Saturday, April 18, 2015

It's the weekend

Dog wants attention

Lexi expresses exasperation that no one will play with her.

YouTube link.

Man fired gun after becoming upset with neighbour requesting air for his bicycle tyres

A Florida man is being held with no bond after firing his gun outside his home, police said.

Police were called to Delray Beach shortly after 7pm on Sunday on reports of shots fired. Tom Condra told police that he went to his neighbour's house to ask him to put air in his bicycle tires, as he did a month previously.

Condra said he knocked on Stephen Gianuzzi's door, but no one answered. Condra said that as he was walking away, Gianuzzi opened the door and said, "I will blow your head off." Condra said Gianuzzi fired the gun once into the ground and then pointed the gun at him.

YouTube link.

Condra said he got onto his bike and went to the home of a neighbour, who is also a deputy. Police officers were able to get Gianuzzi to come out of his home. They said he appeared to be intoxicated. Investigators said that Gianuzzi asked them, "Guys, what's the big deal? I shot wide to the left of him."

Man arrested for riding a horse while drunk

A man from Betsy Layne, (population 688), in Floyd County, Kentucky, has been arrested on a litany of charges after police say he was found under the influence while riding a horse. Kentucky State Police responded to a call on Monday evening about an intoxicated horse rider on US 23. When they arrived, they found Michael Kimmel, 40, of Betsy Layne, matching the description.

The arrest report, filed by Trooper J. Gabbard, says he was ordered to stop, but instead he ran down an embankment, fleeing on foot, wearing only a brown hat, jeans, and boots. During the search for the suspect, police say the found his clothing on the back porch of his own house. Later, Kimmel was found by Trooper Goodsell, again on horseback. Officers say he resisted arrest, saying “I didn’t do [expletive], just riding my horse.”

The report says Kimmel would not submit to a field sobriety test, and later refused a breath test and blood alcohol test as well, though troopers took note of his slurred speech and the smell of alcohol, adding that he was unsteady on his feet. “Subject made threats to ‘[expletive] [expletive] up driving drunk in a car next time and he would give me something to worry about,’” the arrest citation quotes Kimmel as saying.

In their first attempt to lodge Kimmel at the Floyd County Detention Center, he was instead deferred to Highlands Regional Medical Center, after he claimed to have taken 15-20 Xanax, smoked meth, and used cocaine. While he was cleared by physicians at HRMC, troopers escorting him note him as saying “You cops are [expletive] when someone is not wearing handcuffs, and if I didn’t have these cuffs on I would kick your [expletive].” Troopers were then able to house Kimmel at the Floyd County Detention Center on charges of operating a non-motor vehicle under the influence, first-degree fleeing or evading police, menacing, third-degree terroristic threatening, resisting arrest, and third-degree criminal mischief.

Woman removed from flight after poking seatmate with pen for his alleged snoring

A female flier was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight on Thursday after allegedly jabbing another passenger in the arm with a pen. The passenger "was removed from the flight for poking her seatmate with a pen to stop him from snoring," Southwest said in a statement. But it's unclear whether snoring was the root cause of the incident. Michael Sutton said his friend, Lenny Mordarski, was asleep as Flight 577 was taxiing down the runway at Chicago's Midway International Airport en route to Manchester, New Hampshire, when a woman got agitated and stuck him in the arm with a pen.

"I was right beside him the whole time. Didn't hear snoring," Sutton said. "I guess his arm kind of brushed over to her. And she just went nuts and started stabbing (him) with (her) pen," Sutton added. "He screamed really loud, almost like a little girl." Mordarski said he yelled out to get flight attendants' attention after feeling pain in his arm. "Imagine being asleep and then being stung by bees," he said, "and then waking up and going, owwww." The woman smirked afterward, Mordarski said, but remained silent. "All I wanted to do," he said, "was not (to) be sitting next to her."

Sutton and Mordarski were connecting through Chicago on their way back from a multimedia convention in Las Vegas. The pilot returned the aircraft to the gate, where the woman was removed from the flight. "We were escorted off, they questioned us, and they took her away," Sutton said. The flight, which was already delayed, took off for Manchester after the woman was removed. It arrived in New Hampshire nearly two hours late. "The passenger in question will be accommodated on a later flight," a Southwest spokeswoman said.

YouTube link.

"No injuries were reported." No serious injuries, anyway. "Luckily he wore a thick long sleeve shirt or there would have been blood," Sutton said. "He will have a few bruises in the morning." By Thursday evening, Mordarski was smiling about the ordeal. He said it was unfortunate that it happened, but praised the airline for how the incident was handled. Sutton said Southwest treated them to free gin and tonics, and passengers cheered when they learned the woman wasn't coming back to the flight. "Everyone on the plane was happy afterward," Sutton said. "They were glad to get rid of her."

Men stabbed each other with broken beer bottles during debate about which is best phone

Two men have been hospitalised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after an alcohol-fuelled argument over whether iPhones are better than Android phones.

Police say a woman found a man covered in blood, stumbling around the parking lot of the Evergreen Apartments at around 1am on Friday.

When police arrived at the apartment complex, they learned that the roommates had been drinking and arguing over their mobile phones. Police say the two men broke beer bottles and stabbed each other with them.

One of the men smashed a bottle over the back of the other man's head. Police aren't sure who they will charge or if charges will be filed at this time. Both men are being treated at hospital for their injuries.

Elusive 'Tree Ninja' caught attempting to chop down tree with a hammer

After years of terrorising plant life in the Brighton neighbourhood of Boston, the so-called "Tree Ninja" has been apprehended. Boston Police observed a man "damaging a tree with a hammer."

For several years, someone has been engaged in periodic botanical brutality, killing or damaging young trees that were planted in Brighton. Flyers posted in the neighbourhood have warned residents about the “master of evasion”.

“The tree killer has now moved on to damaging and destroying flowering shrubs and bushes. YOURS COULD BE NEXT,” the poster reads. Over the past few weeks, detectives have been gathering video evidence. They set up surveillance in the area of the Brighton Elks Club to try and catch the culprit.

On Wednesday, police say 65-year-old Joseph Rizza showed up and began attacking a tree. As detectives approached him, they say Rizza tried to hide a hammer he’d been using, but it was too late. Rizza has been charged with five counts of willful and malicious destruction of property.

Raccoon climbed 200 metres up crane before going back down again

A fearless raccoon climbed more than 200 metres (700 feet) up a tower crane in Toronto, Canada. Rob MacFarlane spotted the raccoon clutching a ladder, looking a little apprehensive, with his eyes wide open.

MacFarlane said that it then went back down. The raccoon had made the 213-metre climb overnight and was waiting for MacFarlane when he arrived at work.

When he got close, the raccoon stared at him blankly and hissed a bit. Seemingly annoyed by MacFarlane’s presence, it then confidently made its descent to the ground.

This was not the first time MacFarlane has encountered a raccoon so high off the ground. Face-to-face, this was the second incident, but he has seen “evidence” multiple times before. “It’s not unusual,” he said. “Raccoons seem to like cranes.”

Unfortunate beaver crushed by tree it was felling

A beaver in Norway has been crushed to death after misjudging which way the tree it was gnawing down was going to fall. Beate Strøm Johansen, a Zoologist at the Agder Natural History museum in Kristiansand on the southern tip of Norway, was called to the scene after a local logger stumbled upon the animal.

“This beaver has been extremely unlucky,” she said. “I hope it’s not something that happens very often for the beavers' sake.” Johansen said that beavers normally have an uncanny ability to predict when and where a tree is likely to fall. “When the tree is falling they have to jump aside so the tree doesn’t hit them.

"Instinctively, they should know where it is falling, but sometimes they don’t know which way to jump,” she explained. “Sometimes there’s a strong wind and the tree doesn’t fall where the beaver thinks it's going to fall.” Leif Hægeland, the logger who found the beaver said he had never seen a beaver caught out like this in his 25 years in working as a woodsman.

“I have seen many beavers, but I have never seen such a thing,” he said. Beavers sometimes fell trees to provide logs to dam the rivers where they live, and sometimes for tree bark and cambium tissue to eat. In 2014, another beaver was found starved to death in southern Norway, after its tail was trapped under a fallen tree.

Hippopotamus spotted in London pond was probably remote controlled

A hippopotamus has been spotted swimming through the boating pond at Bushy Park in Richmond, south west London.

The hippo, typically native to sub-Saharan Africa, raised a few eyebrows as it appeared in the pond last Sunday.

A Royal Parks spokesman said no one had raised the alarm.

He said: "We are unaware of specifically what it is other than we’ve had no reports of a hippo in the park ... it’s probably remote controlled."

Friday, April 17, 2015

Smile for the camera

A day in the life of a bored cat

Some much time, so little to do.

YouTube link.

Brian the Lar Gibbon seen impersonating person running naked from the shower without a towel

Fifty-year-old Brian, who lives at The Lake District Wildlife Park, is thought to be the oldest Lar Gibbon in Europe.

He joined the park in 2000 and likes to spend his time swinging through the trees, sunbathing and impersonating someone running naked from the shower without a towel.

YouTube link. Facebook video.

Naked man claiming to be God and Thor had sex with tree before attacking police officer

A Florida man believed to be high on flakka, a drug that authorities say is sweeping the state, attacked a Brevard police officer after twice being shocked with a Taser while repeatedly saying he was God, according to officials. Kenneth Crowder, 41, of Melbourne, was arrested on Friday on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting with violence and assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer.

According to a Melbourne police report, Crowder was spotted by witnesses running naked through a Melbourne neighbourhood, yelling that he was a god before committing a sexual act on a tree. A Melbourne police officer went to the area and confronted Crowder, who was wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt, officials said. Crowder walked toward the officer in an aggressive manner and identified himself as God, according to police. The officer used a Taser on Crowder, but he pulled the probes out of his body and continued to fight, police said.

Crowder was shocked a second time, but he again pulled out the probes and went at the officer with clenched fists, according to police. The officer punched Crowder in the face and a scrum ensued, with Crowder saying that he was Thor and trying to stab the officer with the officer's badge, police said. Other officers arrived and helped subdue Crowder, who was handcuffed and shackled, police said. Flakka is the a variation of synthetic substances known as bath salts and delivers a cheap, powerful high while acting as an amphetamine, according to officials.

The drug can be snorted, smoked or taken by mouth and can cause violent behaviour, officials said. "We have spoken to some medical professionals here and they are starting to see an increase in its use (in Brevard County)," Melbourne police spokesman Dan Lynch said. "It's already in South Florida, and we think it's coming here." Crowder was booked into the Brevard County Jail Complex. He later posted bond and was released.

With news video.

Cham Payne jailed over wild drunken rampage

A man from West Albury in New South Wales, Australia, involved in a wild drunken rampage earlier this year was sentenced to a 14-month jail term on Tuesday. Magistrate Tony Murray imposed a minimum term of seven months backdated to January 8 when Cham Payne, 18, appeared in Albury Local Court for sentencing on charges of affray, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence.

“This is a bad example of these type of matters,” Mr Murray said. Solicitor Kate Bleasel represented Payne and said it was a tumultuous evening, with Payne involved in quite serious offending. The court was told in tendered police documents there were several minor incidents between two Aboriginal families on the evening of January 7 involving an assault and bottles being thrown through a window. A fight broke out at about 12.45am on January 8 with about 10 people in the front yard of a home.

It continued inside the house and two people received serious injuries with knives, wooden weapons, bottles and a carving fork used. Police attempted to separate the intoxicated participants, including Payne. He had no shirt on, was yelling threats to others, and eventually walked off. He was carrying a back pack with stubbies of heavy beer inside it when he was abused by one of the residents in the street. Payne took out a stubby and struck the man to the side of the head, causing the glass to break.

The blow had no real effect so Payne took out another stubby, hit the victim again to the head and knocked him unconscious. A number of people started chasing Payne down the street, but he obtained a large knife from an unknown source. Police were trying to control the pursuing group when Payne came back with the knife. One officer drew his pistol, demanded Payne drop the knife and another officer prepared to hit him with a baton. Payne dropped the knife and was arrested. Mr Murray said thankfully for everyone Payne had dropped the knife.

There's an audio report about an earlier court appearance by Cham Payne on this page

Missing puppy found on neighbour's roof

A man's frantic search for his lost puppy ended a little closer to home after she was found sitting on the neighbour's roof. Matt Grant from Nelson, New Zealand, had been searching far and wide for Polly, a six-month-old Jack Russell, who had gone missing earlier on Monday. Polly, who was a Christmas present for his father, was noticed missing by someone who lived in the house, sparking a desperate 90-minute search.

"We go out driving around the neighbourhood, knocking on a few doors and whistling around and then I came back and got to the point where I'm like 'I'm going to have to call the pound' or something because either she's been snatched or she's just gone complete walkabout," he said. He'd gone to a quiet place upstairs to call the SPCA when he looked out the window and saw something he didn't expect. Polly was sitting nonchalantly in a triangular patch of shade on the neighbouring roof.

"She doesn't usually go out and about like that so it was a bit worrying," he said. But his mood suddenly changed once he spotted her and the worry turned into laughter. "When I saw her she was just sitting there looking like a right dickhead," he said. Mr Grant believes Polly would have had to get inside the neighbour's house and through a window to get to the roof but hasn't figured out how. "I don't know how they hell she got into the house. I can't find a cat door or anything so I've got no clue."

He didn't know if the neighbours were home at the time, but thinks Polly could have snuck in the door as the neighbours left. Mr Grant stood on the fence between the properties and "just reached up" to get Polly, who didn't take much coaxing to come back down to earth. "I think she was pretty happy to get back down. She looked nervous because I don't think she likes the heights – she's just a small little girl – but once she was in our arms she was fine." To prevent further escapades, Mr Grant will be checking the fenced in property for a hole where Polly might have got out. But it doesn't mean he'll necessarily be keeping a closer eye on where Polly gets to. "I like her adventurous nature."

Earthworms rain from the sky over Norway

Earthworms have been raining down over large areas of southern Norway, leaving biologists and meteorologists scratching their heads. Biology teacher Karstein Erstad was out for a ski in the mountains outside Bergen on Sunday when he came across the unusual phenomenon. “I saw thousands of earthworms on the surface of the snow,” he said.

“When I found them on the snow they seemed to be dead, but when I put them in my hand I found that they were alive.” At first he thought that they had perhaps crawled though the snow from the ground beneath, but on reflection, he rejected this idea. “In many places, the snow thickness was between half a metre and a metre and I think they would have problems crawling through the cold snow.”

Since Erstad’s discovery reports have flooded in from across southern Norway, with sightings of worm rainfall in Lindås and Suldal near Bergen, and as far away as Femunden on the Swedish border. “People have now observed the same phenomenon in many places in Norway,” Erstad said. “It’s very peculiar, I don’t know why so many people have discovered it.

“I don’t know if there have been some special weather conditions lately.” Erstad has found reports of the worm rainfall phenomenon taking place in Sweden in the 1920s. It is though that the worms are lifted by the wind before falling with the rain. “It’s a very rare phenomenon,” he said. “It’s difficult to say how many times it happens, but it has only been reported a very few times.”

Irish tractor driver banned from driving for 12 months after causing a 7km, 100-car tailback

A tractor driver in Co Mayo, Ireland, who caused a 7km tailback on a national primary road, involving 80-100 vehicles, has been fined €300 and banned from driving for a year.

Judge Mary Devins was told by Garda John Boyle at Castlebar District Court that on June 20th last he came across “a convoy” of vehicles travelling eastwards on the N5 outside Westport, which were being held up by a tractor towing a trailer which contained a mechanical digger.

Mr Boyle gave evidence that after overtaking between 80 and 100 vehicles he got to the tractor which was keeping traffic at about 20 km/h. The garda said that when he spoke to the tractor driver, Brian McGuinness, of The Grove, Castlebar, Co Mayo, the defendant told him he thought he had pulled in earlier to let traffic go by.

Mr Boyle said that he had issued a fixed charge penalty notice to McGuinness but this had not been paid. McGuinness did not appear in court to answer the charge. After commenting that everybody has to exercise a little consideration on the road, the judge fined McGuinness €300 in his absence and disqualified him from driving for 12 months.

Four staff lose jobs as bats force café to close an hour before sunset

Four staff have lost their jobs after a decision to ban evening events at a Devon café in case they disturb rare bats. The decision, to protect the greater horseshoe bats, is 'catastrophic' according to the owners of the café on Brixham's Berry Head. Four of the 19 staff at the Guardhouse Café, who were only recruited in February or early March, have been made redundant and the café is losing more than 20 per cent of its planned revenue. Alex and Lucy Foley took over the café last May, seeing 'a lot of potential' in the business. Last September, they started to run regular themed restaurant evenings such as Greek and Thai, which were attended by up to 40 people. Alex said: "When we saw how popular they were, we decided to do more from April 1. Rather than one every week or two, we planned two per week, and four per week in August.

"We planned to grow the evening events to form 20 to 30 per cent of our revenue and do around 10 private bookings a year, for weddings and birthday parties, which would account for two per cent of our turnover." But when they sought permission from Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, which owns and manages Berry Head, they had a 'complete shock' to be told everyone, including staff, had to be out of the premises one hour before sunset. Alex said: "I felt terrible having to let staff go and tell people who had booked parties we would no longer be able to host their events but we fully support the conservation efforts on Berry Head. It's a beautiful place. It's one of the reasons we wanted to come here."

TCCT director Damian Offer said: "Berry Head is a unique and special place with a diverse array of rare and threatened flora and fauna. It is the trust's duty to protect that wildlife. Natural England is the statutory advisor to the trust.Further research into the behaviour of bats at Berry Head will be necessary before NE can properly determine the likely impact of evening events. Unfortunately there is a significant cost involved in such work. We have approached NE for funding and we will explore other funding options.” A spokesman for Natural England said the legally-protected greater horseshoe bat is a species of 'principal importance' and the area is thought to contain the UK's largest population of them.She said: “The route between the Guardhouse Café and the car park crosses a known flight path and the surrounding grassland offers foraging potential for the bats.

“We would be minded to refuse consent on the basis of light pollution, noise pollution, and physical disturbance of the flight path.” It is understood there are 92 bats living in the caves 75 metres from the café. They leave the caves to hunt 20 to 30 minutes after sunset. Trevor Spratt, who volunteers for TCCT and is a member of the Friends of Berry Head, said he was 'disappointed'. He said: "I've been to half a dozen themed evenings at the café and I was intending to go on as many future ones as possible. I enjoyed the food, ambience and camaraderie. It's a very pleasant place to spend an evening. I was surprised because the bats and previous café owners, who also held evening events, have co-existed for many years, and the moat is the only way of getting on to the headland whether you're a member of the public going for a jog or walking your dog as you can at any time, or you're going to a function at the café. I have also been on the Bat Walks which TCCT organises, where 30-odd people stand at the top of the cliff as the bats emerge. I hope this isn't the thin edge of the wedge."

Pet owners warned to be aware after dog had hallucinogenic episode from drugs at bus stop

Twiglet the Lurcher went on a trip of an altogether different kind when he was taken for a walk near his home in Leintwardine, Shropshire. His vet owner Nick Fisher said his Bedlington Lurcher had a 'serious hallucinogenic episode' after eating something he found on a quiet village green. He and his wife Karen are warning other dog owners to beware after Twiglet fell seriously ill. The family dog is believed to have eaten drugs that were left lying near a bus stop close to their home.

Karen, 33, said it led to a 45 minute episode in which the seven-year-old dog showed symptoms of being under the influence of narcotics. Fortunately Nick, 31, was able to deal with the problem swiftly she said, but others may not be so lucky. "Symptoms include hallucinating, partial seizures, tremors, hyper salivating, in-coordination and collapsing," she said. "We wanted to make other owners aware to be vigilant when walking their dogs in the area."

Nick said: "We had been taking our dogs out for a walk as we normally do, and we went past the bus stop which is just like a seat around an oak tree. A few people often hang out there and drop things like food and so on, so the dogs like to go scavenging around that area. He came back in the house and lay down, tired as you might expect. .But then he got up and started running around, doing laps of the room as if he was being chased. When I got hold of him he started shaking uncontrollably and producing huge quantities of saliva, and panting excessively.

"He then lost his balance on the laminate flooring and fell onto his side." He said he phoned the nurse at his surgery to come and take a blood sample and made Twiglet vomit. The blood test did not show any obvious medical cause. "The following day he was much more his normal self. I've got a friend who is a neurologist so I asked them what they thought it was and because of the circumstances and symptoms they suggested it sounded like he'd ingested something hallucinogenic," said Nick. He said anyone who notices their pet displaying such symptoms should contact their vet immediately.