Monday, November 24, 2014


Ralph's pet chipmunk and his pocket peanuts

YouTube link.

Man found passed out while sitting on toilet in wrong house arrested

Indiana State Excise Police Officers arrested a 19-year-old man in Muncie early on Saturday morning on the preliminary charge of illegal consumption of an alcoholic beverage after he was allegedly discovered by homeowners in their residence passed out on the toilet.

Officers arrested Elliott J. Sweazey, 19, of Fort Wayne, after they responded to a dispatch of an unwanted person that was passed out in a home near the Ball State University campus. The homeowners advised officers that they did not know or recognize Sweazey.

They explained that Sweazey was found when they arrived home at approximately 3:14am. He was allegedly passed out in their bathroom while sitting on the toilet with the hood of his sweatshirt pulled over his head. There was no indication that anything had been stolen or damaged.

It appeared that Sweazey had allegedly gained entry into the home through the back door which had been left unlocked. Sweazey was booked into the Delaware County Jail. A preliminary breath test showed Sweazey's blood alcohol content to be at .161 percent.

Pregnant woman knifed father of unborn child for unplugging plug-in air freshener to play Xbox

A man from Dayton, Ohio, told police the mother of his unborn child cut him with a knife after he unplugged a Glade plug-in air freshener to play Xbox.

Police responded on Friday night to the domestic disturbance, according to the police report. Tanaijah Montra Burns, 21, who told officers she was eight months pregnant, was arrested on suspicion of felonious assault.

The 23-year-old man told officers she held a steak knife to his cheek and proceeded to attack him with it. The victim reported he used a clothes basket to push Burns into a chair and suffered cuts while wrangling the knife away from her.

He refused medical treatment for various cuts to his hands and arms. Burns was taken to the hospital, where doctors confirmed the unborn baby was okay. The victim told officers he tried to plug the air freshener back in before she pulled the knife. Police said Burns was previously arrested for a similar attack against the same man.

Police seek man for alleged foot-related sexual assaults

Police in Richmond Hill, Southern Ontario, Canada, are looking for a man who they say sexually assaulted a woman by licking her foot, before stealing her boot and sock – a day after he allegedly stole another woman’s shoe.

At around 3:45pm on Wednesday, police allege a man entered a tanning salon, asking a woman if he could see her shoe, “because he was shopping for a relative.” He apparently smelled the shoe and then fled with it, according to York Regional Police’s Special Victims Unit.

The following day at around 11am, the suspect entered a different tanning salon in Richmond Hill, and began asking a woman about her boots. “The suspect then grabbed the victim’s leg, removed her boot and sock and licked her foot without her consent,” police say. He then fled with her boot and sock. The victim was not physically injured.

The suspect is described as white and approximately 30 years old. Police say he has a medium build, weighs around 170 pounds, and is around 5’8 tall. He has short reddish-brown hair and was sporting a beard, a bomber jacket, black dress pants and brown leather boots. The suspect may be responsible for other similar incidents, police say.

Brazilian airline changed flight number after psychic predicted doom

Brazilian airline TAM changed one of its flight numbers after a renowned clairvoyant predicted a plane bearing the original number would crash shortly after takeoff.

Jucelino Nobrega da Luz, who says he predicted the deaths of Princess Diana and Brazilian racing legend Ayrton Senna, told authorities flight JJ3720, set to depart on Wednesday from Sao Paulo to Brasilia, would develop engine trouble and crash on Sao Paulo's main Paulista drag.

Leaving nothing to chance, TAM changed the flight code to JJ4732 after receiving what it termed "indispensable information," saying passenger security was paramount at all times.

Nobrega da Luz most recently predicted the August death in a plane crash of Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos. But he was notably off beam on the outcome of Brazil's 2006 presidential elections and also on a vaccine for AIDS being discovered in 2008.

South Korea threatening sellers of unapproved selfie sticks with jail

The government in South Korea began making checks on sellers of selfie sticks on Friday, with retailers selling uncertified products facing a maximum fine of 30 million won (£17,250, $27,000) or even prison time of as long as three years.

The probe focuses on selfie sticks that use Bluetooth functionality to allow users to take photos more easily. Such models generally have a button near the grip of the stick that operates the camera on a connected smartphone.

The problem is, according to the science ministry, that these devices are classified as communications equipment and have to be tested and obtain certification about the level of electromagnetic radiation they emit before being commercially distributed. Electromagnetic radiation from communications equipment, which generally isn’t harmful to people, can interfere with surrounding electronic devices, according to the ministry.

The government has found recently that “a number of” uncertified Bluetooth-connected selfie sticks are being sold, requiring a “heavy crackdown,” the ministry said in a statement. The ministry also added a phone number towards the end of the statement for citizens to report uncertified selfie stick sellers.

Young hoons forced to scrub skid marks off road

A couple of frustrated business partners in Australia's Northern Territory finally got their revenge on a crew of hoons on Saturday morning after catching the young men in the act and making them scrub the skid marks off their street. The general manager of Territory Marine in Yarrawonga and his business partner were in the back of their shop working late on Friday night when they heard two cars screeching their tyres and doing burnouts up their driveway and in front of their business.

It was nothing new, but the two had had enough. “We didn’t appreciate it,” said the GM who asked not to be named. “Plus, we just spent a lot of money on major upgrades so the place looks really nice. Then they go and make a mess of the street out front. It was dangerous.” So, the two men came out and followed the cars down the street. After asking around, the pair found seven men in their late 20s hiding out in a shed with their cars near the shop. “We just confronted them, put it on them and told them, you know, I don’t really want to say what we told ‘em,” the GM said.

“You can use your imagination.” Bright and early on Saturday morning the men showed up outside of Territory Marine ready to work. “They came back and spent two and a half hours cleaning in the hot sun with green scrub pads and kerosene on their knees.” The manager said other business owners in the area were willing to supply the kerosene to help with the street justice, but he said he made all seven “revheads” pay for the kerosene and pads. Two and half hours did not produce perfect results, with the skid marks remaining. “We knew they weren’t gonna (get it all off) but that’s not the point,” the manager said.

“We wanted them to put in the effort.” The manager said hooning was a major problem in the area and that all business owners have been frustrated about it for a long time. “It’s been a problem for a while but we hadn’t worked out who was doing it,” he said. “If you drive around Yarrawonga there’s bloody skid marks everywhere.” This crackdown may be the first step, he added, offering a warning for any other hoons in the area. “If anyone else wants to do burnouts in front of our business, they’ll be dealt with personally,” he said. “I’m pretty confident these guys’ll never do it again.”

False teeth cleansing tablets mix-up led to poisoning scare at school

Emergency services showed up in force at a school in Ruhr, Germany, on Friday after a schoolgirl mistakenly treated her friends to grandpa’s denture cleansing tablets rather than vitamins.

Amid public anxiety about Ebola, SARS, bird flu and other health threats, the emergency services in the town of Moers took no chances: ambulances and emergency response teams descended upon the Geschwister-Scholl comprehensive school after several pupils showed signs of suspected poisoning.

A 10-year-old then admitted that she had wanted her friends to have some fun with a tube of effervescent vitamin tablets she took from home. Only she had mistakenly picked up a similar looking package with fizzy tablets her grandfather uses to sterilize his false teeth.

Dissolved in water, the solution caused a few stomach aches for nine children examined in hospital. But doctors said they were in no danger as the alarm was called off. The fire brigade, which coordinates emergency operations, praised the school’s “exemplary” handling of the situation.

Robin visits lady's home up to 15 times a day

A robin has become so friendly with a generous grandmother that he visits her up to 15 times a day. Pat Lowe, 77, has become "surrogate mother" to the red-breasted bird, which arrives every morning for breakfast and taps on the window with its beak. The little creature, nicknamed Bob, then hops in the back door at least 15 times a day and flits around the kitchen.

Pat gives her visitor treats including mealworms, breadcrumbs and small bowls of cooked porridge. Grandmother-of-eight Pat, of Viney Hill, Gloucestershire, says the bird first appeared over the summer. She said: "I didn't go out into the garden one day because of the cold and then he started coming into the house - he thinks I'm his mummy.

"Umpteen times I've let him out the window and said 'go back find your friends'. But he goes away for a little while and then the next day, I'm in the kitchen and he's back and then in he comes. And he's not at all scared of anybody at all. The other day, I opened the door for the postman and Bob flew over the postman's head and came in.

YouTube link.

"He's not eating out of my hand yet but I'm working on it. He loves porridge - the cooked variety. I cook it for him to keep him nice and warm for the winter." Pat, married to Richard, 82, said: "We'll be buying him a nappy because he poops everywhere. But I don't mind. If that's the price to pay for his company then that's the price I will pay."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Who goes there?

Birds in flight emulate firework display

A flock of birds filmed flying from a tree in Zaandam in the Netherlands.

YouTube link. LiveLeak link.

Pregnant man arrested for stalking estranged wife

Thomas Beatie, the transgender man who gave birth after beginning to change from a woman to a man, is accused of stalking his estranged wife. Beatie, 40, who lives in Anthem, was arrested on Thursday and booked into the Maricopa County Jail on one count of stalking.

Beatie is accused of putting a GPS tracking device on his wife’s car in October of 2012, about six months after he served his wife with an order of protection that required her to leave the couple’s home. The device was found by an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer when he stopped to help the victim change a flat tyre, according to an officer’s probable cause statement.

Phoenix police said the victim, who was identified in the statement as Beatie’s spouse, Nancy Beatie, said she believed it was Thomas Beatie who put the GPS device on her car. She claimed Beatie would randomly show up wherever she was at the time, would mention places she had been and questioned her about times that she returned home. Investigators said Thomas Beatie admitted to installing the device, monitoring it online and recharging the battery whenever it was low on power.

Thomas Beatie was denied a divorce in March 2013 by Maricopa County Family Court Judge Douglas Gerlach because at the time Arizona’s ban on same-sex marriages prevented the union from being recognized as valid. Thomas Beatie was born a woman and underwent a double-mastectomy but retained female reproductive organs and gave birth to three children. Gerlach said he had no jurisdiction to approve a divorce because there was insufficient evidence that Thomas Beatie was male when he married Nancy Beatie in 2003 in Hawaii.

Missing kitten found in duffle bag 2,300 miles from home

A New Mexico woman’s missing kitten has been located in Maine, although exactly how the feline made the 2,300-mile trip remains a mystery. The female kitten, named Spice, was turned in to the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook earlier this month by a man who found her inside a duffle bag outside a Portland thrift store.

“If only Spice could talk, imagine the story she would tell us,” said Jeana Roth, community relations manager of the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland. “We called the microchip company and traced that microchip back to Albuquerque, New Mexico to a woman whose grey and white kitten went missing on Halloween night,” said Roth.

Jennifer Brown of the Animal Refuge League says she talked to the owner, who said Spice bolted on Halloween when she opened her door for trick-or-treaters. “The owner’s reaction was our reaction. She couldn’t believe it. She’s never been to Maine. She doesn’t know anybody who lives in Maine, so how her cat who got out of her home on Halloween night, made it to Portland, Maine, is a mystery to her as well as to us,” Roth said.

YouTube link.

“Perhaps somebody who was crossing the country picked Spice up as a travel companion,” Roth said. “She’s lovely. She seems like she’s had a great adventure if only she could tell us what happened,” Roth added. A Maine businessman has now agreed to pay for Spice’s commercial airline flight back to New Mexico.

Raccoon with head stuck in storm drain rescued

Members of Framingham Department of Public Works in Massachusetts recently rescued a raccoon with its head stuck in a storm drain.

Stormwater Supervisor Brooks McCarty said he and Animal Control Officer Kathy MacKenzie used soap to successfully get the critter unstuck from the cover.

"We soaped his head up and pulled and pulled and twisted,"
McCarty said.

"All of a sudden he just popped out and she let him go and he stood there confused and then just ran up into a tree."

Woman riding jet ski on motorway called stupid

A woman caught sitting on a jet ski as it was towed by a truck along a motorway in Auckland, New Zealand, has been labelled careless and stupid. The over-enthusiastic jet skier was seen by a passing motorist on the North-Western motorway in the area of the inner-city suburb of Newton - where other vehicles passing her could reach speeds of 100 kmh (60mph).

Police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty rebuked the woman for her life-threatening stunt. ''Stupidity on the roads causes heartbreaks in homes," she said. She said the woman and the driver were committing a traffic offence. If police track them down, they risk penalties for dangerous driving and having an unrestrained passenger in tow.

She said police were asking people to come forward and identify the woman. AA motoring affairs boss Mike Noon said the woman posed a risk to herself and other motorists who would be distracted. ''It's very, very silly behaviour. It's in the same category as people standing on the back of cars, people sitting on the roof of the car, things like that.

''I'm sure if they thought it through they wouldn't do it.'' Road safety campaigner Clive Matthew-Wilson said the woman flirted with her own life. "Quite clearly, the process of natural selection is at work here: if the car that's towing her stops suddenly, she gets removed from the gene pool."

Man fearing attack by Russia who hoarded guns and explosives in nuclear-proof bunker arrested

Police in Kelheim, Germany, said on Friday they had arrested a man who hoarded guns, ammunition and bomb-making material in a nuclear-proof family bunker he built fearing an attack by Russia.

The 59-year-old electrician had constructed the emergency shelter by expanding and reinforcing the basement of his family home in the small town near Regensburg in Bavaria. Police said they had confiscated two submachine guns, 80 rifles, 60 handguns, 20,000 rounds of ammunition and 40 kilogrammes of materials to make explosives.

"He was afraid of the threat posed by a large eastern European power. He was afraid of Russia," a police spokesman said. ”We don't know when he started construction. He did it all by himself." The man had also stored food supplies and built underground air filtration and water treatment systems.

There is no evidence he is mentally ill or has extremist political views, police said, adding that the man was arrested on illegal weapons and explosives charges. Police said they took three days to enter and explore the extensive survival shelter and weapons arsenal, using power tools to crack through the walls.

Plan to close school with no pupils

Plans to close a school with no pupils have been consulted on. Ravenstonedale Endowed School in Cumbria has had no children since September.

A head teacher and five part-time staff are still employed. The proposals will be voted on in March and, if approved, the school will close in April.

Pupil numbers have dropped from 65 in 2000 to 26 in September last year, falling to zero by the beginning of the current academic year.

Cumbria County Council said there was "little prospect" of the school recovering in the "foreseeable future". The nearest alternative school is just under five miles (8km) away in Kirkby Stephen.

Man who claims curse from temple worshippers caused blindness in eye angry with faith healers

A man from Woolwich in south east London has claimed he was scammed out of more than £600 by two Indian faith healers he visited after worshippers of a Sikh temple put a “black magic curse” on him. Balbir Bakhshi works for various charities across the borough and claims he has gained media attention for his fundraising work since arriving in the UK from India in 1985.

But the 69-year-old says Sikh acquaintances at the Gurdwara Sahib temple became angry at Mr Bakhshi’s attention and subsequently put a hex on him blinding him in his left eye in 2007. Mr Bakhshi said: “I realised they were putting a hex on me because he was reading some magical words and was gazing at me from across the temple. Then I started to see smoke in my eyes and it hasn’t gone away since this. You can put a hex on someone – by a telephone call or a letter. It doesn’t matter how.”

After his eyesight failed to improve, Mr Bakhshi decided to seek the help of a local faith healer last month, but after paying £400 for one session he claims the male healer demanded a further £1,200 for ‘treatment’. He said: “He gave me a small bottle of water and told me to go and throw the water outside and then take a bath and I would be cured. But nothing has happened. I still cannot see properly. The situation has gone from bad to worse.” After he got a refund, unimpressed with the service offered, Mr Bakhshi paid £230 to see another faith healer in Woolwich.

Again Mr Bakhshi requested a refund after his sight was still not restored – only to be told by the healer, another Indian man – that he had given it to charity and would not give it back. He said: “This man treated me like a child – a baby sucking milk from the breast of its mother! He kept telling me he was taking good care of me but he wasn’t. I’m very angry because I am a good man who doesn’t deserve to be treated in this way.” Mr Bakhshi has not reported either incident to the police. A spokesman from the Gurdwara Sahib temple said: “We do not believe in black magic.”

Angry man turned up at store in dressing gown holding soap and loofah after faulty shower row

An irate customer arrived at the Wickes branch in Chippenham, Wiltshire, earlier this week wearing only his boxer shorts, dressing gown and slippers after being left disappointed by the store’s actions to fix his broken shower. John O’Malley, 62, of Rodbourne, took the drastic action after the new bathroom he bought from Wickes in September developed a fault on Monday, leaving him without the use of a shower. When John complained to the store, he claims the manager told him no one could fix it until Friday at the earliest but he could come down to the store for a shower.

So, on Tuesday, taking them at their word, he headed down to the store in his dressing gown, with loofah and soap in hand. However, on arrival John was told there was no shower available and was asked to leave. When he tried to argue his case, the police were called. “When I spoke with the store manager over the phone he said to come down and we could use the shower there so that’s what I did,” said John. “I came down in my dressing gown but the manager then told me he was only joking. He then called the police and threatened to have me thrown out of the store. I was not causing or looking to cause any trouble.

“I'm 62 and have heart problems so don’t need any of this but we should be able to have a shower. They suggested that we go to family or friends but that’s not an option for us. Not being able to shower for a week is not fair on me or anyone I work with. I travel to work by train every day and it isn’t fair on the other people if I haven’t been able to shower for days. No one at work wants to sit next to a guy who hasn’t showered for a week.” John says he had been having problems with the shower since it was first fitted by a qualified plumber and believes Wickes has a duty to repair the shower straight away. Although a refund for the £280 shower has been offered, John is angry at the situation he has been left in.

Gordon Mackenzie, head of customer service at Wickes said: “As soon as this case was brought to our attention, the team worked with Mr O’Malley to resolve the matter and he was offered a repair slot during the same week that he first contacted customer services. Mr O’Malley was unable to commit to this due to his work commitments, so it was re-scheduled for the following week. When he expressed his disappointment, a member of our team went to visit Mr O’Malley within a couple of days of him lodging his complaint. They discussed how Wickes could help alleviate the situation and he was offered generous compensation to cover the costs of showering. We do everything we can to ensure customer matters are resolved in a timely and satisfactory manner and while we appreciate the inconvenience of a broken shower, we feel we went to every effort to help Mr O’Malley to resolve this situation.”