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)

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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.