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WICKED THOUGHTS -- MIRROR




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15 September, 2014

Arab curse



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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world



Families shocked by gummy mix-up:  "A confectionery company is dealing with a sticky situation after penis-shaped gummy lollies made their way into some of its packs, costing the company thousands of dollars in recalls.  New Zealand confectionery company Dutch Rusk imported five pallets of the gummy lollies, called Dragon Sweets, from a Chinese manufacturer about six weeks ago.Two weeks later the company started receiving complaints from people who discovered the phallic gummies in their mixed gummy pack.  Dutch Rusk managing director of sales Jack Van de Geest said the company immediately recalled the lollies once it started receiving complaints.  One out of every 20 or 30 bags would have one or two little gummy penises in them, he said."




'Unrestrained wild beasts who eat food so greasy it needs detergent': Portuguese view of England:  "A best-selling book written by a Portuguese academic has offered a dismal portrayal of English people, calling them 'unrestrained wild beasts who eat food so greasy it needs detergent'.  Joao Magueijo, 47, a physics professor at Imperial College London, has seen his book, Bifes Mal Passados (Undercooked Beef) sell more than 20,000 copies in his native country.  Despite spending 25 years of his life on these shores, he describes England as 'one of the most rigid and rotten societies in Europe, possibly the world'. He says the English are 'always fighting' and claims 'I never met such a group of animals' - English culture is pathologically violent'. Describing a four-hour wait in a Blackpool hospital's A&E department one Sunday afternoon, he says 'it looked like a field hospital after battle'." 




Vintage racing car sells for record-breaking price of £1.5m at auction:  "An iconic pre-war racing car designed by the father of Bentley Motors has sold for £1.5 million at an auction. It was a world record price for the famed British marque at auction. The Lagonda LG45R Rapide - known simply by its registration plate 'EPE 97' - has been described as 'the most famous Lagonda of all'. This beautiful burnt-red two-seater vehicle that could reach 100mph was built in 1936 after Lagonda had appointed W.O. Bentley - the man who started Bentley Motor Cars in 1919 - as their chief designer.  The EPE 97 was developed after Lagonda was purchased by businessman Alan Good to help stop their financial decline.  Good appointed W.O. Bentley, who was pivotal in transforming the flailing company as the first Lagonda designer to use a V-12 engine.  The EPE 97 was sold for £1,569,500 when it went under the hammer at Bonhams' Goodwood Revival sale."




World's first lane for pedestrians who cannot resist using their phones while walking: "The world's first lane for mobile phone addicts who cannot put down their beloved devices has been created.  The 100ft-stretch of pavement in the Chinese city of Chongqing has a lane specially painted for people who have their eyes glued to their screens.  It has a picture of a phone etched on the ground, the word 'cell phone' written down and a thick white line separating it from the rest of the pavement.  The lane was set up in response to the growing number of people who are addicted to their phone - which is a major issue in China. The idea for the mobile phone lane, on Foreigner Street, appears to have been copied almost exactly from a project by a television programme on the National Geographic channel earlier this year.  That programme found only a few people changed which side of the pavement they walked on after spotting the signs.  However, officials in China said the markings would help to quietly remind pedestrians that 'it is best not to play with your phone while walking'."




Trapped giant manta ray swims free after approaching scuba divers in desperate plea to be cut from fishing lines:  "Divers off the the coast of Costa Rica were recently approached by a massive manta ray, but what could have been a rattling encounter for the scuba divers suddenly became an humanitarian mission.  Amazingly, the massive winged fish--which was entangled in painful-looking fishing line--appeared to be pleading with the international dive team for help being set free.  The shocked divers obliged, cutting the thick cords from the ray, whose species can weigh as much as 5,000 pounds and have a wingspan of 18 feet.  Once freed, the manta did a backflip of joy and the astounding encounter was all caught on video by one of the divers.  Scientists believe the ray has the largest brain of all fish species.  Like other massive ocean animals such as whale sharks and the largest of whales, mantas are filter feeders and eat only the ocean's tiniest organisms."


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





14 September, 2014

An English beach:  Stones instead of sand



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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Old lady who survived a 13-storey plunge down elevator shaft overcame her trauma to get back in elevator for first time in 15 years... and it gets STUCK:  "A grandmother who survived a 13-storey plunge down an elevator shaft finally overcame her fears and got back in one for the first time in 15 years - only to get stuck.  Pensioner Geraldine Tattam, now 65, her daughter and her then six-month-old granddaughter were lucky to escape with their lives when the cable snapped in the elevator in a council block in Romford, north-east London, in 1999.  She vowed never to use an elevator again, but three weeks ago, after returning home with heavy shopping and facing a 196-step climb, she decided to chance it.  Ms Tattam lives on the 14th floor of the Highfield Towers council block in Romford, north-east London.  To her shock, the elevator dropped several feet and stopped working, leaving the unlucky grandmother trapped.  Ms Tattam was stuck for more than two hours waiting for help to arrive because of a firefighters' strike."




Wife saves husband:  "Many men have been known to experience a nauseating sinking feeling the moment they utter those two life-changing words - 'I do'.  For Peter Bolton, it wasn't cold feet that left him feeling queasy -  but the prospect of falling hundreds of metres to his death after he lost his balance during the cliff-top ceremony in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Strictly speaking, he was not getting married but renewing his vows with wife, Faith, when the seemingly terrifying incident happened.  A select few friends looked on in horror as Mr Bolton suddenly leant backwards, appearing to lose his balance as he stood on the edge of the precipice while reading his vows.  He shouts and fearfully flails his arms in the air as guests look on and display very little reaction. Luckily, Mrs Bolton was on hand to grab her husband and prevent the happy occasion from turning into a tragedy. She manages to get a solid grip on his left arm before pulling him to safety."




240lb Seattle woman 'broke into man's apartment pinned him down and raped him while he slept': "26-year-old Seattle woman Chantae Gilman is facing rape charges after a man alleged he woke up to find her on top of him in his apartment, pinning his arms down.  Gilman has prior felon convictions for attempted robbery and possession of a stolen vehicle, The Smoking Gun reports.  According the the police report, on the night of the attack the man had attended a birthday party for a neighbor known to Gilman.  'Once arriving home he fell asleep on his bed,' reported Detective Roger Ishimitsu. 'Victim slept very hard due to a long day.' He woke at 2 a.m. to find the 5'7''. 240-pound Gilman on top of him with his erect penis inside of her.  His hands had been 'pinned down over his head,' according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.  She has since been charged with second-degree rape for assaulting a victim 'incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse by reason of being physically helpless.'"




ANOTHER "superfood":  "They were once worshipped by the Aztecs for being food of the gods.  And now, hundreds of years later, chia seeds are revered once again as the latest `superfood' trend.  Originally found in Mexico, the tiny seeds have been dubbed `the running food' and hailed as the `ultimate superfood' by athletes and health advocates.  They contain a wealth of antioxidants and minerals such as calcium and have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. Omega-3 has been shown to help protect against a range of illnesses including heart disease and dementia. The seeds are also thought to help dieters as they contain few calories but are high in protein, making people feel full. The craze has taken such a hold that Marks & Spencer has just launched a range of products - including bread and pitta - containing the ingredient to meet the rising demand. The chain's nutritionist Helen Stevenson said: `Our customers are definitely becoming more aware of these hero health ingredients, and are actively looking for them.'"




Did a keyboard decide YOUR baby's name? 'Qwerty effect' makes people choose names containing letters on right-hand keys: "A study suggests the layout of a Qwerty keyboard may play a key part in what parents' name their new baby.  The researchers suggest keys on the right hand side are viewed as more positive, while the left is more negative.  And they found people tend to favour names with letters from the right side of a keyboard - but only since the rise in popularity of the Qwerty keyboard in 1990.  Scientists believe this is because many people apparently tend to associate `good' with their dominant side - and most people are right-handed.  Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the research, though, is that the researchers say baby names have been influenced by the rise of the Qwerty keyboard. Since 1990, which the team defines as the dawn of the 'modern keyboard era', baby names with more right-side keys have apparently been favoured."



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




13 September, 2014

The latest picture gallery

As regular readers here will know, I select what I see as the "best" pictiures and graphics that have appeared on this blog from time to time.  I have just put up my selection from the pictures that appeared here in January and February.  You can access them here or here.  There are definitely some good ones worth revisiting.




The Complex Simplified



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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Woman called Isis starts campaign and petition for America to start calling terror group new name of ISIL so she can avoid being associated with them:  "A Miami woman called Isis Martinez posted a video on YouTube in which she pleads with the media to please stop using her name to refer to the 'shameless excuses for human beings' who have misappropriated her appellation. The 38-year-old, who heads a non-profit in the Florida city, has created a petition urging the media and others to use the acronym 'ISIL' instead of 'ISIS' to describe the group formerly known as Islamic State of Iraq the Levant.  The petition, part of a campaign that began on August 23, has so far received 352 signatures. Isis Martinez said she's tired of the 'awkward looks' and negative reactions of people when she introduces herself. 'I couldn't just sit back and let it happen,' she said in an interview with Newsweek. She points out in the video that the United States government uses ISIL - including President Barack Obama - to refer to the group that now calls itself simply the Islamic State, as do the UN and the Associated Press."




Dead in a pool of blood, the man who was simply walking with a woman - but whose husband flew into a jealous rage and stabbed him repeatedly:  "A Chinese man who was convinced his wife was having an affair, ended the imagined love-triangle by stabbing his innocent `rival' to death in the street.  Qin Han, 39, believed his wife Du, 33, was sleeping with a colleague and went to her workplace to confront her.  After spotting Du with the man he believed was her lover as they left the building, he attacked him with a knife, leaving him in a pool of blood.  According to neighbours, Mr and Mrs Qin had been arguing for months over his suspicions that she was cheating on him.  And after a particularly violent row at their home in the city of Xinxiang in central China's Henan province, the father-of-two had decided to go to her work to `find proof'.  When he saw the man, known only as Mr Zhao, leaving the building with his wife, Mr Qin confronted the pair of them in the street"




The socialist solution to gridlock: "Owning a car should be `outlawed' to force people on to public transport, a senior Labour MP has suggested.  Motorists who want to drive should instead be forced to join communal `car clubs' where the cars are shared by drivers and used only when needed. Dr Alan Whitehead, a Labour MP for Southampton Test and a member of the Energy and Climate Change select committee, said the increase in car ownership would lead to `something approaching a national traffic jam before 2040'. He claimed that radical action would be needed to avoid national gridlock.  In an article in the Guardian, Dr Whitehead wrote: `We need to consider doing something serious. What we need is a considerable expansion of public transport over the next period and a shift from car to bus, train, bike or even feet. The big problem is how to do it.'  He went on to suggest that `outlawing' car ownership was better than banning car use altogether, preferring `regulation rather than prohibition'.


The woman with half her brain MISSING but managed to live an almost normal life:  "A Chinese woman has lived to the age of 24 with part of her brain missing. Scans revealed the woman had been born without a cerebellum - the part of the brain responsible for posture, balance, motor learning like kicking a ball, and speech.   It emerged the woman had experienced problems, not learning to talk until she was six and failing to walk until she was seven.   Physicians believe the woman is only the ninth known case of a living person suffering the condition cerebellar agenesis. Doctors learned the woman had never played or jumped like other children her age, and is unable to walk steadily without support. Tests revealed she had no problem understanding words but living without a cerebellum meant she had difficulties with pronunciation.  The doctors looking after the patient, said they believe the normal cerebellar function may have been taken over by the cortex. The woman married, and gave birth to a daughter with no neurological abnormalities.




Dream homes divide the sexes: Men and women's ideas of what makes dream home are completely different: "Buying their first home is stressful enough when a couple agree on what they want. Unfortunately, most don't, according to a survey.  It found that men and women's ideas of what makes a dream home are completely different.  Most men, 80 per cent, prioritise the ease of their commute to work whereas 53 per cent of women think the number of bedrooms is key, followed by proximity to good schools (35 per cent).  However, one thing both sexes agree on is that the legal paperwork and any delays it causes are the most stressful part.  Two thousand first-time buyers under the age of 35 were questioned for the survey by online estate agent Purplebricks.com."



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






12 September, 2014

Wisdom



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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

11-year-old girl whose mother allows her to travel abroad alone:  "When Anne Atkins, who lives in Bedford, wrote a feature for MailOnline Travel about encouraging her five children to travel alone from the age of just nine, she was met with a barrage of criticism.  Here, her youngest daughter, 11-year-old Rosalie, explains why she is happy her parents send her away alone and how it has shaped her as a person. "While other children may have been dragged around all summer after their parents or sitting in front of TV or computer screens during their holidays, I have just spent the most amazing week in Paris - without my family.  Recently I was invited to stay in Paris with the Scribe family, who I've known for a couple of years. Their older daughter au paired for us one summer, and their younger daughter Jeanne and I have already done holiday exchanges.  I think I’m very fortunate that my parents allow me to travel alone."




Duff beer banned in Australia:  "Woolworths attempt to cash in on an alcoholic export from the long-running TV show The Simpsons has come to an end after an advertising standards body ruled the campaign was marketing alcohol to children and young adults.  The grocery giant will soon no longer sell Duff Beer through its outlets Dan Murphys and BWS, after copping a complaint by the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code, the standards scheme for liquor marketing.  Woolworths had been selling the brew, which had existed on our television screens in the fictional world of The Simpsons long before it entered the real world, since late May. The soon-to-be-gone Duff Beer: An advertising standards body ruled the campaign was marketing alcohol to children and young adults.  "It is inarguable that an alcoholic product that is branded in the get-up of The Simpson's 'Duff Beer' will be instantly recognisable and highly appealing to children and young people under the legal drinking age in Australia," the complaint said."






Bavarian cattle festival:  "Decorated with floral crowns and large bells - and treated like celebrities - the cows of the Bavarian Alps know it can mean only one thing: time to get moo-ving.  Assisted by herders dressed in traditional attire, the animals are returning from summer alpine grazing during the annual cattle drive in the Allgaeu region of Bad Hindelang, Germany.  Every spring, cattle herders bring thousands of them to mountain meadows, and the cows remain there throughout summer months before being brought back down the valleys to farms in the villages for winter.  During the summer months, the herders live in a mountain hut called an Alm, often without electricity, in keeping with tradition.  The spectacle, which dates back to the turn of the last century, often attracts huge crowds of locals and visitors.  And after the cow drive, there is a folk fair with local food, music and beer."




Doggy football fan:  "American football fans were ecstatic when the 2014 NFL season kicked off last week but few expressed their joy more perfectly than George the dog.  When shown a recording of the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers in 2014 season opener, George couldn't contain his excitement - as he well shouldn't given his four-legged status.  George jumps and barks with vigour from the snap to the down, slightly less so between plays. And he calms down totally during commercial breaks.  When his owner cruelly switches the TV to an old episode of Kevin James sitcom The King of Queens, George isn't especially impressed, but the spring is back in the pooch when he turns back to the game.




Dog in a snood:  "An Afghan hound is top dog for fashion after he was spotted showing off this stylish tartan snood.  Two-year-old Ari has become a minor celebrity in his home town of Blackburn, Lancashire, after locals expressed their love of the strange garment, which keeps his flowing black hair out of his mouth and eyes.  Without the garment, the dog's flowing black hair gets in his eyes, meaning he cannot see where he is going.  Mr White, who owns two Afghan hounds, added: 'We have always used snoods as they help keep hair out of the dog's face.  'Many people just use them for eating to make mealtimes less messy, but we also use them when we are out walking so that Ari can see where he is going.  'The snood helps to keep their long coats from getting into their eyes and mouth."



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






11 September, 2014

Viewpoints



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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

House made out of STRAW collapses:  "Residents in a seaside town had to be evacuated after a traditionally built cob cottage collapsed during renovation work yesterday.  One wall of the mud and straw-built terraced house fell into the street in Dawlish, Devon, as scaffolding surrounding it buckled and fell. It emerged today that builders had been working to repair a crack in the front wall of the house, which is home to a couple in their 30s with children, who were out at the time.  Jason Sandland, an architectural surveyor who lives in the street near the town centre, said: 'The scaffolding twisted and collapsed onto the road.  'Luckily there was no-one on the street, which is usually quite busy.'  He added: 'Cob is usually a good material for building but it can dry out if covered with the wrong render.' The cob cottage in Dawlish is the second such building to collapse in under a week - last Thursday a 400-year-old cob cottage up the coast in East Budleigh, Devon, buckled."




The car that almost bankrupted Daimler:  "She was a former showgirl turned exuberant socialite who acquired a taste for the high life through a succession of marriages to wealthy businessmen.  Little wonder that a car designed by Lady Docker was a monument to extravagance, from its royal blue crocodile skin trim, hand-woven silk upholstery and a silver mascot modelled on her naked body.  Now her Daimler DK400 ‘Stardust’ limousine is expected to fetch up to £160,000 when it is auctioned on Saturday.   The restored 1954 vehicle is one of five cars commissioned and styled by Lady Docker, hallmarked with what Bonhams auctioneers call ‘awe-inspiring excess’.  Lady Docker put her own stamp on the car in an attempt to dust off the drab, stuffy image she believed was blighting her husband’s Daimler firm in post-war Britain. But it was so outrageously ambitious it cost company chairman Sir Bernard Docker his job and nearly bankrupted the company."


Clumsy clergyman:  "A blushing bride was nearly left red-faced on her big day after the vicar tripped over the train of her strapless dress, almost pulling it down, and broke his arm.  Reverend Roger Scoones was about to wave the newlywed couple down the aisle when he fell over the train of Katie Stoddard's dress and landed face down on the floor.  Reverend Roger Scoones broke his right arm but did not go to hospital until after the ceremony was finished.  The congregation watched in shock as Rev. Scoones was helped to his feet by stunned groom Jon-Paul before carrying on with the ceremony, despite a broken right arm. 'I pulled him to his feet - but by his arm which can't have helped - and he just carried on as if nothing had happened. He is a real trooper, he did a brilliant job.' Mrs Stoddard's dress comes with a long and flowing train, which the vicar attempted to 'jump' over"




Chinese farmers cover entire road with their crop to dry it out... and don't mind motorists driving over it:  "Welcome to the town where the streets are paved with rice.  While it may in fact appear to be something of a 'golden road', this street has in fact been completely covered in rice as it is left out to dry. The farmers raked tonnes of shelled rice across an 800-metre section of the road in the small town of Mingda in southwest China's Chongqing following a harvest of the grain. Judging by these pictures however, the farmers were hardly concerned as motorists drove over the grains while going about their daily business. While it may not seem the most hygienic or safest way to dry out the rice, the sight of the grain being left out on the road is not all that uncommon in China.  According to one travel blog, farmers don't mind vehicles driving on the road, as the draft caused by the passing vehicles blows away the lightweight husk which has detached itself from the grain, leaving the rice in place."




Gold engagement ring from 17th Century discovered lying in field:  "A gold engagement ring from the 17th Century has been unearthed by a pensioner with a metal detector - more than 300 years after it was lost. Tom Ross, 69, was sweeping his metal detector over a ploughed farmer's field near Newtownabbey in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, when he stumbled across the item.  The rare 'posy' ring, which dates back to the late 1600s and is 85 per cent gold, bears the Old English inscription 'I noght on gift bot gifer', or 'Look not on the gift, but the giver'.  Also known as a 'betrothal' ring, it pre-dates the custom of proposing with an engagement ring, but essentially served the same purpose. Men and women exchanged the items from the 1500s onwards to symbolise their future commitment to each other.  It was only after Mr Ross, who took up metal detecting four years ago as a hobby, showed the ring to a fellow treasure hunter in England that he realised it could be valuable.  He passed the item to museum experts in Northern Ireland who were able to establish its true significance"



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






10 September, 2014

The cat and the kiddy



(www.youtube.com/embed/eA2UJMDQ2y8)
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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world



1955 Lancia Aurelia:  "A tribute to Italian carmakers' ingenuity and eccentricity, the Lancia Aurelia was a glorious combination of high-tech innovation and boyish good looks. Available as a sedan, a coupé, a convertible or this spider, this grand tourer exudes class, and played what is arguably the starring role in Dino Rissi's film The Easy Life. A V6 engine with hemispherical heads, uncommon for its time, sent power to a rear-mounted transaxle (a design later adopted, and still used, by the Corvette). Also rear mounted was the clutch and flywheel (later adopted by Porsche in the 968), and inboard mounted rear brakes (later adopted by the Jaguar E-Type).




Woman designs T-shirt to stop boyfriend straying on Ibiza holiday:  "A WOMAN, 20, has made her own T-shirt to try to stop girls trying to steal her boyfriend on a lads’ holiday. Abbie Bartlett’s T-shirt, which features a series of pictures of her and Leon Connolly her boyfriend of six years, bears the words: “I love my girlfriend Abbie, I hate the girls in Ibiza, so please stay away from me”.  Connolly, 24, who will fly out with his male friends to the Spanish party island of Ibiza, on Friday, did not believe his girlfriend, mother of his five-year-old daughter Harlie, would do it.  “We’re always pulling pranks on each other, our relationship is based on having fun. I was with him when he booked to go on holiday with friends to Ibiza and I said I was going to make a T-shirt for him to wear. He said ‘you wouldn’t’ and I just replied ‘watch me,’” Connolly said he was happy to go along with wearing the T-shirt.  ‘I just have to laugh about it, Abbie is the only girl for me and we both know that!”




Facebook faker: "Student boasts to friends about trekking through Asia, visiting stunning beaches, tasting local cuisine and meeting Buddhist monks - using FAKE photos taken in her home town.
Zilla van den Born deceived her loved ones into thinking she was enjoying an exotic five-week holiday across South East Asia as part of a university project.  But the 25-year-old was actually still at home in Amsterdam and used Photoshop to create the authentic images before posting them on Facebook.  'My goal was to prove how common and easy it is for people to distort reality. Everyone knows that pictures of models are manipulated, but we often overlook the fact that we manipulate reality also in our own lives.'  The graphics student was waved off at the airport by her family before she took a train back to Amsterdam and spent the following 42 days indoors cleverly altering images.  Over the course of five weeks Zilla seemed to enjoy snorkelling, sample authentic Asian food, travel in traditional tuk-tuks and she even visited a Buddhist temple.  But in reality the photographs were taken in her own swimming pool, or using venues around Amsterdam - and the authentic Asian food was in fact cooked by Zilla herself."




It's a cake: "Sweet-toothed jet setters don’t need their passport for this worldwide tour - as they can travel around the world in 40 cakes.  These edible works of art depict some of the world’s most famous landmarks and show aspects of a variety of cultures in the collection of delicately crafted cakes.  The impressive selection of sweet treats were dreamed up by some of the world’s finest cake makers and feature in this month’s edition of Cake Masters magazine.  And the intricate pieces range from an edible Great Barrier Reef to the bright lights of Las Vegas, as well as an African safari and the Taj Mahal.  Even the Greek goddess Athena and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi have been sculpted out of fondant.  World-renowned locations like the windmills of Amsterdam, icons like China’s terracotta army and the floating markets of Thailand have also been recreated in sponge.




Concept house is pinned to the side of a cliff with unrivalled views of the Indian Ocean:  "If you've ever wanted to have the ocean right at your door, this concept property on the Australian southwest coast seems to be precariously clinging to the side of a cliff - just metres above the sea.  The aptly named Cliff House extends off a vertical rock face and is anchored to the cliff side with support beams.  Cliff House was conceived of by Australian prefab architecture specialists Modscape Concept, who were inspired by the shape of barnacles clinging to the hull of a ship.  The concept home, which seems to almost propel off the overhang, makes the property look as if it is an extension of the landscape. On their website, the architects say that their aim is to create 'an absolute connection with the ocean.'  The five-storey home will be made from prefab modules which are arranged in a vertical floor plan."



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






9 September, 2014

Another golf toon



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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Nude man hogtied by witnesses in Western Australia after alleged ‘attempted carjackings':  "A NAKED man was crash-tackled and hogtied by horrified witnesses after he allegedly tried to carjack several drivers in Western Australia.  WA Police said the man in this mid 20s tried to stop three cars on the Brookton Highway in Karagullen, about half an hour south east of Perth.  Phil Ferraro and his daughter Frankie were driving past when they saw a man trapped in an overturned ute and stopped to help.  He soon realised the driver was the victim of an attempted carjacking — and the alleged culprit was continuing to target other drivers.  “This guy had run out from the bush (and) smashed the (driver’s) windscreen,” Mr Ferraro told Channel 9. A woman who had also stopped to help was then allegedly attacked by the same man. The alleged carjacker took off his clothes as he ran down the road, while the ute [pickup] driver called his brother and a friend for help.  “They caught him, king hit him and then tied the naked guys arms and legs behind his head and left him in the dirt for the police and ambulance.”




Poisonous centipede terrifies first class passengers: "FIRST class flyers were treated to more than champagne and hot towels on board a recent flight to Auckland in which a poisonous centipede made itself at home in the luxury cabin. The unwelcome visitor appeared during a flight from the Samoan capital Apia and tried to crawl up the leg of a first class passenger.  “The passenger apparently brushed off the centipede, which scuttled off, causing some commotion in the cabin,” said Craig Hughes, responsible for border clearance at the Ministry for Primary Industries. “By the size of its claws, it would have at least caused a nasty nip.”  The 10cm-long bug, which probably hitched a ride in a passenger’s carry-on luggage, was destroyed by quarantine inspectors when the plane arrived in Auckland.




84-year-old Australian hunter lives with the largest captive croc in the world:  "A crocodile hunter who spent 17 years in pursuit of the dangerous animals now lives with the biggest captive crocodile in the world. George Craig, 84, from Green Island, Australia, captured dangerous crocodile Cassius - who is 18ft-long and weighs a tonne - 30 years ago, and the pair have lived together ever since.  George has fed Cassius every day for 30 years and has a soft spot for the gigantic animal.  George captured Cassius in 1987 from a river in the Northern Territory, where he was notorious for his huge size - and was under threat of being hunted down and killed by the local population.  Cassisus, who is missing his front left leg and tip of his tail due to vicious fights, was deemed a massive threat to humans after attacking boats. So George set about capturing him to save his life, and bringing him to live in his sanctuary."




Rusty 1961 Jaguar E-type that doesn’t run sells for £78,000... now its new owner just needs to spend another £120,000 to get it on the road :  "A rusty old Jaguar convertible which does not run has sold at auction for more than £77,000 - nearly five times its estimate - and the new owner will now have to spend another £120,000 to get it on the road. It is one of the extremely rare 'Flat Floor' models, of which there are thought to be just 170 left in existence.  The car has been off the road and hidden away for the last 20 years.  When it is back on the road, the E-Type’s 3.8-litre engine will develop around 265 brake horse power.  This will give the convertible sports car a 0-60mph time of seven seconds and a top speed in excess of 150mph.




Happy dog:  "Dogs love playing in the water - but when it comes to getting clean, it truly is a dog's life!  This pampered pooch lays back and enjoys a good soapy scrub down as his owner gives him all the love, attention and bubbles a dog could ask for.  Head back and paws out-stretched the pup is extremely cooperative as the puppy is given a nice wash.  Laying on his back with his paws in the air it appeared as though the pup was having treatments more akin to a fine animal spa. His owner continued to scrub him, paw by paw, and wipe away the grime.  The dog amiably extends his feet for them to be given a proper scrub down. At one point it looks as though he has drifted off to doggy dreamland as the soaps suds scrub him clean.



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






8 September, 2014

Keen golfer



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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Litter pickers are banned by British council  - because they had no litter-picking training!:  "They simply wanted to smarten up their local area, and were happy to give up their own time to do it.  But one group of neighbours faced an unexpected obstacle as they prepared to take up litter-pickers and clean up their street … the local council.  It informed the residents that under health and safety legislation, it had no choice but to order them to down tools because they had not been trained to use them.   Yesterday the volunteers – part of a network backed by none other than the local council – said they were ‘stunned’ by the demand.  Dawn Gee, who was among those planning to help spruce up Clarence Road in the Normanton area of Derby, said: ‘We have been collecting litter for a number of years and were issued with a small amount of litter-pickers to support us doing this. ‘Why are we now being told we cannot use them without training – why now?  ‘We have worked very hard trying to empower people into taking responsibility to pick up litter in front of their own properties. This action can have the opposing effect.’"



The three mast barquentine 'Thalassa' from The Netherlands

Tall ships sail down the Thames:  "The largest fleet of Tall Ships to have visited London in 25 years - some more than a century old - sailed into Greenwich yesterday for the start of a four-day festival on the River Thames.  With their towering sails billowing in the wind, more than 50 vessels, including 11 magnificent square-sail ships, descended on the south east corner of the capital for the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta. Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to turn out to watch the vessels sail past famous landmarks such as Canary Wharf, the 02, the Thames Cable car and the Royal Docks. It is London's first regatta for 25 years and the first time a Tall Ships race has both started and finished in a UK port.  Imposing ships have come from around the globe to take part the event, including from Spain, Holland, Portugal, Poland and Russia.  The participating vessels include Tenacious, the largest wooden tall ship of her kind which has been sailed by a crew with physical disabilities from the Jubilee Sailing Trust.  The event began in Falmouth and saw the ships race from the Cornish Port to the Isle of Wight, before cruising to the capital."




The last Hawker Hurricane fighter: "THE only Hurricane that fought in the Battle of Britain and is still flying today is up for sale for £2.5 million – more than 30 years after it was found as scrap in India. The aircraft, which regularly takes part in flypasts, was restored by a vintage car buff who discovered the wreck by chance while seeking old Rolls-Royces.  But retired businessman Peter Vacher is now selling the 1940 Hawker Hurricane Mk 1 through an American dealer, fuelling fears that it could be lost to Britain.  Hurricane R4118 flew 49 combat sorties during the worst days of the fighting and shot down five enemy aircraft.  Hurricanes, alongside Spitfires, were at the centre of the country’s heroic defence of the skies in 1940 and had a crucial role until the end of the war, but the vast majority were then scrapped.  The former printer spotted the aircraft’s rotting hulk in 1982 on a visit to a university at Benares, north-east India, but did not immediately realise what it was.  The plane had been given to engineering students in 1947 after the war in the Far East came to an end. The fuselage was lying in a compound with the propeller, wings and tailplane spread out over the ground."




Inside the tiny town built for sex offenders:  "Some wear GPS devices that are constantly monitored by police. Others have fled their homes; repudiated by the local community for being a registered sex offender.  And all of them - from those charged with possessing child pornography to ones caught having sex with a minor and molestation - are there to 'repent their sins'. Welcome to Miracle Village, a tiny church town spanning about 20 acres on the edge of Everglades in south Florida, which was established in 2009 as a spiritual safe haven for sex offenders and their families.  With a population of about 200, it is believed to be the largest sex offender community in the United States. Brooklyn-based photographer Noah Rabinowitz has captured a fascinating inside look at the town, which is surrounded by sugarcane fields and was built in the 1960s to house workers.  'There are no violent criminals in the town, [which is] a strict guideline to admission,' Rabinowitz told Feature Shoot.  'It is a deeply religious, tight knit and strictly self-governed community"


Loose steering wheel comes off in bus driver's hands:  "An amusing video has emerged of a bus driver in Malta struggling to drive with a loose steering wheel.  The footage, captured by tourist Hannah Billen in June, shows the driver attempting to operate the bus despite the steering wheel becoming detached. The driver can be seen battling to manoeuvre the vehicle with the rickety wheel until it eventually falls off in his hands. “Luckily the bus had just finished driving round a corner before it came off. The driver then waved it to a fellow bus driver before telling the passengers to get off and wait for another bus - leaving us stranded in the middle of nowhere!” Hannah later wrote online.  According to local reports, the driver has been suspended by Malta Public Transport for unsafe conduct."



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










7 September, 2014

Very pretty



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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Australian Man drinks perfume to avoid arrest:  "A drunk man tried to trick police by drinking a bottle of perfume when he was pulled over for speeding, it is alleged.  Police intercepted the man on the Pacific Motorway about 6am on Saturday after he was detected speeding, and upon pulling him over noticed the strong smell of perfume and alcohol.  It is alleged the 30-year-old was more than five times over the legal alcohol limit, recording a reading of .293. According to police, he also consumed a bottle of perfume in a bid to evade detection, and was sent to hospital for treatment. The Woodridge man was charged with disobeying the speed limit and high-range drink driving.  He is due to appear at Holland Park Magistrates Courts on September 29.




Tiny dog:  "Out for walkies, tiny Tyson's little legs don't look like they'll get him too far.  But the energetic chihuahua and Ihasa cross's miniature frame could well put him in the running for the title of Britain's smallest dog.  The five-month-old pup weighs 13oz and stands 4in tall to the shoulder. His owner Rosemarie McLinden cannot find a collar to fit him - so took him for a walk on a ferret harness. 'He is so delicate he doesn't run around as much as other puppies but he still does like to give a chew toy a good bashing,' she said. Tyson was rejected by his siblings at birth and struggled to get his mother's attention, so Mrs McLinden, 46, of Keal, Lincolnshire, fed him by hand.
The mother-of-four said: 'We had to take him from the litter...they think of him as a squeaky toy.' 'He hasn't grown any taller although he's filled out,' Mrs McLinden said. 'When he's bathed he shrinks to nothing because he is all fur.'"




Deer run along Golden Gate Bridge:  "Why did the deer cross the bridge? To get to the other side.  Two deer surprised onlookers as they took a walk on San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge on Friday evening, holding up the evening’s peak hour traffic.  California Highway Patrol were called but were called off while en route because the deer were already off the bridge and on their way to their destination somewhere in Marin.




Man climbs into the crater of an active volcano:  "After scrambling 1200 feet down into the crater of Marum Volcano on Ambrym Island, Vanuatu, Mr Kourounis dons a protective heat suit and gets extremely close to the lava.  "It is one of only 5 places in the world with persistent lava lakes. Getting to it was kind of like a reverse climbing of Everest” he later wrote online. “The volcano fought back at us, and we had to deal with terrible weather, tremendous heat from the lava, descending and ascending 400 meters of near vertical, loose rock face, acid rain so strong that it could have come from a car battery, and a variety of other craziness. The lava melted part of one of my cameras, I got splashed by small chunks of glowing hot lava which melted a hole in my rain jacket, and my protective heat suit is now ruined from the intense acid rain."




Crocodile skin handbag encrusted with 245 diamonds has price tag of £125,000:  "Sharp elbows may be required when this handbag goes under the hammer - because it's the most desirable one in the world.  Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Victoria Beckham are all proud owners of iconic Hermès 'Birkin' bags, and the emergence of this unique version is sure to create a bidding war.  The plush accessory is made from crocodile skin with white gold clasps and studded with diamonds, and experts say it could smash the £125,000 world record for a handbag paid in 2011.  Experts say the bag, which is in pristine condition, is the most spectacular one ever made by the Parisian fashion house.  Kathleen Guzman, managing director at Heritage Auctions, which is selling the bag, said: 'A 30cm Diamond Himalayan Birkin is possibly the rarest and most desirable handbag in the world.  'This is the only time that a bag of this calibre has appeared on the luxury re-sale market. This is a dream piece for the collection of true Hermes aficionados.'"


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







6 September, 2014

Bishop Berkeley updated



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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Life began on Earth 60 MILLION years earlier than first thought, soil analysis reveals:  "The date when the Earth’s atmosphere became oxygen-rich and suitable for life – known as The Great Oxidation Event –  was thought to have occurred around 2.4 billion years ago.  But now geologists from Ireland and India have found evidence of an earlier short-lived oxidation event which took place 600 million years earlier.  And they say their other research suggests the first oxygen-producing lifeforms began flourishing on Earth 60 million years earlier than first believed.  They claim these lifeforms were responsible for adding oxygen to our atmosphere, which laid the foundations for more complex life to evolve.  Using the naturally occurring uranium-lead isotope decay system, which is used to determine the age of substances, geologists claim this took place at least 3.02 billion years ago."  There was no oxygen in the atmosphere for hundreds of millions of years after the Earth formed."




'Alien' mushroom creatures found in Australia:  "Aliens in the shape of unclassifiable mushroom-shaped creatures have been discovered in the ocean depths off Australia.  Two species of the strange organisms were found that could not be placed in any existing phyla, the large families of living things that include vertebrates and flowering plants. The animals, known as Dendrogramma, consist mainly of an outer skin and inner stomach separated by a dense layer of jelly-like material. Scientists suspect they are related to ancient extinct life forms that lived 600 million years ago and may have represented a failed early attempt at multicellular life."




Britain's smallest chapel is just 7ft wide - and it was found by chance when the owner was clearing away some rubble:  "The UK's smallest chapel is believed to have been found - purely by chance.  The seven-foot-wide and 10-foot-long building is believed to date back to the eighth or ninth century.  But Bill Devereux did not know he was the owner until he was painstakingly restoring Wilderness Millhouse in Gresford, near Wrexham, north Wales, which he bought 20 years ago. The 66-year-old was clearing rubble away from a bank when he was astonished to discover the ancient, tiny place of worship buried low down near the house in Gresford, near Wrexham, north Wales. And he believes it could even be the 'lost' St Leonard of Glyn Chapel, whose precise location has been a mystery to archaeologists for years. Mr Devereux said: 'It took a while to get people round here to see it, but [historic monuments body] Cadw have been to inspect it and said it is one of the best preserved chapels they have ever seen. They have made it a designated ancient monument.  The chapel had been buttressed in on either side, so the first I saw of it was the roof at floor level and thought it was a really strange structure."




World's fastest mobility scooter:  "The world’s fastest mobility scooter has smashed the current record with a top speed of almost 108mph at a race in the UK.  David Anderson and Matthew Hine from Anderson’s Body Shop in Ballasalla on the Isle of Man custom built the vehicle in an attempt to break the top speed of 82mph.  Mr Hine was strapped into the seat as he raced around the track at the Pokerstars Drag and Drift at Jurby Motordrome on the island on Saturday.  Mr Hine, who built the scooter from scratch with his colleague, said: ‘It’s a 600 Bandit, slightly modified, split exhausts, tweaked carburetors shoehorned into a mobility scooter.  Mr Anderson, who carried out the body work, said: ‘The body work is all aluminium and everything works on it as well such as the lights, indicators, brake lights – even the horn works.’




Tardy security barriers kill a man: "A security guard died when his car was hit by a train at a level crossing just days before his retirement, an inquest heard yesterday.  Dennis France, 65, who had not been late for work in 20 years, waited a couple of minutes at the crossing after the barrier stayed down for longer than usual, before deciding to drive around it.  But a train travelling at 100mph struck his car, killing him instantly and pushing his red Peugeot down the line for almost a mile.  Mr France, who was two days away from his retirement party, was declared dead at the scene. The Rail Accident Investigation Branch told the hearing that Mr France, from Curload, near Stoke St Gregory, Somerset, may have believed the crossing at Athelney had failed after engineering work had affected the timing sequence.  It was estimated the barrier, which consisted of a single pole across half the road on either side, stayed down for a maximum of 103 seconds before the train’s arrival, longer than the usual 29 seconds.



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






5 September, 2014

Punishment indeed

According to the London Daily Telegraph;  "Two American innocents have been cleared of rape and murder after 30 years in Britain"

See here

I didn't think Britain was quite that bad.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Japan's first ever roundabouts confuse drivers:  "Drivers across Japan have been left confused at the introduction of roundabouts, a previously unheard of concept in a nation wedded to the idea of traffic lights at junctions. A pilot project that opened in northern Japan in February 2013 proved sufficiently encouraging for the transport ministry to reconfigure 15 junctions in seven cities, with the roundabouts going into operation on Monday. The new road designs left drivers and pedestrians scratching their heads, however, with one driver in the city of Suzuka asking a local TV crew, "I'm confused about how many times I have to stop. Is it just once?" A pedestrian added that traffic lights were better "since I know when to stop and when to go". Undeterred at the confusion, the transport ministry is pushing ahead with the scheme to transform more junctions into roundabouts, with a further 34 to be introduced before the end of the year. Advocates of roundabouts over junctions regulated by lights say that as well as contributing to fewer traffic accidents, roundabouts do not come to a standstill in the event of a power blackout."




'Argentina loses squid war with Falklands': "The Falkland Islands Fisheries Department has reported the largest annual catch of squid since records began. The record catch, which is worth more than £45m, will be a major boost to the island economy. But it is also likely to come as a blow to the Argentinian authorities. They had reportedly started a "squid war" against the Falklands two years ago, telling their fishermen in the south Atlantic to target catches of the local Illex squid before the squid reached the waters around the British territory.  "Despite initial concern that the cold conditions would adversely affect the catch, catches of Illex have exceeded 270,000 tonnes, which is the highest since the fishery began in 1987," said Colin Roberts, HM Governor of the Falkland Islands."




Robot birds:  "Called ‘Robirds’ the flying remote-controlled falcons and eagles can be used to make other birds leave an area, possibly for good if they think they are in the stomping ground of a predator. The Robirds project is being developed by Clear Flight Solutions in The Netherlands.  They actually have two Robirds in development; the smaller Falcon and the larger Eagle, for small and big birds respectively.  Both mimic their real-life counterparts to fool regular birds into thinking they are true birds of prey. To stay in the air the Robirds flap their wings just like regular birds.  While they are remote-controlled for now, the team hope to eventually make them autonomous.  The birds are 3D printed using glass fibre and nylon composite material, which is strong enough that they can be crashed into the ground without breaking. The Robird version of the Peregrine is just as intimidating to birds as the real deal. After a couple of flights, the bird population understands that they are living in a dangerous hunting territory, and will take their business elsewhere."
  



Transparent animals that rely on their invisibility to protect them from predators:  "From fish to frogs, many of the world’s most intriguing animals have transparent skin.  While scientists are not entirely sure how the animals evolved, it is thought that transparent skin helps the creatures blend in with their habitat.  The development of invisible skin gives these animals, which are often prey, an advantage because they are able to escape a predator's gaze.  Almost all ocean animals without teeth, toxins or the ability to speed away from predators have some degree of invisibility, said Sönke Johnsen, a scientist and writer for Scientific American.  Many see-through creatures rely exclusively on their invisibility to keep them safe and the amount of light that is able to pass through their bodies ranges from between 20 per cent and 90 per cent. Fleischmann's Glass Frog is native to the cloud forests of Central and South America. It has vivid green translucent skin and the majority of its vital organs are clearly visible."




Teenager dangles a piece of rope and a hotdog into a SEWER... and emerges with a giant fish:  "Most people would feel queasy at the thought of fishing in a sewer but 15 year-old Kyle Naegeli, who lives in the Houston area of Katy is a big advocate of the unusual fishing technique.  Although this practice is unhygienic at best the sewer in question is a storm sewer and therefore it does not contain human waste material.  Instead the storm sewer, which is just 40 feet from Mr Naegeli's house, collects everything and anything that runs off the street such as torrential rain, motor oil and dog mess....  When the young man returns he looks surprised as he feels the weight on the end of his line. He looks downwards and lifts up the rope to discover a large mudcat fish on the end of the line.  The student told odditycentral.com he has previously caught bass, catfish and bluegill in the same sewer. However the teen adds that he never eats the fish. 'It's catch and release - I don't eat anything out of there. Most of the fish are just mudcats and stuff you're not really supposed to eat, anyways.'



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







4 September, 2014

Update from the White House

Update on Pensions, Healthcare, and Benefits
 
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(Arabic writing not rendered by this site)

If I Hear Anything Else, I'll Let You Know.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Fast food fan immediately regrets complaining to Domino's about pizza without toppings: "If you are going to make a complaint about something, it is always best to make sure it is a valid one.  A Domino’s pizza customer was left hungry and annoyed when his fast food dinner apparently arrived without any toppings. Dre, a 19-year-old from north London, was quick to get in touch with the pizza company on Twitter to complain. After receiving an apology over the lack of toppings, the teenager tweeted back revealing he had actually opened up the pizza upside down. Amused Twitter users picked up on the hilarious exchange, with the messages being shared retweeted by thousands on the site." ["Dre" sounds like an African name]




Photographer captures animals in human scenarios looking oh so natural: "From working out with weights to catching a few rays or reading the newspaper over dinner - these animals certainly seem to have learnt a thing or two from their owners. Russian photographer Svetlana Valyiskaya posed up the common pets in everyday situations to create this series of cute images.  Ms Valyiskaya, 27, from St Petersburg, first started taking pictures of animals following a long day at the office.  She said: 'I had just bought my first camera and so I decided to practice on my cat Vasilisa, she was my first photo model.  'I love to devise and make costumes, dresses, hats, shirts and jackets. They might not keep them on very long so you have to be quick to get the picture.  'I have many ideas that I want to bring to life but to get the animals to pose for pictures is difficult, each animal has an exclusive nature and temper."




Firefighters rescue couple after hornets nest fell through ceiling: "A couple were forced to escape through their bedroom window after a nest of giant hornets crashed through their ceiling. The householders barricaded themselves behind a makeshift shelter as the angry swarm of yellow-and-black striped hornets invaded their home. Firefighters who went to their rescue said a large nest containing more than one hundred hornets had crashed through the ceiling.  "The weight of the nest in the attic caused it to crash through the ceiling into the hallway of the house in Maidenhead," said a Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman.  "Scores of hornets were released into the house and the couple locked themselves in their bedroom and called the fire service. The Slough crew arrived at around 11.30pm and helped the pair escape down a ladder from the bedroom window.  "A pest control company was due to visit the home today, and the couple are staying with friends. The weight of the nest brought it through the property's second-floor ceiling, filling the upstairs with angry hornets and trapping the pair in their bedroom. Firefighters used a ladder to rescue the couple from their room."




Super yacht worth up to £47m launches in Norway: "A New Zealand billionaire launched a super yacht worth as much as £47m in Norway.  The 107 metre long Expedition Support Vessel, designed by Marin Teknikk, is called Ulysses and has been built for long expeditions in rough waters.  Ulysses boasts a helicopter deck, hangar, swimming pool, hot tub and accommodation for 60 people.  Yacht owners Robyn and Graeme Hart were at the launch. The married couple share an estimated $7bn (approximately £4.2bn) fortune and Graeme is considered to be New Zealand's richest man."




The women who say it's not feminine to eat in front of your man:  "By day, Abi Steel is a sharp-suited queen of the boardroom whose tenacity and talent have brought her enviable success as an international educational consultant.  But at home, the 32-year-old mother is the epitome of an old-fashioned wife, ensuring the house runs like clockwork. Still, there's one daily ritual she adamantly refuses to take part in - eating with her husband, Tristan.  'I've made a very calculated decision to limit the times we sit and eat together. It's just so unappealing,' she says. 'I want my husband always to find me attractive, and munching away in front of him is the last thing he needs to see.'  Instead, Abi, from Newbury, Berkshire, dines with their four children: Lewis, 12, Alliyah, 11, Verity, eight, and Jessica, six. Abi, a slender size 10, says her attitude towards food had been set long before she met Tristan. The daughter of a teacher and a policeman, she had it drummed into her from an early age that her attractiveness was inextricably linked to what and how she ate."



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






3 September, 2014

A great university commencement address

Warning:  Some Christianity ahead



(www.youtube.com/embed/6OiRlGAONIM)

Speech delivered at Abilene Christian university, Texas

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

The Australian man who woke from a coma speaking fluent CHINESE (but couldn't remember English):  "Two years ago Ben McMahon woke up from a coma more than a week after a horrific car crash that almost claimed his life only being able to speak Mandarin. The 22-year-old remembers how he woke up and saw a nurse who looked Asian standing by his bed and said to her 'Excuse me nurse, I feel really sore here' in Chinese.  His new-found language skills baffled his doctors as well as his parents.  'Neither of us can speak Mandarin.  Despite taking Mandarin at school, Ben had never been fluent at the language.  'I wasn’t consciously thinking I was speaking Mandarin, it was what just came out and it was what was most natural to me,' he said.  It took Ben two or three more days to recall how to speak English.  Since then, Ben's language skills have open new opportunities to him like leading Chinese tours of his hometown and hosting a Mandarin television program.  Now the Melbourne man has moved to Shanghai to study commerce at university."




Toxic tattoo:  "A boy of three went into toxic shock after a holiday henna tattoo left him struggling to breathe in a hospital burns unit.  Ellis Burke's arm started reacting to the black henna Spiderman tattoo almost immediately after having it done while in Marbella, Spain.  Days later back in Oldham, Greater Manchester, he began struggling to breathe, had a high temperature and started vomiting so his worried parents called an ambulance. He was taken to the Royal Oldham Hospital and later discharged.  But the next day when he was no better his mum took him to the Oldham Integrated Care Centre where they diagnosed severe toxic shock and immediately sent him to the children's burns unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary.  Ellis was forced to spend the night there while they stabilised his condition and cleaned up his wounds.  His mother Shabana Murray says Ellis has had a terrible ordeal and she warned against anyone having the black henna tattoo"




Chinese school builds 200m running track their ROOF:  "When it comes to physical education at this school in China, pole vaulting is strictly forbidden.  Long jump and the hurdles are probably frowned upon, too.  Students are encouraged to keep their feet firmly on the ground, because they keep fit four-storeys up – on the roof.  The elementary school in Tiantai, Zhejiang province, boasts a 200m running track on its roof, built because of a lack of construction land on the campus. The track meets the needs of 1,600 students for physical education, Qiu Tianguo, the head of the school said.  To keep the students safe there are three protective layers. On the outside is a 1.8metre-tall (six-foot) glass wall, in the middle a green belt and closest to the track is a 1.2 metre (four-foot) steel rail, according to Ecns.cn.




Fleet of robots now provide food for 1,000 patients at £430m super hospital: "Robots which can open doors and operate lifts without any help from humans are being used to deliver food to almost 1,000 patients around a new £430m hospital. Southmead Hospital in Bristol has brought in a the fleet of Automatic Guided Vehicles to pick up food and deliver them to patients.  The droids, which start work every day at 10.15am, are even able to do the preparation work, by transferring chilled dishes to kitchens and heating up the food.  After completing their rounds, the 1ft tall machines return to their charging stations until they need to be used again for dinner.  Catering manager Gary Wilkins said it was as simple as pressing a button and the machines did the rest. He said: 'They (the robots) are very slick and very quick. At first you are a bit worried about whether it is all going to work, but they are amazing.'"




Mongoose takes on FOUR lions... and wins: "They are known as being among the most dangerous predators in the world, but these four lions were left with their tails between their legs after they were brought down a peg or two by a brave mongoose.  Despite being much smaller than its four challengers, the aggressive mongoose growled at the big cats and even bit one of them on the nose.  Photographer Jerome Guillaumot came across the scene in the Masaa Mara National Park, in Kenya, after spotting the four young lions surrounding the terrified marsh mongoose.  It soon became apparent however that the carnivore, while being less than 2ft tall, could handle itself as it avoided each attack by dodging and growling at the lions.  The mongoose finally managed to escape from the predators into a nearby hole, but remarkably re-emerged to re-engage the confused cats.  After bewildering the lions further, the mongoose made its final escape into a covered area unscathed and the predators were left to lick their wounds.



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





2 September, 2014

Young Larry

A new teacher was trying to make use of her psychology courses. She started her class by saying, “Everyone who thinks they’re stupid, stand up!” After a few seconds, Little Larry stood up. The teacher said, “Do you think you’re stupid, Larry?” “No, ma’am, but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself!”

Larry watched, fascinated, as his mother smoothed cold cream on her face. “Why do you do that, mommy?” he asked. “To make myself beautiful,” said his mother, who then began removing the cream with a tissue.. “What’s the matter”, asked Larry “Giving up?”

The math teacher saw that Larry wasn’t paying attention in class. She called on him and said, “Larry! What are 2 and 4 and 28 and 44?” Larry quickly replied, “NBC, FOX, ESPN and the Cartoon Network!”

Larry’s kindergarten class was on a field trip to their local police station where they saw pictures tacked to a bulletin board of the 10 most wanted criminals. One of the youngsters pointed to a picture and asked if it really was the photo of a wanted person. “Yes” said the policeman. “The detectives want very badly to capture him.” Larry asked, “Why didn’t you keep him when you took his picture?”

Little Larry attended a horse auction with his father. He watched as his father moved from horse to horse, running his hands up and down the horse’s legs and rump, and chest. After a few minutes, Larry asked, “Dad, why are you doing that?” His father replied, “Because when I’m buying horses, I have to make sure that they are healthy and in good shape before I buy.” Larry, looking worried, said, “Dad, I think the Milkman wants to buy Mom ……..”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Japan prepares for toilet paper shortage: “Japan’s government has urged people to stock up on toilet paper, saying that more than 40 percent of the nation’s supply comes from a high-risk earthquake zone. The Trade and Industry Ministry promoted speciality toilet paper for emergency use as part of events marking national disaster prevention day on Monday. Government and industry officials said 41 percent of the country’s toilet paper supply comes from Shizuoka, central Japan, one of Japan’s most earthquake-prone areas. Toshiyuki Hashimoto, an industry ministry official in charge of paper products, warned of a nationwide toilet paper shortage crisis for about a month if the area is hit by an imminent mega-quake in Tokai, a lesson learned from the deadly March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese take part in an annual safety drill every September 1 – the anniversary of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake in Tokyo that killed more than 140,000 people.”

Classic car that was first to hit 100mph set to fetch nearly £200,000 in auction : “A rare car that was the first to top 100mph in the UK and bought second-hand for just £115 is now expected to sell for up to £180,000 at auction. There are only around 30 of the early sidevalve 30-98s known to have survived and the car is one of only two with its type of coachwork, made by Grosvenor Carriage Co.Ltd, of Kilburn, London. Mr Ferguson’s 30-98 is now set to fetch between £150,000 and £180,000 at a Bonhams auction at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire, on September 6. The Vauxhall 30-98, one of the greatest sports cars of the twentieth century was the first in the UK to top 100mph in production form. Fitted with a 4,525cc side-valve four-cylinder engine, producing 90bhp, this Vauxhall was made in two basic types, E-type and the more powerful OE-type, built between 1923 and 1927.”

Radioactive wild boar roaming the forests of Germany: “Twenty-eight years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, its effects are still being felt as far away as Germany – in the form of radioactive wild boars. Wild boars still roam the forests of Germany, where they are hunted for their meat, which is sold as a delicacy. But in recent tests by the state government of Saxony, more than one in three boars were found to give off such high levels of radiation that they are unfit for human consumption. They are believed to be a legacy of the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986, when a reactor at a nuclear power plant in then Soviet-ruled Ukraine exploded, releasing a massive quantity of radioactive particles into the atmosphere. Even though Saxony lies some 700 miles from Chernobyl, wind and rain carried the radioactivity across western Europe, and soil contamination was found even further away, in France. Wild boar are thought to be particularly affected because they root through the soil for food, and feed on mushrooms and underground truffles that store radiation.”

Hero cat saves family from fire: “A family have thanked their pet cat after escaping from a house blaze with just seconds to spare. Caroline Noble, 30, her husband, Adi, 29, and their three children had been fast asleep when their fridge freezer burst into flames. The blaze tore through their home but their fire alarm failed to go off – despite being tested just two weeks before. It wasn’t until their seven-year-old Bengal cat Simba started to repeatedly meow that Mrs Noble woke up to find smoke billowing through her home. The full-time mother was able to gather her family and flee the property – just seconds before it was gutted by the flames. The mother-of-three, from Sudbury, Suffolk, said: ‘We owe our lives to our cat. It was just before 6am and we were all in bed. ‘When he woke me I couldn’t see anything because there was so much smoke. I don’t think we would have survived.

Odd way to sell a house: “When this one-bedroom property in Ipswich was first listed online, estate agents accidentally included a picture of a pig snoozing in the living room. In another image of the detached home, which is on the market for £120,000, a cat can be seen perched on the oven. The pig, which belongs to the house’s current owner, is pictured resting on a thread-bare rug near a TV in the open plan lounge area in the Ipswich property. The pig, which belongs to the house’s current owner, can be seen resting with its head on the sofa next to a filing cabinet and makeshift washing line. When the photo first appeared online, people took to Twitter to speculate whether the animal was included in the asking price. The property, on Britannia Road, also boasts a bathroom, entrance hall, separate toilet and loft bedroom. The photo of the pig, which was posted on Rightmove, was later removed by estate agents Connells, who listed the property.”



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





1 September, 2014

Seniors: Hints on how to liven up your idle hours

1. At Lunch Time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. Watch ‘em Slow Down..

2. On all your check stubs, write ‘For Marijuana.

3. Skip down the street, rather than walk and see how many looks you get.

4. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.

5. Sing along at the Opera.

6. When The Money Comes Out of the ATM, scream ‘I Won! I Won!’

7. When Leaving the Zoo, Start Running towards the Car Park, Yelling ‘Run For Your Lives! They’re Loose!’

8. Tell your Children over dinner, ‘Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go.’

And the final way to keep a healthy level of insanity:

9. Pick up a box of condoms at the pharmacy, go to the counter and ask where the fitting room is.

..

..

THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Lioness wants a cuddle: “When faced with a lioness clawing at its flimsy cage, most of us would do a runner. But Valentin Gruener calmly approaches the cage – and lets the beast run wild. As he begins to unlock the door, Sirga starts pacing up and down and as soon he opens the enclosure, the big cat springs out and pounces on him. Fortunately, she’s just after a big hug and Mr Gruener greets the lioness with a pleasant ‘good morning’ before rubbing noses with it. Traveller John Hawkins shot the video at Modisa Wildlife Project near Maun, Botswana. He said: ‘Val is a wildlife conservationist that raised Sirga the lioness almost from birth.”

Willy Wonka chapter that was missing for 50 years reveals grisly end of greedy boys: “A lost chapter of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is to be revealed today – 50 years after Roald Dahl’s most famous book was published. In the missing section from the 1961 draft, mysterious confectioner Willy Wonka took children who won a tour of his factory to the Vanilla Fudge Room – only for the passage to be cut from the published version. But the unused chapter, which introduces two extra naughty characters – Tommy Troutbeck and Wilbur Rice – was found among Dahl’s papers after his death at 74 in 1990. The draft section tells how penniless but kind-hearted Charlie Bucket – who in this version is accompanied to the factory by his mother rather than Grandpa Joe – visit Vanilla Fudge Mountain with the other children. But Tommy and Wilbur ignore Wonka’s warnings and jump on the wagons which enter a tunnel that leads to the Pounding and Cutting Room where the fudge is pounded by a huge machine and cut with knives. Unsurprisingly, nothing more is heard of the two boys.”

Ultra-Orthodox Jews who moved from Canada to Guatemala are forced to leave because the locals don’t like them: “A community of Orthodox Jews have been expelled from their homes in a bitter conflict with hostile villagers. Just a few months after fleeing from Canada amid allegations of child abuse, members of the Lev Tahor community were forced to leave San Juan La Laguna in Guatemala yesterday. The village Elder’s Council voted to kick them out because the group refused to greet or have physical contact with the community, according to a member of the council. Lev Tahor is a radical strain of Hassidic Judaism that believes television and computers are bad and must be avoided. The group rejects the state of Israel because it views the Jews as a people who must remain in exile. Verbal abuse, threats to cut off power and eject them by force were the last straw for the Jews, some of whom have been there for six years. Around 230 members of the Jewish community were living in the lakeside village, the majority moving over from Canada in March this year.

Map of blue-eyed Britain: It is most common in Ireland and Scotland, but least likely in the south: “Blue is the most common eye colour in Britain, researchers found. All eyes in the country were once brown, but a study revealed they are now 48 per cent blue, 30 per cent green and 22 per cent brown. The study, which mapped out eye colour across the UK and Ireland, revealed that the Scots and the Irish are more likely to have blue eyes than others – especially those living in the south. Scientists believe the reason for the increase in the number of blue eyes could be to do with how attractive people find them. South East Scotland reported the highest proportion of blue-eyed residents – 57 per cent – while blue eyes are least common in South West England, where they account for just 35 per cent. Blue-eyed Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet and Paul Newman all support the theory that blue eyes add to a person’s sexual appeal.”

These gruesome ‘alien invaders’ are the bacteria lurking in the plaque on your TEETH: “They may look like rare plants, or perhaps the surface of a far off planet but these gruesome ‘alien invaders’ are in fact the plaque that coats your teeth, providing a stark reminder of the consequences of poor dental hygiene. Enough to make anyone book an appointment to see a dentist, these scanning electron microscope (SEM) images show extreme close ups of plaque, incisors and decay, revealing the effects of bacteria lurking in the mouth. The set includes shots of the pink surface of dental plaque and a blue carpet of bacteria on a yellow tooth, while other images include plaque nestled among the bristles of a used toothbrush. The pictures were taken with a microscope that scans a sample with a focused beam of electrons, and the images are then coloured either digitally or by hand to distinguish the decay and plaque and illuminate the miniscule particles that are not visible to the human eye”



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



July, 2014 and earlier postings from this site now archived HERE or here or here


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