Tuesday, June 30, 2009

M.Jackson-The King of Pop is to be a butter statue

DES MOINES, Iowa – It's the King of Pop — in butter.

Iowa State Fair organizers announced Tuesday that they will have a statue of Michael Jackson made of butter. The sculpture will be on display along with the annual butter cow, a popular attraction at the event.

Both will be in a 40-degree cooler throughout the fair from Aug. 13 to 23 in Des Moines.

Fair organizers say the butter sculpture is a tribute to the pop icon who died at the age of 50.

Jackson performed at the fair twice with the Jackson Five in 1971.

On the Net:
Iowa State Fair: http://www.iowastatefair.org/

Should Michael Jackson's Abusive Father Get his Kids?

The battle begins for the Michael Jackson empire. But why should Michael Jackson's abusive father get custody of his kids? It is proven that Joe Jackson abused Michael and the Jackson kids, that is what help distory Michael Jackson. People should be outraged!

LOS ANGELES - So, who gets Michael Jackson's riches?

His mother took the first step Monday when she petitioned the Superior Court of California to be named the administrator of the late singer's estate. Katherine Jackson said in the filing she was acting to ensure Michael Jackson's three children are the beneficiaries.

It's the opening salvo in a complicated battle for a fortune that includes a lucrative music catalog of the King of Pop's own hits, the rights to songs by the Beatles, and the Neverland ranch that could one day be a tourist attraction.

There's even an elaborate video production, dubbed the "Dome Project," that was overseen by Jackson and finished two weeks before he died.

The high stakes and array of people involved will likely make the fight far more convoluted than recent high-profile squabbles over the estates of singer James Brown and ex-Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith.

"There's no doubt that there's going to be a big battle," said Alexis Martin Neely, a Los Angeles-based estate attorney. "It's going to be very messy and I don't see anything comparing to this."

China's internet porn filter -- no Johnny Depp please

BEIJING (Reuters) – What do Johnny Depp, Garfield, Paris Hilton and roast pork have in common? In China, the answer is that a new government-mandated Internet filter rates some pictures of all four of them as bad for your moral health.

Beijing has ordered all personal computers sold in China from July 1 to be preinstalled with the Green Dam software, which it says is designed to block pornographic and violent images, and which critics fear will be used to extend censorship.

But a trial of the programme, which is available online for free download (http://www.skycn.com/soft/46657.html), suggested

its filters may be of limited use to worried parents.

When the software is installed, and an image scanner activated, it blocks even harmless images of a film poster for cartoon cat Garfield, dishes of flesh-colour cooked pork and on one search engine a close-up of film star Johnny Depp's face.

With the image filter off, even though searches with words like "nude" are blocked, a hunt for adult websites throws up links to soft and hardcore pornography sites including one with a video of full penetrative sex playing on its front page.

Green Dam has not detailed how it scans images for obscene content, but computer experts have said it likely uses colour and form recognition to zoom in on potential expanses of naked flesh.

Programme settings allow users to chose how tightly they want images scanned. When too much skin is detected, Green Dam closes all internet browsers with no warning, sometimes flashing up a notice that the viewer is looking at "harmful" content.

But the interpretation of obscene is apparently generous enough to include the orange hue of Garfield's fur and, on the highest security settings, prevent viewers clicking through to any illustrated story on one English language news website.

A programme to scan written content appears less sensitive, with a string of explicit words typed into a word document triggering no response, although some users have complained in online forums of shut-downs similar to those of web browsers.


The software also allows users to choose what they want to filter for, and besides adult websites and violence, categories include "gay" and "illegal activities."

Gay and health activists fear the blanket ban on "gay content," in a country where homosexuality is not criminalised, could damage projects including sexual health and AIDS education.

And government critics worry the "illegal activities" section will cover political and social activities Beijing objects to, tightening access to non-approved information, already filtered by censors and a firewall.

Another setting allows Green Dam to take regular snapshots of a user's screen and store them for up to two weeks -- ostensibly so parents can monitor computer use by minors.

But it could also potentially leave security officials a track of computer use by a suspected dissident, or be a gift to fraudsters hunting online bank details and private information.

Researchers in the U.S. have already said they are concerned Green Dam leaves users vulnerable to malicious sites that might steal personal data or install code on the personal computer.

Western governments and trade groups have also asked China to reconsider, based on concerns ranging from cyber-security and performance of the software to Internet freedoms.

"People say the software is not very stable and has many technological problems," said Joerg Wuttke, the president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, which has dubbed the introduction of Green Dam "hasty."

China's foreign ministry on Tuesday declined to respond to criticisms of the software.

(Additional reporting by Maxim Duncan, Kirby Chien and Alan Wheatley; Editing by Jerry Norton)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Billy Mays Found Dead in Home

'Infomercial King' Billy Mays Found Dead in Home

DEVELOPING: Television pitchman Billy Mays — who built his fame by appearing on commercials and infomercials promoting household products and gadgets — died Sunday.

Mays, 50, was found unresponsive by his wife inside his Tampa, Fla., home at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Tampa Police Department.

Police said there were no signs of forced entry to Mays' residence and foul play is not suspected. Authorities said an autopsy should be complete by Monday afternoon.

"Although Billy lived a public life, we don't anticipate making any public statements over the next couple of days. Our family asks that you respect our privacy during these difficult times," Mays wife, Deborah, said in a statement on Sunday.

Mays was well known for his numerous television promotions of such products as Orange Glo and OxiClean. He was also featured on the reality TV show "Pitchmen" on the Discovery Channel, which followed Mays and Anthony Sullivan in their marketing jobs.

Born William Mays in McKees Rocks, Pa., on July 20, 1958, Mays developed his style demonstrating knives, mops and other "as seen on TV" gadgets on Atlantic City's boardwalk. For years he worked as a hired gun on the state fair and home show circuits, attracting crowds with his booming voice and genial manner.

After meeting Orange Glo International founder Max Appel at a home show in Pittsburgh in the mid-1990s, Mays was recruited to demonstrate the environmentally friendly line of cleaning products on the St. Petersburg-based Home Shopping Network.

Commercials and informercials followed, anchored by the high-energy Mays showing how it's done while tossing out kitschy phrases like, "Long live your laundry!"

Recently he's been seen on commercials for a wide variety of products and is featured on the reality TV show "Pitchmen" on the Discovery Channel, which follows Mays and Anthony Sullivan in their marketing jobs. He's also been seen in ESPN ads.

His ubiquitousness and thumbs-up, in-your-face pitches won Mays plenty of fans. People line up at his personal appearances for autographed color glossies, and strangers stop him in airports to chat about the products.

"I enjoy what I do," Mays told The Associated Press in a 2002 interview. "I think it shows."

Mays was on board a US Airways flight that blew out its front tires as it landed at a Tampa airport on Saturday, MyFOXTampa.com reported.

US Airways spokesman Jim Olson said that none of the 138 passengers and five crew members were injured in the incident, but several passengers reported having bumps and bruises, according to the station.

Authorities have not said whether Mays' death was related to the incident.

Discovery Channel spokeswoman Elizabeth Hillman released a statement Sunday extending sympathy to the Mays family.

"Everyone that knows him was aware of his larger-than-life personality, generosity and warmth," Hillman's statement said. "Billy was a pioneer in his field and helped many people fulfill their dreams. He will be greatly missed as a loyal and compassionate friend."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Odd News-Stoned wallabies make crop circles

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The mystery of crop circles in poppy fields in Australia's southern island state of Tasmania has been solved -- stoned wallabies are eating the poppy heads and hopping around in circles.

"We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles," the state's top lawmaker Lara Giddings told local media on Thursday.

"Then they crash. We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high," she said.

Many people believe crop circles that mysteriously appear in fields around the world are created by aliens.

Poppy producer Tasmanian Alkaloids said livestock which ate the poppies were known to "act weird" -- including deer and sheep in the state's highlands.

"There have been many stories about sheep that have eaten some of the poppies after harvesting and they all walk around in circles," said field operations manager Rick Rockliff.

Australia produces about 50 percent of the world's raw material for morphine and related opiates.

(Reporting by Michael Perry; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

The Final Moments Of Michael Jackson

Doctor tells police about Jackson's final moments

LOS ANGELES – The cardiologist who was with Michael Jackson during the pop star's final moments sat down with investigators for the first time to explain his actions — and left three hours later as a witness, not a suspect.

Dr. Conrad Murray "helped identify the circumstances around the death of the pop icon and clarified some inconsistencies," Murray's spokeswoman Miranda Sevcik said in a statement Saturday. "Investigators say the doctor is in no way a suspect and remains a witness to this tragedy."

Murray, a physician with a tangled financial and personal history who was hired to accompany Jackson on his planned summer concert tour, reportedly performed CPR until paramedics arrived. The pop star was declared dead later at UCLA Medical Center.

Police confirmed that they interviewed Murray, adding that he was cooperative and "provided information which will aid the investigation."

The interview took place on a busy day when one of Jackson's lawyers was chosen to represent the family's legal interests and celebrities descended on Los Angeles for a star-studded public celebration of the King of Pop's life.

L. Londell McMillan, who represented Jackson last year in a breach of contact lawsuit and has advised high-profile clients such as Prince, was picked to help the family by Katherine Jackson, the singer's mother, said a person who requested anonymity because the matter is private.

The legal move came as the Rev. Jesse Jackson revealed that Michael Jackson's family wants a second, private autopsy of the pop superstar because of unanswered questions about how he died.

"It's abnormal," Jesse Jackson said from Chicago a day after visiting the Jackson family. "We don't know what happened. Was he injected and with what? All reasonable doubt should be addressed."

People close to Jackson have said since his death that they were concerned about his use of painkillers. Los Angeles County medical examiners completed their autopsy Friday and said Jackson had taken prescription medication.

Medical officials also said there was no indication of trauma or foul play. An official cause of death could take weeks.

There was no word from the Jackson family on funeral plans. Many of Jackson's relatives have gathered at the family's Encino compound, caring there for Jackson's three children.

It remains unclear who Jackson designated as potential guardians for his children. Those details — likely contained in the 50-year-old singer's will — have not been released.

An attorney for Deborah Rowe, the mother of Jackson's two oldest children, issued a statement Saturday asking that the Jackson family "be able to say goodbye to their loved one in peace."

Sisters Janet and La Toya arrived Saturday at the mansion Jackson had been renting and left without addressing reporters. Moving vans also showed up at the Jackson home, leaving about an hour later. There was no indication what they might have taken away.

The Jackson family issued a statement Saturday expressing its grief over the death and thanking his supporters.

"In one of the darkest moments of our lives we find it hard to find the words appropriate to this sudden tragedy we all had to encounter," said the statement made through People magazine. "We miss Michael endlessly."

There was no immediate word on whether the second autopsy was being performed right away. Jesse Jackson described the family as grief-stricken.

"They're hurt because they lost a son. But the wound is now being kept open by the mystery and unanswered questions of the cause of death," he said.

Organizers of the annual BET awards show — which recognizes the best in music, acting and sports — scrambled to revamp Sunday's show to honor Jackson and his legacy.

Previously announced acts, such as Beyonce and Ne-Yo, hoped to change their planned performances to honor Jackson, said producer Stephen Hill. Other artists who hadn't planned to attend the ceremony, including Usher and Justin Timberlake, tried to catch last-minute flights to Los Angeles to participate.

Associated Press writers Anthony McCartney; Sophia Tareen in Chicago; Juan A. Lozano in Houston; and Gillian Flaccus, Brooke Donald, Beth Harris and Mike Blood and AP Global Media Services Production Manager Nico Maounis in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Odd News-Kids' "power station" sparks radiation alert

BERLIN (Reuters) – A toy nuclear power plant built by two six year-olds sparked a public alert in Germany, only for authorities to discover the would-be security threat was the shell of a computer with a radiation warning sign stuck to it.

Fire services and police cordoned off several streets and told residents to stay indoors in the western town of Oelde after the two boys left their mock power station on the street when they went home for dinner Monday evening.

"It wasn't a prank, they were just playing," a local police spokeswoman said Tuesday. "The boys tried to go back later to carry on but the fire brigade wouldn't let them through."

The lock-down of the area began when a passer-by saw the metal object with the yellow and black symbol on it, took fright and alerted authorities, the spokeswoman said.

Police sent out warnings on local radio for residents to remain in their homes while a radiation detector was rushed to the scene to investigate the old computer casing and the warning sign, which the boys had printed out from the internet.

After the object had been identified, the boys' parents explained to police the children had gone out to "play nuclear power station" that evening, the spokeswoman said.

(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Sophie Hares)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

King of Pop Michael Jackson is dead

King of Pop Michael Jackson is dead: report
By Bob Tourtellotte, Reuters

LOS ANGELES — Pop giant Michael Jackson, who took to the stage as a child star and set the world dancing to exuberant rhythms for decades, died on Thursday after being taken ill at his home, the Los Angeles Times said. He was 50.

"Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead by doctors this afternoon after arriving at a hospital in a deep coma, city and law enforcement sources told The Times," the newspaper reported on its website.

The paper's report followed news of Jackson's death first reported by the TMZ entertainment website.

There was no immediate comment from spokespersons for Jackson, who was known as the "King of Pop," for hit albums that included "Thriller" and "Billie Jean."

He had been scheduled to launch a comeback tour from London next month.

TMZ said on its website that "Michael suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this afternoon at his Holmby Hills home and paramedics were unable to revive him. We're told when paramedics arrived Jackson had no pulse and they never got a pulse back."

Earlier, the Los Angeles Times said the singer had been rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital by fire department paramedics who found him not breathing when they arrived at the singer's home.

The newspaper said paramedics performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the scene before taking him to the UCLA Medical Center hospital.

Police: Man dons bustier, can't skirt drug charges

TUSTIN, Calif. – Police say a California man donning a bustier and watching porn on a computer in an apartment complex gym was arrested after officers found drugs in his backpack.

Sgt. Todd Bullock says 45-year-old Stephen Murdoch of Tustin was arrested early Tuesday after a security guard spotted him in a workout room that was supposed to be closed and locked.

When police peered inside, they saw Murdoch — also in a miniskirt, fishnet stockings and heels — hiding behind exercise equipment and watching an adult film on a laptop.

Officers noticed Murdoch was sweating profusely and talking quickly. They arrested him on suspicion of drug possession after allegedly finding marijuana, methamphetamine and pipes in his bag.

Murdoch did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

Star-faced teen lied about tattoo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Belgian teen-ager who made headlines across the globe after claiming a tattoo artist had drawn 56 stars on her face, rather than the three she asked for, has admitted she lied.

Kimberley Vlaeminck from the city of Kortrijk, 90 km (56 miles) northwest of Brussels said she fell asleep during the procedure, and woke up in pain when her nose was being tattooed.

But the 18-year-old was caught off camera on Dutch television when she said she quite liked the tattoo, but lied about asking for all 56 stars when she saw her father's furious reaction.

Tattoo artist Rouslain Toumaniantz said Vlaeminck initially liked her new look, and that she got what she asked for.

(Reporting by Antonia van de Velde, editing by Paul Casciato)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Monkey urinates on Zambian president

LUSAKA (Reuters) – A monkey urinated on Zambian President Rupiah Banda as he spoke to journalists at a news conference on Wednesday.

Banda softly shouted: "You (monkey) have urinated on my jacket," and paused as he looked up to see the animal playing in a tree just above his chair.

"Perhaps these are blessings," he said continuing his address amid laughter from the audience of journalists and diplomats at the State House presidential offices.

Several monkeys play around the grounds of Banda's residence and his office. There are also many species of antelope and birds in the State House grounds.

(Reporting By Shapi Shacinda)

Turkey lands in manure truck's cab, causing crash

OSWEGATCHIE, N.Y. – A wild turkey landed inside the cab of a manure-hauling tractor trailer, startling the driver and sending the truck rolling into a ditch off a northern New York road. State police said Scott Fisher, 38, was traveling in St. Lawrence County near the Canadian border when the turkey flew in through an open window.

As Fisher tried to shoo the bird out of the cab, the truck ran off the road and hit several fence posts and a utility pole before rolling onto its side in a ditch.

Fisher wasn't hurt in the accident Monday.

Police say the turkey escaped, leaving behind some of its feathers.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Truck carrying 40K pounds of beer overturns in Vt.

SWANTON, Vt. – Police say a truck carrying 40,000 pounds of beer overturned in Vermont and closed a highway for several hours.

The truck went off the road Monday morning on Route 78 in Swanton. It rolled over and landed in a swamp on a wildlife refuge. The crash also knocked down some power lines.

Travis Greeno, assistant chief of the Swanton Fire Department, says the truck had to be offloaded before it was pulled out of the ditch. He said it was "going to be a long day."

The highway was closed for several hours.

The truck driver was not hurt. It is unclear why he went off the road.

No beer spilled into the swamp.

Information from: WCAX-TV, http://www.wcax.com

Shot dog bites gunman

BERLIN (Reuters) – A dog in Germany shot by a drunken man with a gun took swift revenge by biting off the end of the man's nose, authorities said on Monday.

Police said the armed man was snooping at night in the yard of a house in Stadtlauringen in northern Bavaria when he shot the Bernese mountain dog from point-blank range.

Before collapsing, the dog leapt at the 39-year-old man and bit off the end of his nose, a local police spokesman said.

Bleeding profusely, the man called police and was taken for treatment in a nearby hospital. His motives for being in the yard were unclear, police said.

Doctors removed a bullet from the dog's shoulder and discharged it from a clinic after an operation lasting several hours.

(Reporting by Dave Graham; editing by Michael Roddy)

Georgia man wins big lottery prizes twice in week

AUGUSTA, Ga. – A 62-year-old man struck it big twice in the Georgia Lottery. Earl Fritz won the top prize of $777,777 in the instant game Super Lucky 7's. That dwarfed the $1,000 he won a week earlier in a different game. The carpenter said he felt lucky a week ago and now feels a little bit luckier.

Fritz said he didn't realize he had won the big prize at first because he wasn't wearing his glasses.

The first win came in the instant game Extreme Green.

Fritz and his wife have not decided what to do with the money.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Monday, June 22, 2009

Woman says she was evicted over Easter decor

BOULDER, Colo. – A woman is going to court claiming she was wrongly evicted from her apartment because she kept her Easter decorations on her door for two weeks after the holiday.

Carol Burdick claims her landlord unjustly told her to remove a display of Easter stickers, plastic grass, and Peeps marshmallow candies from her door a few days after the April 12 holiday this year.

"An Easter decoration is a religious statement and should be protected — even if it is just bunnies," said her attorney, John Pineau.

Burdick, 59, is not asking for monetary damages but wants jurors to find that she's not liable for more than $2,000 in rent and late fees that she refused to pay. Jury selection is set for this week.

Pineau told the Daily Camera newspaper that when Burdick refused to remove her display, apartment managers posted a notice saying she was violating her lease, which says balconies, patios and other areas must be kept "in a clean sanitary condition."

Pineau said that amounted to calling Burdick's Easter display "garbage."

He said the landlord removed the display, Burdick stopped paying rent, and she was evicted in May.

Burdick's lease was with the Meadow Creek Apartments and the AIMCO corporation, which owns and operates apartment communities. AIMCO spokesman Cindy Duffy told the Daily Camera she wanted to research Burdick's case before commenting.

Information from: Daily Camera

British government spells end of 'i before e' rule

LONDON – It's a spelling mantra that generations of schoolchildren have learned — "i before e, except after c."

But new British government guidance tells teachers not to pass on the rule to students, because there are too many exceptions.

The "Support For Spelling" document, which is being sent to thousands of primary schools, says the rule "is not worth teaching" because it doesn't account for words like 'sufficient,' 'veil' and 'their.'

Jack Bovill of the Spelling Society, which advocates simplified spelling, said Saturday he agreed with the decision.

But supporters say the ditty has value because it is one of the few language rules that most people remember.

Cocaine haul found hidden in frozen sharks

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico's navy has seized more than a tonne of cocaine stuffed inside frozen sharks, as drug gangs under military pressure go to greater lengths to conceal narcotics bound for the United States.

Armed and masked navy officers cut open more than 20 shark carcasses filled with slabs of cocaine after checking a container ship in a container port in the southern Mexico state of Yucatan, the navy and Mexican media said Tuesday.

"We are talking about more than a tonne of cocaine that was inside the ship," Navy Commander Eduardo Villa told reporters after X-ray machines and sniffer dogs helped uncover the drugs. "Those in charge of the shipment said it was a conserving agent but after checks we confirmed it was cocaine," he said.

Drug gangs are coming up with increasingly creative ways of getting drugs into the United States -- in sealed beer cans, religious statues and furniture -- as Mexico's military cracks down on the cartels moving South American narcotics north.

President Felipe Calderon has sent 45,000 troops and federal police across Mexico to try to crush powerful smuggling cartels. But traffickers armed with a huge arsenal of grenades and automatic weapons are far from defeated, worrying Washington as violence spills over into U.S. states like Arizona.

Some 2,750 people have died in drug violence in Mexico this year, a pace similar to that of 2008, when 6,300 were killed.

Led by Mexico's most wanted man, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, smugglers from the Pacific state of Sinaloa are fighting a turf war with rivals. Guzman seeks to control Mexican and Central American smuggling routes into the United States.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott; editing by Patricia Zengerle)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Virginia man wins spelling title after 51 years

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – It took Michael Petrina Jr. 51 years to finally win a national spelling bee.

The Arlington, Va., man bested 45 other spellers older than 50 to win the AARP's annual National Spelling Bee Saturday in Cheyenne. The 64-year-old's winning word was "woad," a plant whose leaves yield a blue dye.

AARP spokeswoman Joanne Bowlby says Petrina won his state's national spelling bee when he was 13, but then lost at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

In second place Saturday was 55-year-old Scott Firebaugh of Knoxville, Tenn., and in third place was 66-year-old Gil Couts of Bigfork, Mont.

Petrina won $500, a trophy and dictionary kit.

The AARP bee started in 1996.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Police: Man attacked in Okla. for bologna sandwich

OKLAHOMA CITY – A man in Oklahoma City said he was attacked for his bologna and cheese sandwich. Police say 24-year-old Roger Hamilton told them he was sitting on a bus station bench Wednesday, about to put mayonnaise on his sandwich, when another man began staring at him.

Hamilton told police that the man then punched him in the mouth and grabbed his sandwich and left.

Police said Hamilton has a swollen lip and his face was covered in blood. The police report listed the value of the sandwich at 76 cents.

Police have not found the attacker.

Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

Montana woman uses chickens as therapy animals

POLSON, Mont. – Therapy dogs can be a comfort for seniors and those recovering from illnesses and injuries. So how about therapy chickens? Jana Clairmont of Polson, Mont., calls her therapy birds — a white rooster and Cornish game hen — "Fowl Play."

On Thursday, she took them to visit residents at Polson Health and Rehabilitation Center in northeast Montana.

Many seniors were raised on farms, Clairmont says, and holding a chicken can bring back memories.

As one man stroked the rooster, Alex, the bird stretched out his neck and rested it across the man's forearm, like a puppy.

Clairmont has arranged visits to retirement and assisted living homes, and says she'd like to take Alex and Carlita, the hen, into classrooms this fall.

Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Odd-Kiss Causes Diploma Denial

A Very Costly Kiss: Senior Denied Diploma

For teens, there is no greater joy than graduating high school. Shaking off the shackles of education and claiming that hard-fought diploma is truly an epic day. Unfortunately, for several students at Bonny Eagle High School in Maine, their natural exuberance has led to some surprisingly serious problems.

On Friday night, when the senior class was waiting to graduate, excitement began to grow. Students bounced a large inflatable rubber duck. The noise level rose. And then came "the kiss." When called, one student walked on stage to receive his diploma and blew a kiss to his family. The school administrator, clearly not the sentimental sort, sent the student back to his seat ... sans diploma.

The seemingly harsh punishment has sent the Web all aflutter. Searches on "student denied diploma" and "bonny eagle high school" are both through the roof. Additionally, blogs and news papers are chiming in with opinions on whether or not the administration overreacted. The student's mother has given interviews and is quite upset at her son's treatment. According to an article from Fox News the outraged mother said, "A bow, a kiss to your mom is not misbehavior."

But the administrators feel they were just enforcing the rules that students agreed to. At a meeting following the debacle, school superintendent Suzanne Lukas said that "if a student doesn't adhere to the expectations, then the consequences are clearly spelled out."

This isn't the first time that rambunctious (dare we say "fun"?) behavior affected a graduation ceremony at Bonny Eagle. "Four years ago we had some issues with silly string and beach balls," said Lukas.

Odd News-Man hides in LA drain for 12 hours to avoid arrest

LOS ANGELES – A burglary suspect who tried to evade police by hiding in a narrow storm drain under a busy freeway for 12 hours finally agreed to give himself up after speaking to a local TV reporter on his cell phone.

The man resisted multiple applications of tear gas, a police dog, negotiators, an improvised plunger and a professional urban search-and-rescue firefighter, authorities said. But police and fire officials credit KABC-TV reporter Leo Stallworth with opening the communication that led to the man's safe surrender Tuesday.

The suspect crawled into the storm drain — 18 inches wide by 80 feet long — and wedged himself inside after officers found him and another man allegedly attempting to steal copper wire from a San Fernando Valley warehouse, Deputy Police Chief Michel Moore said.

"We applied tear gas on more than one occasion," Moore said. "We stopped because we thought he'd suffocate to death. Just the way he resisted the tear gas was amazing."

The man's determination to stay put challenged the creativity of rescuers.

Firefighters fashioned a plunger with a heavy climbing rope, a large plywood disk and several canvas bags, fire spokesman Capt. Steve Ruda said. But when they threaded the rope through the pipe and started to pull, the suspect used a knife to cut the rope.

Just as firefighters were about to jerry-rig another plunger with a cable, the man called his girlfriend on his cell phone.

"He's 30 feet underground, and somehow he has cell coverage," Moore said. "The girlfriend calls the news media, and he gets on the phone with Channel 7."

KABC-TV later broadcast the audio of the conversation between the reporter and the suspect.

"The question is, why won't you come out?" Stallworth asked.

"'Cause I hate leaving my freedom," the man said from inside the pipe.

"You're in a storm drain. Is there any freedom in there?" Stallworth asked. "Your girlfriend wants you to come out. She's called the station. Your children want you to come out. At some point you're going to have to face the music."

Stallworth and police negotiators eventually talked the man into surrendering, Ruda said. The suspect emerged from the bottom of the hole dirty, shirtless and scratched. Police trained their guns on him until he gave up his knife, he said.

He was arrested on suspicion of burglary, Moore said.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Odd Ugly Pet Dogs

These are the ugliest pet dogs in the world! And their owns love them!Yuck who would want those ugly pets kissing them!

Odd Pet News-Puppy survives after 'flush' with death

LONDON – A British pup had a narrow flush with disaster after his 4-year-old master decided to give him a bath in the toilet. Daniel Blair was quoted as telling Britain's Daily Mirror tabloid that he tried to clean the muddy 1-week-old cocker spaniel because he was muddy, and he flushed him down the drain.

His mother Alison was quoted as saying she thought the dog was dead, but a drainage firm was able to locate the beleaguered animal in a pipe 20 yards away from the house using specialist camera gear.

Pictures of the wet, frightened-looking puppy trapped in a pipe were posted to the firm Dyno-Rod's Web site and broadcast on British television Monday .

The company says the dog is now fine.

On the Net:Dyno

Odd News-Jobless Taiwan man steals just for free prison lunch

TAIPEI (Reuters) – A jobless Taiwan man released from prison stole a box of cotton swabs just to get arrested again because he "could not forget the police department boxed lunches," officers and local media said on Tuesday.

The homeless man in Taipei first stole a pair of shoes on Sunday, was detained and released, the Liberty Times said. He then resorted to stealing again the next day just to get back inside and be fed for free.

"If someone's not doing well and comes in around meal time, we'll definitely prepare food," said an officer, surnamed Wang, at the Hsinyi District police station, which handled the case but again released the suspect, Tsou Hao-lan.

In another sign of the times on the recession-hit island, a man who had been without a job for four months stole a motor scooter and drove it to a Taipei-area police station, the paper said.

Taiwan is in recession and economists see more weakness through most of 2009, given falling demand for Taiwan's electronics goods overseas.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Odd State Laws

In Illinois, the law is that a car must be driven with the steering wheel.

California law prohibits a woman from driving a car while dressed in a housecoat.

In Memphis, Tennessee, a woman is not to drive a car unless a man warns approaching motorists or pedestrians by walking in front of the car that is being driven.

In Tennessee, it is against the law to drive a car while sleeping.

In New York, it is against the law for a blind person to drive an automobile.

In West Virginia, only babies can ride in a baby carriage.

In Georgia, it is against the law to slap a man on the back or front.

A barber is not to advertise prices in the State of Georgia.

In Louisiana, a bill was introduced years ago in the State House of Representatives that fixed a ceiling on haircuts for bald men of 25 cents.

In Oklahoma, no baseball team can hit the ball over the fence or out of a ballpark.

In Rochester, Michigan, the law is that anyone bathing in public must have the bathing suit inspected by a police officer !

In Kentucky, it's the law that a person must take a bath once a year.

In Utah, birds have the right of way on any public highway.

In Ohio, one must have a license to keep a bear.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Venezuela bans Coke Zero, cites "danger to health"

CARACAS (Reuters) – The Venezuelan government of U.S.-critic President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday ordered Coca-Cola Co to withdraw its Coke Zero beverage from the South American nation, citing unspecified dangers to health.

The decision follows a wave of nationalizations and increased scrutiny of businesses in South America's top oil exporter.

Health Minister Jesus Mantilla said the zero-calorie Coke Zero should no longer be sold and stocks of the drink removed from store shelves while the government investigated its ingredients.

"The product should be withdrawn from circulation to preserve the health of Venezuelans," the minister said in comments reported by the government's news agency.

Coca Cola said Coke Zero contains no harmful ingredients, but that it will stop production and remove the product from shelves during the ongoing investigation.

"Coca Cola Zero is made under the highest quality standards around the world and meets the sanitary requirements demanded by the laws of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela," the company said in a joint statement with its local bottling company.

Despite Chavez's anti-capitalist policies and rhetoric against consumerism, oil-exporting Venezuela remains one of Latin America's most Americanized cultures, with U.S. fast-food chains, shopping malls and baseball all highly popular.

Mantilla did not say what health risks Coke Zero, which contains artificial sweeteners, posed to the population.

Coke Zero was launched in Venezuela in April and Coca-Cola Femsa, the Mexico-based company that bottles Coke products locally, said at the time it aimed to increase its market share for low calorie drinks by 200 percent.

The bottler was plagued with labor problems last year in Venezuela when former workers repeatedly blocked its plants, demanding back-pay.

The government this year has seized a rice mill and pasta factory belonging to U.S. food giant Cargill and has threatened action against U.S. drug company Pfizer.

Chavez has also nationalized a group of oil service companies, including projects belonging to Williams Companies and Exterran.

(Reporting by Fabian Cambero and Antonio de la Jara; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Christian Wiessner and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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Odd News-Woman who missed doomed Flight 447 is killed in car crash

Austria - An Italian woman who arrived late for the Air France plane flight that crashed in the Atlantic last week has been killed in a car accident.
Johanna Ganthaler, a pensioner from Bolzano-Bozen province, had been on holiday in Brazil with her husband Kurt and missed Air France Flight 447 after turning up late at Rio de Janeiro airport on May 31.
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Human Skull Found in Sacrificial Rituals Room

BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut - Police in Connecticut have confirmed that a skull found in a bloody basement where they believe sacrificial rituals were performed is a human skull.
Bridgeport Detective Keith Bryant says the medical examiner's office made the determination Wednesday.

Odd News-Chimp bites off Berlin Zoo director's finger

BERLIN (Reuters) – The director of the Berlin Zoo made famous by the polar bear cub Knut has had his finger bitten off by a chimpanzee called Pedro.

Bernhard Blaszkiewitz, 55, was feeding Pedro walnuts as he showed a visitor round the zoo Monday when the ape grabbed his hand and bit off his right index finger.

"Pedro is the boss of the group so he has to demonstrate a certain dominance in it to prove himself," zoo spokesman Andre Schuele said Tuesday. "Under normal circumstances, a chimp would never have the chance to reach a keeper or our director."

Doctors sewed Blaszkiewitz's finger back on but said it was not clear if the operation would be successful.

Schuele said the incident would have no repercussions for the 28-year-old Pedro.

(Reporting by Jacob Comenetz; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Odd News-Fla. fisherman hooks live missile in Gulf waters

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. – Florida authorities say a commercial fisherman reeled in a live missile in the Gulf of Mexico and kept it on his boat for 10 days.

The sheriff's office in Pinellas County say the boat's captain, Rodney Soloman, hooked the air-to-air guided missile 50 miles off the Panhandle town of Panama City. The Air Force and Navy use Gulf waters off the Panhandle for weapons training.

Soloman had the missile aboard his boat for 10 days before returning Monday to port in Madeira Beach, near St. Petersburg.

A bomb squad was called in from MacDill Air Force Base and dismantled the missile in an empty parking lot.

The bomb squad said the missile was very corroded from floating in saltwater for a long time. They said it was live and in a very unstable state.

Odd News-Look what the dog brought in: US hand grenade

BERLIN (AFP) – A dog out on a walk happened upon a live US grenade from World War II and eagerly delivered it to his master, police said Monday, but authorities were able to defuse the explosive before it went off.

A 40-year-old woman had let the dog off its leash near a stream on a walk Sunday on the outskirts of the town of Erkrath in western Germany's Neander Valley.

The animal found the grenade on the ground, picked it up in its jaws and trotted back to its owner.

"She recognised immediately that it was probably an old, rusted hand grenade," police said. "On the orders of the woman, the dog obediently put his find back next to the stream."

She then alerted the authorities who blocked off the area and dispatched a munitions expert who identified the object as a still live American hand grenade from World War II and defused it.

Germany is still littered with unexploded Allied munitions more than six decades after the war, leading frequently to major evacuations when they are discovered in densely populated areas.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Giant lobster roll rolls into Portland, Maine

PORTLAND, Maine – What could be the world's longest lobster roll turned out to be even longer than expected.

The giant sandwich unveiled Sunday during Maine's Old Port Festival in Portland measured 61 feet 9.5 inches — more than a foot longer than organizers were aiming for. It also included a few extra pounds of lobster meat — 48 in all, plus four gallons of Miracle Whip and a special blend of herbs and seasonings.

A local roller derby team helped carry the sandwich to the festival, where it was cut into sections and sold to raise money for a youth association.

The association intends to get the roll certified by Guinness World Records.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Odd News-Tenn. lawmakers approve allowing guns in bars

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Handguns will soon be allowed in bars and restaurants in Tennessee under a new law passed by state legislators who voted to override the governor's veto.

The legislation that takes effect July 14 retains an existing ban on consuming alcohol while carrying a handgun, and restaurant owners can still opt to ban weapons from their establishments.

Thirty-seven other states have similar laws.

The state Senate voted 21-9 on Thursday against Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen's veto, a day after the House also voted 69-27 to override.

They overrode critics, including Bredesen, who said it's a bad idea to have guns and alcohol in close proximity.

Democratic Sen. Doug Jackson, the main sponsor of the bill, said state Safety Department records show handgun permit holders in Tennessee are responsible.

Of the roughly 218,000 handgun permit holders in Tennessee, 278 had their permits revoked last year, records show. Since 2005, state records shows nearly 1,200 people have lost their permits.

Revocations are issued for felony convictions, while permits can be suspended for pending criminal charges or for court orders of protection.

Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, was the only senator to speak against overriding the veto Thursday.

"I believe that we should follow the governor and rethink what we have done," he said.

The law, which was supported by the National Rifle Association, has been successful in other states, its chief lobbyist said.

"Of those 37 states, not one state has attempted to repeal or amend those statutes because they've been successful," Chris Cox said.

Bredesen spokeswoman Lydia Lenker said after Wednesday's House vote that the Democratic governor expected an override when he vetoed the legislation last week.

Following Thursday's Senate vote, Bredesen, who is a gun owner and hunter, reiterated his stance to reporters.

"I still think I'm right," he said. "I still think that guns in bars is a very bad idea. It's an invitation to a disaster."


Read HB0962 at: http://www.capitol.tn.gov

Gun-loving pastor to his flock: Piece be with you

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Kentucky pastor is inviting his flock to bring guns to church to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment.

New Bethel Church is welcoming "responsible handgun owners" to wear their firearms inside the church June 27, a Saturday. An ad says there will be a handgun raffle, patriotic music and information on gun safety.

"We're just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation," said pastor Ken Pagano. "And we're not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms — without that this country wouldn't be here."

The guns must be unloaded and private security will check visitors at the door, Pagano said.

He said recent church shootings, including the killing Sunday of a late-term abortion provider in Kansas, which he condemned, highlight the need to promote safe gun ownership. The New Bethel Church event was planned months before Dr. George Tiller was shot to death in a Wichita church.

Kentucky allows residents to openly carry guns in public with some restrictions. Gun owners carrying concealed weapons must have state-issued permits and can't take them to schools, jails or bars, among other exceptions.

Pagano's Protestant church, which attracts up to 150 people to Sunday services, is a member of the Assemblies of God. The former Marine and handgun instructor said he expected some backlash, but has heard only a "little bit" of criticism of the gun event.

John Phillips, an Arkansas pastor who was shot twice while leading a service at his former church in 1986, said a house of worship is no place for firearms.

"A church is designated as a safe haven, it's a place of worship," said Phillips, who was shot by a church member's relative for an unknown reason and still has a bullet lodged in his spine. "It is unconscionable to me to think that a church would be a place that you would even want to bring a weapon."

Phillips spoke out against a bill before the Arkansas General Assembly that would have permitted the carrying of guns in that state's churches. The bill failed in February.

Pagano, 50, said some members of his church were concerned that President Obama's administration could restrict gun ownership, and they supported the plan for the event when Pagano asked their opinion.

Marian McClure Taylor, executive director of the Kentucky Council of Churches, an umbrella organization for 11 Christian denominations in Kentucky, said Christian churches are promoters of peace, but "most allow for arms to be taken up under certain conditions."

Taylor said Pagano assured her the event would focus on promoting responsible gun ownership and any proceeds would go to charity.

"Those two commitments are consistent with the high value the Assemblies of God churches place on human life," she said in an e-mail message.

Pagano is encouraging church members to bring a canned good and a friend to the event. He said guns must be unloaded for insurance purposes and safety reasons.

He said the point was not to mix worship with guns, though he may reference some passages from the Bible.

"Firearms can be evil and they can be useful," he said. "We're just trying to promote responsible gun ownership and gun safety."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Odd News-Mom accused of duct-taping daughter's boyfriend

ADELANTO, Calif. – Authorities arrested a woman for allegedly trying to kidnap her daughter's boyfriend and haul him away to Northern California. A sheriff's spokeswoman said Tuesday that two women went to the young man's home on Saturday afternoon and tried to tie him up with duct tape.

The victim told authorities the women said they were taking him to get him away from one of the women's 21-year-old daughter. Authorities said both women were arrested on suspicion of attempted kidnapping.

Officials said the girlfriend was later arrested for investigation of dissuading a witness and extortion for allegedly trying to get her boyfriend to recant his statements on the kidnapping to authorities.

Odd News-Class hanging has authorities seeing red

CANBERRA (Reuters) – A student who fell with a noose around his neck during a mock class hanging that was arranged by teachers has enraged Australian authorities.

The high school student fell from a table while fellow students, under the supervision of a teacher, were photographing a staged hanging as part of an English class project.

"It beggars belief that such an incident could take place," Queensland state Education Minister Geoff Wilson told local radio on Wednesday.

"I'm a parent. The last thing I've ever wanted any of my children to do is put a rope around their neck," Wilson said.

Students and teachers rushed to the boy and cut the rope when he fell, Education Queensland Assistant Director-General Lyn McKenzie said, although local newspapers said the boy turned blue before he was freed.

The student was allowed to go home with his mother after being examined by paramedics, while authorities launched an investigation into how the incident occurred.

(Reporting by Rob Taylor; Editing by Miral Fahmy)
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Pizza Monster

CULVER CITY, Calif. – In a chewy chow-lenge, Takeru Kobayashi outlasted Joey Chestnut when the eating titans faced off to see who could devour the most pizzas.

Kobayashi, a six-time world hot dog eating champion from Japan, consumed 5 3/4 P'zones in a six-minute span of chaotic consumption Saturday to edge Chestnut. The 25-year-old from San Jose, Calif., wolfed down 5 1/2 P'zones on Stage 15 at Sony Studios.

"I'm a little bummed," Chestnut said. "There's nobody I like beating more than him, he pushes me harder than anybody."

The arch rivals are best known for their annual Fourth of July hot dog eating showdowns on New York's Coney Island. Chestnut has beaten his Japanese competitor the last two years, winning last year in a five-dog eat-off after they tied at 59 frankfurters in 10 minutes.

This time, they went cheek-to-jowl in a stomach-centric contest sponsored by Pizza Hut featuring the P'zone, a pizza weighing one pound with pepperoni and other ingredients sealed inside a crust. At nearly 12 inches long, it resembles a calzone.

Jaw strength and stomach capacity were sorely tested in consuming one of the most filling foods on the competitive eating circuit.

A serious-looking Chestnut prepped by opening his mouth wide and loosening his jaw. Kobayashi stretched his lean limbs and whispered with his interpreter.

Then it was time.

Chestnut took an early lead, squeezing a P'zone in his left fist while alternately slugging from a water bottle. Soon, liquid splashed all over Chestnut's white jersey and dripped from his mouth.

Kobayashi took a tidier approach.

He roared back to take the lead for good on his second P'zone, tearing off bites of the golden crust, then folding it over and sipping carefully from a series of white paper cups that he refilled with water.

"The crust was very chewy so my technique was to try to drink as much water as possible to soften up the crust in my mouth," Kobayashi said through his translator.

No dunking was allowed, and containers of marinara sauce accompanying each P'zone were tossed aside by both chowhounds.

A small crowd gathered a few feet from the elevated food fest cheered the men on, with Chestnut's highway patrolman brother yelling inches from his face to eat faster.

Chestnut couldn't keep up with his 31-year-old rival from Tokyo.

At the six-minute mark, Kobayashi raised his arms in triumph and lifted his red jersey to show off a set of washboard abs.

"It was tough. Kobayashi came to win," Chestnut said. "I was raised on pizza so it was natural for me to eat it, but I was a little slow to get going and he came out fast."

The thought of a Japanese outeating an American in a pizza contest wasn't lost on Kobayashi, who is recovering from TMJ, a painful jaw disorder.

"I love pizza," he said. "When I come to America, pizza is my happiness. I look forward to eating it."

Chestnut said he wasn't used to eating pizza that quickly.

"It's doughy," he said. "It takes a lot of chewing. He got off to a really good technique early on, his rhythm was drinking water and swallowing. I changed mine a couple times and never got in the right rhythm."

Kobayashi ended a three-event losing streak to Chestnut, a 25-year-old whose weekday job is in construction management.

"I wanted to prove that I'm champion," Kobayashi said. "A champion will stand up to any battle."

He said he would go for another Fourth of July hot dog championship and then probably retire. Chestnut will be ready and waiting on Coney Island.

"I'll see him in five weeks and I'm going to push him really hard there," he vowed.

Portions of the pizza event will air on the Spike TV "Guys' Choice" show on June 21.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Odd Facts

During your lifetime, you'll eat about 60,000 pounds of food, that's the weight of about 6 elephants!

Some ribbon worms will eat themselves if they cant find any food!

Dolphins sleep with one eye open!

The worlds oldest piece of chewing gum is over 9000 years old!

In space, astronauts cannot cry properly, because there is no gravity, so the tears can't flow down their faces!

There are more plastic flamingos in the U.S, than real ones!

About 3000 years ago, most Egyptians died by the time they were 30!

More people use blue toothbrushes, than red ones!

A sneeze travels out your mouth at over 100 m.p.h.!

Your ribs move about 5 million times a year, every time you breathe!

China puts a stop to snake-bitten cock-in-a-pot

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese health authorities are putting a stop to restaurants serving chickens which have been bitten to death by poisonous snakes and cooked up for a supposedly detoxing meal.

The dish, served by a small number of eateries in the southern province of Guangdong and the south-western city of Chongqing, has generated a storm of publicity and controversy in the Chinese media and amongst bloggers.

A video showing a cook holding a snake and forcing it to bite a live chicken until it dies has been widely circulated online, (http:/you.video.sina.com.cn/b/21145091-1405053100.html) generating mainly angry comments.

"It's disgusting and really cruel," wrote one poster on the popular portal sina.com.cn.

"Not only is it cruel and blood-thirsty, but totally amoral," the Chongqing Business Daily cited a neighbour to one of the restaurants as saying.

Health authorities in Guangdong have already told restaurants to stop serving "poisonous snake-bitten chicken" and now those in Chongqing have joined in.

"Although nobody has been poisoned, this at the very least is an irregular way of slaughtering poultry," the business newspaper quoted a local health official as saying.

One dish, prized among some in Guangdong, is monkey brains scooped from a live animal, which has regularly upset animal rights campaigners in the West.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Nick Macfie; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)