WICKED THOUGHTS -- MIRROR ARCHIVE




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31 December, 2013

Tabby truth

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Kuwaiti woman files for divorce after one week of marriage… because her husband eats peas using bread rather than a fork: “It’s not exactly up there with infidelity but poor table manners are clearly grounds for divorce in some parts of the Middle East. Just one week after getting married, a woman in Kuwait has filed for divorce after discovering her husband prefers to use bread, rather than a fork, to eat peas. Traumatised by the ‘shocking sight’, she said she could no longer live with him, owing to his lack of etiquette. In most Muslim countries, Islamic Law allows husbands to divorce their wives without any reason by just saying ‘I divorce you’ three times. However, if a wife wants a divorce – for reasons such as abuse or lack of communication – she must go to court. The non-acceptance of the other is the major reason for divorce in Kuwait, according to legal experts.”

Italy court overturns paedophile conviction because girl, 11, was ‘in love’: “Italy’s highest court has overturned the conviction of a 60-year-old man for having sex with an 11-year-old girl, because the verdict failed to take into account their “amorous relationship”. Pietro Lamberti, a social services worker in Catanzaro in southern Italy, was convicted in February 2011 and sentenced to five years in prison for sexual acts with a minor. The verdict was later upheld by an appeals court. But Italy’s supreme court ruled the verdict did not sufficiently consider “the consensus, the existence of an amorous relationship, the absence of physical force, the girl’s feelings of love”. According to Il Quotidiano, the girl came from a poor family who had known and trusted the social worker. Lamberti was caught naked in bed with the girl after an investigation by police based largely on wire-tap evidence, it said.”

Rain opens up huge sinkhole in England’s green and pleasant land: “Torrential downpours over Christmas have caused a rare sink-hole to appear in the Peak District, which is 130ft deep and growing. Part of the Milldam lead mine near Buxton in Derbyshire caved-in overnight on Sunday and swallowed a field as terrible weather continued to plague most of Britain. Electricity engineers visited the site yesterday to assess how to re-route cables after two poles were left standing precariously either side of the 160ft wide hole, caused when water erodes the earth underneath and causes the whole area to collapse.”

Mystery in the Amazon solved: Miniature towers surrounded by ‘picket fences’ on trees are found to be spiders egg-nests: “The mystery of how the white picket fence structures appeared in the Peruvian Amazon in June has been solved. They are the work of a tiny spider that builds it webs on trails lined by cecropia trees in Tambopata National Reserve, Peru. Researchers had no idea what was making the unique webs until a tiny orange spider hatched from an egg next to them. Arachnologists and entomologists are now working to identify which species the spider belongs to. The first of the structures was spotted in June, by Troy Alexander, a graduate student at Georgia Tech. He discovered the bizarre formation on the bottom of some blue tarpaulin close to the Tambopata Research Center, in southeastern Peru. Although the spider looks similar to a jumping spider, experts have ruled this out because the arrangement of the eyes were different between the families.”

Early U.S. bank notes found in mint condition in a banker’s drawer to sell for 1,700 times their face value: “Rare bank notes once deemed worthless are set to sell for a staggering $5.7 million after they were found in a U.S. bankers’ drawer. The notes, which date back to the 1880s and total $3,500 in the old money, are now tipped to sell at auction for 1,700 times their face value. They have miraculously survived the 130 years in mint condition and one is among the first ever bank notes to be printed in the U.S. and one of only two left in the world. The currency includes three $1,000 notes and one $500 note. The rarest of the collection is an 1882 $500 gold certificate, among the first ever bank notes printed in America and expected to fetch $2.4 million alone. The two 1882 $1,000 gold certificates and an 1890 $1,000 treasury note are estimated to sell for $1.07 million each. Gold certificates were initially issued by banks as proof of a deposit of gold bullion in their vaults but went on to become forms of money in their own right. They circulated as money until 1933 when the U.S. government banned private gold ownership and withdrew the certificates from circulation, making them worthless.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





30 December, 2013

Redneck togetherness

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

The all-time most popular Christmas song? “The names Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber have largely vanished into the annals of Christmas tormentors, but their greatest triumph lives on. “Silent Night,” which Mohr wrote the lyrics for (in German) in 1816 and Gruber put to music two years later, is the most recorded Christmas song in the modern era of the holiday’s substantial oeuvre. To determine this fact, TIME crawled the records at the U.S. Copyright Office, which offers digitized registrations going back to 1978, and collected data on every Christmas album recorded since that time. “Silent Night,” it turns out, is not merely the most popular carol; with 733 copyrighted recordings since 1978, it is nearly twice as dominant as “Joy to the World,” a distant second with 391 records to its name.”

Another art treasure found in Britain: “A painting that hung on the wall of a priest’s home for more than a decade after he bought it for £400 at an antiques shop has been identified as a van Dyck portrait worth a thousand times as much. The work, previously dismissed as a copy, was valued at £400,000 ($740,000) after its owner had it evaluated on Antiques Roadshow and is the most valuable painting to be identified in the 35-year history of the BBC television program. Canon Jamie MacLeod, who took the painting along to a roadshow session in Newstead Abbey, near Nottingham, plans to sell it to buy new church bells. He bought the portrait from a Cheshire antiques shop – which has since closed – 12 years ago. The work was identified after the program’s host, Fiona Bruce, who was making a show about the artist with expert Philip Mould, saw the painting and wondered whether it was genuine. Mr Mould agreed to take a look at it and after weeks of cleaning and the removal of a top coat of 18th-century paint, the painting was verified by Christopher Brown, one of the world’s leading authorities on van Dyck.”

Man drives wrong way down busy highway on red scooter: “A MAN rode the wrong way down a Brisbane highway for almost 30 minutes – on a motorised mobility scooter. About 9.35am Sunday emergency services received the first of many calls concerned for the safety of a man riding a red motorised mobility scooter north on a southbound lane of Deagon Deviation. Police turned on lights and sirens and even chased the man on foot – but he continued to scoot right past them. The man was caught by traffic police and escorted home. Police said the man was disorientated and had gone the wrong way. No charges will be laid.”

Dolphins ‘getting high’ on puffer fish: “DOLPHINS’ well-known smarts appear to have led them to drugs. The brainy mammals have been caught on camera chewing on puffer fish that protect themselves by releasing a nerve toxin which, in low doses, appears to have a narcotic effect on the dolphins, according to the Sunday Times. The two-part series, which begins in the UK on Thursday, includes a segment showing dolphins deliberately passing around puffer fish in an apparent effort to milk them of their defence toxins. “After chewing the puffer and gently passing it round, they began acting most peculiarly, hanging around with their noses at the surface as if fascinated by their own reflection.” Mr Pilley said that the dolphins treated the puffer fish differently to their regular prey, which they usually rip apart.”

Taxpayer funded British art gallery paid £16,000 for heap of sheep dung: “A cluster of Scottish sheep droppings strung across wire is one of the art works among a collection the Tate Modern purchased for more than £200,000 from a Mexican artist. The gallery bought the £16,000 installation entitled ‘S**t Models ‘ along with 17 other works by artist Abraham Cruzvillegas. The taxpayer funded gallery in London describes the 2008 creation on its website as ‘sheep excrement, dung, plaster, cardboard, steel and wood’. Mr Cruzvillega admitted he used discarded items he found on the street or in fields for his works when he spent six months in Scotland creating his exhibition; Autoconstruction. ‘They are unplanned assemblages, made to test new dialogues between odd and contradictory objects and prime matter,’ the artist explained.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





29 December, 2013

A surfer’s prayer

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Bungling arsonist sets himself on fire as he burns down store: “Captured on CCTV, the man is seen creeping into Supps R Us in Melbourne, Australia, clutching a jerrycan at 4am on Boxing Day. The bizarre footage shows him running to the back of the warehouse out of view – before leaping wildly towards the door, his left leg ablaze. As the camera screen clouds up, the man can still be seen stamping his foot and twisting around. The outside camera then captures him wildly hopping all the way down the street. Police have released images of the CCTV and issued an appeal for information. Supps R Us today tweeted: ‘LOOKING FOR A MAN IN MELBOURNE WITH BURNS TO HIS LEFT LEG. Call Crime Stoppers”. Fire crews called to the site at 4.20am spent an hour fighting the flames, which were continually refuelled by exploding bottles. But they were unable to save the shop, which burned to the ground.

America’s new Irish immigrants: “Ireland may no longer need bailout money as its economy emerges from recession, but a wave of emigration that began in 2008 is continuing. And as in the 1980s, many thousands of those moving to the US may be becoming illegal immigrants. Of America's Irish neighbourhoods the one that spans the border between the Bronx and Yonkers in New York may be the most colourful. Old-fashioned Irish bars line the road. Grocery stores offer boiled bacon, oatmeal and tea. The Shamrock Gift Shop sells woollen sweaters, Waterford crystal, and statuettes of angels holding Celtic crosses. Irish immigrants have been settling in the area for decades, driven by recurring economic crises back home. On the main streets, Irish accents predominate. As immigration controls have gradually tightened it has become harder to make the journey. But unemployment, falling salaries, and poor career prospects have been prompting more Irish people to cross the Atlantic"

Should planes have parachutes?: “Given that there is a life-jacket under every seat on a commercial airliner, it might not seem like a bad idea to stuff a chute under there too. In reality, individual parachutes would be impossible to use in an emergency involving hundreds of people, says Guy Gratton, an aviation research fellow at Brunel University in the UK. After all, what are the chances that some 300 people on a plummeting plane have time to don their chute and leap from the plane in an orderly manner? “Frankly, I think not a chance,” says Gratton. Whole-plane parachutes are arguably more suitable in a crisis because they can be deployed quickly. That’s why about 10% of all small general aviation planes are equipped with a single chute that carries the plane, with its passengers, cargo and all.”

Why do zebras have stripes?: “A team of UK researchers now claims it has uncovered evidence that the stripes are used by the African equines to dazzle predators. The markings, they claim, work as an optical illusion that conceal a zebra’s movements and protect it from being attacked. ‘The stripes don’t just confuse big predators like lions – pests and flies are affected too,’ said Professor Johannes Zanker. ‘The highly visible oriented stripes on a zebra’s flank and the narrower vertical stripes on its back and neck give unexpected motion signals that confuse viewers, particularly in a herd of zebras.’ Humans and many animals have something known as a ‘motion detection mechanisms’ which processes the direction in which something is moving. An example of an illusion that can override this mechanism is the barber-pole effect, where the spiral of stripes on a vertical pole appears to move upwards as the pole spins. Zebra stripes capitalise on this type of illusion to help protect the animals. Broad diagonal stripes on a zebra’s flank and the narrower vertical stripes on its back can also confuse this mechanism.

British Keystone Kops keep crashing their cars: “A single police force had nearly 800 car crashes this year, with repairs costing a staggering £396,000, it has emerged. Thames Valley Police recorded 789 crashes involving its patrol cars, with over half of the incidents deemed the fault of the police driver. Thirty members of the public were injured in collisions with vehicles from the force which covers Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. A teenager was killed in one of the accidents when his car collided with a central reservation while he was being pursued by two Thames Valley vehicles. Matt Seddon’s body was thrown into the road and hit by a police car in the incident which has seen eight officers and a member of civilian staff served with misconduct notices. Thames Valley Police press officers have not responded to requests for comment.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





28 December, 2013

A serious threat

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Massive python strangles security guard at Bali luxury hotel: “Police on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali have warned tourists to be on guard after a huge python killed a security guard at a luxury beachfront hotel. The four-metre snake is still on the loose after the attack early on Thursday at the Bali Hyatt, which is in the popular Sanur area but currently closed for renovation. The security guard, Ambar Arianto Mulyo, spotted the serpent and succeeded in catching it, a police official said. Mulyo, 59, gripped its head with his right hand and its tail with his left – but the snake proved too strong, managing to wrap itself around his neck and strangle him. He was accompanied by friends but they were too terrified to step in and help, Gusti Ngurah Yudistira, the head of the police criminal investigations unit covering the Sanur area, said. “The victim died on the spot as his neck was crushed and he could not breathe,” he said. The snake is still on the loose”

Indian thief who swallowed a victim’s gold chain is fed 96 bananas by police so they can reclaim it: “Police spent 24 hours feeding a thief 96 bananas to retrieve the gold chain he stole and swallowed. Damu Gupta, 28, had snatched the necklace from a doctor minutes into a long-distance train journey from Mumbai to Gondia, central India, last Saturday. But when Dr Sheetal Kamble started screaming, and passengers ran to her rescue, Gupta put the 11g piece of jewellery in his mouth. Police arrested him in Kalyan, the second stop, and spent days conducting scans and X-rays to find it. Finally, on Christmas Day, an ultrasound showed the chain to be in his stomach. From Wednesday afternoon the accused was fed bananas, a natural laxative, by a doctor. Finally, on Thursday afternoon, it was recovered.”

Farmer’s hens lay more eggs when he plays them hits by Andrew Lloyd Webber: “A farmer has claimed his chickens lay more eggs when he plays them soothing operatic music. Steve Ledsham, 64, says egg production soared when he started playing the hits of Andrew Lloyd Webber within earshot of his 24 hens while building a barn at his farm in Wirral, Merseyside. When Mr Ledsham went to collect eggs shortly afterwards, he noticed there were around double the number he had expected to find. He says the dramatic increase, which saw the hens raise their output from four to eight eggs a week each, is all down to his taste for the classic songs of musical theatre. Mr Ledsham claims his hens only appreciate certain kinds of music however, adding that he doubts ‘modern chart rubbish’ by the likes of One Direction or Miley Cyrus would have had such a positive impact.”

Italian “pimp” goes to the beach in Florida: “The Anglo-Italian showgirl was sentenced in July for procuring and grooming prostitutes for Silvio Berlusconi’s bunga bunga parties. But she seemed to have left the weight of the world behind her when she was pictured enjoying a break in the Florida coastal city over Christmas. The 28-year-old acted as a Madame running a stable of more than 30 young women for the ex-Italian premier’s sex parties, a court in Milan ruled. However, she has been allowed to walk free while she appeals the decision. Minetti, a regional councillor for Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party in Milan, helped to recruit 33 female guests, who were given envelopes stuffed with 500 Euro notes and expensive gifts after the dinners at the prime minister’s luxury villa near Milan.” Files included a telephone tap transcript in which a former police officer told a friend sordid details about the bawdy parties. He said: ‘Minetti was there with her chest out kissing Berlusconi continuously.”

Tourist arrested for giving Heil Hitler! salute in holiday photo in Berlin: “A tourist who thought it was amusing to have himself photographed outside the Reichstag in Berlin giving the Heil Hitler! salute has been arrested. The 30-year-old Canadian was standing on the steps of the German parliament building with his right arm raised as his girlfriend, 29, photographed him in the forbidden pose. Police arrived within seconds, handcuffed him and took the memory card of the camera. He risked being formally charged with making a forbidden gesture, an offence for which he could have been jailed for up to six months. But it is understood he will be let off with a fine and a warning. He was freed after several hours in police custody on Saturday after paying bail money…. Any gestures of the old Nazi regime, or the displaying of any of its symbols, is a s serious crime in modern-day Germany.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





27 December, 2013

Sitting around at Yosemite

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Generous stranger pays off $20,000 of customers’ outstanding bills at Walmart: “A secret Santa brought an early Christmas gift to cash-strapped shoppers by spending $20,000 paying off their outstanding bills. Staff at Walmart were stunned when Greg Parady asked if he could contribute towards customer’s Christmas layaway bills. After overhearing another shopper say she may not be able to afford her outstanding bill, Mr Parady wandered over to the layaway department to see what he could do to help. After asking the manager to tally up all the outstanding balances, Mr Parady was shocked to hear that $89,000 worth of gifts hadn’t been paid for, and saddened by how many families were struggling to put presents under their tree. The 40-year-old made a significant dent in the debt however, after swiping a variety of personal credit cards through the machine. He paid the bills of six shoppers who were in the store at the time, as well as paying off half of every bill over $200.

Illiterate fashionistas: “Trendy Californian label Wildfox appears to have a spelling scandal on its hands. The brand, which is known for its acid-wash denim, crop tops, cheeky swimsuits, and ironic script on T-shirts, has been called out for misspelling the word ‘weird’ as ‘wierd’ on one of its $108 sweatshirts. Other designs by the label have also been slammed for grammatical errors such as missing punctuation and improper word choice. Wildfox’s New Year Baggy Beach Sweatshirt, currently available for sale on Shopbop, is covered in text that reflects the New Year’s resolutions of many a millennial-aged girl. ‘Drink Less, kiss more, deep sea dive, tropical vacation, adopt a pet, stay wierd,’ the top reads in white uppercase lettering. The last stanza is where the issue arises. The misspell probably occurred because Photoshop and Indesign programs – which Wildfox likely uses to create these graphics – do not have built-in spell-check features

A sheepish pig: “From a distance, they could be mistaken for sheep – but these cute bundles of wool are in fact pigs. The Mangalitsa is a rare breed of pig which inhabits only a few farms in the UK – living in woodland, farms and even on occasion in homes as they are easily house trained…. “The pigs are much more intelligent than people appreciate so it’s hard not to build a relationship with them. ‘As Churchill said, “Cats look down on you, dogs look up to you, but pigs look you straight in the eye!” ‘All pigs love to have their tummies stroked, but the Mangalitsas especially so. They are worth around £1,000, five times the value of an ordinary pig and are fond of fruit and the odd tipple. Mangalitsa pigs are much hardier than normal pigs and moult in the summer to prevent them getting too hot. Unlike normal commercial pigs, they do not get sunburnt. Hair from the pigs is particularly popular in the U.S. as it retains air bubbles under water, making it ideal for tying fishing flies.”

Police in Florida, hand out scratchies to speeding drivers on Christmas Day: “TO PROTECT and serve … and hand out rewards for dangerous driving. Police in Melbourne, Florida, might want to revisit their charter because their Christmas spirit seems to have flouted the usual process of law and order. On Christmas Day, Melbourne cops handed out scratchies to bad drivers who were pulled over for traffic violations such as speeding. Rewarding the reckless drivers was all in the name of Christmas cheer, apparently. “We’re just doing a little bit of a different technique,” Sgt Jamie Rocque told Florida Today. “When we pull the motorists over, we’re also giving them the scratch-off tickets that the officers bought with their own personal funds. “It’s something good to do in light of the holidays. We’re getting a lot of surprised looks … people don’t know what to say.”

A man is wanted by the Police in Germany for riding his motorbike naked: “POLICE in Germany are on the hunt for a cheeky motorcyclist who rode naked through a crowded marketplace. The mystery man uploaded a video of his stunt to YouTube on December 15 under the name ‘Baller Boyz,’ after earlier promising to complete the daring ride if he got more than 1,000 likes on Facebook. Some shoppers were shocked while others were amused as the naked man did a burn out on his R6 motorbike through Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia according to The Local. “It was not unappetising to watch,” said Birgit Weusthoff-Schulze who copped an eyeful as the man rode past her. Police are investigating but admitted after viewing the video that it was a “petty offence”.



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





26 December, 2013

Redneck bar

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Dodgy Australian dentist fined pulling out all patient’s teeth: “A DENTIST who pulled out all of a patient’s teeth without permission has been fined and condemned by a tribunal. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found the rural Victorian dentist engaged in professional misconduct after removing all of the man’s 22 teeth without obtaining informed consent. The dentist – who cannot be named because it could identify the patient – said that in November 2010 the patient came in with a severe mouth infection and in severe pain. VCAT said the dentist was concerned the infection would become widespread without prompt action, and the patient suggested he was a drug user who might be going to jail. The dentist said he had viewed it as an emergency and “was not aware of what dental treatment may be available if the patient went to prison.”

Church keeps £100,000 found in a bin-bag on its doorstep after court rules ‘finders, keepers’: “A church in York has been blessed with a £100,000 Christmas gift, after a court ruled it could keep a bin-bag full of cash left on a doorstep of one of its properties. The bag was found outside a house owned by The Parish Church of Saint Thomas with Saint Maurice in August, prompting a police investigation. The money is two-and-a-half times what the church normally raises in an entire year. It was first suspected that the money was criminal property, but as no evidence of such has been found, the cash has been awarded to the church in the Groves, York. Eleanor Course, from the Diocese of York, said the church would use the money in the local community where it was found, but detailed plans are yet to be drawn up. She said: ‘It’s great news for the church’.

New mother stabbed home intruder to death with a steak knife after he broke in with plans to rape her: “Ken Boonstra was stabbed to death by a 26-year-old woman while her husband attacked Boonstra in their Washington home. The family went out to dinner that night and then went to bed by 10pm after ‘triple checking’ the locks on every door. Hours later around 1.40am, the husband woke when their dogs started barking. When he heard the dogs begin to growl, he ran back to get wasp spray which he used on the intruder with little success. The wife originally came into the struggle armed with a baseball bat but that broke during the altercation. ‘When the husband was fighting with the intruder, the wife was the one that went and got the knife, and stabbed the intruder, trying to help her husband out,’ said West. It took several stabs of the knife to get Boonstra to stop fighting.

Chinese smugglers build concrete tunnel under the border with Hong Kong to smuggle trade: “Smugglers dug a ‘professional’ concrete tunnel into Hong Kong equipped with lights, vents, steel reinforcements and even rails to transport goods. The underground path had ‘one end in a rented garage in Shenzhen and another in a thicket of reeds in Hong Kong, totally concealed’. Semi-autonomous Hong Kong, along with Shenzhen in mainland China, are both important trade hubs for the fast-growing and massive market. But the two have very different tariff systems. The as-yet unidentified smugglers sought to exploit their proximity by building a 40-metre-long underground passage. The tunnel stood about 0.8 metres wide and one metre high, just big enough for an adult to crawl through. The project was estimated to have cost three million yuan ($490,000) and taken four months to build

Pregnant Indian women pay farmer to let them touch his five-legged cow’s extra hoof so they will give birth to a boy: “Raj Pratap’s three-year-old male calf, called Raju, has become famous in Raipur, India, since a woman with four daughters touched the animal’s fifth hoof and begged for her next child to be a boy. When she gave birth to a twin boys in February this year, word soon spread that the calf’s fifth leg – a very rare condition which affects just one in every five million cows – was ‘lucky’. Since news got out about the fifth leg, Mr Pratap, a cattle herder, has been swamped by pregnant women who pay to touch the hoof – with 30 women so far stumping up around 500 rupees, around £5, for the privilege. Amazingly, all 30 women have given birth to boys and Mr Pratap is so confident of his ‘miracle calf’ that he offers refunds if the baby born is a girl. This week, on Monday (Dec 23) the cow celebrated its 33rd baby boy after a woman who touched its ‘magical hoof’ gave birth to triplets….all of them boys.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





25 December, 2013

Sometimes you can’t win

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Santa Claus gets hard time in Russia: “A MAN dressed as Santa Claus was found dead after a work Christmas party. The man had threatened two fellow party goers with a knife at the event in Yakutsk, the capital city of the Sakha Republic in Russia, UPI reporte. The man was subdued and taken outside and his feet and hands were tied with rope. The man’s girlfriend reportedly tied her scarf around his mouth to stop him from yelling. The girlfriend escorted the guests out of the property and it was when she returned to check on her boyfriend that she discovered he was dead, investigators said. Investigators are still trying to establish a cause of death.”

‘Turkeydogs’ shepherd and protect turkeys on British farm: “A British farm has trained dogs to herd more than 40,000 turkeys and keep them safe in the run up to Christmas. Mother and daughter team Pip and Kes spend their days shepherding and protecting the birds at Copas Traditional Turkeys in Cookham, West Berkshire. The collie crosses were trained from puppies and are introduced to the barns as soon as the poults are delivered to the farm to allow the birds to get used to their presence and prevent any distress. As puppies they undertook daily training on herding the turkeys, jumping fences, identifying and retrieving stray birds and catching vermin. Whilst the turkeys roam the cherry orchards and spend their days listening to Radio 2 in their barns (it gets them used to noise, particularly human voices), the dogs are constantly on hand to protect the birds and keep them in order. ‘Tom Copas (who mangaes the firm) saw a need for the dogs early on at the farm, as it’s the perfect method for getting our turkeys in from the Cherry Orchards each night.”

Top British surgeon suspended over claims he ‘seared his initials on transplant patient’s LIVER’: “An experienced surgeon has been suspended amid claims he branded a patient’s liver with his initials. It is alleged that Simon Bramhall, a consultant at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, is being investigated after a colleague said he discovered the letters ‘S B’ on an organ during a follow-up operation. It is said that he used argon gas to burn his initials on the patient. The gas is used to seal vessels, but is not usually harmful. A source close to Mr Bramhall said that he had performed ‘hundreds of transplants’. They added: ‘If an organ has been made available by the family of someone who has passed away, the last thing they would want is to find it has been violated. ‘I am hoping this is just a mistake. I don’t know what would possess someone to do that to another human being.”

African inmate chops off his own penis after telling other prisoners he won’t need it because he is not being released before Christmas: “A Kenyan death row inmate chopped off his own penis after missing out on a presidential pardon. After telling fellow prisoners that he would not need the organ anymore, Francis Karuri chopped off the appendage and then continued his work, before passing out on the floor in his cell. He was discovered by guards and taken to the Kenyatta Nation Hospital to be treated for the wound, and unconsciousness due to loss of blood. But, perhaps due to the fact that the injury was caused 13 hours before, the organ was unable to be attached by medics. The inmate, who has so far served 15 years in prison was following proceedings of the Uhuru ceremony where 50 prisoners were sent free. He was hoping that his name would be read out on a list of inmates which would be released in time for Christmas.”

New Japanese island: “A new volcanic island off the coast of Japan has tripled in size since it formed just over a month ago, experts have said. The land mass, which has now been named Niijima, was first spotted on November 20 in the Ogasawara chain around 600 miles south of Tokyo. Initially, scientists were unsure how long it would last because volcanic islets of that type tend to be reclaimed by the sea after a short time. However, the island has actually expanded to 56,000 square metres (13.8 acres) – around three times its size – as a result of continuing eruptions from the volcano below. According to National Geographic, the Japan Meteorological Agency says it now rises to around 80ft above sea level and Japanese scientists believe it is large enough to last for several years, perhaps for good.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





24 December, 2013

College bar

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

US building worth $1 demolished: “The US city of Flint’s tallest building, the 19-story Genesee Towers, was reduced to rubble on Sunday. Crowds of people gathered to watch the implosion which transformed the 45-year-old building into some 30,000 tons of broken concrete in a matter of seconds. Uptown Reinvestment bought the building, that had been empty for years, from the city for just $1 (£0.64). Plans are to transform the site into a family-friendly plaza with a science theme as part of a larger downtown redevelopment.

Outraged Indonesian official orders runway blocked after Merpati Nusantara airlines refuses to give him a seat: “Marianus Sae, head of Ngada district in the eastern island of Flores, wanted to get home quickly to Ngada from the city of Kupang on Timor island so that he could attend a meeting. But state-owned Merpati Nusantara airlines refused to sell him a ticket for a flight to Turelelo Soa airport early on Saturday because it was full. “It is outrageous,” Sae was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Globe newspaper. “I begged for a ticket for five hours to fly to Ngada and their answer was: ‘The flight is full’.” The infuriated district chief ordered public order officers — who have more limited powers than police and come under the authority of local governments — to drive cars onto the runway and stop the plane landing, media reports said. Merpati spokesman Riswanto Chendra Putra confirmed the plane was forced to turn back due to the blockade. However he added that two of the plane’s 56 seats had become available at the last minute — but by then Sae had already bought a ticket to travel with another airline.”

Man flu: it affects manly men, research suggests: “Manlier” men are less resistant to the effects of one strain of the flu, new research suggests. Those in favour of the existence of the dreaded ”man flu” had been supported by previous findings that women have a stronger immune response than men, but the reasons remained unknown until now. By analysing blood serum in 53 females and 34 males, the researchers discovered men with higher levels of testosterone displayed weak antibody responses to the flu vaccine when working with the H3N2 strain – a serious and prevalent strain globally. Those men with low levels of testosterone and females didn’t show a decrease in their antibody response to the vaccine.”

Thug blurts out own name: “A thug was caught after declaring his name in an attempt at a menacing threat after brutally attacking a 15-year-old boy. Martyn Dashwood, 32, knocked out teenager Harry Boucher and then stamped on his head during a brawl at a skate park. As he left the scene, the yob advanced on Harry’s friend, shouting: ‘I’m Martyn Dashwood, I’m in the Mafia, you shouldn’t mess with me.’ But the warning backfired as the boys instantly called the police to give a meticulous description of their attacker. The father-of-three has now been jailed for 12 weeks after pleading guilty to assault.”

Burger King: the hottest new restaurant in Paris: “It’s the capital of the nation perhaps more admired for its gastronomy than anywhere else in the world. But the culinary gossip in Paris this past week has had little to do with Michelin stars or tasting menus. When Burger King opened its doors a day earlier than anticipated last week, the news quickly started to trend on Twitter. And the queues began to stretch a long, long way back from the entrance of the fast-food outlet – Burger King’s only one in Paris – in Saint Lazare train station, a busy commuter hub serving the city’s western suburbs. In the run-up to Christmas, the smart gift shops of the station’s mall – still retaining the sheen of a multi-million pound makeover that finished last year – are bustling with shoppers. But nothing even comes close to the Burger King crowds. If opening a restaurant is about generating a buzz, then the franchise had made a dream start



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





23 December, 2013

Frank fish shop

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Iceland judge halts road scheme because it might have impact on ELVES: “In this land of fire and ice, where the fog-shrouded lava fields offer a spooky landscape in which anything might lurk, stories abound of the ‘hidden folk’ – thousands of elves, making their homes in Iceland’s wilderness. Elf advocates have joined forces with environmentalists to urge the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission and local authorities to abandon a highway project building a direct route from the tip of the Alftanes peninsula, where the president has a home, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer. They fear disturbing elf habitat and claim the area is particularly important because it contains an elf church. The project has been halted until the Supreme Court of Iceland rules on a case brought by a group known as Friends of Lava, who cite both the environmental and the cultural impact – including the impact on elves – of the road project. The group has regularly brought hundreds of people out to block the bulldozers.”

Popular Christmas card: “A very personal Christmas card featuring the Bazley-Jackson living room took on a more comic turn than the family intended after their dog Monty contributed his own set of baubles to the image. The card featured all three of the pets belonging to the family from Shepton Mallet, Somerset. But while Toto was cuddled up in his Christmassy dog jacket and cat Mr Pickles appeared the picture of elegance on a chair, it was impossible for receivers not to have their attention drawn towards Monty. The unfortunate chocolate Labrador had his private parts splayed all over neighbours’ mantlepieces – and it has since become a online hit.

Church of England to lose its vestments? “Vicars could soon be conducting services in shell-suits, shorts or even football shirts under radical plans to overturn centuries of Church tradition. Rules requiring the clergy to don traditional vestments are set to be swept aside as part of a ‘makeover’ designed to make services more relevant to modern congregations. If the Church of England Synod approves the reforms, vicars could wear whatever they deem appropriate for all their services – including weddings, baptisms and funerals …. He added: ‘The time has come to end the blanket requirement for everyone to wear robes, but I would be very sad to see that tradition go entirely. ‘We must be sensitive to the fact that the majority of people still enjoy the fact that priests dress up in this Roman clothing, which is what it is.’ He said clergy had ‘very poor dress sense’ and the idea of them turning up in ‘smart casual’ clothes sent a shiver down his spine.

Pitbull owner whose crazed dog savaged five police officers wins legal appeal because THEY let it out of his house during raid: “A pitbull owner who was jailed after his banned dog mauled five police officers in scenes compared to the Battle of Trafalgar has had his conviction overturned. Appeal judges ruled today that Symieon Robinson-Pierre was not responsible for the officers’ injuries, because it was the policemen themselves who let his doberman-pitbull cross named Poison out of his house. At his initial trial, the jury were told they were not allowed to take into account whose fault it was that the dangerous dog was let out. Robinson-Pierre, 26, was jailed for 22 months in January after being convicted of owning a dog dangerously out of control in a public place following a trial at Inner London Crown Court. However, the Court of Appeal ruled today that the way the crown court judge directed the jury prevented the defendant from having a fair trial.”

Mother and son to spend Christmas in Afghanistan after joining the SAME British army squadron: “While most soldiers in Afghanistan will spend Christmas Day missing their loved ones, one mother and son will be spending it just a stone’s throw from each other in Helmand province. Lance Corporal Sonia Doddrell, 40, and son Mark, who is a private, are not only both serving the same tour in Afghanistan, but work in the same logistics squadron in Camp Bastion. Reservist L/Cpl Doddrell, who works for Royal Mail, joined the Territorial Army two-and-a-half years ago, while her son Mark has been a member of the regular army for five years. His mother, whose job is issuing and bringing ammunition back in to Camp Bastion, said she had wanted to join the forces when she was younger but was not allowed, so when she saw an advertisement for reservists, decided to join up. ‘My gran was chuffed for me, so was my grandad. My dad just thought it was a phase I was going through, my two boys just thought I was mad.’”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





22 December, 2013

Even crazier

Compare with post of Dec. 13 here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Irish pharmacist refuses girl a life-saving injection: “A 14-year-old girl died in the street after a pharmacy refused her a life-saving adrenaline injection when she suffered an allergic reaction to peanuts at a Chinese buffet. Emma Sloan was denied an EpiPen shot – a special allergy injection – which by law, cannot be obtained from a chemist without a prescription, the Herald reported. Ireland’s Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald last night called for an inquiry into the death. It was reported on RTÉ that the pharmacy regulatory body, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, is examining the case. The teenager told her mother that she became unable to breathe after eating satay sauce in a Chinese restaurant in Dublin, it was reported. Ms Sloan, from Drimnagh, Dublin, was about to take her daughter to Temple Street Hospital in the city but Emma died on the street surrounded by a crowd, according to reports.”

Happiness in the Hart of Hampshire: “The Hampshire district of Hart has been named as the most desirable place to live in the UK for a third year in a row, it has emerged. Nestled in the north-east corner of the county, residents of Hart have the longest life expectancy in the country – 82.9 years for men, compared with the UK average, 79 – and are considered the UK’s healthiest. People earn an average £843 a week compared with the national average of £616, and the employment rate in the area is 80 per cent – nine percentage points higher than the national average. The region, which is centred around the town of Fleet, described as ‘a step back in time’, has 84 square-miles of green wooded landscape and Hampshire’s largest freshwater lake. But Hart residents do pay for their quality of life – with the average house price costing seven times the annual local wage – much higher than the UK average multiple, 5.8 times.”

Pilot ‘delays flight to New York for more than TWO HOURS waiting on sandwich delivery from five-star hotel’: “A foodie pilot allegedly delayed a New York-bound flight by two-and-a-half hours – for gourmet sandwiches. Pakistan International Airlines’ Captain Naushad reportedly demanded the hoagies after finding out there were only peanuts, chips and biscuits on board flight PK711 from Lahore, Pakistan on Saturday. When crew told him sandwiches could only be ordered from a five-star hotel which could take hours to arrive, he insisted he needed his lunch at any cost. The Nation reported that crew sent the pilot’s request to the national carrier’s catering department and then to PIA’s management office in Karachi. Management ‘directed the catering department to meet (the pilot’s) demand.’ The flight, scheduled to leave at 6.45am, ended up flying out of Allama Iqbal International Airport at 9.15am. Dozens of passengers reportedly missed their connecting flights at Manchester and New York due to the delay.”

Topless protest falls flat on Rio’s beaches: “A much-hyped protest for the right to go topless on Rio de Janeiro’s beaches has fallen flat as only a handful of women bared their chests for the movement. More than 100 photojournalists stampeded across the golden sands of Ipanema beach when the first woman took off her bikini top to flout Brazilian law, but just three or four other women joined in. “A breast isn’t dangerous!” said Olga Salon, a 73-year-old Rio native, as she stripped off her black tank top. “It’s a false-Puritanism and indicative of our macho culture that we have a law forbidding that a woman can go topless.” Internationally, Brazil has a reputation as a nation of liberal sexual mores, where nudity is not only tolerated but enthusiastically embraced during Carnival parades. But under Brazil’s penal code, which dates back to the 1940s, female toplessness is an “obscene act,” punishable by three months to a year in prison”

Europe’s sleeper trains disappear: “The demise of the Paris-Madrid overnight service is a symptom of a wider malaise on Europe’s sleeper trains. Some may think that the first through train between Madrid and Paris, inaugurated in 1969 using ground-breaking Talgo train technology to switch between standard and Iberian gauges, deserves a classier send-off. Yet the last direct train between the two capitals set off on Saturday, December 14 from Paris Austerlitz at 19:45, rolling into Madrid Chamartin at a little past 9am the following day, without so much as an official announcement. This is how the Talgo ends: not with a proud press release, but with whimpered confirmation three days before its last journey. For fans of the units’ en-suite sleeper cabins and nifty gauge-swapping axles, it is a familiar story: the night trains linking Zurich and Milan with Barcelona disappeared earlier this year; now it’s the turn of the trains from Paris to Barcelona and Madrid.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





21 December, 2013

Cynical advertisement

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Sporting success DOES trigger baby booms: Spain’s birth rate rose by 16% after Barcelona’s 2009 Champions League victory: “In May 2009 euphoria swept through Spain as FC Barcelona won the UEFA Champions League. Following this event, reports predicted the win would spark a baby boom in Spain and now scientists have confirmed that the number of births in February 2010 did indeed rise, by 16 per cent. There was also an 11 per cent increase seen in births in March 2010, which the scientists claim may have still been a knock-on effect of the win. Spanish researchers analysed birth data at maternity centres in Catalonia from before and after FC Barcelona won the title in May, 2009. It found a 16% increase in February 2010, nine months after the event, compared to births in February in previous and later years”

Did BEER create civilization? Ancient man developed agriculture to brew alcohol, NOT to bake bread, claims scientist: “Some scientists claim beer – not bread – is the reason early man adopted a society based on farming around 10,000 years ago, a key moment in our evolution. The cultivation of grain saw the transition away from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and a widely-accepted theory is that the crops were used to bake bread, but experts claim it was the prospect of a brew that drove the desire to settle down and start a farm. One of them is Patrick McGovern, the director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania. He says beer has a number of advantages beyond the intoxicating effects and taste, such as a high B vitamin content, the essential amino acid lysine and the fact it was safer to drink than water as the brewing process killed off bacteria and viruses.”

The woman who is terrified of SANTA: “Most people look forward to Christmas, but one woman is left with an impending sense doom as the festive season approaches. Stefanie Howlett, 28, has developed an overwhelming phobia of Father Christmas after being dragged by her parents to sit on his lap every year as a child. Her terror has become so intense that she cannot be in the same building as a Santa and, if she knows there’s one nearby, she instantly bursts into tears. Ms Howlett, from Wirral, Merseyside, is even unable to watch TV for fear the Coca-Cola Christmas advert will come on. She said: ‘He absolutely terrifies me but I can’t work out exactly why. Whenever I see him it brings on a panic attack. ‘I feel sorry for any children I’ll have because I’ll never be taking them to visit Santa’s Grotto.’”

Heavy horses called in to tackle overgrown woodland in New Forest after conditions were deemed too dense and boggy for heavy machinery: “Visitors to the New Forest might be forgiven for doing a double-take when they see what ‘machines’ are being used to work the land these days. Weighing one ton and capable of shifting timber the same weight as a double-decker bus in just one day, these heavy horses are being used to their full capacity in order to tackle overgrown woodland. They have been employed to work in areas that are deemed too dense and boggy for modern, heavy machinery. Locals are using the traditional horse logging techniques to reduce the high level of untreated woodland in the national park. They are being trained to manage the Percheron horses to clear timber from wooded sites, which make up more than 40 per cent of the park. The people have been shown how to load logs and woodland on to wheeled carts, which are connected to a harness and attached to the horse.”

Duff beers, colorful walls and THAT couch: Inside the real-life Simpsons house: “As the Simpsons celebrates its 24th anniversary today, images of a replica of the cartoon characters’ house – which was built as a promotion in the Nineties – have resurfaced. The four-bedroom, 2,200-square-foot home built in Henderson, Nevada, featured all the iconic details of Marge and Homer’s fictional home, from its yellow walls to its brightly-colored interiors. According to Curbed, a building team pored over more than 100 episodes of the show to get every facet of the house right before unveiling it in August 1997. The house was built by Kaufman and Broad Home Construction – costing the company $120,000 and 49 days of labor. A grey driveway leads up to the attached garage, and a concrete pathway winds from the driveway to the orange front door. Even the shrubbery outside looks the same as it does in the cartoon version.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





20 December, 2013

New picture gallery up

I have just done my selection of the “best” pictures that appeared in the months of May and June this year. You can access the selection concerned here or here





Trust

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Volgograd calls in the big guns to deal with heavy snowfall: The Russian city of Volgograd received some welcome assistance in clearing its roads after trucks and lorries are trapped by heavy snowfall. Footage, recorded by a car’s dashboard camera, captures the unlikely sight of a tank tearing through a junction haulling a heavy goods vehicle behind it. It was a scene repeated around the city as the Russian army lent a helping hand to stranded truck drivers.”

Toronto funster still at it: “The crack-smoking Toronto Mayor’s latest head-scratching comments prove that he’s the gift that keeps on giving. Ford was participating in a regular call-in on a Washington, DC, sports radio show today when one of the hosts asked him what he plans to get Renata for Christmas. ‘Just money. Women love money. Give them a couple of thousand bucks and they’re happy. Get some treats on the side obviously for her,’ the 44-year-old conservative said, according to the National Post. It’s been a tough year for Ford, and for his faithful wife Renata, who has stood by her husband’s side as he was accused of adultery, using prostitutes, drug use and alcoholism. She even had to endure lewd public comments he made about the couple’s sex life when he denied sexually harassing a staffer. ‘At the end of the day, she wants her cash. So I give her a nice check and we’re all happy.’ One of Ford’s colleagues on the city council hit back at Ford’s statements. ‘I would say women want respect – everyday of the year,’ Peter Milczyn told the Post.”

Kiddy suitcase is a winner: “Entrepreneur Rob Law came up with his idea for the Trunki in 1997 but was turned down when he appeared on the BBC show in 2006. Despite the rejection, he invested thousands of pounds into developing the product and it is now very popular baggage item among families. He introduced the merchandise as a suitcase ‘todllers can pack, sit on and ride… while parents can keep their children in tow.’ This year the firm moved into a new phase when it bought its own factory in Devon and moved production of its suitcases to the UK. To mark the two-million milestone, Trunki produced two special suitcases complete with gold horns. A competition has been launched – and more than 1,000 people have signed up on Facebook for the chance to win one of the cases.”

Are there diamonds in Antarctica? Precious stones could be lurking under pole’s ice: “A type of rock that often contains diamonds has been found in Antarctica for the first time, hinting at mineral riches in the vast, icy continent where mining is banned. The team of researchers found kimberlite deposits around Mount Meredith, in the Prince Charles Mountains in East Antarctica. ‘It would be very surprising if there weren’t diamonds in these kimberlites,’ Greg Yaxley of the Australian National University in Canberra, who led the research, said. Kimberlite is a rare rock where diamonds are often found, which is named after the South African town of Kimberley – the site of a late 19th-century diamond rush. However, this does not mean that people will flocking to Antarctica to mine diamonds any time soon as it is not only forbiddingly cold and remote but also protected by a treaty that preserves the continent for scientific research and wildlife, from penguins to seals.”

Lotus crockery?: “Swedish designers have found a solution to the household argument of whose turn it is to wash up with a range of plates that clean themselves. The plates are coated in a breakthrough technology that is resistant to dirt and water meaning food can’t stick to it, and leftovers can just be rinsed away. Each of the plates are also made from a new cellulose-based material that is lightweight, but feels as ‘hard as ceramic’ and is superstrong. The coating is created using a process called Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Solutions. This involves dissolving wax in carbon dioxide at high temperatures and pressures. This coating is then sprayed onto the plates to make them superhydrophobic, which means it resistant to all liquids and dirt. The coating mimics the surface of a lotus leaf which sits in water without every getting wet.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





19 December, 2013

That is FUN??

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Open fires in Greek homes create cloud of smog above Athens as price of oil rockets: “Hard-pressed families in Athens have been lighting open fires in their homes to keep warm as energy prices soar. Millions of Greeks have been forced to burn wood in their homes after the country agreed to increase the price of heating oil by 48 per cent. The move, which was under the terms of an EU bailout, was meant to see the price rise on a par with diesel and raise revenues. However, the Times reports the plan has backfired and has cost the treasury £422million in lost income as low income families turn to raw materials to heat their homes. The city now has dangerously high toxicity levels and health and environment officials have warned people to limit the use of open fires. Alexandros Papayiannis, a physicist from Athens Polytechnic University, said: ‘The toxicity levels are becoming dangerous. It’s turning Athens into a gas chamber.’”

Want a big divorce pay-out? England is now the venue of choice for the court case: “England has been branded the divorce capital of the world with judges free to award generous payments to former partners, a survey has shown. The survey examined spousal maintenance payments in jurisdictions across Europe, the US, South Africa and New Zealand. The study, by City law firm Withers, revealed a wide range of issues that judges can take into account when deciding on a settlement, set England and Wales apart from other jurisdictions. London’s courts have long been earmarked as the divorce centre of the world following a raft of generous awards to ex-wives. Generous settlements include that awarded to Heather Mills [above] following the break down of her marriage to Sir Paul McCartney 2008. Following the four-year marriage, Miss Mills received £24.3million.”

The ultimate thrill if you’ve a head for heights: “These breathtaking panoramic photographs were taken in a glass cage at the top of the Aiguille du Midi peak, part of the Mont Blanc Massif range near Chamonix, south-east France. The snow-packed vista they capture shows the highest peaks in France, Italy and Switzerland, as well as the biggest glaciers on the continent. The new attraction, dubbed ‘Pas Dans Le Vide’ (‘Step Into The Void’), is part of a refurbishment of the visitor centre at the summit of Aguille du Midi. It is a glass box built around a metal frame which is suspended above the void, offering visitors a viewpoint previously only witnessed by Wile E Coyote just before he realises he’s stepped off the mountainside. Access to the site is via a precarious cable car ride – the highest in Europe – that carries sightseers 8,858ft up the side of the mountain.”

Jerusalem’s famous Jesus-guy is an American: “Barefoot, dressed in white robes, Carl James Joseph, a Catholic pilgrim from Detroit, Michigan, has been living without money and depending on the generosity of others for the past 20 years. Joseph calls himself Jacob but is better known by many as ‘the Jesus guy’, a moniker he has earned as a result of his Jesus-like appearance and active choice to live like he believes the Bible figure did more than 2,000 years ago. He has visited about 20 countries in the world as a missionary, and has become a well-known figure in the old city of Jerusalem, where he explores the life and path of Jesus Christ. ‘The Jesus guy’ does not carry objects or money, and walks around the streets of the Old City barefoot, wearing white robes and carrying a woollen blanket and Bible. He spends most of his day praying at the Church of the Holy Seprulchre and talks to people who he meets on his way.”

Is popular card a ripoff?: “The website Gilt.com was swamped by demand when it issued a metal, “rose-gold” coloured Starbucks gift card. The cards sold out almost instantly – in around six seconds, according to Gilt. That may be understandable given that only 1,000 were made – a smaller batch than 5,000 made last year – and Starbucks aficionados may want the prestige of flashing their shiny badge of honour in the queue, but the cards cost $450 (£280) and are charged with only $400 (£250) of credit. It comes with “Gold Level” perks – free extra shots and syrups – which you would otherwise have to earn by spending money in Starbucks 15 times in year, but the fact remains you are instantly $50 out of pocket. Starbucks told CBNC it “costs us more than $50 to produce this card. That’s what you’re paying for – the quality of the card itself.” With gift cards already a bad option, it’s a marvel that the retail industry can pull off such a stunt and spark such demand.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





18 December, 2013

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING

A couple were out doing some Christmas shopping together.

The shopping center was packed, and as the wife emerged from a shoe and handbag shop, she was surprised to find that her husband was nowhere to be seen.

Irritated because they had a lot to do, she called his cell to ask him where he was. …

In a subdued voice he replied,

“Do you remember that jewelers’ we went into a couple of years ago, where you fell in love with that beautiful diamond necklace that we couldn’t afford, and I promised that I would buy it for you one day?”

Barely able to contain her emotions and with tears already forming in her eyes, she said, “Yes, of course I remember that shop.”

“Well, I’m at the bar next door.”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Arsonist set fire to his own HEAD while trying to petrol bomb a car… then ignited his getaway car by mistake: “An arsonist burned his own head when his ‘Russian-style’ hat set alight as he tried to torch a rival drug dealer’s car. Things then got worse for Karl McGarry, 25, when he also managed to set fire to his getaway vehicle. Liverpool Crown Court heard that McGarry had become embroiled in a 20-year feud between two traveller families in St Helens, Liverpool. A member of the Price family ordered him to firebomb two cars but when he leaned through one of their windows, his furry hat ignited. Unaware that the headpiece was on fire, he got into his getaway car, setting that alight as well.McGarry, who worked as a ‘full time drug dealer’ in St Helens, Merseyside, was later recorded on a police bugging device, complaining about setting his Russian hat on fire.”

Small dogs behave badly, like short men: “Small dogs may suffer from a canine equivalent of short man syndrome, researchers believe, making them more aggressive and prone to mount people and objects. Regardless of breed, the smaller the dog is, the more likely it is to be unruly, aggressive, noisy and prone to “humping”, a study by the University of Sydney found. “Our research shows that certain physical characteristics in dogs are consistently associated with certain types of behaviour,” said Professor McGreevy from the faculty of veterinary science. “Essentially, the shorter the dogs the less controllable their behaviour is for their owners.”

World’s banana supply at risk: “Plagues of insects and a spreading fungus are threatening the world’s supply of bananas, researchers have warned. A state of ‘national emergency’ has been declared in Costa Rica, one of the world’s biggest suppliers, while separately a banana-eating fungus from Asia is believed to be spreading. Officials in the Central American country of Costa Rica fear that one in five bananas could have been ruined by insects this year. The country last year supplied 1.2 million tons of the fruit worldwide. The director of the country’s agriculture ministry’s State Phytosanitary Services (SFE), Magda Gonzalez, told the Tico Times the rising number of mealybugs and scale insects on the country’s Atlantic coast regions can be explained by rising temperatures along with changing rain patterns. She said these conditions could shorten the insects’ reproduction cycle by one third. The banana is thought to be the world’s most popular fruit, with people spending more than £10 billion on them every year.”

Reptiles breathe in but don’t breathe out: “This is according to a U.S. study that revealed the savannah monitor lizard breathes like a bird through a one-way loop. The finding is surprising because the unidirectional airflow of birds was thought to have evolved due to the high-oxygen demands of flight. Researchers at the University of Utah suggest the trait in lizards may have been an adaptation to lower oxygen levels on ancient Earth. For instance, during the early Triassic era 250 million years ago, oxygen made up 12 per cent of air compared with 21 per cent today. One way breathing is in contrast to humans and other mammals who have a two-way, or ‘tidal’, breathing pattern. Tidal breathing means air enters the lungs through airways and then flows back out again the same way. Rather than being partially filled with stale air, like human lungs, a bird’s lungs contain air with much higher oxygen content to help them fly.


Car fanatic builds himself a £5million McLaren F1 supercar out of scrap
: “A Top Gear fan has completed the ultimate motor challenge – building a £5million supercar using scrap and spare parts. Amateur mechanic Jacek Mazur, 48, made his own replica McLaren F1 for just £20,000. The real thing would cost 250 times as much. Mr Mazur, from Zabrze, Poland, spent eight years building the replica car, which can hit speeds of up to 200mph. His previous projects have included building his own Lamborghini Countach and a Porsche 911 – but the British-designed McLaren F1 has been his ‘ultimate’ success. Just 106 of the supercars are thought to exist and are out of reach for anyone unable to part with several million pounds. In August this year, one sold for a staggering £5.1million at classic car auction Gooding & Company. Mr Mazur, a health-and-safety advisor, said ‘As soon as I saw the McLaren F1 for the first time, I knew I had to have one. I couldn’t afford it so I knew I would have to build one myself.



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





17 December, 2013

Found on a ladies’ clothing site

It’s a “Silicone Demi Cup Strapless Extreme Lift Wedding/ Party Bra”. So now you know. Party, anyone?

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Too bad, shorty! “Many a woman on the online dating scene will have arranged a date with a man who claimed to be 6ft tall – only to find him somewhat shorter in reality. But according to new research the man was right to exaggerate his height – because the woman wouldn’t have looked twice at his profile otherwise. New data from online dating website AYI.com has found size really does matter when it comes to a woman’s search for Mr Right. Researchers analysed more than 80,000 interactions between users of the dating website in the UK. They found that every inch increase in a man’s height directly correlated to his likelihood of being contacted by a woman. Taller men were significantly more likely to be contacted by women than shorter men. Their data revealed that the ideal height women seek in a man is 6ft. The 6ft men who were members of the site were 33 per cent more likely to be contacted than a man of average height (5ft 7), and 77 per cent more likely to be contacted than a man under 5ft 4.”

Landfill sites are overflowing with GADGETS: Insatiable hunger for the latest tablets and phones produced 48.9 MILLION tonnes of rubbish: “Our insatiable desire to have the latest and greatest gadgets is causing landfills around the world to overflow with unwanted electronics. Last year consumers from around the world threw away 48.9million tonnes of electrical and electronic goods, and this figure is set to rise by a third by the end of 2017. This would mean the number of fridges, TVs, mobile phones, tablets, computers and other electrical products being thrown away could fill a line of 40-tonne trucks stretching three quarters of the way around the Equator – or 18,600 miles. By the end of 2017, the amount of e-waste produced globally will be 11 times the weight of 200 Empire State Buildings.”

Being attractive can give you better grades and more success at high school: “Not being attractive as a teenager may have consequences far more reaching than a bruised ego and scribing the occasional bad poem. A new study suggests that a pretty face can be a source of lifelong advantage – beginning at secondary school- according to a report prepared for the Council on Contemporary Families. The report, ‘In School, Good Looks Help and Good Looks Hurt (But They Mostly Help)’ says that from high school onwards, people rate better-looking people higher in intelligence, personality, and potential for success — and this often creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. The sociologists behind the study, Rachel Gordon (University of Illinois at Chicago) and Robert Crosnoe (University of Texas at Austin) also say women gain an eight per cent wage bonus for above-average looks and pay a four per cent wage penalty for below-average looks. For men, the bonus is only four per cent.”

18th century painting of Catherine the Great bears an uncanny resemblance to the British Prime Minister: “An 18th painting of Catherine the Great as gone viral after a British politics student noticed it bears an uncanny similarity to David Cameron. Sophie Gadd, in her final year at the University of York, spotted the artwork in a Berlin museum. The image of the former Empress of Russia apparently has swept Twitter, with thousands of people agreeing with the uncanny resemblance to the Prime Minister. The oil on canvas was completed in 1794 by Johann Baptist Lampi. It now hangs in the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin, Germany. Catherine the Great ruled Russia for 30 years.”

Chef draws crowds to street restaurant with ability to plunge his hands into a vat of 200C boiling oil: “When Prem Singh was asked to lend a helping hand frying fish at his family restaurant he took it rather too literally. The chef, 65, has become famed in the backstreets of Old Delhi for his unique ability to plunge his bare hands into searing cooking oil. He regularly dips his fingers into a bubbling vat of oil, which is heated up to 200C, to pluck out the fried fish. But incredibly, the veteran fryer says he has never suffered any burns, blisters or ill affects. Prem Singh said: ‘I have been doing this for 25 years. It is just about experience. ‘I put my hand into hot oil once. Later I did it again. I soon realized that the hot oil did not do me any harm.’ Each evening Singh’s Ganesh eatery has as many onlookers as it does customers.



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





16 December, 2013

Our bartender is a pessimist

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

British politicians to get compulsory ‘honesty training’ to learn the difference between right and wrong: “In an unprecedented move by the standards watchdog, politicians will learn the difference between right and wrong to help them behave better in public life. The training, a series of practical seminars, will address scenarios such as accepting gifts and lobbying. It is hoped the courses will help to combat the public’s mistrust of the country’s leaders following scandals such as MPs’ expenses and peers accepting money to lobby for outside interests. Lord Bew, the new chairman of the standards watchdog committee, told The Sunday Times: ‘People are thrust into situations they don’t expect and they are not necessarily equipped to know how to behave.’ He added recent events have shown MPs can no longer rely on their gut instinct. A poll earlier this year showed that politicians are the least trustworthy professionals in Britain, behind estate agents, bankers and journalists.”

Dogs’ ability to understand us is ever growing and they can even predict human behaviour: “As they gaze up at us, our pet dogs often seem to know just what we’re thinking. And their position as man’s best friend is getting stronger all the time – because their ability to understand and predict human behaviour is actually growing with each generation, according to animal psychologists. A study from the University of Abertay in Dundee shows that a dog’s ability to understand humans is innate and does not depend on training. It is a result of breeding and genetic selection, so it will only get more advanced in the future. Scientists observed how 24 dogs, ranging from the highly trained to the totally untrained, reacted to people’s unspoken commands, such as pointing at a location for the dog to move to.”

Windscreen wipers to be consigned to history?: “It smears flies across your view and freezes up in winter but now the humble windscreen wiper is destined for history. Supercar designers McLaren are working on secret plans to replace the rubber wiper with a hi-tech ultrasound device that stops anything sticking to the windscreen. It would mean wiper arms heading down the same road as wind up windows and ashtrays as they vanish from cars. Adapted from a similar system used on fighter jets, the proposed design is understood to centre on high frequency sound waves that effective create a force field across the windscreen preventing water, insects and mud from resting on the glass. It would create tiny vibrations outside the range of human hearing that shake off any debris that comes near.”

Was the original Noah’s Ark round?: “Dr Irving Finkel reveals his ground-breaking discovery into the ancient myth in his new book called In The Ark Before Noah: Decoding The Story Of The Flood. As an expert in deciphering cuneiform script, Dr Finkel managed to piece together information on the ark from a 3,700-year-old clay tablet. His translation of the ancient text throws light on the Mesopotamian story, which became the account in Genesis in the Old Testament, of Noah and the ark that saved his menagerie from the flood waters which drowned every other living thing on earth. The text describes god speaking to Atram-Hasis, a Sumerian king who is the Noah figure in earlier versions of the ark story. The ancient Babylonian text describes the ark as a round 220-ft diameter coracle with walls 20-ft high. The 60 lines of text, which Dr Finkel describes as a ‘detailed construction manual for building an ark’, claims the craft was built using ropes and reeds before being smeared with bitumen to make it waterproof.”

Supercar for the young Royals: “The arrival of a baby usually means dad has to get rid of his beloved, impractical car. So news that Prince William has recently added a £250,000 Bentley to his garages is likely to make him the envy of many fathers-to-be up and down the country. The Flying Spur, which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will use for high-profile official engagements, is one of the world’s fastest saloon cars with a top speed of 200mph. As for special features, the hand-crafted walnut interior, the champagne cooler and the wi-fi internet capabilities are more luxuries than purely practical. William and Kate are also understood to have opted for quilted leather seats which heat up and have a massage function. Safety features include bullet-proof windows and super-hardened steel armour, contributing to its hefty three-ton weight. It is being leased privately from Bentley, a common arrangement for official cars used by members of the Royal Family.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





15 December, 2013

Let me outta here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Illegal street beggars are making up to £36,000 a year to blow on hotels and taxis – and throw away food: “Illegal street beggars in one UK city are earning up to £36,000 a year, police have revealed. Scroungers in Nottingham boast they are pocketing up to £700 a week and are even spending some nights sleeping in hotels. One beggar is making so much cash he throws away food he doesn’t want and pays to get around the city by taxi. Shockingly, at least eight of the beggars around the East Midlands city are not even homeless as they callously cash-in from kind-hearted shoppers. Some of them have started posing as Big Issue sellers as they rake in the equivalent £20 an hour. Nottinghamshire Police yesterday warned unsuspecting Christmas shoppers and office workers in the city to be aware of illegal beggars. The beggars are said to be a mixture of nationalities but mainly British males from the Derbyshire area. ‘Begging is an offence and one we take seriously, the vast majority of beggars who purport to be homeless, are not.”

Builders concrete a truck to the pavement they are working on after owner refuses to move it: “A truck has been concreted to a road in Brazil after a row over where it should be parked got out of hand. The bizarre incident happened in Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s third largest city. A pick-up was believed parked on the street near a construction site where the sidewalk was being increased. Construction workers nearby asked the driver to move. But he refused, and walked off – only to return to find the motor set into the pavement.

Whiskey is being distilled in London for the first time in more than a century: “Whiskey is being produced in London for the first time in more than 100 years. The London Distillery Company, based in Battersea, has been granted the capital’s first licence to produce single malt whiskey since the early 1900s and yesterday saw its first British spirit flow from the still. The boutique distillery, which has been producing Dodd’s gin since the spring of this year, is the first whiskey distillery in London since Lea Valley Distillery in Stratford, East London. The alcohol is to be distilled in a 650-litre copper pot still, which has been named Matilda after founder Darren Rook’s Scottish grandmother. The spirit will be produced during the second distillation and matured in casks for a minimum of three years and one day. At this stage, under UK and EU rules, it can legally be sold as single malt whiskey. The distillery is to source whiskey’s three main ingredients, water, malted barley and yeast, from local – south-east England – sources.”

Caterpillar confrontation: “The adventure of a very hungry caterpillar has been entertaining children for years but this angry insect had more on his mind than food. The distinctive yellow and black creature clearly decided the sought-after branch wasn’t big enough for the both of them and proceeded to chase his unwelcome guest away. Photographer, Monica Anantyowati, spotted the fisticuffs at a dragonfly conservation centre in East Java, Indonesia. The 41-year-old photographer was stunned as she watched one caterpillar quickly chase the other off the branch. She said: ‘I came across this funny scenario during a trip to take pictures of damselflies. ‘I just found them running across the branch. One seemed to be chasing the other. ‘They were moving much faster than I’ve ever seen a caterpillar move before. They’re usually much slower. ‘The whole thing happened so quickly and it was quite difficult to shoot because in no time the smaller caterpillar was chased away. ‘He fell off the branch and onto the floor and it was all over.’”

BBC accused of ‘losing all proportion’ over Mandela’s death after dedicating 100 programmes about him in just one week: “The BBC has been accused of ‘losing all proportion’ in its coverage of Nelson Mandela’s death after it emerged more than 100 programmes have been broadcast about him in the past week. A total of 1,834 viewers and listeners have complained as the airwaves continue to be flooded with tributes disrupting radio and TV schedules. MPs castigated the corporation for wasting money as it was revealed bosses spent thousands of pounds sending eight staff to Johannesburg for a special edition of Question Time. They even admitted splashing out on business class flights for one panellist, Labour MP Peter Hain. Last night, Tory MP Conor Burns, who sits on the Commons culture, media and sport committee, said the programme added ‘precisely nothing’ to viewers’ knowledge of South African affairs.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





14 December, 2013

New guidance in place

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Laughter is NOT the best medicine: Scientists say giggling can cause epileptic fits, hernias and even KILL you: “A giggle, a chuckle or a full-blown guffaw, we’re told laughter is the best way to deal with the stress and strain life throws at you. But according to researchers, laughter might not be the best medicine – and could even lead to serious health complications. Scientists from Oxford University said a woman with racing heart syndrome collapsed and died after getting the giggles. And laughing ‘fit to burst’ has been found to cause possible heart rupture, a torn gullet and epileptic seizures. A quick intake of breath during laughing can provoke an asthma attack, while some people have suffered from incontinence and even hernias.”

Fabulous old bus shows movies: “It was consigned to the scrapheap and left to rot in an Essex field. But today Britain’s last ever mobile cinema is back on the road, restored to its former glory thanks to the love and attention bestowed on it by a pair of film buffs. Ollie Halls and his partner Emma Giffard, both 35, stumbled across the rusty Bedford SB3 bus eight years ago. It was one of seven built by the Ministry of Technology in 1967 to tour around the country’s factories showcasing modern production techniques. It showed films including Machining With Throwaway Tip Tools to bosses and workers to try and promote British industry’s reputation as a global leader. After spending £1,200 for the bus in 2005, Mr Halls and Miss Giffard invested £35,000 over the next five years. With painstaking care and attention the couple renovated the historic vintage cinema, restoring its hidden charms.”

Formula for the perfect Christmas dinner: “Scientists have come up with the formula for the perfect Christmas dinner. They’ve worked out the exact portion sizes to leave you satisfied rather than stuffed. No matter how much we like what we’re eating, it quickly stops tasting fabulous if we eat too much of the same thing. So a range of different ingredients limit what experts call Sensory Specific Satiety, or SSS. For the perfect festive plate load up with: 150g of white roast turkey meat, 110g of chestnut stuffing, 100g of gravy, 15g of cranberry sauce, one chipolata, 80g of roast potatoes, 155g of steamed sprouts, 160g of steamed carrots, 150g of red cabbage. They identified how the unique blend of protein and amino acid found in turkey, carbohydrates in potatoes, vitamins and minerals in vegetables, and the sweet taste of cranberry sauce, all work together to make a traditional Christmas dinner the ideal meal.”

Feisty Thai ladies chase off burglar: “The attack on multi-millionaire gold dealer Nigel Blackburn was caught on CCTV at his home in Hemington, Leicestershire. As the 56-year-old went to sign for what he thought was a package, he was shot in the side of his neck with the Taser and pushed to the floor. The dramatic footage then shows the would-be burglar fleeing in terror as Mr Blackburn’s fiancee, Pranee Rice, and her friend, Mornrat Sangyang, charge at him with kitchen knives. Speaking outside Leicester Crown Court, Mr Blackburn said: ‘Pranee stopped me from being killed. When the delivery man suddenly stuck a stun-gun into my neck the pain was excruciating. I dragged him to the floor with me and started shouting. ‘Pranee and Mornrat heard me and came downstairs as fast as two horses bolting. They just grabbed some knives and charged straight at him, screaming to get out. He must have been terrified of them.’ Judge Simon Hammond, who jailed attacker Paul Grimshaw for eight years, commended the two women for their ‘great bravery’.”

European President van Rompuy accepts honorary title as a light shade: Bureaucrat collects doctorate with a night light for a hat: “With its mustard yellow tassel detailing and textured orange top, the European President’s unique piece of head-ware is more lamp shade than fashion statement. The strange hat, which sits comically a-top Herman Van Rompuy’s head, also matches a rather garish yellow satin cape, draped around the bureaucrat’s shoulders. Thankfully the 66-year-old was not wearing the snazzy outfit for fun – but instead to collect an honorary doctorate. Van Rompuy wore the odd attire to deliver a speech after he was named honorary doctor by CEU San Pablo University today. Soon after his speech, Van Rompuy embraced the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy at the ceremony in Madrid, Spain.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





13 December, 2013

No thanks

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Plague outbreak: “The outbreak of bubonic plague has been confirmed in a Madagascan village after at least 20 people died in a week. The deaths occurred in a village near the north-western town of Mandritsara, and today medical experts on the island confirmed the outbreak. Last year, 60 people in Madagascar died from bubonic plague, more than in any other country in the world. While the disease has been almost entirely eradicated from Europe, there were 256 cases of bubonic plague recorded in Madagascar last year. Public Health officials had warned of the risk of an outbreak in October – the month is the start of the danger period for the disease as fleas which spread the plague thrive in the humid weather. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Pasteur Institute are now working in the country to prevent bubonic plague from becoming even more common, according to the BBC. Experts are particularly concerned about the prospect of an epidemic started in Madagascar’s crowded and filthy prisons and then spreading when inmates are released or receive visitors.”

The festive fizz that’s cheaper (and often nicer) than Champagne: “Sales of the Italian sparkling wine prosecco are soaring, with one major retailer, Majestic Wine, reporting a 39 per cent increase in sales. Some say it’s because of our squeezed wallets: the cheapest bottle of champagne costs around £14 while prosecco can be as little as £6.50. But there is also evidence that Brits actually prefer the taste of the North-East Italian-made fizz. ‘People like prosecco because it’s less acidic than champagne,’ explains Russell Norman, proprietor of Italian restaurant chain Polpo. But he adds: ‘It must not be seen as a poor man’s champagne — it is a very different and distinctive drink.’ The bubbles behave differently for a start: in champagne, they quickly disappear after it has been poured; good-quality prosecco has a persistent foam on the surface that gives it a special creaminess.”

Print your own food: 3D technology brings a personal touch to pizzas, pasta and cakes: “It’s the whizzy invention scientists say can conjure up anything from chess pieces and toy cars to bones, guns and guitars. Now researchers working on the 3D printer have set their sights on revolutionising home cooking – with the launch of the first food printer. The so-called Foodini, which they say combines ‘technology, food, art and design’, can be used to make anything from chocolate fingers to ravioli. The machine is expected to go on sale priced at £835 in mid-2014, and needs to be loaded with capsules filled with fresh ingredients. Users can then select a design on the machine’s control panel and the food is ‘printed’ as the different ingredients are built up in layers.”

Canada to end home mail delivery: “Canada’s postal service will scrap door-to-door mail delivery over the next five years and cut as many as 8000 jobs to offset declining mail volume. Canada Post will stop delivering mail directly to individual households and Canadians will instead have to collect their mail from community mailboxes that are to be set up in neighbourhoods nationwide, Canada Post said. The new boxes will be installed over five years, starting in the second half of 2014. Two-thirds of Canadian households – those in newer suburbs, towns or rural parts – already receive mail delivery through community mailboxes or roadside kiosks. The announcement affects the remaining third of households, mostly those in older city neighbourhoods.”

OR: Man openly carrying shotgun in downtown Hillsboro not a threat, police say: “Hillsboro police say a man openly carrying a shotgun in downtown this week was not a threat but rather exercising his Second Amendment rights. Police received 18 calls about the man, who was seen Monday, Dec. 9 near South First Avenue and Main Street, said Lt. Mike Rouches, a department spokesman. The man wore camouflage and had the shotgun slung over his shoulder and a handgun on his hip”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





12 December, 2013

The Irish Do Have a Certain Way About Them

Man at a horse race whispers to Paddy next to him, “Do you want the winner of the next race?” Paddy replies “No tanks, oi’ve only got a small yard.”

Paddy and Mick found 3 hand grenades and decided to take them to the police station. Mick “What if one explodes before we get there?” Paddy: “We’ll lie and say we only found two!”

A coach load of paddies on a mystery tour decided to run a sweepstake to guess where they were going….. the driver won £52!

Paddy finds a sandwich with two wires stickin’ out of it. He phones the police and says “Bejasus I’ve just found a sandwich dat looks like a bomb.” The operator asks, “is it tickin’? Paddy says “No, oi tink it’s beef”

Joe says to Paddy: “Close your curtains the next time you’re making love to your wife. The whole street was watching and laughing at you yesterday.” Paddy says: “Well the joke’s on them because I wasn’t even at home yesterday.”

Mick walks into Paddy’s barn and catches him dancing naked in front of a tractor. Mick says, “Oi Paddy, what ya doing?” Paddy says, “Well me and Mary haven’t been getting on in the bedroom lately & the therapist recommended I do something sexy to a tractor.”

The Irish have solved their own fuel problems. They imported 50 million tonnes of sand from the Arabs and they’re going to drill for their own oil…

Paddy says to Mick – I’m ready for a holiday, only this year I’m going to do it a bit different. 3 years ago I went to Spain and Mary got pregnant. 2 years ago I went to Italy and Mary got pregnant. Last year I went to Majorca and Mary got pregnant.” Mick asks – So what are you going to do this year?.” Paddy replies, – I’ll take her with me!”

Paddy says to Mick, “Christmas is on a Friday this year” Mick says “Let’s hope it’s not the 13th.”

Paddy’s in the bathroom and Murphy shouts to him. “Did you find the shampoo?” Paddy says, “Oi did, but it’s for dry hair and I’ve just wet mine.”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Bungling French bureaucrats send census letter to Napoleon Bonaparte -who died in 1821: “French bureaucrats gathering information for the national census may need to go back to history class after they sent a letter to Napoleon. Official census body Insee addressed a letter to the late French emperor – and were told to forward their request to Saint Peter. Insee is now facing questions about the accuracy of their work as Napoleon has been dead for nearly 200 years. The letter caught the attention of a post office worker in Napoleon’s old hometown of Ajaccio on Corsica,’ Connexion reports. The envelope was addressed to ‘Napoleon Bonaparte, 3 rue Saint-Charles, Ajaccio,’ and had been returned with a note reading ‘Died in 1821 – please forward to Saint Peter’. The Corsican post office returned the letter to Insee, France’s national statistics body, with a sticker saying ‘Not known at this address’.”

Sign language translator at Nelson Mandela’s memorial was a FAKE: “An interpreter who was seen by millions of television viewers worldwide translating Nelson Mandela’s memorial service into sign language was a ‘fake’, according to South Africa’s deaf federation. The unidentified man, who was broadcast standing alongside world leaders including US President Barack Obama, was making up his own signs, according to the Deaf Federation of South Africa. With the eyes of the world watching the FNB stadium in Johannesburg, the interpreter was ‘moving his hands around but there was no meaning in what he used his hands for,’ claimed Bruno Druchen, the federation’s national director. Three sign language experts said the man was not signing in South African or American sign languages. South African sign language covers all of the country’s 11 official languages, according to the federation. South African parliament member Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, a member of the ruling party who is deaf and who is married to Druchen, also said the man communicated nothing with his hand and arm movements.

The Chinese chicken with curly “hair”: “Locals in Henan province in central China spotted this rather funky chicken sporting a very unusual hairdo in their village. The cockerel has now become a big star, thanks to its bouffant curly feathers that make it look like its had a perm. Hatched in April this year, the black rooster looked quite ordinary in its first months, according to owner Zhang Yang. But its appearance started to change after it molted and it began to grow curly feathers.”

Plummeting temperatures cause football fans’ beers to freeze as Chicago experiences its coldest December night in 18 years: “Football fans who braved the bitterly cold weather to attend Monday night’s football game between the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys had more to content with than just the frigid conditions when their beer started to freeze. Chicago has a well-earned reputation for brutally cold winters, but Monday night set a new record as temperatures plunged and the Windy City experienced its coldest December night in 18 years. Players as well as spectators had to suffer the bone-chilling conditions, but while pitch side they used heaters to thaw out their Gatorade buckets, fans in the stands weren’t so lucky. Several beer-drinkers posted photos on social media sites of their frozen beverages, including one person whose drink had so completely turned to ice that they could turn their cup upside down and not spill any.”

Chamois drama: “There are several ways to survive an avalanche – hold onto something and pray, ‘swim’ in the direction of the snow… or be a mountain goat. That certainly helped these light-footed animals after they were faced with a wall of snow hurtling down a mountainside in the French Alps last week. Incredible footage from a helicopter over Le Roc de la Peche near Pralognan-la-Vanoise shows nine chamois goats having to think fast as the avalanche heads towards them. Five make a dash for it while the others try to sit it out. As the ‘runners’ nimbly hot-hoof it over the cascading snow to safety, the hapless four disappear under a white sheet, much to the dismay of the helicopter crew. Their commentary is in French, but the sheer emotion in the voices as they cry ‘Ay, ay, ay!’ dispenses with the need for Google Translate. And just when all seems lost, two, three, then all four buried goats emerge and rush off to join the rest of the group. Battered, possibly; bruised, maybe. But alive”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





11 December, 2013

OBAMA ACTING UP AT FUNERAL

The Internet is buzzing over a sequence of photos that appear to show First Lady Michelle Obama having a snit over her husband President Barack Obama having fun with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt as they sat at the Nelson Mandela memorial in South Africa today.

The sequence seems to have started with Obama, Thorning-Schmidt and British Prime Minister David Cameron posing for a ‘selfie’, followed by Obama touching Thorning-Schmidt on her shoulder, then a glaring Michelle Obama, ending up in Barack and Michelle switching seats so that she is now sitting next to Thorning-Schmidt.

More here

More pix here

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Spanish ‘ghost airport’ up for sale: “With a runway long enough to land an Airbus A380, the world’s largest airliner, and a capacity to handle 10 million passengers per year, the airport at Ciudad Real, some 200 kilometres (100 miles) south of Madrid, has become a symbol of Spain’s real estate bubble. Spain’s first private international airport operated its first flight in December 2008 but passenger traffic never took off and CR Aeropuertos, the operator of the terminal, went into bankruptcy in June 2012 with debts of around €300 million. It went up for auction on Monday for a starting price of €100 million to meet creditor demands and the bidding will close on December 27, a spokesman for a commercial court in Ciudad Real which is overseeing its sale said. Another private airport at Castellon on the Mediteranean coast has fared even worse than the one at Ciudad Real. It opened in March 2011 but has not handled a single flight.

Are East Asian men ‘undateable’? “Whether in fiction or in real life, Asian men, unlike their female counterparts, seem to have it tough when it comes to dating people outside of their race. “Are You Interested”, an American online dating website, recently surveyed over 2.4 million interactions on the site, and found Asian female users were in high demand. They were more likely to get messages from a man of any race unless those men were Asian. The not so scientific affliction, “yellow fever”, a rather racist term that typically describes a preference for dating Asian women, is not a new phenomenon. In multicultural Australia it’s quite common to see Asian women partnered with non-Asian men, but rarely the other way around. While Asian women are increasingly courted, their male counterparts seem to be shunned. In a 2007 study conducted by Columbia University, researchers surveyed more than 400 students during speed dating sessions. They found African-American women and white women said “yes” 65 per cent less often to the prospect of dating Asian men after the speed dating session, in comparison to men of their own race.”

Xbox owners tricked into destroying their consoles: “Online trolls have convinced Xbox One owners to “brick” their brand new consoles with a set of instructions promising to unlock new features but actually sending the expensive devices into an endless loop of reboots which renders them useless. The prank (which we will not duplicate in detail here) involves just six steps, opening the Developer Console menu of the unit and changing vital settings before attempting to reboot. Unfortunately, these changes render the console completely inoperable. Reports this morning are that the effect is permanent, but Microsoft has not yet responded to queries. Nor has it said whether affected users will be able to have consoles repaired or replaced under warranty. The internet forum 4chan has a long history of similar pranks.”

Drunk driver crashes into police station, emerges with season’s greetings: “A drunk driver who crashed his car into the nature strip outside Box Hill police station this morning, emerged from the wreckage and wished police a “happy new year”. The man escaped unharmed from his overturned vehicle. The 52-year-old Box Hill man was travelling west along Whitehorse Road about 2.40am when the car veered onto the nature strip outside the police station, crashed into two street lights and rolled onto its roof. The car came to stop in a garden bed in the middle of the nature strip. Police inside the station heard the crash and rushed to the scene where they discovered the man was unharmed but appeared very intoxicated. Senior Sergeant Wayne Williams said the man “appeared in good spirits” and repeatedly wished all the police a “Happy New Year”. The man was too intoxicated to be interviewed and was taken to Box Hill Hospital and is expected to be charged on summons”

Austrian prisoners’ boozy Christmas foiled: “Vienna: Hopes among resourceful inmates of an Austrian prison for a cheerier Christmas were dashed after 50 litres of a festive home-brew hooch were discovered by guards. Prisoners at the Stein jail mixed bread rolls with fruit to create “Punsch”, a popular winter-warmer at Austrian Christmas markets, the jail’s management said on Tuesday. “Bread rolls contain yeast. They expand a great deal and speed up the fermentation process,” the prison’s deputy director Christian Timm told AFP, saying the moonshine was recovered in several cells of the jail, in the outskirts of the northern city of Krems. With prisoners allowed to buy food and have regular visitors, such incidents were difficult to prevent, he said.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





10 December, 2013

Communication problems

Murphy, a furniture dealer from Dublin, wanted to expand the line of furniture in his store. He decided to go to Paris to see what he could find.

In Paris he visited with some manufacturers and selected a line that he thought would sell well back home. To celebrate the new acquisition he decided to visit a small bistro and have a glass of wine.

As he sat enjoying his wine he noticed that the small place was quite crowded and that the other chair at his table was the only vacant seat in the house. Before long a very beautiful young Parisian girl came to his table asked him something in French which Murphy could not understand, so he motioned to the vacant chair and invited her to sit down.

He tried to speak to her in English but she did not speak his language. After a couple of minutes of trying to communicate with her he took a napkin and drew a picture of a wine glass and showed it to her.

She nodded, so he ordered a glass of wine for her.

After sitting together at the table for a while he took another napkin and drew a picture of a plate with food on it. She nodded.

They left the bistro and found a quiet cafe that featured a small group playing romantic music. They ordered dinner, after which he took another napkin and drew a picture of a couple dancing. She nodded and they got up to dance. They danced until the cafe closed and the band was packing up.

Back at their table, the young lady took a napkin and drew a picture of a four-poster bed on it. To this day Murphy has no idea how she figured out he was in the furniture business.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Constantly taking photographs STOPS our brains remembering what happened: “Taking a photo may seem like the most obvious way to remember a special occasion, but it could in fact be causing significant damage to your memory. Researchers from Connecticut asked a group of students to recall what items in a museum looked like. Those who had taken photos of the artefacts struggled to describe the objects, while those who hadn’t, remembered them more clearly. Researchers from Harvard University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Columbia University in the U.S. recently found that many people now use the internet in place of a memory. They claimed that when someone wants to know something they now use the Internet as an ‘external memory’ just as computers use an external hard drive. The study continued that we are now so reliant on smartphones and laptops, we go into ‘withdrawal when we can’t find out something immediately’.”

New York City invaded by new SUPER cockroach: “Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood is home to art galleries, fashion stores, townhouses and now a new breed of cockroach that won’t die even if forced to live outside all winter. The High Line, a park that turned a dilapidated stretch of elevated railway in the neighborhood into one of New York’s newest tourist attractions, may have been responsible for bringing a new breed of cockroach to the city. Rutgers University insect biologists Jessica Ware and Dominic Evangelista said the species Periplaneta japonica is well documented in Asia but was never confirmed in the United States until now. ‘Because this species is very similar to cockroach species that already exist in the urban environment,’ Evangelista said, ‘they likely will compete with each other for space and for food.’ That competition, Ware said, will likely keep the population low, ‘because more time and energy spent competing means less time and energy to devote to reproduction.’ The newcomer was first spotted in New York in 2012, by an exterminator working on the High Line.”

Volkswagen Kombi’s reaches end after 63 years: “For 63 years, it has carried families of hippies, hauled surfers in search of killer waves and served as a workhorse across many developing countries. But now, the Volkswagen Kombi’s epic journey has finally reached the end of the road. The iconic vehicle has succumbed to environmental legislation – meaning it will no longer be produced in Brazil, or anywhere else in the world. About 1,200 ‘last edition’ models are expected to be produced by the German manufacturer – each priced at an estimated $43,000 (£26,000). Brazil is the only country still producing the beloved model, which was introduced in Germany in 1950. However, it will cease production on December 20 due to new safety regulations coming into force next year – mandating that every vehicle in the country must have air bags and anti-lock braking.”

How we can guess a person’s gender based solely on their penmanship: “Do you write in feminine narrow cursive or masculine wide block letters? Your scribble may reveal more about your DNA than you think. A new survey asked 3,100 consumers to decipher the gender of ten handwriting samples — and the majority of those surveyed correctly identified whether they belonged to a male or female. ‘Overall, we found that respondents correctly identified gender by handwriting 54per cent of the time,’ the Survata results explained. And it seems that each gender is more attuned their own type of handwriting. While men identified male handwriting successfully 64per cent of the time, women correctly identified male handwriting only 59per cent of the time. Likewise, women (49 per cent) were more successful than men (45 per cent) at identifying female handwriting. Overall, respondents had better luck guessing male samples by a score of 61per cent to 47per cent.

Driving with a hangover can be just as dangerous as getting behind the wheel when drunk: “A hangover is as dangerous for drivers as being drunk at the wheel, a study suggests. The effects of a night’s heavy drinking lasted even when the last alcohol had cleared the system, scientists found. They said hungover drivers made significantly more mistakes in a 20-minute road simulation exercise. Chris Alford, who led the study at the University of the West of England, said: ‘Things like their speed of reaction were slowed down. The variability in the way they drive was more erratic. ‘You could say their driving was as if they were over the legal limit of alcohol, but of course they didn’t have that alcohol on board any more. ‘This simulation represented a situation many people can relate to. They may be aware of not driving home after a night out drinking, but we also need to advise them to plan for the next day.’”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





9 December, 2013

Some Australian politics

During an election campaign, a political leader received a call from one of his campaign organizers. “Look, Jim,” he said. “You’ve got to go to Melbourne and make a speech. The opposition is telling some lies about your there.” – “I’d like to,” Jim said. “But I’ve got to go to Adelaide.” – “But, Jim,” his aide said, “they’re telling lies about you in Melbourne.” – “Yeah,” Jim said. “But they’re telling the truth about me in Adelaide.”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Man wakes into dark, empty plane after falling asleep on flight: “WHEN Tom Wagner awoke from a snooze during his flight he noticed something very weird going on. The lights were out and it was pitch black inside, and when Mr Wagner’s eyes adjusted to the darkness he realized there was no one else on board. A moment later things got even worse when he found out the doors were locked and he was trapped inside. Somehow or other the airline crew had totally overlooked him when everyone deplaned at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. The hapless passenger’s girlfriend called the airline, ExpressJet, which sent crew to the plane. Mr Wagner was put up in a motel for the night and given a cash voucher to help him reach his final destination in California. The airline said it was investigating the incident.”

Famous Scottish island goes cheap: “An uninhabited Outer Hebridean island that was home to both Bonnie Prince Charlie and Hercules the bear has been sold for over £500,000. Estate agents confirmed that an offer above the asking price has been accepted for Wiay, which lies off the coast of South Uist. The deal is expected to be concluded this week. A number of overseas bidders were also interested, but it has been sold to an un-named Scot. The island boasts the cave in which Bonnie Prince Charlie, the leader of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion, concealed himself for several days while being sought by British government forces. The island has been uninhabited for over a century, although the current owners – the Chettle family from England, who bought it in 2003 – used it for holidays and summer camping. But the new owners will not have to make do with life underground or under canvas. A ruined croft, which was once home to ten islanders, was recently given planning permission for a new home that will provide spectacular views of the island’s surroundings.

Government agencies still using FLOPPY DISKS: “If handed a floppy disk, most teenagers today wouldn’t know what they were looking at. But for those who work in the government, the storage devices used in early computing are alive and still very much in use. According to a report in the New York Times, the Federal Register is still receiving couriered documents on floppy disks and CD-ROMs, despite technology existing that would digitize the process. A branch of the National Archives, the Federal Register is the daily journal of the U.S. Government which prints public notices from government agencies. Despite most computers not being able to process floppy disks, the staff at the Federal Register is still receiving some documents in floppy disk form because certain agencies haven’t updated their technology. The Federal Register Act requires agencies to submit documents on paper, CD-ROM or floppy disks. Flash drives or SD cards are ruled out, as they are not mentioned in the act.”

Incredible underwater photos of a fearless diver hand-feeding a killer shark: “For most deep sea divers, an encounter with a hungry shark is something to avoid. But one fearless swimmer embraced the potentially fatal meeting with open arms, by tossing fish into the predator’s gaping jaws. The moment was captured by underwater photographer Daniel Botelho at Tiger Beach in the Bahamas where visitors can feed the powerful animals by hand. Fearless diver Vincent Canabal fed a female tiger shark called Emma during the dive at Tiger Beach in the Bahamas. The huge shark opened wide for Mr Canabal at the resort where visitors can hand feed the animals. The 32-year-old said: ‘They look pretty scary when they open their mouths. ‘You need to give the shark some space and let it know you are there before it arrives to grab the fish.’”

Australian fishermen risk their lives to save shark: “INCREDIBLE footage has emerged of brave WA fishermen returning a tiger shark to the sea. As some West Australians call for a cull to reduce the number of man-eating sharks off our coast, these anglers put their lives in danger to save the beast. At one stage one of the fishermen sits on the 3m shark as it thrashes on the beach at Maud’s Landing in Coral Bay and pries its mouth as his friend attempts to unhook it from a fishing line. After almost three minutes the shark is eventually freed and the group pull it into the sea by its tail. The creature struggles in the shallows for another minute before it eventually returns to the deep, to the delight of the applauding crowd. A Coral Bay businesswoman, who didn’t want to be named, said the shark had been caught accidentally and probably weighed under 200kg.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





8 December, 2013

With a beach like that, all you need is music

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Australian cops throw away diamond ring evidence swallowed by alleged thief: “Queensland police say they have lost a valuable diamond ring swallowed by an alleged thief, because they failed to check his stools. The 50-year-old man allegedly stole two diamond rings from an Indooroopilly jeweller last week and swallowed them. He has been in police custody ever since, as officers waited for the rings to go through his system. They now say one of the rings was inadvertently thrown out in a medical waste bag after the man passed it last weekend. An X-ray has confirmed the other ring is still inside the man. Deputy Police Commissioner Ross Barnett says the officers on duty mistakenly believed the man would tell them when the ring came out. Police believe the ring was sent to landfill and say the cost of searching for it is greater than its value. They are now discussing compensation with the ring’s owners and Police Ethical Standards Command is investigating the incident.”

Prairie pyramids built by GOPHERS?: “After spending decades puzzling over the origin of Mima mounds, scientists have suggested that pocket gophers may be the mystery architects of the 8-foot-tall, 30-foot-wife dirt pyramids. Mima mounds – massive, grass-covered round or oval earth pimples – were first discovered in 1841 in Western Washington state in a 630-acre prairie. Struggling to explain the existence of millions of Mima mounds peppering open fields in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, experts and amateur geology enthusiasts have come up with a plethora of possible origin stories. However, a recent study spearheaded by geologist Manny Gabet, of San Jose State University in California, has created a computer model showing how generations of pocket gophers measuring up to 12 inches in length and weighing only a few hundreds grams could plausibly construct a Mima mound over 500-700 years – one handful of soil and pebbles at a time.”

Bride really gets a knight in shining armor: “Spectators at a Florida wedding got quite the surprise when comic book villains and superheros showed up to join in on the nuptials. Video game developer Adam Bohn and his wife Michelle Cheng planned a wedding with appearances from knights in shining armor, ninjas, Iron man, Batman, WWE star Jimmy Hart, and some feisty hotel bell-hops. The wedding guests had no idea that they were about to witness a thrilling performance by Adam, Michelle, and a group of hired actors. When the wedding officiant asked if anyone objected to the couple getting married–organized chaos ensued. First, a knight in shining armor withdrew his sword and demanded that Bohn battle him to keep his love. After Bohn stopped the armored gentleman from meddling, two men in suits stormed in with a group of ninjas doing back-flips. It was a bridesmaid who won this small battle, after one threw a ninja down and another bridesmaid took a suitcase and smashed it over the ninja’s leader’s head.”

Cars fly in Siberia: “When faced with a dead end, some motorists apparently just don’t know when they are beaten. Instead of turning around and looking for another way across a raging river with no bridge nearby, a group of adventurous Russians decided they would save time and fly across in their car. They hoisted the vehicle onto zip-line wires above the waters of the Siberian river. It hung by just four cords attached to its wheels as it moved inch by inch along the wires with the river about 10 metres below racing past. The white estate car hung in the air for a few minutes before sliding along to the other side of the waters. Finally, it reached the shore, but there was no film of how it was brought down from the zip-line. The video of the feat is spreading across the internet with some doubters claiming it’s just a clever tricked up stunt.”

But how good is it in a storm? “People have long chosen to live on the water in house boats, but this design for a floating house adds a whole new current of luxury to marine living. Easily docked at a marina or pier, the mobile structure can in theory be easily transported to whatever picturesque spot its owner (captain?) wishes. Best of all, its carefully considered design offers residents beautiful, unobstructed views, wherever they choose to moor up. The floating house was designed by Singapore-based architect Myitr Malcew for H2ORIZON, a French developer that specialists in floating structures. Built on top of a buoyant platform, it boasts two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen with bar, all encircled by large terraces. Mr Malcew writes on his website that the house was ‘designed for people who appreciate freedom and nature at their doorstep.’”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





7 December, 2013

Getting the important things right

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Circumcision DOESN’T affect sexual pleasure, according to biggest ever study: “Being circumcised does not affect a man’s sex life, a landmark study has revealed. Australian scientists analysed nearly 40 studies and concluded that the procedure had no effect on sensitivity or satisfaction. While some studies have previously reported a negative outcome, these were found to have flaws – and their reliability has been called into question by this latest research. Lead author of the study, Professor Brian Morris of the University of Sydney, told MailOnline: ‘This is a ground-breaking article. He and his co-researcher John Krieger looked at 36 studies totalling 40,473 men – half of were circumcised and half were not. Each of the studies was graded in terms of quality, according to official guidelines. The professors found that the very high quality studies reported circumcision ‘had no overall adverse effect on penile sensitivity, sexual arousal, sexual sensation, erectile function”

World’s largest gingerbread house welcomes visitors: “Volunteers in Texas have set a Guinness World Record by building the largest gingerbread house ever made to raise money for charity. Local residents Bryan, Texas used 816kg of butter, 7,200 eggs, 3,265kg of flour and close to 1360kg of brown sugar to build the gingerbread exterior. It was then decorated with 22,304 pieces of donated hard candy, bringing the calorie count to 36 million. But this house was not built to be eaten. Measuring 60 feet by 42 feet, the calorific dwelling is large enough for an adult to walk inside and has opened its doors to paying tourists. The money raised from the mouth-watering tours will help fund a new trauma facility for a nearby hospital.”

You can’t watch a darts game if you look like Jesus: “A long-haired and bearded darts fan has been banned from attending a match – because he looks too much like Jesus. Mild-mannered Nathan Grindal was enjoying the clash between Phil Taylor and Kim Huybrechts last year when some of the audience at the Cash Converter Players Championship spotted his likeness to the son of God. As rowdy chants of ‘Jesus’ quickly spread through the crowd packed into Butlins at Minehead, Somerset, security staff were called and Mr Grindal was ejected for fear he was ruining the concentration of ex-world champ Taylor and his Belgian rival. But this year, Mr Grindal was not even allowed in – despite spending £450 on the return trip. ‘I felt quite intimidated. The head of security told me they would not be letting me into the tournament, because they did not want a repeat of last year. ‘It’s not my fault I look like Jesus. I’m not trying to look like Jesus, I’m not even religious – I’m just an average Joe. I haven’t done anything wrong.’”

Classic cartoons Tom and Jerry and Scooby Doo top poll of children’s TV shows parents ‘secretly like to watch’: “Classic cartoons Tom and Jerry and Scooby Doo have been named the TV programmes that parents secretly most like to switch channels to watch. The nostalgic favourites – alongside Postman Pat and Fireman Sam – are popular with parents of young children because they remind them of their own childhood, according to a study. A survey of 500 parents of children aged four to 10 revealed the shows much loved among parents. The survey by internet content provider Viral Spiral revealed that the US cartoon series Scooby Doo was named the favourite cartoon among 23 per cent of parents, followed by Peppa Pig and Postman Pat, both on 22 per cent. The next favourites were Tom and Jerry (21 per cent), Fireman Sam (20 per cent), Sponge Bob Square Pants (17 per cent) and Art Attack (14 per cent). Other children’s shows that parents secretly love include Thomas the Tank Engine, Mickey Mouse Club House and Bob the Builder.”

Motorist chatting on his cellphone suddenly spots van full of police officers in front of him: “There was very little chance this van driver would get off the hook after he used his mobile phone behind a police van packed with officers. The mystery motorist was pictured blissfully unaware of the full team of high-vis-wearing officers staring at him. ‘When he finally noticed he had been spotted, one of the officers tapped on the back window and indicated that he pull over.’ Using a mobile phone at the wheel was banned in December 2003 and offenders face a fine and three points on their licence. ‘He was behind the police van at the lights for about a minute before he noticed. What a fool.’ A police spokesman said they were unable to confirm what punishment, if any, the man received.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





6 December, 2013

The witty exam answers that apparently scored top marks

They are the stuff of urban legend, the witty exam answers that while at first look seem implausible, claim to have earned pupils top marks for their ability to use their own logic

The Barometer problem: In one example, known as ‘the barometer problem’ a student was asked to explain how to use a barometer to measure the height of a building.

Instead of returning the normal answer that they would measure the pressure at the top and bottom of the building to work this out, one student said he would tie a length of string to the barometer and lower it from the top. The answer is seen as factually correct, but not displaying scientific theory. The student is widely reported to have been Niels Bohr, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics. This answer is thought to be one of a number he came up with.

Probability: In another exam, a pupil was asked: “A coin is flipped and then a die is rolled, what is the probability of rolling an odd and then flipping a tails.” They replied, 0 per cent, because the coin was flipped first – an answer technically correct, but ignoring the theory of probability.

Courage: Philosophy is a subject where a number of stories exist about unexpected answers to exam questions. In one example students are reported to have been asked ‘What is courage?’ One is said to have returned a blank page saying ‘This is.’

When hell freezes over: The question of whether hell is endothermic (absorbs heat) or exothermic (gives off heat) is one of the better known exam test legends. While most students answered with theories about Boyle’s law and gas cooling when it expands and heating when compressed, one student wrote an answer saying first they needed to determine whether the mass of Hell was increasing or decreasing.

He then concluded there were two possibilities: “1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

“2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.”

Why? In another widely known rumour about a Philosophy exam, a student was said to receive top marks when answering the one word question ‘Why?’ with ‘Why not?’

Chair: Students in a Philosophy exam were also asked to use all their philosophical knowledge to prove why a chair, placed at the front of the room, didn’t exist. While many scribbled down different theories one student simply wrote ‘What chair?’

The question: Another pupil was also said to take a direct approach to an exam question – which asked ‘Is this a question?’ His reply was: ‘If this is an answer.’

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Can’t resist chocolate? Your brain might be hard-wired to crave it: “It’s the excuse that people with a sweet tooth have always wanted. Scientists have discovered that some of us really are hard-wired to enjoy the taste of chocolate. Italian researchers found these people enjoy sweet treats more than others because their brains’ pleasure centres are sent into euphoria by them. In contrast, other people’s brains barely register the taste of an unhealthy treat, meaning it is easy for them to turn sweets down. Researchers at the Institute of Clinical Physiology, in Pisa, studied the brain reactions of a group of people as chocolate was dropped into their mouths. Their reactions were also monitored as they were shown images of a chocolate cake. The researchers found people’s brains react very differently to these stimuli.”

McDonald’s worker accidentally hands a couple bag of CASH instead of their breakfast order: “A Tennessee couple were picking up a breakfast snack from their local McDonald’s – but were instead served a paper bag brimming with cash. Greg and Stacye Terry, of Hermitage, were accidentally handed thousands of dollars, which were supposed to be deposited in the bank but somehow ended up in the drive-through window. The costly mistake was quickly discovered, and the Terrys did the right thing by returning their unexpected windfall without a moment’s hesitation. The incident happened at the fast-food eatery on Lebanon Road in Hermitage.

Father duped on Ebay after he ordered £450 XBox One for his son for Christmas… but received a PICTURE of a console instead: “A father who bought a ‘bargain’ XBox One on eBay was shocked to receive a grainy printed photo of one instead. The student was duped last week by an advert which said ‘XBox One Fifa Day One Edition, Photo Brand New UK 2012′ – referring only to a sheet of A4 paper. The student, from Bilborough, Nottinghamshire, said: ‘I’m absolutely gutted. ‘It came in a brown envelope. When the postman gave it to me I kept asking him if he was sure this package was for me and he kept saying it was. ‘As soon as I knew it was for me I realised it was a con. I pulled out a crumbled piece of A4 paper with a pretty bad picture of an Xbox One probably taken from Google. ‘I was shocked but then I thought, I only have myself to blame because it does say the word “photo” on the ad.’ The father-of-one has since been refunded by eBay but will be unlikely to pick up another console – as it has almost completely sold out in the UK just two weeks after its release.”

Christmas dinner for GAMERS: Tin containing a three-course meal means no time is wasted in the kitchen: “With gamers admitting they’d give up Christmas dinner to avoid having to stop playing, one store has invented an entire festive feast in a tin. Dubbed ‘Christmas Tinner’, the nausea-inducing concoction comprises of nine layers of food – ranging from a starter to a pudding. The top layer is made of scrambled egg and bacon and this sits above a layer of fruity mincemeat. The middle layers combine turkey and potatoes, roast carrots and other trimmings before being finished off by a layer of Christmas pudding. It has been created by retailer GAME, with designer Chris Godfrey and costs £1.99. The launch comes after the gaming retailer found almost half (43 per cent) of gamers in the UK intend to spend the majority of the holidays on their consoles. It also said the tin saves on the washing up and there is even a ‘Without Sprouts’ version that uses broccoli instead.”

Engineers invent system that disables a vehicle’s engine remotely using radio beams: “In a move that could spell the end of high-speed car chases, joyriding, and even terrorist attacks, a UK company has created a system that can stop vehicles at the press of a button. The RF Safe-Stop system uses blasts of electromagnetic pulses to remotely shut off any car engines that targeted by the device. The system was created by Chelmsford-based e2v Technologies and could also be used to stop the engines in boats because it can be triggered up to 165ft away. RF Safe-Stop works because the targeted radio frequency pulses ‘confuse’ the electronics within the car, and this causes the engine to cut out as a safety measure. The pulses travel through a wiring loom, or cable, which acts like an aerial to target where the pulses are fired. When a car enters the field of these pulses, the engine is cut off and rolls to a halt. As long as the car stays in this field range, the engine can’t be restarted.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





5 December, 2013

Has China pulled ahead?

Model Ye Zixue at Guangzhou Auto Show leaves nothing to the imagination. I guess she’s not a Muslim. She’s supposedly selling Mercedes Benz vans. More here.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Comics boss sued for allegedly calling workers ‘penis’: “THE Co-CEO of Archie Comics has been accused of discriminating against her male staff, allegedly calling them “penis” instead of their real names. But Nancy Silberkleit, who took over the company in 2009 after the death of her husband, claims they have no case because white males aren’t a “protected class” according to documents filed in the Westchester Supreme Court, The New York Daily News reports. The plaintiffs – which include company president Mike Pellerito and Editor-in-chief Victor Gorelick – claim she used “gender as a weapon” by yelling “Penis! Penis! Penis” at them in meetings, the Daily News reports. Silberkleit, 59, said she’s shocked at the allegations which she describes as “cruel” and “inaccurate.” The suit comes at a crisis point for the famous company which produces Archie, Jughead and Sabrina the Teenage Witch comics.”

An electric motorbike: “A British-made electric motorcycle claims to be the first clean tech motorbike that can compete with other less environmentally friendly speedy bikes. Agility Global claims it has created a 100 per cent clean electric bike as an alternative to the conventional petrol-guzzling performance bike. The Saietta R, which means ‘thunderbolt’ in Apennine Italian, can go from 0 to 60mph in 3.9 seconds and has a maximum speed of 80mph. The bike is 80 per cent charged in an hour, uses a high-torque electric motor and can cover 74 miles (120km) in one charge, the company said. Its sleek, futuristic design means it would not look out of place in a James Bond film and the company’s founder said he has already had interest from a number of film franchises.

yone for roast rat? Restaurant in Vietnam offers rodent on a stick: “It’s rat hunting season in Vietnam which means skewered vermin are back on the menu at a restaurant in Dan Phuong on the outskirts of the Vietnamese captial Hanoi. Rat meat has been considered a delicacy for many years in southern areas of the south Asian country, and the taste for it is spreading. At this time of year, when rice is harvested, farmers in the south turn to rat hunting to capture the small animals for sale in markets. In the southern Mekong delta, hunting is particularly productive during the flood season when rats try to escape from their flooded hearths. One kilogram of rat meat costs around 100,000 dong, or $4 to $5.”

Big bird comes to a birdwatcher: “A bird lover who fell asleep on the sofa while watching television was shocked to wake up and see a tawny owl in his living room. Graham Bickers said that being so close to the bird was a ‘once-in-a-lifetime moment’ which left his fellow twitchers envious of his luck. The 65-year-old dozed off at home in Ipswich around 11.30pm, and was woken in the early hours of the morning when the owl flew down the chimney and through the fireplace. Rather than taking fright, the bird settled on a curtain rail and stared at Mr Bickers. ‘I had woken up at about 1am and heard the noise of wings – my first thought was that it was a pigeon, but I had to do a double-take when I realised it was an owl sat there on the curtain pole. ‘I love photography so I thought I could not miss out on a chance like that so went and got my camera. It was an out-of-this-world moment for me.”

Tiny frog goes for a ride: “This extraordinary photograph shows the unexpected bond between a tiny tree frog and a huge beetle. Nicolas Reusens Boden, from Sweden, took the picture of the red-eyed tree frog, which is around 2cm long, at the moment it landed on the back of a beetle. He said he took it during a photography workshop in a ‘controlled’ environment, adding: ‘The frog managed to jump to the branch where this huge titan was sleeping. ‘I had my gear ready so I only had to change a few settings and shoot – the rest is history.’”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





4 December, 2013

Like father, like son

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Another mystery man: “A mystery foreign teenager who does not know his name, age or nationality and has never been to school has been found in a city centre, a charity said today. The young man is believed to have fled a house he was trafficked to in London when he was a small child and was discovered at a bus station in Coventry. The mystery youth – believed in be in his late teens – heard someone speaking a language he understood and asked for help, and they put him in touch with staff at the Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre. Paul Wheeler, from the charity, said: ‘As far as we can tell he could have fallen out of the sky. ‘He doesn’t know his own name or his country of origin. We don’t know how long he has been in the UK – all we know is that he tells us he got on a bus in London and arrived in Coventry.’ He speaks Urdu, Hindi and basic English and says he came to the UK when he was around six years old and has been kept in a house in London. He told the centre’s safeguarding unit that he was not allowed outside and he did not go to school.

FUNERAL marching bands: “In Taiwan families are taking a different approach to saying goodbye to their loved ones – by hiring all-female marching bands to perform during the service. Complete with white Go-go boots and matching uniforms, the women twirl batons and play instruments while marching around the dead body. The service, which lasts two to three hours, has been set up by Yuan-Rong Life which has a popular marching troupe called ‘Xiu Juan Female Music Band’. For small services Yuan-Rong recommends less than eight band members – costing £27 each – but for larger memorials more. In New Orleans, upbeat tunes are often played at Jazz Funerals including popular songs like When The Saints Go Marching In.”

The really Angry Birds: Cross-eyed creatures look like they’ve just flown out of an iPad: “With distinctive white rings encircling its eyes, the silvereye looks just like one of the feathered stars of hit video game Angry Birds. There’s no computer wizardry at work here, though. The silvereye is a real-life eye-opener. Also known as wax-eye, or white-eye, the diminutive birds can be found in New Zealand, as well as Australia and some of the southwest Pacific Islands, including Fiji. They feed on a variety of foods, invertebrates, fruit, and nectar and will feed in flocks over winter in gardens and parks from bird tables, eating fats, cooked meats, and bread and sugar water. Prolific breeders, they raise two to three broods per season, with between two to five eggs per brood.”

Norway plans to create a HAM that Muslims can eat: “Muslims in Norway will be able to follow local Christmas food traditions this year, after a butcher unveiled the country’s first halal reindeer meat. Harry Dyrstad, owner of specialist wildlife abattoir Vilteksperten, north of Trondheim, enlisted the help of a certified halal butcher and has 100 reindeer ready to be sent off to the shops. The butcher has had interest from as far afield as Dubai, and he is looking forward to bringing reindeer to the previously unexplored Muslim market. Mr Dyrstad has also looked into the possibility of curing some of the halal reindeer in order to introduce ham to the Muslim community.”

Sweden: Volvo to unload 100 self-driving cars onto city streets: “While Google’s self-driving car has garnered most of the headlines, a handful of car companies are also working on their own renditions of autonomous vehicles. Volvo is one of the latest car manufacturers to join this list. The Swedish-based company announced Monday that it has launched a pilot project dubbed ‘Drive Me — Self-driving cars for sustainable mobility,’ which will bring 100 self-driving Volvo cars onto city streets. The project will take place on about 50 kilometers of busy roads in the Swedish city of Gothenburg.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





3 December, 2013

Young cowboy

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Is your bank account under threat? Cybercriminals create one of the most advanced computer viruses ever: “A team of Russian cybercriminals have created a computer virus so sophisticated it can steal the money from any bank account in any country. Called the Neverquest Trojan, it lies hidden on malicious websites or infected computers and can steal the usernames and passwords for people’s online banking accounts. Once it has access to these accounts it can empty them completely and is so advanced, security experts are warning that traditional antivirus software isn’t enough to keep users protected. After gaining access to a user’s account, cybercriminals make transactions and transfer money from the user to their own accounts or – to keep the trail from leading directly to them – to the accounts of other victims. Kaspersky Lab said protection against threats such as Neverquest requires more than ‘just standard antivirus’”

Eyesore Christmas “tree”: “A town centre Christmas tree has been branded the worst in Britain after it became a laughing stock among residents. The 15ft-tall white ‘tree’, which looks like a piece of material stretched over a cone, was erected in Stockton last week. Locals have since called it a ‘disgrace’, an ‘embarrassment’ and one said on Facebook that it looks like a ‘dunce’s hat’. A picture of the tree has been posted on Facebook, with residents taking to the social networking website to criticise it.

Dazzling jewellery collection worth £55,000 found in locked suitcase hidden in attic for 70 years: “A stunning jewellery collection that lay forgotten inside a locked attaché case for 70 years is set to fetch tens of thousands of pounds at auction on Wednesday. The case was kept closed for seven decades in a house in the far north of Scotland, because the owner lost the key and assumed it contained only worthless old family documents. But when it was forced open, it revealed thousands of pounds worth of diamond earrings, rings and collars, emeralds and other treasures which once belonged to the owner’s grandmother and two maiden aunts. The 22 precious pieces will be sold at Bonhams’ Edinburgh auction room on Wednesday, when experts say they could far exceed their £55,000 pre-sale estimate. Among the valuable items she found were a pair of diamond single-stone earrings, weighing approximately seven carats, estimated to fetch £15,000-20,000; and a 19th century Indian enamelled necklace with a Footprint of Vishnu (Vishnupada) pendant, estimated at £2000-3000.”

‘It’s a dating app to meet dinner whores!’ Critics slam new site for single women seeking fancy meals: “A new dating site catering to women on the lookout for free dinners on the route to finding long-lasting love has sparked outrage, with critics branding it ‘sexist’ and ‘politically incorrect’. HiDine, which launched last month, instructs female users to create a profile in which they upload a list of foods and specific restaurants they enjoy. They must then sit and wait for date offers in their inbox from deep-pocketed suitors. While the website’s tagline assures ‘chivalry is alive’, many have deemed the concept a form of ‘prostitution’. ‘This is very little to do with chivalry, or even gender norms and primarily about bartering dinner for sex or the expectation of stuff for sex,’ one commentator wrote at the news of HiDine’s launch. And another added: ‘Basically an app to find or meet dinner whores.’ However, Kyle McGinnis, who founded the site, insists it will bring ‘food lovers’ together and merely dictates social conventions.”

Good looking crook: “A topless model was exposed as a benefits cheat when investigators found pictures of her wedding on Facebook. Nicola Haighton, 25, pocketed almost £4,000 in income support by claiming she was a single parent. The model, who has posed for FHM as a ‘High Street Honey’, failed to tell officials she got married in a lavish £6,000 ceremony in Clitheroe, Lancashire. When she was confronted, she said she’d split from her husband just two days later. The mother, who had a breast enhancement treatment to help with her modelling career, said she had married on a ‘whim’ and regretted it straight away. However the model, from Accrington, Lancashire, pleaded guilty at Blackburn Magistrates Court to failing to notify a change of circumstances which affected her entitlement to income support, council tax and housing benefit.



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





2 December, 2013

Male bird shuts up his nagging wife?

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

‘Humans evolved after a female chimpanzee mated with a pig’: “The human species began as the hybrid offspring of a male pig and a female chimpanzee, a leading geneticist has suggested. The startling claim has been made by Eugene McCarthy, of the University of Georgia, who is also one of the worlds leading authorities on hybridisation in animals. He points out that while humans have many features in common with chimps, we also have a large number of distinguishing characteristics not found in any other primates. Dr McCarthy says these divergent characteristics are most likely the result of a hybrid origin at some point far back in human evolutionary history. What’s more, he suggests, there is one animal that has all of the traits which distinguish humans from our primate cousins in the animal kingdom. ‘What is this other animal that has all these traits?’ he asks rhetorically. ‘The answer is Sus scrofa, the ordinary pig.’ These distinguishing characteristics, including hairless skin, a thick layer of subcutaneous fat, light-coloured eyes, protruding noses and heavy eyelashes, to name but a few, are unmistakeably porcine, he suggests.”

Natty new Japanese car: “The i-Road prototype I tested at Fujioka test centre outside Toyota City, Japan, is a vehicle that brings science-fiction to life, and turns convention on its head. The drive experience is so strange because it features what Toyota calls “Active Lean” technology which balances the vehicle when cornering or travelling over stepped surfaces. It does this via gyro-sensor and an electronic control unit, which can figure out how much lean is needed based on the steering angle and speed. The front wheels can then move up or down as needed and allow for smoother cornering. It sounds technical, ambitious and perhaps a little bit overkill – but in reality it proves a revelation. The front end ducks into corners as you turn the steering wheel, and because the rear wheel steers it feels like things take a little longer to happen than a regular front-steer vehicle. It uses a fully electronic steering by wire system, which offers good feel – just like a real car.”

Woman slammed for post-pregnancy selfie: “A FOOTBALLER’S wife has been labelled “wildly provocative” after posting a picture of her washboard abs four days after giving birth. Norwegian Caroline Berg Eriksen gave birth to daughter Nelia on Monday and posted a selfie on Instagram dressed in nothing but underwear with the caption “I feel so empty, and still not … 4 days after birth.” The fitness blogger – who is married to Norwegian Premier League player Lars-Kristian Eriksen and blogs under the name Fotballfrue meaning “footballer’s wife” – has since been slammed in her native media who have accused her of placing unfair pressure on new mothers to lose weight immediately after birth”

Man GIVES AWAY his belongings to protest against Black Friday craziness: “A man who recently penned a self-help book on how to lead a happy life has given away virtually everything he owned. Over the course of just a few hours on Saturday, Brian Bagnall from Chicago held a garage sale like no other. Mr Bangnall, 32, of Franklin Park, gave everything away for free to punters who stopped by as he prepares to move to a fully furnished home in Virginia. Instead of selling his belongings, Mr Bagnall posted on Craigslist that he was giving things away. ‘After seeing the many videos of people acting crazy on Black Friday, we wanted to encourage some human kindness,’ the Craigslist ad read. Brian’s girlfriend Tiffany came up with the idea. Roughly 200 people showed up on Saturday morning to clean out his three-bedroom home and within a few hours, the place was almost empty.”

Would YOU want to stay at this joint? “A mansion guest house which boasts an exterior painted entirely pink and an explosion of flowers and fairy lights inside has recently popped up in Tiptree. Eaton House’s fun and frivolous garden features a unicorn sculpture perched on a bed of pink flowers surrounded by gold heart-shaped stepping stones, a fireplace, hot tub, and pink flamingos. It is only just completed but the luxury property in the Essex countryside already boasts a stellar list of previous guests including rapper Iggy Azalea, TV foodie Gizzi Erskine and model Felicity Hayward. Owners and best friends James Lloyd-Roberts, 45, a firefighter and photographer, and Amy Griffith, 37, an artist, have spent the last four years lovingly crafting the property into their magical vision. The 13 room boutique home is often hired out as a guest house, studio for photo-shoots and special events venue within the art, fashion and music industries while the owners stay in a garden caravan.



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.





1 December, 2013

A rather explicit wedding celebration!

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Young girl had a ‘fully grown’ dandelion inside her EAR: “Doctors were left stunned after discovering a dandelion growing inside the ear canal of a 16-month girl. The flower was found by medics in Beijing, China, after the child was taken to hospital crying and in pain by her worried mother. It had partly flowered and had grown to nearly 2cm long before being surgically removed, the Beijing Morning Post reported. The parents of the girl, called Ranran, said their daughter had been complaining about an earache for four months but both had dismissed her. But after the girl started scratching the offending ear, her mother had a look and saw ‘something’ inside. After trying and failing to get it out, she took the child to hospital where the shocking discovery was made. Doctors said the dandelion had grown into the girl’s ear and had completely filled the canal wall, which could have caused the infant serious damage. The warm and humid conditions in the ear canal are likely to have encouraged growth, added the doctor.”

Six in 10 men ‘punch above their weight’ in relationships as they pair off with better-looking women: “A survey has revealed that six in ten men readily admit they are ‘punching above their weight’ – because their other half is better looking than they are. But while most men feel inferior to their wives or girlfriends in the looks department, only one in four women believe their partner is better off in that way. The poll revealed that most men preferred their partner to be more attractive because it boosted their self-esteem, with a third saying the most important thing was to make other men envious. The study of 2,000 adults also revealed what men saw as the key attributes that helped them to land a better-looking partner, with being funny, a good listener and having good manners all deemed crucial. The research, for the Celebalike app, found getting on well with women, sensitivity and a good smile were also in the top 20. A cheeky 20 per cent of men thought having a more attractive partner made them more appealing to other women.”

Mummy’s boys do better at work! They earn £53k a year MORE than those who weren’t close to their mothers : “For most women, a man overly attached to his mother is one to be avoided – but, if a new study is to be believed, it seems they may be worth sticking with. Mummy’s boys do better at work and earn more than men who have a less close relationship with their mothers in childhood, research shows. The findings come as part of an epic study by Harvard University, known as the Grant study, into what makes men happy. Men who had a close, warm relationship with their mothers were found to consistently earn more money than those who had a distant maternal bond. The salary difference was not trivial either, with men with uncaring mothers earning an average of $87,000 (about £53,230) less a year than those who are ‘mummy’s boys.’ Interestingly there was no such correlation with childhood relationship with the men’s fathers and their working life, salary or productivity as an adult.”

How did it manage to do that? “A cow was last night said to be recovering in a field after a chair-raising ordeal that saw its head get stuck in a plastic seat. RSPCA workers rushed to the scene, in Appin, southwest of Sydney, after a farmer spotted the stricken beast blinking gormlessly with the piece of garden furniture locked around its neck. The more it tried to free itself from the chair’s clutches, the more trapped it became. Some of its bovine field-mates even tried to nuzzle the seat away with their noses but their sympathetic efforts were to no avail. In the end, worn out and dehydrated, the animal gave up and waited for help in the shade of a tree. The RSPCA New South Wales Inspectors tranquilised the cow before moving in to delicately remove the piece of furniture from around her neck.”

The cry of a baby? No, men are ‘genetically programmed’ to get emotional about flash CARS, claim scientists: “Volunteers were shown visual images of cars considered to be plain, ugly or beautiful – they included a futuristic Volvo prototype, not the functional saloons the maker is famous for – 1950s models and Robin Reliants. They were also shown photos of men and women and crying babies. It found the strongest brain impulses among men was to a picture of a beautiful woman, followed by that of a curvy ‘concept’ coupe with a crying baby picture down in third. Women, however, reacted strongest to the image of a baby and then to the picture of an attractive man more than any feelings towards a beautiful motor. In a separate survey of 2,000 adults, four in ten (43 per cent) men said the design of a car was more important than added extras or the feel of the interior.”



And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

November, 2013 and earlier postings from this site now archived HERE or here or here


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