body where you want to affect the opponent," the instructions read.

Record calls the voodoo dolls "the secret weapon of the 'Tri,'" as Mexico's national soccer team is commonly known.

Electronics retailer RadioShack of Forth Worth, Texas, backed off as a potential distribution partner last week after learning details of the campaign.

But Record merely had to look across town to Dallas to find another co-sponsor, DVD and video game rental chain Blockbuster. A phone message left with the company's public relations office was not immediately returned Friday afternoon.

Record spokesman Daniel Paz said the promotion is lighthearted and intended in fun, without any malice toward Mexico's regional rival. The "Tri" have not beaten the Americans on U.S. soil in 10 years.

The US won 2-0

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Man caught smuggling pigeons in his pants

An Australian traveller was caught with two live pigeons stuffed down his trousers following a trip to the Middle East, customs officers said today.

The 23-year-old man was searched after authorities discovered two eggs in a vitamin container in his luggage, said Richard Janeczko, national investigations manager for the Customs Service.

They found the pigeons wrapped in padded envelopes and held to each of the man's legs with a pair of tights, according to a statement released by the agency. Officials also seized seeds in his money belt and an undeclared eggplant.

The alleged bird smuggler, who arrived in Melbourne on Sunday on a flight from Dubai, was being questioned.

Australia has very strict quarantine regulations on the importation of wildlife, plants and food to protect health, agriculture and the environment of the isolated island nation.

Charges of wildlife smuggling - which carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of 110,000 Australian dollars (£48,600) - could be brought against the man.

Janeczko said the pigeons were not endangered and that the case - as well as the birds, eggs and seeds - had been turned over to the Quarantine Service to assess the health risk associated with bringing the birds into the country.

The Quarantine Service would not comment on the continuing investigation.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Sign of the time's ?

Councillors in Birmingham, England, have walked into a punctuation storm after deciding to scrap apostrophes from the city's road signs. England's second city has removed the possessive punctuation mark from street names, saying it aims to avoid confusion.

One councillor even went so far to say he did not "see the point" of the possessive apostrophe in place names.

"If it was to give more clarity to the people of Birmingham it might be something we would look at, but I see no benefits at all," cabinet transportation member Len Gregory told the Birmingham Post.

The decision, which the council hopes will draw a line under decades of dispute, follows a review to establish whether the possessive punctuation mark should be restored to place names such as Kings Heath, Acocks Green and Druids Heath.

Councillor Martin Mullaney said the decision not to reintroduce apostrophes, which began to disappear from Birmingham's road signs in the 1950s, had been taken in light of several factors, including the need for consistency and the cost of changing existing signage.

"We are constantly getting residents asking for apostrophes to be put back in and as a council we have got to make a decision one way or another," said the chair of the city's transportation scrutiny committee.

The ruling will also mean that Birmingham's well-known St Paul's Square, in the city's Jewellery Quarter, will soon be known as St Pauls.

But grammarians have attacked the decision as "dumbing down".

John Richards, the founder and chairman of the Apostrophe Protection Society, said: "It seems retrograde, dumbing down really.

"It is setting a very bad example because teachers all over Birmingham are teaching their children punctuation and then they see road signs with apostrophes removed. I think the council would be better advised to make sure the right apostrophes are in rather than removing them.

"It's a bad example to children and teachers. It's a simple rule and so many people get it wrong."

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY? (written by kids)

(1) You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming. - Alan, age 10

(2) No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're
stuck with. - Kristen, age 10


(1) Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.- Camille, age 10

(2) No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married. - Freddie, age 6 (very wise for his age)


(1) You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. - Derrick, age 8


(1) Both don't want any more kids. - Lori, age 8


(1) Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to knoweach other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. - Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)

(2) On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date. - Martin, age 10 (Who said boys do not have brains)


(1) I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.-Craig, age 9


(1) When they're rich. - Pam, age 7 (I could not have said it better myself)

(2) The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that. - Curt, age 7 (Good Point)

(3 ) The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do. - Howard, age 8 (Who made that rule?)


(1 ) I don't know which is better, but I'll tell you one thing.I'm never going to have sex with my wife. I don't want to be all grossed out. - Theodore, age 8 (Too much detail for his age)

(2 ) It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. - Anita, age 9 (bless you child)


(1 ) There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there? - Kelvin, age 8

And the #1 Favourite is........ HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?

(1 ) Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck. - Ricky, age 10 ( The boy already understands)

Superbowl Ad

Takes a while to load ....

See more of them HERE

Phil Says "Six More Weeks of Winter!"

Phil's official forecast as read February 2nd, 2009 at sunrise at Gobbler's Knob:
Hear Ye Hear Ye

On Gobbler's Knob this glorious Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2009

Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators

Awoke to the call of President Bill Cooper

And greeted his handlers, Ben Hughes and John Griffiths

After casting a joyful eye towards thousands of his faithful followers,

Phil proclaimed that his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were World Champions one more time

And a bright sky above me

Showed my shadow beside me.

So 6 more weeks of winter it will be.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Legend discovered

A US-based salvage firm is believed to have found remains from the wreck of a legendary British warship which sank in the English Channel in 1744.

Odyssey Marine Exploration is expected to announce on Monday that it has found HMS Victory, the forerunner of Nelson's famous flagship of the same name.

The valuables from the vessel, including brass cannons, could be worth millions of pounds, some experts say.

If confirmed, the find could trigger a row with the British government. The remains from HMS Victory have been reportedly found in international waters. But as a military wreck, they officially belong to the British state.

New law for naked rambling

A local Swiss government plans to take action against a sudden and apparently unwelcome phenomenon - naked hikers.

Authorities in the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden plan to introduce fines for anyone found walking in the picturesque mountain region without any clothes.

They decided to act before this year's hiking season began, after noticing a sudden influx of nudists last year - many of them from Germany.

"FKK", or "free body culture", is a popular pastime in Germany.

But Appenzell Innerrhoden is not keen to encourage its spread.

"We were forced to introduce the legislation against this indecent practice before the warm weather starts," said Melchior Looser, justice minister in the canton in north-eastern Switzerland.

"The point is many children visit our mountains in the summer," he told he Guardian newspaper.

A naked hiker was detained last autumn, but could not be fined as naked rambling was not outlawed, he said - hence the need for a new law.

Obama's brother arrested

A Kenyan half brother of U.S. President Barack Obama said on Sunday he was briefly arrested at his home in a slum on suspicion of drugs' possession.

"I think it was a misunderstanding. I do not do drugs," George Hussein Obama, 27, told Reuters from Nairobi's Huruma slum, where he was picked up for a few hours on Saturday.

"They released me with no charge."

Local media quoted police saying Obama, who works as a mechanic, had been found with two rolls of marijuana.

Kenya's leading newspaper, the Nation, said he would be charged in court on Monday.

But Obama said that was untrue, and police officials refused to comment.

"I don't know what you are talking about," area police chief Jasper Ombati told Reuters, before hanging up the phone.

George Obama hardly knows his brother, the first black president of the United States, who is hero-worshipped in Kenya due to his ancestral roots.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


MIAMI — A Boca Raton couple got a new dog, and it's just like their old dog. Not just the same breed and gender, but the same DNA.

Nina and Edgar Otto picked up their cloned yellow lab puppy at the Miami International Airport Monday night. Lancelot Encore was cloned from the DNA of the Ottos' late dog Lancelot, which died of cancer in January 2008. Guessing that pet cloning would one day be possible, the Ottos had DNA samples of their dog frozen five years ago.

The Ottos paid $155,000 in a San Francisco biotech firm's dog-cloning auction last July.

BioArts International created Lancelot Encore in South Korea, where he was born 10 weeks ago. The Ottos say he's the first single-birth, commercially cloned puppy in the United States.

Time to quit?

A lit cigarette burned a home to the ground while its occupants were attending a meeting to help them quit smoking. Officials have ruled that a blaze that destroyed a mobile home in San Luis Obispo, California was caused by a cigarette.

The mobile home was owned by 68-year-old Bill Lewis who lived there with his mother Chessie, who's in her 80s.

The fire was started by a cigarette left behind by Chessie on a table of a porch before the pair left for a meeting at the County Public Health Department to help her quit smoking.

No one was injured in the fire, which caused $200,000 worth of damage.

Octuplets !

A California woman has shocked doctors by giving birth to octuplets, believed to be only the second set of eight babies born in the United States.

The six boys and two girls were doing well and were in stable condition in the neonatal intensive care unit, said Dr Karen Maples at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Centre in the Los Angeles suburb of Bellflower.

But two needed some help to breath with ventilators, she told a press conference.

The eight babies were born nine weeks prematurely by Caesarean section over a five-minute period, stunning a 46-member medical team that was expecting only seven babies.

They weighed between 1 pound 8 ounces (680 grams) and 3 pounds 4 ounces (1.47 kg) and doctors initially identified them by the letters A through H as they were born.

"We decided to proceed with the delivery in anticipation of seven babies. We had done some drills, some preliminary dry runs," Maples said.

"Lo and behold, after we got to Baby G, which is what we expected, we were surprised by Baby H."

Maples said she had been following the mother, who was not identified, since the first trimester of her pregnancy.

Citing patient confidentiality rules, the hospital declined to say whether the mother had become pregnant through fertility treatments, which can raise the likelihood of multiple births.

"It was a shock, especially with the eighth baby," Maples said.

The mother plans to breast feed all eight babies, her doctors said.

The last octuplets known to have survived in the United States were born in Houston in 1998, in that case six girls and two boys. One of the babies, a girl, died one week after birth.

Girl marries dog

A young girl has been married to a stray dog to ward off an evil spirit in India's eastern Jharkhand.

The locals at Munda Dhanda village performed the ceremony as they believe it will overcome any curse that might fall on the family.

Interestingly, the girl is free to get married later in life to a man without even seeking a divorce.

Superstitions are widespread in India, especially in rural areas where literacy is scarce.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Human weights

A British gym is trying to add human interest to otherwise dreary workouts by replacing traditional dumbbell weights with human ones.

The Gymbox chain gym in central London says fitness enthusiasts can now swap their usual lumps of metal for human beings in a range of shapes and sizes.

According to the gym's owner Richard Hilton, it's all about visualising strength.

"Creating a mental image or intention of what you want to happen or feel is proven to improve physical and psychological performance," he said in a statement. "The human weight lifting apparatus. . . is the ultimate embodiment of visualisation theory."

The human weights range from the "Dainty Dwarf" 32-year-old Arti Shah, who weighs just 30kg, up to the "Super Human" weight of 37-year-old – and 155kg – Matt Barnard.

Impersonating a stripper

A police force has been criticised after spending £170,000 to arrest a stripper 22 times for impersonating an officer.Stuart Kennedy, a 25-year-old genetics student from Aberdeen University, has spent 123 hours in police custody since his first arrest in March 2007.

Since then he has faced charges including possession of an offensive weapon - his truncheon and a fake CS spray - and for allegedly fitting a flashing light to his car.

But so far none of the cases brought against him have yielded a successful prosecution and the latest collapsed in court last week after the Crown Office unexpectedly dropped the charges.

That followed his arrest while driving home from Aberdeen's Tiger Tiger club dressed in full uniform. He said he had been forced to flee the bar fully clothed after being threatened by an angry boyfriend.

Car trouble

PORT HURON TOWNSHIP, Mich.—A man driven to find his lost dog also lost his car after he drove onto the frozen Black River in St. Clair County, locked himself out of the idling vehicle, then watched as heat from the 1994 Buick's exhaust pipe melted the ice beneath it.

WPHM-AM, the Detroit Free Press and the Times Herald in Port Huron reported that a police dive team were expected Wednesday to help pull the car from the frigid river off Port Huron Township, about 55 miles northeast of Detroit.

The newspapers said the Buick was a loaner while the man's vehicle is being repaired at a collision shop.

Underwater ironing record

128 scuba divers braved the freezing winter temperatures on the 10 January 2009, to attempt to break the world record, currently held by the Australians, for the most number of divers ironing at the same time underwater.

They each had to iron one item of linen within a 10-minute time limit - and 86 of them completed the task under the watchful eye of adjudicators.

The group beat the previous world record of 72 set in Melbourne, Australia, last year. Their incredible feat at the National Diving and Activity Centre in Chepstow, Wales, was captured on camera by 11 photographers armed with special underwater cameras.

Organiser Gareth Lock said the charity challenge is set to raise £10,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) - while raising awareness about the "joys" of underwater ironing.

Mr Lock, 37, said: "This was an unusual attempt, I admit, but it seemed like the perfect way for a load of divers to raise money for the RNLI. We advertised the event by word of mouth and via diving websites, and expected there to be quite a good turnout. But we were shocked when so many people arrived, ready and willing to take part - and even more stunned when we snatched the record."

Around 140 people from across the UK volunteered their time, with 128 of them qualified divers. Depending on experience, each sunk to the quarry bed at different depths with an ironing board, iron and an item of linen.

A record 86 divers managed the task simultaneously, while the remainder were either disqualified for starting too early, or penalised for overshooting the 10-minute time limit.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stone me!

The largest kidney stones most doctors ever get to see is the size of a golf ball. So surgeons in Hungary were taken aback when they removed a stone the size of a coconut from a man earlier today.

Sandor Sarkadi underwent an abdominal operation in Debrecen, 150 miles east of Budapest, after doctors discovered he had a kidney stone inside him that was 6.7 inches in diameter.

Mr Sardaki was rushed into an operation theatre in the Kenez Gyula Hospital when an X-ray revealed he was carrying around the gigantic lump.

The delicate procedure to remove the stone, which weighed a staggering 2.48lbs, passed without incident.

Kidney stones vary in size. They can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball, which makes Mr Sarkadi's stone all the more remarkable.

Shoplifter Run Over by Her Own Getaway Car — Twice

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Authorities are looking for a shoplifter who was run over twice by her getaway car after stealing $1,200 worth of designer purses from a Cape Coral store.

A T.J. Maxx security guard told police she saw a woman stuff six designer Dooney & Bourke purses into her pants Tuesday morning and walk out of the store. The guard says she was confronting the woman when a car pulled up.

A report says the shoplifter tried to get into the vehicle but fell out and was run over by the car. She then got up and jumped onto the hood of the car. As the car was driving away, the report says the woman fell off and was run over again. On her third attempt, she finally made it into the vehicle.

Police are using the car's license plate and a check the woman dropped to track her down.

Man gives judge the finger

A Portuguese businessman said he cut off one of his fingers in court with a butcher's knife in an "act of despair" after a judge refused his offer to settle a 170,000 euro debt and said part of his farm must be sold.

"My intention was to tear up all the case papers and splatter them with blood so I could prevent the expropriation order for my land," Orico Silva was quoted as saying in local media after his drastic action in the court house.

Silva, who owns a 20 hectare (50 acre) farm in the central town of Figueira da Foz, was being sued by a company for holding onto a cash deposit on a land deal which had fallen through, the local newspaper said.

"I freaked out when the judge refused my offer to pay the debt and ordered the sale of part of my land. I told her I had a 1.2 million euro bank guarantee which would have allowed me to pay the debt," Silva said.

When he went to take the bank papers from his briefcase, he noticed the butcher's knife he had recently bought at a market and decided to cut off his index finger, using a court desk as a chopping board. He then cut the finger into three.

"I didn't feel anything, I could even have cut off all my fingers. It was an act of despair," he said.

Longer than an Obama speech?

Frenchman Lluis Colet broke the world record for the longest speech after rambling nonstop for 124 hours about Spanish painter Salvador Dali, Catalan culture and other topics.

The 62-year-old Catalan and local government worker spoke for five straight days and four nights to set the record in the southern French town of Perpignan.

Three notaries were on hand to recognise the feat which allows Colet to enter it in the Guinness Book of Records. The previous record was held by an Indian man who delivered a 120-hour speech.

Colet began speaking at Perpignan's railway station on Monday by reciting the works of famous authors or using some of his own writing. He also spoke profusely about Dali, a painter he admires, and Catalan culture.

Large crowds turned out in support of Colet, who received a rapturous applause at the end of his speech.

"This is a big day for me and I dedicate this record to all those who defend Catalan language and culture," he said, his voice fainter after five days of nonstop talking.

Colet had set the record once before in 2004 when he spoke for 48 straight hours.

Spray painted

Four teenagers say police in a northern Mexican town spray-painted their hair, shoes and buttocks to teach them not to paint graffiti on public property.

Emilio Alfaro of Nuevo Leon state's Human Rights Commission said Thursday the youths have filed a complaint alleging that police in Guadelupe slapped, kicked and painted them with spray cans after detaining them for vandalism.

The youths are aged between 14 and 16. They presented paint-stained shoes and photos of their painted heads as evidence. Guadelupe's police department says several officers have been suspended while the matter is being investigated.

The youths were fined more than $200 before being released on Tuesday. Guadelupe is outside the city of Monterrey.

Wrong song

Katy Perry won one of the big prizes at France's main music award ceremony - but it wasn't meant for her.

The star claimed the gong for Best International Song at the NRJ Awards in Cannes, for her 2008 worldwide smash 'I Kissed A Girl'. However, the real winner was Rihanna for 'Disturbia'.

Host Nikos Aliagas told the BBC there had been a mistake in the vote-counting.

Couple jailed after bank error

Police said a central Pennsylvania couple did not call the bank when a $1,772.50 deposit showed up in their account as $177,250.

Authorities believe 50-year-old Randy Pratt and 36-year-old Melissa Marie Pratt took out the money, quit their jobs and moved to Florida.

The two were arraigned Tuesday and jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail. District Judge Donna Coombe said a public defender and a conflicts lawyer are being assigned.

Police reported that Melissa Pratt deposited the check at FNB Bank last summer.

When the big balance showed up, investigators say, the two wrote checks to another account, bought a new vehicle and were buying a house in the Orlando area when the mistake was traced.

Police said Melissa Pratt told them her husband often got large checks and she wasn't aware of any banking error.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Court backs drunk workers

Peru's top court has ruled that workers cannot be fired for being drunk on the job, a decision the government has criticised for setting a dangerous precedent.

The Constitutional Tribunal ordered that Pablo Cayo Mendoza be given his job back as a janitor for the municipality of Chorrillos, which fired him for being intoxicated at work.

The firing was excessive because even though Cayo was drunk, he could still speak and write, and he did not hurt anybody, justice Fernando Calle said.

Calle said the court would not revise its decision, despite complaints from the labour ministry.

Celso Becerra, the administrative chief of Chorrillos, a suburb of Lima, denounced the ruling.

"We've fired four workers for showing up drunk, and two of them were drivers," he said. "How can we allow a drunk to work who might run somebody over?"

Can we have our tractor back?

A reward has been offered for the return of a stolen £53,000 gold-plated, diamond-encrusted model of a tractor.

The model, which is one of only 500 made, is of a 1931 Caterpillar Sixty diesel tractor.

It was taken from the offices of tractor dealer Finning UK Ltd in Cannock, Staffordshire, on 20 December.

Now the company is offering an undisclosed reward for information that leads to a conviction of the thief and the safe return of the model.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Flying SkyCar

A team of British adventurers and their flying Parajet SkyCar are now set to take off in northern France at the start of their great expedition to Timbuktu.

Transgender lavatories

Transgender students have been given their own lavatory at a university union. The block is being trialled at Staffordshire University union's nightclub, and could be rolled out across the campus.

They are believed to be among the first dedicated transgender lavatories in Britain.
Members of the student union council voted in December to try them out and they were introduced for the first time a week ago.

Union President Fee Wood said: "We are trying to make things as easy as possible for all our students.

"We do have transgender students here, but the new facilities are not just for them – they are for the androgynous students as well. The decision whether to keep them or roll them out to all our venues will be taken in March time. We are also considering lobbying the University for them as well."

The "gender-neutral" lavatories are in the union on Leek Road, in Stoke, and are set apart.

Last year Manchester University renamed their men and women's lavatories to avoid offending its transgender students. The men's were labelled "toilets with urinals", while the ladies were simply called "toilets".

British man runs 2557 miles across Australia... with a wheelbarrow

A 112-day journey by a man pushing a wheelbarrow across Australia to raise money for Breast and Prostate Cancer Research has finally ended in Sydney. David Baird left his Cottesloe Beach home in Perth on September 21. He arrived in Manly, on Sydney's northern beaches Saturday.

When he crossed the finish line he will have run the equivalent of one hundred full marathons in just 112 days. During the charity run well-wishers threw more than £9,145 ($20,000) into the barrow.

And Mr Baird said that while he has not suffered a single puncture, his feet have not fared so well.

He said: "All my adult life my feet have been a size ten but within three weeks my feet had spread out and I had to change to an eleven. Two weeks later I needed a twelve. My feet feel huge. I'm convinced my arms have got longer too".

Mr Baird has been running most of the way into a head wind and in temperatures of up to 46 degrees.

Eating mostly fruit and vegetables he has lost more than a stone (7kg) in weight. Now he is looking forward to dipping his feet into The Pacific Ocean. But he will not be taking much time off.

He said: "I'll probably get up on Sunday and go for a run without the barrow which will feel fantastic I'm sure"

Mr Baird, who emigrated to Australia and spent 21 years working in a coal-mine, got his idea for the wheelbarrow run from a race held near his home in Queensland.

Deputies Seek Pot-Bellied Man Wearing Ninja Outfit

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A ninja, or at least someone dressed like one, is lurking in the shadows of Palm Beach County.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said a heavyset man with a visible potbelly and a ninja costume unsuccessfully tried to steal two different ATMs over the past two weeks.

Security video from the automated teller machines showed the unidentified man dressed in a black ninja outfit with a hood that showed only his eyes.

Authorities said the first attempt was made at a bank on Dec. 29 and the second at a Walgreens on Tuesday. Authorities did not say how the man tried to steal the machines.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Will you taco this woman to be your wife?

A quirky couple who met online have tied the knot at a US fast food restaurant. Customers in Taco Bell continued to order food as Paul and Caragh Brooks sat in an orange booth last Friday and exchanged their vows, reported the Associated Press.

"It's appropriate," said the groom. "It's an offbeat relationship."

Several dozen guests looked on as the couple's friend, Ryan Green, read the pair their vows while wearing a T-shirt. He was ordained via the internet.

"This is the way to go - there's no stress," said the groom's mother, Kathy Brooks.

Employees from the Illinois restaurant displayed hot sauce packets inscribed with the words, "Will you marry me?" The eatery was decorated with streamers and balloons.
The bride wore a bright pink dress, and the entire wedding reportedly cost US$200.

Caragh Brooks, 21 and Brooks, 30, met on an Internet dating Web site. They already shared the same last name.

"We have the same brain, just in two bodies," Mr Brooks said.

"We think alike in virtually every manner. We have the same interests, viewpoints."

He proposed on New Year's Eve and, as they both enjoyed spending time at the local Taco Bell, decided to get married there.

Police surround empty shed

US police held a three hour armed standoff outside a shed in Salt Lake City only to discover there was nobody inside.

The call-out began after a woman living in a house next to the shed told police she had seen her roommate's estranged boyfriend enter the shed with a gun, reported the Associated Press.

Officers secured the area, and after searching the house and calling in police dogs, discovered the shed was locked and there was no-one inside.

Neighbours were evacuated and police shut down portions of nearby streets before the empty shed was revealed.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Vegetable Helmets

Motorcyclists in Nigeria have been wearing dried pumpkin shells on their heads to dodge new laws forcing them to wear helmets, authorities have said.

Officials in the northern city of Kano said they had stopped several people with "improvised helmets", following this month's introduction of the law.

Road safety officials said calabash-wearers would be prosecuted.

Thousands of motorbikes have been impounded around the country and drivers have staged protests.

Calabashes are dried pumpkin shells more commonly used to carry liquid.

Farewell Woolworths

British shoppers bade a final farewell to Woolworths today as the company's remaining 200 stores closed for the last time. Most outlets had already shut down with many of the 807 shops ending trading before the New Year.

Another 200 stores opened for the final time on Saturday after a one-day reprieve by the High Street chain's administrator Deloitte.

Woolworths, a family favourite on the high street for 100 years, went into administration in November with debts of £385million.

The chain - whose first British store was opened by American FW Woolworth in Liverpool in 1909 - is the most high-profile UK High Street casualty of the economic downturn, leaving 27,000 workers facing redundancy.

It ran into trouble this year after struggling with huge debts, and its problems were compounded when it was forced to pay cash for goods after credit insurers were no longer prepared to cover its suppliers.