Friday, April 18, 2014

Can you hear me now?

Tom Mabe reminds people of the real meaning of Easter

It doesn't always go well.

YouTube link.

Tennis player warned for son of a biscuit outburst

During his opening round win over Alexander Zverev at the Sarasota Challenger earlier this week, Donald Young hit a backhand into the the net and yelled “Son of a biscuit, man! Biscuit, man! Biscuit!”

When umpire Keith Crossland then gave him a warning, Young was confounded. “Come on Keith, don’t give me crap for that, man,” Young replied. “I said ‘son of a biscuit.’ That’s a problem? That’s a problem now?”

YouTube link.

Dentures stolen from woman's mouth

Police in Richmond, Virginia, are searching for a man who robbed a woman of her dentures. Richmond police Capt. Roger Russell explained that a woman’s dentures were pulled out of her mouth and taken by a man she knew during an altercation outside herapartment. He said investigators were told by those who heard the altercation that the suspect shouted that “he had paid for them and was taking them back.”

The victim, who doesn't want to be named, says it was “a fatal attraction thing” that led to her dentures being wrestled out of her mouth by a former suitor who had paid for them. “I hadn’t been able to afford dentures,” she explained. “He says to me, ‘you’re a pretty girl but I can see you’re self-conscious about your teeth.’ And he said, ‘I want to surprise you,’” she added.

That former neighbour took her to Affordable Dentures early one morning and after a long day there, she had her dentures. She said the man wasn’t her lover, but her friend. A man who looked out for her, admired her, she believed. She said she needed a friend, and smile. But, she said, he wanted more. His calls and appearances at her door eventually became too much, she said, and she warned him off.

He was waiting outside of her apartment on Tuesday evening as she walked out to do her laundry, she said, describing how he grabbed her behind her neck and forced the dentures out of her mouth. Russell, who will have been on the police force 30 years this summer, said it’s the first denture robbery he’s seen. He said the victim could’ve been hurt during the attack and they’re taking the crime seriously. Police have identified the suspect as Linwood Harris, 63.

With news video.

Judge amused by Mr Cocaine's name

The judge did a double-take and there were giggles aplenty in a Florida bond court on Wednesday when a bailiff announced the name of a man arrested for drug possession: Edward Cocaine. "What?" uttered a stunned County Judge John "Jay" Hurley.

"My last name is Cocaine," proudly stated the man at the podium. His name was indeed legal and inscribed on his driver's licence. "You know, I'd thought I'd seen it all," Hurley laughed, shaking his head. "How many times have the police told you to step out of the car during your life?"

"Just about every time I get pulled over," a chuckling Mr Cocaine admitted. The 34-year-old Fort Lauderdale man, who was arrested on Tuesday for possessing Xanax, explained how he got his name.

YouTube link.

"My great-grandparents came over here from Greece and they changed it," he said. "That was like in the 1920s." The judge remained nonplussed. "I'm still trying to absorb this," he said. Judge Hurley released Mr Cocaine on his own recognizance.

Parents upset about bathroom break schedule note sent home with young children

A note sent home with a class of children from an elementary school in Lexington, Kentucky has upset some parents. The bathroom break dilemma happened at Deep Springs Elementary on Wednesday.

A note was sent home with a class of kindergartners stating "Bathroom Reminder!!! Due to our building only having one bathroom for the school to share, our class will only be able to go to the bathroom at our scheduled times listed below. It may be a good idea to keep an extra change of clothes in your child's backpack in case of an accident. Thank you for your support." Then it stated that the bathroom schedule was 8:40am. 11:05am and 12:00pm.

Kyra Fobear is one of many parents outraged by the letter sent home from school with her six-year-old. "We got this note stating that the kids were only allowed to go to the bathroom three times a day, and they couldn't go any other time due to there only being one restroom," said Fobear. School officials later said the note was a complete misrepresentation of the school, and the letter was poorly worded.

They said despite the construction, there are plenty of bathrooms for students. The school district said classrooms with younger children do have scheduled times to go to the bathroom, however the children are welcome to go whenever they have to. Fobear said she's angry the note made it home at all. Now she plans to send her kindergartner back to school with a new lesson. "I told her if she has to go, then you have to go," said Fobear. The school district said they plan to call all of the parents who received the note and let them know there are no bathroom restrictions.

With news video.

38 million gallons of water to be flushed from reservoir after man urinated in it

Portland, Oregon is flushing 38 million gallons (143 million litres) of drinking water down the drain because a 19-year-old man urinated in an open reservoir early on Wednesday morning, city water officials said.

Three teens were observed at the reservoir in a Portland park at about 1:00am on Wednesday, Portland Water Bureau spokesman David Shaff said, and one of them was filmed urinating through an iron fence into the water. The other two tried to climb the fence and one got into the secure area around the reservoir, but Shaff said it is not clear what he did then.

YouTube link. Much, much longer video.

The 50-million-gallon (189-million-litre) reservoir was taken off line and was tested for possible contamination. In the meantime, the city has decided to "discard" 38 million gallons of water and clean the reservoir. Shaff said: "That water goes directly into people's homes. There is no way to re-treat it."

The three teens were cited for trespassing and one for public urination. Additional charges could be filed as the investigation continues. "We are not in the arid Southwest," Shaff said, "We have hundreds of millions of gallons available, so that makes it an easy call for me to discard the water". He estimated the cost of cleaning and replacing the water at several thousand dollars.

Woman jumped out of moving truck after seeing lizard

A woman in Florida was injured at about 1:20pm on Wednesday when she leapt out of a moving pickup truck after seeing a lizard, according to Boca Raton Police.

Police spokeswoman Sandra Boonenberg said a man was driving a pickup truck when his wife saw a lizard in the truck and jumped out.

Paramedics placed her on a stretcher and took her to a hospital. The extent of the woman's injuries were not immediately known.

Investigators were later seen searching underneath the pickup truck but it is not known if the lizard, of unknown size, was recovered.

Wayward sea lion pup found in almond orchard a mile away from nearest water

Workers at a central California ranch could hardly believe their eyes when they spotted a sea lion pup hopping through an almond orchard, a mile from the San Joaquin River.

The ranch hands quickly got in touch with wildlife officials after discovering the confused animal at Mape's Ranch near Modesto.

A Marine Mammal Center volunteer eventually coaxed the lost sea lion into a cage, where it promptly fell asleep. The 36-pound sea lion, nicknamed Hoppie, is recovering at the center.

Hoppie is undergoing treatment for sores and getting some nourishment in hopes of returning him to the wild. Officials aren't sure why the sea lion left the river or hopped such a long way on the ground.

Team of volunteers spent six days searching dirty ditches to rescue two abandoned terrapins

Two terrapins were scooped from stagnant ditches in Dartford, Kent, earlier this month as part of a six-day rescue mission.

" Rare breeds expert Wayne May was called out to the industrial estate in Sandpit Road, Northfleet, by an ornithologist who spotted the animals in distress while monitoring bird activity. Mr May recruited a team of volunteers who spent days in waders and surgical gloves, searching with nets in the 2ft-deep mud for the terrapins, thought to be abandoned pets.

The 42-year-old, who runs an animal sanctuary in Dartford, said: "The ditches there are so polluted. It was dire. Without a doubt they were abandoned pets. They were in a ditch and covered in polystyrene all over them and the water was all stagnant. There is no way they could have survived the summer given the environment they were in."


Mr May believed there could have been more in the ditches but the team was unable to find them. He said: "We cleaned the two we found with cold water and a toothbrush, covered in green slimy algae, their shells are stained. It’s a real tragedy to see animals abandoned like that. Now they have to spend six months in quarantine."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mobile library

You can read more about Dashdondog Jamba and his mobile library in Mongolia, here.

Bear cub applies for job as mechanic

Where's mama?

YouTube link.

Man licked police officer's eye while resisting arrest outside Pisser's Palace

A man from Walkerville, Montana, is accused of licking a police officer’s eye during his arrest.

Christopher Nicholas Hiatt, 34, is in jail on a felony charge of assault on a peace officer and misdemeanor charges of assault with a bodily fluid, criminal contempt and probation violation.

Police say Hiatt called to report a theft on Saturday night and dispatchers realized he was wanted on a contempt warrant out of Lewis and Clark County. Officers later found Hiatt outside Pisser’s Palace in Walkerville.

When officers attempted to apprehend Hiatt, he fought and wouldn’t let them handcuff him. Police say when officers tried to put him in a patrol car; he licked one of their eyes. The assault with a bodily fluid charge stems from the saliva. Hiatt is behind bars on $26,000 bond.

Lost child found inside claw machine

A small child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a bowling alley in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Monday.

Lincoln police said it started with a mother frantically searching for her 3-year-old boy at her apartment at around 5:30pm. She called police immediately.

Across the street, patrons at a nearby bowling alley made the startling discovery - a little boy sitting with stuffed animals inside the machine. Employees called the vendor, who quickly arrived and opened the machine to let the boy out.

YouTube link.

Police investigating the missing child report nearby were flagged down by a patron, who told officers about the boy. Soon after, the mother was reunited with the child, who is doing fine. The vendor even gave the boy a stuffed animal from the machine. Police said the mother was not cited because she contacted police as soon as she realized her son was missing.

Council enlists poo-sniffing dog in fight to save koalas

A highly specialised detection dog trained to sniff out koala droppings is on the case in Logan, south of Brisbane, Australia, in a bid to boost protection for the vulnerable species. Logan City Council enlisted conservation canine Maya to help identify koala habitats in the area. Maya's owner is Dr Cristescu, an ecologist who specialises in koala research. "I've spent a lot of my life looking for animal poo, specifically koala poo," Dr Cristescu said. "The reason we look for koala poo is because that gives us where they live, the koala habitat.

"But it's really inefficient for us humans to look for koala poo because we rely on our eyesight, so that takes a lot of time to look for really small koala poo in a really big habitat." On the other hand, specially trained dogs like Maya can canvass a large area of land in a relatively short period of time. Dr Cristescu says using sniffer dogs is an emerging trend in the areas of conservation biology, ecology and pest control. "There are detection dogs from everything from drugs to border security - so why not a koala poo dog?" Dr Cristescu said. Trainer Gary Jackson says Maya represents "the future" of conservation efforts.

Mr Jackson rescued Maya from the pound several years ago before training her to be a detection dog. "These detection dogs do so much better and so much quicker than humans. She's had about three months of solid training to look for koala poop," he said. "And not only to look for koala poop, but also to ignore so many other things in the environment. The dog had to go in a very scent-contaminated area and only be interested in locating the koala poop and showing you exactly where it is." In Maya's case, the behavioural traits which made her a less-than-desirable pet have meant she was a perfect candidate for training as a detection dog.

"You need a dog basically with an OCD on a tennis ball, an absolute nutcase on a tennis ball," he said. "Then you scent-associate the tennis ball with the target odour - which is a koala poop - and then the dog will search for ages just to try to find that odour. She will go into an open area and she just has to find one little koala poop and she will just hit the deck. Maya will do a drop and then when you go up to her she'll go and put her nose over the top of it and pinpoint exactly where it is. You've got a whole acre and you've found one tiny piece of koala poop." The information Maya is able to provide Logan City Council will be used to inform the Koala Conservation Strategy, which is used to manage and improve prospects for koalas. Maya will search for signs of koalas across an area of almost 500 hectares of bushland over a period of two weeks.

Depressed panda provided with television set

A panda that has been suffering from weeks of depression at its foster home has been given a television set. Staff at the Yunnan Wild Animal Park in China said panda Scarlett began displaying boredom and irritability after the last of her two companions, panda Macy, was taken back to Sichuan on March 31st. Scarlett and Macy, along with panda Qianqian, had been living at the Yunnan Wild Animal Park since they were displaced from their home in Sichuan when a magnitude 5 earthquake damaged the area in 2008.

Qianqian returned to Sichuan in 2012. Macy stayed for another couple of years but was likewise taken home to Sichuan last March, leaving Scarlett alone in the Yunnan foster home. A day after Macy left, park staff said Scarlett did not go back to her room, had not been eating well, and was sometimes grouchy. The feeder tried to cheer up the panda by talking and playing with her at a fixed time every day, but Scarlett remained inconsolable.

Some Yunnan residents, sensing that Scarlett might be feeling alone and forsaken, suggested that a mirror be installed on the playground, but one apparently can't fool a panda to mistake its own reflection for company. Other residents suggested installing a swing, a horizontal bar, parallel bars, and a TV near Scarlett's "bed". The park staff also found some childhood video footage of Scarlett and Macy and played them back for her to watch.

YouTube link.

So far, Scarlett has been watching the videos while eating and sounding off  a positive response to them. The staff also placed a big panda model at the place where Macy used to live to keep Scarlett company. The Yunnan Wild Animal Park staff management and staff are optimistic that the various recreation facilities they installed will help bring back Scarlett's sunny mood, and vowed to keep thinking of new ways to cheer up the depressed panda.

Dog taken to animal hospital after getting jaw stuck in Irn Bru can

Vets at PDSA’s Glasgow pet hospital came to the rescue of a dog that was rushed in as an emergency after getting its jaw stuck in a can of Irn Bru. Miniature Dachshund Darcey managed to get her paws on an empty can during a family gathering at her owner Janette Gallacher’s home in the city. But the party lost its sparkle after the can became lodged in her mouth, and the poor dog started to bleed.

Janette Gallacher, 69, said that after attempts to gently remove the can from Darcey’s tiny mouth failed, they rushed her to PDSA’s Glasgow Shamrock Street PetAid hospital for help. PDSA vet Susie Hermit said it was one of the most unusual cases vets at the site have ever come across: “We see all sorts of cases here at PDSA but I’ve never seen a dog with its jaw stuck in a can before”, she said.

“We could see that Darcey was bleeding and was in lots of distress. The can was so firmly wedged that we had to sedate her in order to remove it to prevent any further damage and make sure that Darcey wasn’t too uncomfortable when we took the can off her jaw. She was very lucky that no permanent damage was done, as the inside of the can was very sharp and it could have caused substantial damage to the lining of her mouth and her tongue.”

Janette said she was extremely grateful for the care her beloved dog received from PDSA vets and said Darcey had now gone on to make a full recovery. She said: “Darcey is back to her usual cheerful self now. When I told friends about it they couldn’t believe it. It was very worrying at the time. We’re very careful when we bring out the Irn Bru now.”

Firefighters rescued kitten with head stuck in spout of watering can

Devon and Somerset fire crews were called after a kitten got its head stuck in a watering can.

One fire engine attended a property at Tweenaway, Paignton, after reports of a small kitten who was stuck in a watering can.

At 10:30pm on Monday crews rescued the kitten, which was stuck by its head in the spout, using small tools.

The kitten was unharmed in the incident and duty of care was left with the owners.

Police solve mystery of phantom tyre puncturer

For over six months the residents of Brampton, Cumbria, have been plagued by their cars being damaged on numerous occasions. The damage, to a variety of vehicles, consisted of punctures to tyres. Residents have been upset and concerned about the incidents and some installed CCTV to establish who has been responsible.

Recent analysis of the CCTV has revealed the culprit, a border collie named ‘Jess’. The dog, who is owned by someone in the local area has been using her daily walk to bite the two nearside tyres of cars she comes across. This caused a slow puncture and by the morning the tyre is flat.

PC Simon Amos, who solved the mystery, said: “These incidents have been happening for the last six months, with many residents being very upset at the thought of someone targeting them and causing the damage deliberate. The dog had been seen approaching the cars and many believed that she was just sniffing at the tyres. It isn’t until you take a closer look , that you can see her biting the tyres.

YouTube link.

“The owner has been contacted and has been very surprised and also apologetic about the whole situation. He will be now keeping Jess on a lead. We know that there may be other residents or visitors that may not have reported any damage to their tyres. We want to reassure them that the culprit has been identified and hopefully the damage will stop.”

Dead man fulfils wish of appearing at comedy club

An aspiring comedian finally fulfilled his wish to appear on a comedy club stage –  four months after he died. Kevin Dorothy, 53, who died in December, had wanted to take part in the comedy night at Belfast's Pavilion Bar.

On Monday night, one of his friends, Stephen Mullan, took to the stage at the Ormeau Road venue complete with Kevin's ashes in an urn. The routine consisted of jokes Kevin had texted to Stephen and other friends.

"Kevin had a habit of texting the most cringe-inducing jokes to all his pals," said another of Kevin's friends, Tom Sweeney. "I always read them, groaned and deleted them right away - they were awful. Stephen, however, kept them - five years' worth.

"And that's what the audience was treated to. And do you know something? Kevin's jokes weren't that awful after all on hearing Stephen deliver them. Nobody had seen anything like it. You hear about comedians dying on stage. Well, Kevin jumped the gun."