Friday, February 27, 2009

Calif. aquarium blames flooding on curious octopus

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Staff at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium in California say the trickster who flooded their offices with sea water was armed. Eight-armed, to be exact.

They blame the soaking they discovered Tuesday morning on the aquarium's resident two-spotted octopus, a tiny female known for being curious and gregarious with visitors. The octopus apparently tugged on a valve and that allowed hundreds of gallons of water to overflow its tank.

Aquarium spokeswoman Randi Parent says no sea life was harmed by the flood, but the brand new, ecologically designed floors might be damaged by the water.
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Odd News-Illinois mystery: Placentas found in sewage system

URBANA, Ill. – Someone is disposing of placentas in the sewage system and authorities in central Illinois just want it to stop. Workers in Urbana-Champaign found a placenta Thursday in a filter that keeps large objects out of the sewage treatment plant. It was the third found this year. Officials said it's never happened before. They wonder if a midwife or veterinarian is avoiding the expense of medical waste disposal.

The placenta is an organ that joins mother and fetus and is expelled during birth.

They are potentially infectious, although health officials said the risk to the public is low. State regulations prohibit disposal in sewage systems.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said he's not entirely sure whether the placentas are human or animal. More testing is under way.
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Vegas casino sells 2-foot, 6-pound burrito at cafe

LAS VEGAS – A Las Vegas casino cafe is rewarding patrons who can put away a 2-foot, 6-pound burrito with a most logical prize — free unlimited rides on a roller coaster that runs in both forward and reverse.

The offer comes with a caveat, though: Those who accept the challenge but can't finish "The Bomb" burrito have to take a picture with an extra small, pink T-shirt that says "Weenie."

The NASCAR Cafe at the Sahara Hotel & Casino began selling the cheese-and-guacamole slathered burrito on Thursday for $19.95.

Those who can finish the monstrous entree get it for free, along with two unlimited coaster passes and a T-shirt proclaiming they "Conquered the Bomb."

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Too much PlayStation can cause painful lumps?

LONDON (Reuters) – Gamers beware: Keeping too tight a grip on the console and furiously pushing the buttons can cause a newly identified skin disorder marked by painful lumps on the palms, Swiss scientists said Tuesday.

Called "PlayStation palmar hidradentitis" by the scientists, the skin disorder can cause painful lesions on the palms similar to patches found on the soles of children's feet after taking part in heavy physical activity, they said.

"The tight and continuous grasping of the hand-grips together with repeated pushing of the buttons produce minor but continuous trauma to the (palm) surfaces," Vincent Piguet and colleagues at University Hospitals and Medical School of Geneva reported in the British Journal of Dermatology.

A spokesman for Sony Corp, which makes the PlayStation, noted the study involved one person and said the company had sold hundreds of millions of the consoles since the product was introduced in 1995.

"As with any leisure pursuit there are possible consequences of not following common sense, health advice and guidelines, as can be found within our instruction manuals," Sony spokesman David Wilson said.

"We would not wish to belittle this research and we will study the findings with interest, but this is the first time we have ever heard of a complaint of this nature."

Excessive gaming is already seen as a public health issue, sparking addictive behavior that can lead to a range of psychological problems, the researchers said.

Other researchers have identified acute tendonitis from playing too much of Nintendo Co Ltd's Wii, and now a disorder related to the PlayStation can be added to the list, the team said.

Their study described the case of a 12-year-old girl who attended the Geneva hospital with intensely painful lesions on her hands, which she had developed four weeks earlier. She had no other lesions anywhere else on her body.

After questioning, the doctors discovered that several days prior to the appearance of the lesions the girl had started to play a game on her PlayStation for several hours each day.

The researchers suspected that grasping the console's hand-grips together with repeated pushing of the buttons produced minor but prolonged injury to the palm of the girl's hands, which can be made worse by sweating during a tense game.

The doctors recommended the girl stop playing and she recovered fully after 10 days, the researchers said.

"If you're worried about soreness on your hands when playing a games console, it might be sensible to give your hands a break from time to time, and don't play excessively if your hands are prone to sweating," Nina Goad of the British Association of Dermatologists said in a statement.(Reporting by Michael Kahn, Editing by Will Dunham)
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EMT faces court after ignoring a dying man because his house was messy

UK - An ambulanceman will face court after allegedly ignoring a dying man because his house was messy.
Karl Harris and a colleague were sent to aid ailing Barry Baker after he dialled 999 saying he was having a heart attack.
But it is claimed the ambulanceman decided not to attempt to resuscitate the 59-year-old because his house was in such a state.
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Odd News;Missing man gets 7 parking tickets while dead in back seat

Florida - The identity of man found dead inside a car in College Park on Monday afternoon has been confirmed as that of a Gainesville engineer missing since Feb. 11. Now city employees are answering questions about why the man's car was ticketed seven times by city employees, beginning the day after he was last seen alive.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Topless cafe in Maine gives neighbors the jitters

VASSALBORO, Maine – Cup size has more than one meaning at a new central Maine coffeehouse. Servers are topless at the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop, which opened its doors Monday on a busy road in Vassalboro. A sign outside says, "Over 18 only." Another says, "No cameras, no touching, cash only."

On Tuesday, two men sipped coffee at a booth while three topless waitresses and a bare-chested waiter stood nearby. Topless waitress Susie Wiley said men, women and couples have stopped by.

The coffee shop raised the ire of dozens of residents when it went before the town planning board last month. Town officials said the coffee shop met the letter of the law.Political Roast----Premium Domain Names----Comedy Videos---Comedy Songs----Advertise Here and 24 Other Sites!

Odd News:Using magnets to repel crocodiles

MIAMI (Reuters) – Florida wildlife managers have launched an experiment to see if they can keep crocodiles from returning to residential neighborhoods by temporarily taping magnets to their heads to disrupt their "homing" ability.

Researchers at Mexico's Crocodile Museum in Chiapas reported in a biology newsletter they had some success with the method, using it to permanently relocate 20 of the reptiles since 2004.

"We said, 'Hey, we might as well give this a try," Lindsey Hord, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's crocodile response coordinator, said on Tuesday.

Crocodiles are notoriously territorial and when biologists move them from urban areas to new homes in the wild, they often go right back to the place where they were captured, traveling up to 10 miles a week to get there.

Scientists believe they rely in part on the Earth's magnetic fields to navigate, and that taping magnets to both sides of their heads disorients them.

"They're just taped on temporarily," Hord said. "We just put the magnets on when they're captured and since they don't know where we take them, they're lost. The hope would be that they stay where we take them to."

Hord and his co-workers have tried it on two crocodiles since launching the experiment in January, affixing "a common old laboratory magnet" to both sides of the animals' heads. One got run over by a car and died, but the other has yet to return, Hord said.

Once an endangered species, American crocodiles' numbers have rebounded to nearly 2,000 in coastal south Florida, their only habitat in the continental United States. That puts them in increasing contact with humans, especially in areas where backyards border on canals around Miami and the Florida Keys.

Crocodiles are still classified as a threatened species, so game managers are reluctant to move them to new areas where they might be killed battling other resident crocodiles for turf rights, Hord said. Unlike alligators, which are far more numerous, each crocodile is considered important to preserving the species, he said.

"These crocodiles are unique and valuable creatures and we feel like we have a responsibility to live with these animals as much as we can," he said.

Many frightened residents don't share that view, although crocodiles are shy creatures, Hord said. Wildlife managers will try to relocate any thought to pose a significant risk, mainly those that seem to have lost their fear of humans.

Most crocodiles in Florida are tagged as hatchlings so biologists can easily recognize them, Hord said.

Any that come back twice after being captured and moved are sent to zoos or otherwise placed in captivity, something biologists hope to avoid if the magnet experiment works.

"This one is by no means a really well-developed scientific study with a control group. It's just something we thought we would try," Hord said. "We do have to make some room to live with them."(Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Todd Eastham)
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Odd News-South Korean woman fails driver's test 775 times

SEOUL, Feb 21 – A South Korean woman who has failed the driver's exam 775 times is not about give up on her hope of buying a truck one day to go into her own business, whether other drivers want her on the road or not.

Cha Sa-soon, 68, has been trying since 2005 to pass the written portion of the test to get a licence, but she has so far failed to get the 60 percent required to clear it.

"I've looked up some guidebooks to get a driver's licence, and they were saying it takes at most five years to get this," Cha said in North Jeolla province, where farmers on tractors or cows can be just as common on country roads as motor vehicles.

"It's already been four years, so I might pass the test next time. That's what I hope for."

Driving schools in South Korea offer courses to enable applicants to walk away with a licence in a week. Cha has not been fortunate enough to set foot in such a class, which tends to congregate more in busy metropolitan areas, but she remains unfazed, even after having spent more than 10 million won ($6,800) on test applications.

"I believe you can achieve your goal if you persistently pursue it," she says. "So don't give up your dream, like me. Be strong and do your best."($1=1470.8 Won)
(Reporting by Reuters TV, writing by Jack Kiml Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)Funny Videos---Political Roast
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Nebraska woman, 86, gets $1,000 phone sex bill

BELLEVUE, Neb. – The family of an 86-year-old woman who was billed for over $1,000 in phone sex calls suspects identify theft. Arlene Hald recently received a credit card bill addressed to her husband, Sylvester, who died nearly 20 years ago. Hald said they never had a credit card, yet an account in his name was charged.

Hald's daughter, Peggy Rytych, believes her father was the victim of ID theft. She called the billing company, Preferred Platinum Plan, which agreed to remove the charges.

Rytych says they thought that was the end of it — until another bill arrived for over $70. The California-based company agreed to remove the latest charges and never bill Hald again.Information from: KETV-TV,
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bizarre News Stephen King Killed John Lennon?Santa Rosa Steven Lightfoot's Theory

Santa Rosa resident Steven Lightfoot's calling may be the most bizarre. From the moment John Lennon was killed by deranged gunman Mark Chapman on Dec. 8, 1980, Lightfoot has suspected a cover-up. On his website (, he presents evidence that has convinced him Lennon was assassinated by horror writer Stephen King, with assistance from the Reagan administration and other government officials. Although Hart hadn't seen Lightfoot at a council meeting for several weeks, Lightfoot has frequently shown up over the years to expound on his theory, which no one has apparently taken very seriously.

Contrary to all reports about a lone drifter named Mark David Chapman who allegedly shot John Lennon in the back December 8, 1980 you’ll find ample evidence in the back issues of Time, Newsweek, and US News and World Report magazines to suggest otherwise. Namely, that John Lennon was, not only politically assassinated, but that Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and, you’d better sit down, horror novelist Stephen King are the three people who can be proven guilty of the crime.
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CHIMP KILLED: Pet attacked, mauled woman

But on Monday, the wild animal in him came out with a vengeance.

The 200-pound animal viciously mauled a friend of his owner before being shot to death by police.

"It's hard to say what exactly precipitated this behavior," said Colleen McCann, a primatologist at the Bronx Zoo. "At the end of the day, they are not human and you can't always predict their behavior and how they or any other wild animal will respond when they feel threatened."

Travis attacked 55-year-old Charla Nash as Sandra Herold frantically stabbed her beloved pet with a butcher knife and pounded him with a shovel. Nash was in critical condition Tuesday with "life-changing, if not life-threatening," injuries to her face and hands, Mayor Dannel Malloy said.

Police said they are looking into the possibility of criminal charges. A pet owner can be held criminally responsible if he or she knew or should have known that an animal was a danger to others.

In recordings of calls to 911 dispatchers released Tuesday, Travis' grunts can be heard as a frantic Herold cries that her pet is "eating" Nash and must be killed. The attack lasted about 12 minutes.

"The chimp killed my friend!" says a sobbing Herold, who was hiding in her vehicle. "Send the police with a gun. With a gun!"

The dispatcher later asks, "Who's killing your friend?"

"My chimpanzee!" she cries. "He ripped her apart! Shoot him, shoot him!"

After police arrive, one officer radios back: "There's a man down. He doesn't look good," he says, referring to Nash. "We've got to get this guy out of here. He's got no face."
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Odd News:They call it Mellow Yellow?

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A hardline Hindu organization, known for its opposition to "corrupting" Western food imports, is planning to launch a new soft drink made from cow's urine, often seen as sacred in parts of India.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), or National Volunteer Corps, said the bovine beverage is undergoing laboratory tests for the next 2 to 3 months but did not give a specific date for its commercial release.

The flavor is not yet known, but the RSS said the liquid produced by Hinduism's revered holy cows is being mixed with products such as aloe vera and gooseberry to fight diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Many Hindus consider cow urine to have medicinal properties and it is often drunk in religious festivals.

The organization, which aims to transform India's secular society and establish the supremacy of a Hindu majority, said it had not decided on a name or a price for the drink.

"Cow urine offers a cure for around 70 to 80 incurable diseases like diabetes. All are curable by cow urine," Om Prakash, the head of the RSS Cow Protection Department, told Reuters by phone.

Prakash, who is based in Hardwar, one of four holy Hindu cities on the river Ganges where the world's largest religious gathering takes place, said the product will be sold nationwide but did not rule out international success.

"It is useful for the whole country and the world as well. It will be done through shops and through corporates," he said.

The Hindu group has campaigned against foreign imports such as Pepsi and Coca Cola in the past, which it sees as a corrupting influence and a tool of Western imperialism.

The RSS was temporarily banned after a Hindu mob tore down a mosque in 1992 which lead to bloody religious riots.

The Shiv Sena, a hardline Hindu political party also known for attacking what it sees as threats to Indian culture such as Valentine's Day, started a similar initiative last year to appeal to its powerbase in Mumbai.

To promote the food of the native Marathi culture, the Shiv Sena said it was "making a chain like McDonalds" to sell a popular local fried snack.
(Additional reporting by Vipul Tripathi)(Editing by Miral Fahmy)
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Odd News-Shark attacks diver in harbor

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A navy diver punched a shark as he was being attacked in Sydney Harbor on Wednesday, fending off the predator but suffering severe injuries to his right hand and leg.

The 31-year-old man was taking part in anti-terrorism training in waters around the Garden Island Naval Base, near the Sydney Opera House, when the shark attacked.

"The attack occurred very quickly. Our diver punched the shark, I believe, a couple of times. The shark then disappeared very quickly," Australian Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Nigel Coates told reporters.

"It was all over, I'm told, in a few seconds."

There have been at least four other shark attacks in Australia this summer, one of them fatal, sparking a global media frenzy of "Jaws" proportions. Last month, there were three attacks in just two days.

In the latest case, the diver was swimming on the water surface when the attack happened. He was treated on a navy boat, before being rushed ashore and to a nearby hospital for surgery.

Coates said the man was in a serious condition.

"The patient said he saw something big and grey underneath him just before the attack," an ambulance spokesman said, adding the man had severe injuries to his right hand, buttocks and down to his knee on one leg.

(Reporting by James Grubel; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)Funny Videos---Political Roast
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

China launches campaign to break sex taboos

BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Sunday launched a national sex education campaign aimed at breaking traditional taboos and getting more people to seek treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and infertility.

Just seven percent of women and slightly more than eight percent of men seek immediate medical help for sexual problems, while more a third of people never seek help, said one of the campaign's advisors.

"These numbers are shocking," Xia Enlan, head of the obstetrics and gynaecology department of the Capital University of Sciences' Fuxing Hospital, told a news conference.

"The numbers who get medical attention for sexual problems are extremely small," she added. "This delays treatment for some very serious diseases."

The campaign, called "The sunshine project to care for gender health," will feature posters, competitions and sponsorship of an international sex toy fair in Beijing, organisers said, in a bid to breach "painful topics" of sex.

It will be fronted by Hong Kong starlet Yvonne Yung and her husband Will Liu, who will be the campaign's "image ambassadors."

"Sexual health is an important part of family life and good for helping build a harmonious society," said Cui Yandi of the China Woman and Child Development Centre, one of the programme's main sponsors.

China reported a one-fifth rise in syphilis last year, with a total of 257,474 cases, according to the Health Ministry, though gonorrhoea cases dropped by a tenth.

HIV/AIDS in China is also now mainly sexually transmitted. In the past, most infections were caused by intravenous drug use.

By the end of 2007, China had an estimated 700,000 people infected with HIV, up from an earlier estimate of 650,000, but is believed to have many unreported cases.

While the government has rolled out a television campaign to promote condom use, a major move for a country where talking about sex is problematic for many people, Xia said traditional shyness about discussing sex remains a huge issue.

"It's taboo. The influence of feudalistic thinking has been around for many years. People are not very open," she told Reuters.

"People need to talk about it now that the economy has been growing so fast and we're becoming more and more open," Xia said.

"The traditional way of thinking has not been broken," she added. "We need more publicity, and to talk about these issues in the open. That's why we need this campaign."

(Editing by Valerie Lee)
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Odd News-Trade a gun for a rose in SC on Valentine's Day

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Police in South Carolina gave away roses on Valentine's Day. All you had to do to get one for your sweetie was turn in a gun.

Hoping to get the weapons off the streets with the "Guns for Roses" program, authorities in two central South Carolina cities set up a program where anyone who turned in a gun received a free rose and a Best Buy gift card.

At a Columbia church, five cars lined up to give away guns before the exchange had even started. At the end of the day, Columbia area police had collected 191 weapons and police in Sumter collected 32.

"We've got a great turnout so far," Richland County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Chris Cowan said.

A handgun was worth a $100 gift card, while a rifle or shotgun netted a $50 gift certificate. Cowan said one man turned in six handguns, worth $600 in gift cards.

Cowan did not immediately have a total value for gift cards given out. Sumter Police Chief Patty Patterson said her program gave out $550 in gift cards for long guns and $2,100 for handguns.

There was no amnesty for those turning in the guns. The weapons were being checked to see if they were stolen, names and addresses were jotted down and ballistics tests would also be done to see if the firearm was used in a crime.

Both Cowan and Patterson said there were no incidents and no arrests made Saturday.

Cowan said the idea was spawned in part by Columbia Police Chief T.P. Carter and Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, who has made headlines recently for investigating Michael Phelps after a photo surfaced showing the Olympic swimming champion smoking a marijuana pipe. The program was modeled after a California one; similar exchanges have been done in New York and San Francisco.

Cowan said gun donors were young and old, men and woman. Many had a big smile and some said it was a relief to get rid of the weapons.

And did they even care about the rose?

"Most of them have taken it," Cowan said.Funny Videos---Political Roast
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Odd News-Man bitten by snake at Wal-Mart Lawn and Garden Section

Florida - Wal-Mart is full of signs highlighting low prices, but there should be another warning customers that they might be attacked by snakes on the premises, a bitten shopper says. Hollywood resident Jay Richitelli filed suit against the mega retailer because a venomous pygmy rattlesnake bit him in the lawn and garden section of the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Pembroke Pines.
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Friday, February 13, 2009

Pranksters hijack Taco Bell's drive-through signal

SEDALIA, Mo. – Police are looking for pranksters who hijacked a Taco Bell's drive-through radio signal and used it to shout vulgarities to customers. The suspects posed as Taco Bell employees in the Tuesday afternoon episode, which lasted a few minutes.

Police said even though the intruders meant it as a joke, they could face charges. Taco Bell employees said they would press charges if the pranksters are caught.

Sgt. Matt Wirt said the suspects "would have to be in relatively close proximity to" the business to interfere with the drive-through frequency.
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Odd News:Woman's record-length fingernails broken in crash

SALT LAKE CITY – A Utah woman listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for her long fingernails has lost them in a car crash. Lee Redmond of Salt Lake City sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries in the accident Tuesday.

Redmond's nails, which hadn't been cut since 1979, were broken in the crash. According to the Guinness Web site, her nails measured a total of more than 28 feet long in 2008, with the longest nail on her right thumb at 2 feet, 11 inches.

Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Don Hutson says Redmond was ejected from an SUV in the crash and taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Redmond has been featured on TV in episodes of "Guinness Book of World Records" and "Ripley's Believe It or Not."
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Odd News:Woman's record-length fingernails broken in crash

SALT LAKE CITY – A Utah woman listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for her long fingernails has lost them in a car crash. Lee Redmond of Salt Lake City sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries in the accident Tuesday.

Redmond's nails, which hadn't been cut since 1979, were broken in the crash. According to the Guinness Web site, her nails measured a total of more than 28 feet long in 2008, with the longest nail on her right thumb at 2 feet, 11 inches.

Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Don Hutson says Redmond was ejected from an SUV in the crash and taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Redmond has been featured on TV in episodes of "Guinness Book of World Records" and "Ripley's Believe It or Not."
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Wind leads police to marijuana-growing operation

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Mother Nature helped police uncover a home marijuana-growing operation. Police said a gust of wind set off a security alarm at a home in western St. Joseph County on Tuesday, prompting Indiana State Police Trooper Mick Dockery to investigate.

Dockery found the back door of the home open. Inside the home, his police dog indicated the presence of drugs. Police found 19 marijuana plants and 40 grams of processed marijuana.

No arrests have been made, but St. Joseph County prosecutors are reviewing possible charges against the homeowners.

Information from: South Bend Tribune
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Odd News:Police find 22 dogs in station wagon with owner

North Texas authorities seized 22 dogs found crammed inside a station wagon with their owner. The owner locked the car doors and refused to come out when a constable tried to serve her a warrant for the seizure of the dogs early Monday, said SPCA spokeswoman Maura Davies.

Two puppies and 20 dogs were taken to a shelter until a judge decides who gets custody, the SPCA said. A hearing on the custody of the animals is set for Feb. 16 in Denison.

The dogs were in the car along with a pot of water, blankets and waste.

"The car was soaked with urine and covered in feces. The ammonia level in the vehicle was 23 parts per million even after the doors had been opened for several minutes. As a frame of reference, humans start experiencing health issues at 12 parts per million," Courtney Stevens, SPCA of Texas rescue and investigations supervisor, said in a news release.

The owner does not face charges, Grayson County constable Michael Putman said. She was not coherent and the SPCA said it has contacted Adult Protective Services about the woman.

Pottsboro is about 70 miles north of Dallas.
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Odd News|Blast away bad luck with fireworks ritual

TAITUNG, Taiwan (Reuters) – Being burned by fireworks is considered a stroke of bad luck, but for Taiwanese who willingly subject themselves to an explosive barrage, it's all about good fortune.

In one of Taiwan's wildest but least-known rituals to mark the Lunar New Year, five men in the southern city of Taitung asked to be showered with fireworks, and were burned by them.

Traditionally, the targets endure the pain to get rid of evil spirits and change their luck for the year ahead. Today, the men let themselves get burned to show strength and bring prosperity to the local merchant who hired them.

"I'm a thug, and I want to become an official," joked Chen Chin-yi about why he volunteered for a 25th year to get burned in the smoky annual Han Dan ritual. "I won't go to the hospital. I treat my wounds at friends' homes."

The ritual's namesake, Han Dan, is said to be a god of wealth who likes fire but fears the cold, so believers throw firecrackers to please him.

Chen emerged from the ritual with small burns all over his tattooed, largely unclothed body after letting about 30 men throw wads of firecrackers at him while he rode on a sedan carriage. About 1,000 people watched from the street.

This year, a local jeweler hired Chen and the other four men to improve its own fortunes.

"For us, this is to welcome more business," said Hu Dai-fen, 48, whose family runs the shop that requested the show, paying about T$70,000 ($2,100) for the fireworks and the gold medals given out to the wounded volunteers.

All the men were "bombed" for about two minutes each as onlookers applauded, while ducking the flaming debris of firecrackers that missed their marks.

"There is a danger. Sometimes these guys can't walk for a week," said Wang Cheng-fu, an event coordinator. "But one who's experienced can last for more than 10 minutes."

Despite the risks, Taitung, population 240,000, has allowed the ritual to be held for most of the past 50 years and has even started to promote it as a tourist attraction.

Some spectators go just for a blast. Others see the event as maintaining tradition.

"In the past few years the Lunar New Year atmosphere has become diluted, but this won't be forgotten by our children," said Taitung resident Chuang Shu-fen.

Han Dan rituals began this year in Taitung from Friday with local government-sponsored shows that try not to burn anyone.

Taiwan is a hotbed of traditional Chinese culture, honoring the two-week festivities that mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year with mass displays of lanterns, a cow-themed light show for Year of the Ox and other fireworks displays.

(Editing by Miral Fahmy)
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Odd News:Teen charged with billing school for $37K of candy

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio – Police say an Ohio teenager tried to pull off a sweet deal by ordering more than $37,000 of candy online and charging the bill to his former high school.

Police say the 18-year-old used a Middletown High School purchasing number to place orders for thousands of lollipops and candy bars from Michigan-based The Goodies Factory. It wasn't clear how he accessed the number.

The candy company became suspicious, contacted the school and was told by detectives to send an empty box.

Police say he had the order shipped to his home and was arrested after the fake delivery.

The teen faces two counts of felony telecommunications fraud. He was being held in Middletown City Jail on more than $30,000 bond.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Man Killed by Exploding Cell Phone

China - A man has died after his cell phone exploded, severing a major artery in his neck, according to reports.
The man, thought to be a shop assistant in his twenties at a computer shop in Guangzhou, southern China, died after he put a new battery in his phone. It was believed that he may have just finished charging the battery and had put the phone in his breast pocket when it exploded. More...
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Odd News:Competitive Eating Champs!

Competitive Eating Champs!
24" Pizza
7 1/2 Extra Large Bacci Pizza Slices
15 Minutes/ July 9, 2005
Richard LeFevre

16" Pizza
45 Slices/Famous Famiglia Pizza
10 Minutes/October 13, 2008
Joey Chestnut

Armour Vienna Sausage
8.31 pounds Armour Vienna Sausage /Lowe's Motor Speedway Charlotte
10 Minutes/ May 28, 2005
Sonya Thomas

8.8 pounds Tempura Deep Fried Aspargus Spears/ Stockton Asparagus Fest
10 minutes/ Apr. 26, 2008
Joey Chestnut

Baked Beans
Six Pounds Baked Beans
One Minute, 48 Seconds
Don Lerman

Baked Beans, Long Course
8.4 Pounds Baked Beans/ 84 Lumber
2 minutes 47 seconds/ Aug. 7, 2004
Sonya Thomas

Beef Brisket BBQ Sandwiches
34.75 Beef Brisket BBQ Sandwiches/Cherokee Casino
10 Minutes/July 26, 2008
Bob Shoudt

Beef Tongue
3 pound 3 ounces pickled beef tongue whole
12 minutes
Dominic Cardo

Birthday Cake
Five Pounds/ TripRewards 1st Birthday
11 Minutes, 26 Seconds/ May 10, 2005
Richard LeFevre

Blueberry Pie (Hands-Free)
9.17 lbs blueberry pie/Stand By Me World Pie Eating Championship
8 minutes/July 28, 2007
Patrick Bertoletti

2.76 Pounds Pork & Chicken Bologna/Eats of Strength
Six Minutes/May 6, 2006
Don Lerman

58 Johnsonville Brats / Brat Days
10 Minutes/ Aug. 5, 2006
Takeru Kobayashi

5 1/2 pounds of buffet food
12 minutes
Crazy Legs Conti

15 BurritoVille burritos
8 minutes
Eric Booker

Burritos, Long Form
11.81 lbs burritos/Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill
10 Minutes/Sep. 22, 2007
Timothy Janus

7 quarter-pound sticks, salted butter
5 minutes
Don Lerman

6 pounds 9 ounces giant cabbage
9 minutes
Charles Hardy

Candy Bars
Two Pounds Chocolate Candy Bars
6 minutes
Eric Booker

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Cable provider apologizes for Super Bowl porn

TUCSON, Ariz. – A cable television provider has apologized to Tucson-area customers over a 30-second porn interruption during the Super Bowl. Philadelphia-based Comcast issued a brief statement Monday saying the company is "mortified" and is conducting a thorough investigation.

Comcast spokeswoman Jennifer Khoury says the initial investigation suggests that the interruption was an "isolated, malicious act."

The company says only customers in the Tucson area receiving the standard definition feed — not high definition — were affected.

Tucson media outlets reported that they received calls from irate viewers about the porn, which aired just after the Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald scored on a long touchdown reception during the game's final minutes.

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Michael Phelps Hitting a bong Pic:Now This Is real Athlete Doping!

Phelps in hot water again after pot pic surfaces

Michael Phelps is unbeatable in the water. It's on dry land where he runs into trouble. Phelps has embarrassed himself again after a triumphant Olympics, this time getting his picture snapped as he inhaled from a marijuana pipe. The photo wound up in a British tabloid Sunday, forcing Phelps to publicly apologize and his handlers to deal with sponsors who are surely none too pleased about the swimmer's choices away from the pool.

"I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment," Phelps said in the statement released by one of his agents. "I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again."
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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Odd News:Sewage yields more gold than top mines

TOKYO (Reuters) – Resource-poor Japan just discovered a new source of mineral wealth -- sewage.

A sewage treatment facility in central Japan has recorded a higher gold yield from sludge than can be found at some of the world's best mines. An official in Nagano prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, said the high percentage of gold found at the Suwa facility was probably due to the large number of precision equipment manufacturers in the vicinity that use the yellow metal. The facility recently recorded finding 1,890 grammes of gold per tonne of ash from incinerated sludge.

That is a far higher gold content than Japan's Hishikari Mine, one of the world's top gold mines, owned by Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd, which contains 20-40 grammes of the precious metal per tonne of ore.

The prefecture is so far due to receive 5 million yen ($55,810) for the gold, minus expenses.

It expects to earn about 15 million yen for the fiscal year to the end of March from the gold it has retrieved from the ashes of incinerated sludge.

"How much we actually receive will depend on gold prices at the time," the official said.

Some gold industry officials expect prices this year to top the all-time high above $1,030 per ounce set in 2008, on buying by investors worried about the deepening economic downturn. (Reporting by Miho Yoshikawa; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
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Odd News-Pole dancing demo for the school students

UK - It was a packed lunch for children at an English school who were treated to a pole dancing lesson as part of their Be Healthy Week. The Sun reports around 1000 students aged between 14 and 19 from South Devon College in Paignton, on England's east coast, watched as Sam Remmer, 32, of pole dancing company The Art of Dance performed in one of the public areas of the campus. During the performance, some students captured the moves on their mobile phones. More...

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