Wednesday, August 08, 2012


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Cats discuss the outside world

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Lady has conversation with frog on side of car

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Counting song

Written and performed by Adam Buxton. Directed by Cyriak.

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Hospital creates 'Cat Immersion Project' for homesick cancer patient

Seattle Children's Hospital's oncology unit has brought smiles to the face of cat lover with a new project.

Maga Barzallo Sockemtickem, 16, has been confined to her hospital room for nearly a month while undergoing post-bone marrow transplant treatment. The thing she misses most? Her cat, Merry.

So Seattle Children's asked Facebook fans to send in pictures of their favourite pets - and received 3,000 photos in response. The hospital staff then combined the cat photos with purring sounds to create a slideshow for the teenage cancer patient.

YouTube link.

It's not unusual for cancer patients to be placed in isolation for months at a time due to their compromised immune systems. "I can't tell you how it feels sometimes, feeling disconnected and cut off from the world, and then with something like cat pictures bringing me back," Sockemtickem said. "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

Two-legged dog to be adopted by vet

A dog who lost two legs after falling from a ledge at her home in Santos near Sao Paulo in Brazil is to be adopted by a vet who was moved by her plight.

Manu, who is just over one-year, was ignored by her owners for 15 days while she lay in agony with two fractures.

After three months treatment Manu has made good progress. Her original owners were fined £1,000.

With very short video.

Jesus found on half-eaten tortilla

Tucked away in the refrigerator and carefully wrapped in foil is a half-eaten breakfast tortilla with an image of Jesus Christ. At least that's what 80-year-old Ernesto Garza sees. It was a typical morning for Garza, who attends La Amistad Adult Daycare in Beeville, Texas. He walked into the cafeteria to have his usual bacon and egg breakfast tortilla.

The flour tortillas are all hand made by cooks at the facility. Garza sat down and unwrapped his tortilla. This time around he was only going to eat the inside of the tortilla. After poking around he said he noticed a face staring back at him. “I looked at it for five minutes,” Garza said. In disbelief, he asked a friend next to him what she thought the face on the tortilla looked like.

Garza’s friend looked at it and jumped from her seat. "Jesus," she said. It wasn’t long before everyone at the adult daycare heard about the Jesus tortilla. “I consider it a blessing because it’s unique.” said Angie Rodriguez, the director of the adult daycare. Rodriguez said the phone at La Amistad has been ringing off the hook with surrounding media outlets wanting to know more about the “miracle.”

For Rodriguez, this has especially touched her heart. She has been going through some turbulent times and said that the night before the discovery she had prayed to God for a sign. Sure enough, she said, Garza found Jesus on his breakfast bacon and egg tortilla. “We believe God works in mysterious ways,” Rodriguez said. Garza said he’s planning to preserve his image of Jesus as long as he can. “It’s a blessing from God,” he said.

Vladimir Putin shies away from hand kiss

In a scene worthy of comic creation Alan Partridge, Vladimir Putin reacts awkwardly as a priest bows to kiss his hand during a visit to Russia's northern Valaam Island.

Mr Putin appeared somewhat displeased when a Russian Orthodox priest greeted the head of state by bowing and attempting to kiss his hand. The peculiar incident came during the Russian leader's visit to the Holy Transfiguration Valaam Monastery on Valaam Island in the north of the country.

YouTube link.

It was going smoothly at first as Mr Putin greeted believers outside a cathedral, and then shook hands with several Russian Orthodox priests. However, when one priest bowed and tried to kiss the leader's hand, Mr Putin sharply withdrew his hand and made a fist by the side of his head.

Mr Putin, who has ruled Russia as president or prime minister since 2000, has enjoyed the support of Russian Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kirill who gave him his approval during the head of state's presidential election campaign this year

Black cat used to smuggle heroin into jail

Narcotics police in South Russia’s Rostov Region have unveiled a scheme in which a cat was used to smuggle heroin into a prison, the region’s drug control service said on Tuesday.

The staff of a medical penitentiary facility in the town of Shakhty became suspicious after they noticed that the same black cat was often roaming around the prisoners’ quarters.

A probe revealed that the cat was taken out of the prison by released inmates. They carried the animal in their bags and handed it over to drug dealers who were waiting outside the prison fence. They stuffed the feline’s collar with heroin and released the animal, who sneaked back into the prison.

“Police and drug control officers detained the accomplices when they were putting drugs into the collar,” a spokesman for Rostov Region’s drug control service said.,The fate of the feline drug runner is unknown. Prison workers say it has not been seen since the arrest.

Cat with jar on head rescued after 20 days

A cat is lucky to be alive after struggling for 20 days before being saved from the brink of death by a Greensburg, Pennsylvania woman. Janine Quinn said she noticed the cat a couple weeks ago but was unable to get to it before it ran off. She said she'd see it every now and then with the jar still stuck on its head but she was unable to save it until recently. "I never wanted to give up on her even though it got really, really bad and I just walked around and cried the whole entire time thinking that she was gone," Quinn said.

Quinn searched for the feral cat for 20 days thinking it had died before corralling the severely malnourished cat on Friday. "The jar was so tight around her neck I couldn't even get my fingers up there around her but it fit her head completely," Quinn said. "When I got the jar off it smelled like infection. It smelled like death. I thought she was dying. She's an amazingly lucky cat."

YouTube link.

Veterinarian Dr. Becky Morrow said she immediately treated jar cat for an eye injury, malnourishment and nerve damage. She said she was happily startled at how the little cat was able to make it through the ordeal. "She must have been getting water inside the jar somehow. You can't survive without water. There was moisture on her head so she somehow she had managed to do that," Morrow said. The vet said the cat responded to treatment quickly and she was able to release it back to Quinn.

Quinn said the cat will not be allowed outdoors and she's hoping for a bright future. "I'm just so happy to have her back right now. … I'm going to keep her until she gets a little better here make sure her health is OK make sure she's back to her normal self and then I'm going to try to get her adopted out," she said. Many people who helped in the search said they are grateful Guinn didn't give up hope, especially her son. "She's sweet and kind-heartened; I have one of the best mothers in the world," Quinn's son, Jon Kraucz, said.

Royal British Legion mounts retreat on burlesque ban

A burlesque dancer who was banned from collecting for the Poppy Appeal due to her saucy outfit has received an apology from the Royal British Legion. Despite raising hundreds of pounds for her local branch over the last two years, Josephine Freestone was asked to stop because of her 'inappropriate' costume. During the appeal, Mrs Freestone stands on the streets of Sherborne in Dorset, as 'Major Outrage', wearing a customised military uniform, fishnet tights and a corset.

But the 47-year-old mother-of-three was told last week by the local branch of the RBL that members had agreed she should be asked not to collect in the future. Since then Mrs Freestone she has been contacted by officials at the RBL headquarters who apologised to her. They explained that the Sherborne branch has no right to stop her collecting and encouraged her to carry on.

Photo from SWNS.

A spokesman for the RBL said: "The Royal British Legion is delighted to reassure Mrs Freestone that she is not banned from collecting for the Poppy Appeal. The decision of organisers in Sherborne has no validity and Mrs Freestone is absolutely welcome to collect for the welfare of our proud British Armed Forces wherever, whenever, and in whatever outfits she pleases.

"We apologise to Mrs Freestone for any upset that may have been caused and look forward to seeing her collecting on the streets of Sherborne come November." Mrs Freestone said: "I think it is delightful that someone saw fit to have the common courtesy to let me know that what the Sherborne branch said had no validity. I am overjoyed. I was devasted at the thought that I couldn't do it any more due to some small minded people, but I am really pleased to find out I can carry on."

Thieves bulldoze cash machine from wall then find getaway vehicle won't start

Two hapless thieves were forced to flee empty handed after using a stolen digger to rip a cash machine from a bank only to find their getaway vehicle would not start. The pair had loaded the ATM onto the back of a pick-up truck but had to leave their spoils after the engine would not start.

The men were last seen by witnesses running off into the night abandoning their truck and their loot. The attempted burglary happened at 3.10am on Monday at the branch of Barclays Bank on Keymer Road in Hassocks, Sussex. Homes in the area had to be evacuated during the night as the building was deemed unsafe.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: 'At 3.15am on Monday 6 August, police went to Barclays Bank in Keymer Road, Hassocks, after local residents had reported that an industrial digger vehicle had driven into the front of the bank, and dragged out the cashpoint machine installed in the wall.

'The digger placed the machine on an adjacent stationary blue Toyota pick-up truck but the drivers of both vehicles, who are described as wearing dark clothing, then ran off in the direction of Chancellors Park leaving the unopened cash machine on the truck.' The digger used in the raid was stolen earlier in the night, police said.

There are more photos here.

Royal python found in kitchen drawer in Swansea

A Swansea resident was left shaken after discovering a royal python in his kitchen drawer, says the RSPCA.

The non-venomous snake was discovered in a flat in the city's maritime quarter last Tuesday. It is thought the snake belonged to the previous occupants who have returned to Saudi Arabia.

Royal pythons are also known as ball pythons as they curl into a tight ball when they are frightened. The snake is now in the care of the RSPCA.

RSPCA inspector Neill Manley said: "The snake is in great shape although the new occupant must have been pretty shaken by the ordeal." The RSPCA said royal pythons do not strike out to protect themselves.

Man has late night brush with baby fox on the Tube

They’ve invaded London’s gardens and even homes - now it seems that urban foxes are taking over the Tube.

Gadget and gaming journalist Stephen Ebert was travelling on the underground late on Sunday night when a fox suddenly came onto the train near Edgware Road Tube station.

A spokesman for Transport for London said: “We have seen the picture but we haven’t received any direct complaints or reports of the fox.

“It’s very rare for foxes to get onto to trains like this, although it does occasionally happen on the further outreaches of the tube in places like Amersham or Epping.”