Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tater record

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

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

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

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

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

Fake fireman

CANADA - A man faces criminal charges for allegedly impersonating a firefighter for 10 years.
Benoit Gagnon, 41, was reported by one of his own family members after allegedly fooling officials in this city north of Montreal since 2005.
The indictment alleges Gagnon defrauded the city of more than $5,000 "in money, benefits or a job" between October 2005 and this past January "by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means."
The city says Gagnon handed in a bogus CV, school transcripts and diplomas.
However, the firefighters union is defending Gagnon.
President Claude Carier even praised Gagnon's skills.
"He was an above-average firefighter," Carier said. "He was always close to the people, always ready to give the best of himself."
Carier said Gagnon knows how to handle fire equipment and even helped new recruits.
Gagnon is suspended without pay pending court proceedings and is scheduled to return to court next week.

Willie Headed Piglet

Friends and neighbours of farmer Tao Lu had rushed to his property in Yanan township in Nanning city in southern China after news spread of the mutant pig.
Local Wu Kung who posted his images said: “I was one of a dozen people went there to see the piglet, and it really did human face and exactly like he said, a willie growing out of its forehead.”
He said it was alive and squealing but didn’t live long after being rejected by the mother and refusing to feed from a bottle. Farmer Tao said he was amazed because he received phone calls from collectors prepared to pay a large sum of money for the animal. “It was a large litter, and the mutant was one of the last of 19 piglets to be born. “All the others were normal, just this one was really bizarre. It is a shame it died, I could have got more money for it them for the rest of the family put together based on what people were offering me on the phone.” He said they had wanted to put the mutant pig on display to attract visitors.

Sex with a Postbox man found dead

A MAN who shocked Britain after trying to have sex with a post box has been found dead outside a Chinese restaurant.
Paul Bennett’s body was discovered behind the Shanghai Palace in Wigan, Manchester early Sunday but police are not treating the death as suspicious.
They believe the 45-year-old’s death may have been drug related.
Last month, Wigan Magistrates court heard how Bennett had been spotted rubbing himself against the post box with his trousers down, before raising his arms in a star position, shouting ‘wow’.
He pleaded guilty to two charges of indecent exposure as well as using threatening and abusive words and abusive behaviour.
Bennett received a 12-month community order with a compulsory alcohol treatment and supervision program.
He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register and pay £260 in victim compensation and court costs.
Paying tribute, an acquaintance of Mr Bennett said: ‘He had his troubles but he wasn’t a bad lad’.

What's that bulge in your suitcase?

A Frenchman tried to smuggle his Russian wife into the European Union by hiding her in a massive suitcase, without realising there had been no need for the would-be James Bond scheme.
Poland's border guards detained the man, who authorities said was in his 60s, on Friday at the railway station in Terespol, an eastern town on the border with Belarus.
The size of the luggage drew the suspicion of the officers, according to border guard spokesman Dariusz Sienicki.
"To their surprise, a woman in her 30s emerged. It was the Russian wife of the owner of the suitcase," he told AFP.
"She was alive and well and didn't require medical attention."
The couple, who had been taking the train from Moscow to the French city of Nice, were soon released after questioning and decided to return to Belarus.
Little did they know the woman would have had no trouble entering the passport-free Schengen travel zone without the over-the-top caper.
"Had she been sitting next to her husband, she would have made it through without incident," Sienicki said.
Non-EU citizen spouses are allowed to enter if they can prove their marital ties, so that families can stay together.
Instead the couple had risked "a three-year jail sentence because of their attempt to evade border control", he added.
"This was the first time I've seen someone travel like this. She very well could have been a victim of human trafficking."

Boy awakes from coma addicted to cheese and Cussing

England -
A 15-year-old from Chesterfield has awoken from a nine-day coma swearing prolifically and eating whole wheels of cheese.
Doctors were forced to put Kai Thomas in a coma while he recovered from a brain bleed last year, and though he eventually regained the ability to move and speak he was left with two bizarre side effects (also ones I experience from time to time when drunk).
"He's addicted to cheese and he can't stop swearing," his mum Tracey told the Daily Mail.
She first noticed his penchant for dairy and profanity when his speech started to come back.
"One day I was in the kitchen, when I heard Kai yelling in his bedroom," she added.
"He was screaming 'F*ck, bastard, sh*t'. I wondered what on earth was going on - the expletives were coming thick and fast."
She headed upstairs and hound her son chowing down on a wheel of cheese. She's since noticed more of it going missing from the fridge.
"He had always like cheese but now he was obsessed with it - he even added it to his cereal," Mrs Thomas said.
"We asked the doctor about it and apparently it's quite normal for people to develop inappropriate or aggressive behaviour after waking up from a coma.
"So while that explained the swearing, no one can explain the cheese."
He's now undergoing therapy and his condition is gradually improving.
Kai is lucky to have his health, though the Daily Mail remains disturbed by his potty mouth, noting that he apparently previously used to be 'mild-mannered'.
'There can be physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural problems as a result of a head injury," said a spokesperson from Headway, the brain injury charity. "No two cases are the same."