Saturday, April 30, 2016

It's the weekend

Dog wonders if they're nearly there yet

YouTube link.

Couple charged after gun pulled during boneless chicken wing order mix-up

A couple from Wilmington, North Carolina, are facing criminal charges after a woman showed a gun at the FU Wangz restaurant over a wrong order of chicken wings.

Clarissa Gagum, 24, and her husband, Rasheem Gagum, 24, were both arrested on Thursday after Clarissa became upset that her order of chicken wings was wrong and pulled out a gun inside the restaurant.

Linda Rawley, spokesperson for the WPD, said Clarissa walked into the restaurant and ordered bone-in chicken wings, but received boneless wings. Clarissa reportedly began to argue with the clerk, then grabbed a gun from her car and went back inside the restaurant waving it around.

Police were called to the scene and found Clarissa on the sidewalk outside the restaurant still holding the gun. Clarissa was charged with two counts of assault by pointing a gun and injury to personal property and was held under a $30,000 bond. Rasheem was charged with resisting arrest and was under a $500 bond. Both bonded out at around 9pm on Thursday.

With news video.

Message in a bottle contains a man's ashes, $25 and an invitation to buy a stiff drink

A man from Cape Breton in in Nova Scotia, Canada, has discovered a memorable message in a bottle with a unique twist. Norman MacDonald was walking along West Mabou Beach on Cape Breton Island on Wednesday, when he stumbled upon the Sauza tequila bottle. “I thought it was sand from another beach (inside the bottle), so I was gonna toss it,” says MacDonald. He's glad he didn't, because what he discovered was actually a man’s ashes, a hand-written note about the man, penned by his daughter, $25 in cash and an invitation to buy a stiff drink.

The message tells the story of Gary Robert Dupuis who was born in 1954, a spirited man whose go-to drink was a shot of tequila (“straight up, no groceries”) and who never quite achieved his dream of travelling the world. The message in a bottle aims to ferry his remains across the globe on the goodwill of strangers, one tequila shot at a time. Those who find the bottle are invited to write where they found it and where it was released on the back of the note before releasing it back in the ocean. “Gary lived a very fast and reckless life in his younger years, but slowed down and dreamed of travelling the world in his golden years,” the note reads.

“If you find him, please take this money, buy yourself and Gary a drink and release him back into the ocean. My wish is that he gets his dream of seeing the world and finally finds some peace. We love you Dad, have a great trip.” While the bottle was found on West Mabou Beach, there is no telling where it came from. The letter writer didn’t leave a name, or a hometown. Dupuis is a French-Canadian name and MacDonald hypothesizes that the bottle could have found its way to Cape Breton from New Brunswick. “I've picked up stuff from New Brunswick before,” he says.

As they try to solve the mystery, MacDonald and his wife say discovering the bottle makes them feel like they are part of the man's journey. “I hope it goes a long way, I hope it does go around the world,” says Carol MacDonald, Norman’s wife. “You find him and you're certainly gonna spend the money on a drink,” says MacDonald. “I was saying, ‘I'll take him up to the dance Saturday night and put him on the table.’” After toasting the friend he never met, MacDonald says he plans to fulfill the letter writer's wish and release the bottle back out to sea.

With news video.

Baby echidna recovering after being attacked by chickens

A baby echidna has found a new home at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, after it was attacked by chickens in a family backyard in Newcastle, New South Wales.

The young echidna, or ‘puggle’, arrived at the zoo in early April, after escaping the attack with only scratches on its belly and hind legs. Taronga Wildlife Hospital supervisor Annabelle Sehlmeier has taken on the role of primary carer for the four-month-old creature, which has been named Bonsai for its minute size.

Bonsai is fed a special milk mixture from the palm of Ms Sehlmeier’s hand, meant to mimic the patches echidnas have on their abdomens, which excrete milk to their young. “My palm is the closest thing I’ve got to an echidna belly and it works quite well,” Ms Sehlmeier said.

YouTube link.

Bonsai has been particularly ravenous since his attack, lapping up all that Ms Sehlmeier has to offer. “Normally a baby echidna would feed every 3-5 days when its mum returns to the burrow, but this little one wants to feed every day,” she said. “I guess it’s making up for lost time.” The puggle will remain with its temporary mother before learning to feed itself on a special diet.

Serial flasher claimed he was just rearranging his swollen testicle

A musician from Aberystwyth, west Wales, is facing jail after being found guilty of exposing his genitals to young female students at a town clothing store. Maximilien Kelly, 25, claimed the need to "readjust" a testicle swollen to the size of an avocado by a rare medical condition was to blame for inadvertently exposing himself to shoppers at Matalan.

But the well-spoken and well-turned out Kelly, dressed in a smart suit and tie for his trial, was unmasked as a serial flasher after the Swansea Crown Court jury’s unanimous guilty verdict. The jury then heard Kelly had already been caught flashing his genitals at strangers from the window of his home in Aberystwyth six times.

He was given a total of 26 weeks suspended jail time, all still active, by magistrates in his home town last year for the half-dozen earlier offences, the court heard.Kelly used a laser pen to attract the attention of people at night then flashed his genitals from a window at his home. The guitarist suffers from a rare medical condition called hydrocele which he claimed during his trial had made his testicles swell up to four times their normal size. One the size of an avocado.

He flashed three young girls aged from 18 to 22 at Aberystwyth’s Matalan store in Park Avenue back on 30 September, just yards from his own address in the same street. But the jury took just three hours to find him guilty of two counts of intentionally exposing his genitals, despite claiming it had been inadvertently as he "readjusted himself." Judge Peter Heywood, adjourning for sentencing, warned: "In all probability you will be receiving a custodial sentence." Kelly was released on bail until sentencing next month and banned from entering Matalan in the meantime.

Duckling reunited with it's family after being rescued from drain by firefighters

Firefighters helped reunite a baby duckling with its family in a dramatic drain rescue.

A passer-by in Queen Street, Droitwich, spotted it down the drain and alerted crews from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.

YouTube link.

They removed the grille and brought the bemused bird to the surface in the operation on Wednesday.

The little creature was then placed in box by a burly firefighter and carried to a nearby river to join its mother and siblings. The duckling was clearly delighted to be there, swimming across the water at great speed.

Woman surprised when her dog's face appeared in stain on stable wall

A woman rushed home to check her dog was okay after she saw a likeness of his face in a stain on a stable wall. Lynnie Wason saw the apparition when she was tending her horses near her home in Uplyme, near Lyme Regis on the Devon/Dorset border.

She spotted a new stain on the wall and was shocked to see it looked exactly like her beloved pet dog Dexter. She was so shocked that she rushed home to make sure Dexter the Husky was alright. Lynnie said: "When I saw it, I was stunned. I thought that's really weird.

"It was creepy, but luckily Dexter was fine and still in the back garden when I got home. He's a good dog, a really good boy. People said that is definitely Dexter - and it is such a bizarre thing to happen." Lynnie later showed pictures of the stain to friends and family, most of whom agreed it was exact-ringer for Dexter.

Lynnie's friend Clive Griffin, 68, said: "I got a call from my missus and popped round to have a look. It was really spooky, especially in an unlit stable. It looked so much like Dexter it was unbelievable. It startled her because it resembled Dexter, so much so she had to go home to double check that he was okay."

School bans 'abusive' swearing parents from entering without a pre-booked appointment

A school has banned parents from entering the premises without an appointment after staff were subjected to verbal abuse. Ebbsfleet Academy, in Kent, said the measure came after a minority had been "violent and abusive".

One mother's four-letter outburst, in which she can be heard shouting and swearing, was recorded in the school's reception area. Principal Alison Colwell said some parents had been banned for the safety and wellbeing of students. Some of the behaviour was the worst she had seen in her 25-year career, she said.

"The students don't deserve to witness that, to hear that. My staff don't deserve to be subject to that. All of the people that work here are totally committed. As part of your working life to have to take that level of abuse is just unacceptable." The school said threats of violence had also been made, but did not reveal further details.

Ms Colwell said all staff could be contacted directly by email and she was always prepared to meet any parent with an appointment to discuss their child's education. She added: "The problem is with a small number - parents coming in angry, aggressive, demanding to see a member of staff at a certain time, which clearly isn't practical or workable or what would happen in any other organisation."

With short censored video featuring a very sweary mother.

Man fined for calling former girlfriend's new partner a fat-bellied codhead

A pest controller found himself under arrest after he sent a rude message to his former girlfriend about her new boyfriend.

Mark Seddon referred to the new partner as a “fat bellied codhead” when he posted the message via What’s App to his ex.

Seddon, 48, of Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to sending a grossly offensive electronic message. At Blackpool Magistrates’ Court he was fined £500 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £50 victims’ surcharge.

He was also put on a two year restraining order which banned him from contacting the complainant. John McLaren, defending, said the breakdown between the couple had not been smooth. During the relationship Seddon said he had been paying back money his girlfriend owed her mother. He said he was sorry he had done it.

Friday, April 29, 2016


Busker plays to an attentive audience

A busker in Perak, Malaysia, performs popular Malay song 'Keindahan Pantai', (Beautiful Beach), to a small but appreciative crowd.

YouTube link.

Teacher fired after she said 'vagina' says she was wasn't talking about sex but art

When a young substitute art teacher used an American artist's work, illustrated by posters already on hand in the school's art room, to discuss controversy in art with her 8th grade class last week, she said she had no idea using the word "vagina" would push her lesson into the murky territory of reproductive health. That's a topic strictly forbidden without prior approval according to school policy, the principal later told her, explaining why she was being fired. But the school district says there is more to her dismissal than her use of the word, and that she should have stuck to an approved lesson plan. Allison Wint, 24, learned of her error the following day, April 22, when the principal of Harper Creek Middle School in Michigan showed up to tell her to pack her things and that her services would no longer be needed. "She asked if I could have my things out there in an hour. I left my keys on the desk and drove home and cried a lot," Wint said on Wednesday, breaking into tears again at the recollection. Wint said she first gleaned that she might be in a bit of hot water for the Thursday class when two students arrived late to her class on Friday and told her they had been talking with the principal. But she said she was totally blindsided by the termination when the building prinicpal delivered the news at the end of that day.

"My jaw dropped. I said: 'But I was saying vagina in the context of art history,'" Wint said. Wint told the principal she was not being vulgar and had avoided use of any euphemisms for the word because she didn't want the lesson to become a joke. "But she didn't ask to see the lesson, or to hear about what I had said. She just said:' I know our parents would not be OK with that.'" Wint, who has a degree in art from College for Creative Studies in Detroit, said she had been substitute teaching at the school since January, on an assignment that became long term when a previous teacher retired. She had hoped the job would become a permanent one, she said, and had invested a lot of energy and enthusiasm in the program. "I cleaned and organised the classroom, labelled things, and I brought in a lot of my own materials," she said. "I had planned to apply for the job." A statement from the school district said: "Harper Creek Community Schools prides itself on being an outstanding educational institution which consistently operates with purpose, respect, and integrity. We are aware of the allegations that controversial subject matter resulted in a substitute teacher, employed through a third party agency, not being invited back for further service. This is not the case.

"We do not shy away from controversial issues. The District did have concerns that the substitute teacher did not follow district art curriculum. These concerns, in addition to other failures, were the basis for the determination. We work very diligently to ensure that all students, staff and contracted personnel are treated fairly with respect and privacy." The school's 44-part online Bylaws and Policies page include sections on controversial issues and on reproductive health. The controversial issue section states that: "The Board recognises that a course of study or certain instructional materials may contain content and/or activities that some parents find objectionable. If after careful, personal review of the program lessons and/or materials, a parent indicates to the school that either content or activities conflicts with his/her religious beliefs or value system, the school will honor a written request for his/her child to be excused from particular classes for specified reasons." It says nothing about the teacher's responsibilities. Wint acknowledges that she knows now that she was wrong in not advising administrators ahead of time of the potentially controversial nature of the lesson plan, but said that she had never been required to submit lesson plans.

YouTube link.

In fact, when she was hired on, she said, she was told that they were "looking for someone who could work independently." Nor was she advised, nor did it occur to her, that use of the word vagina would kick her lesson into the category of reproductive health, which the school's website on policy says "shall be defined as that state of an individual's well-being which involves the reproductive system and its physiological, psychological, and endocrinological functions." She said that as far as she knows, no parent objected to her lesson, nor did any students approach her to complain of feeling offended. The lesson was about American artist Georgia O'Keeffe. When her paintings of flowers were displayed in the 1920s critics compared the images to female genitalia and claimed they were fraught with Freudian meaning, an interpretation the artist denied. Wint said she used the word vagina in discussing the controversy surrounding O'Keeffe's work when it was displayed in art galleries and patrons were made uncomfortable by them. After the lesson, Wint said, a few students did jokingly ask if they would now be allowed to "'draw flowers' and I told them 'No.'" As she announced to students on the first day of her teaching, the class rule for their drawings was "no sex, no drugs, no alcohol, no violence in their art assignments for class," she said.

Family dog braved flames to lead firefighters to children trapped in house fire

Authorities in central Florida say a German Shepherd helped firefighters locate the two young children of his owners in heavy smoke as a blaze destroyed their home.

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office says that the dog named Maxx helped firefighters find the 4-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl on Monday night in their home in the Orlando suburb, Longwood.

“Maxx, the family dog, is credited with assisting firefighters through the heavy smoke to the location of each of the two children,” according to a GoFundMe page set up for the family. Moments earlier, neighbours who saw the fire spreading called 911, broke windows and helped evacuate the children’s mother, Margo Feaser.

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Firefighters then were able to rescue Feaser’s husband, as well as the two children with Maxx’s help. Feaser is a 12-year veteran of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, working as an investigator. Family members were hospitalised and their conditions ranged from serious to critical. Maxx was treated for smoke inhalation and is now doing well. The family are unable to return to their home, as it was completely destroyed in the fire.

Indian state threatens to jail people who cook between 9am and 6pm

In the scorching summer, fires in the northern Indian state of Bihar have killed 66 people and 1,200 animals in the past two weeks. The state government has come up with an unusual solution - no cooking.

Cooking will not be allowed in villages between 9am and 6pm during the summer and those who violate the order can be jailed for up to two years. Religious functions involving fire have also been banned. The Nitish Kumar government's logic is that heavy winds are picking up sparks from cooking fires and igniting straw huts.

The latest incident took place in the Begusarai district two days ago, when over 300 huts were burnt. "The point is that hundreds of lives are at risk. The order has only been given after a detailed survey on just how the fires started. The jail term is based on a law on disaster management," says Vyasji, the Bihar government official in charge of handling disasters.

YouTube link.

At a village in Bihar's Jehanabad, Satender Bind, who lost his hut in a recent fire, says: "It sounds fine but I wonder how many people will follow it. There are practical difficulties. But yes... I did lose my home in a fire and it started from someone's cooking." Policemen at the village say enforcing such an order is difficult but the threat of punishment may spur villagers to follow it on their own.

No fine for woman who returned library book nearly 68 years late

A woman has returned a book she borrowed from a library in Auckland, New Zealand, nearly 68 years after it was due back. The book, A.W. Reed's Myths and Legends of Maoriland, was borrowed from Epsom Library in 1948 and was due to be returned on December 17 that year. Epsom Librarian Zoe Cornelius said the woman came in on Thursday afternoon to return the book and chat with staff.

"She told me she was an Epsom Library member as a child, but they moved away and she accidentally took this book with her." The woman was in the city to visit family and took the opportunity to give it back. "She's had it for years and always been thinking she wanted to get it back to us, and was never able to do so," Cornelius said. The woman told library staff she got Myths and Legends out as a child, and was now a grandmother.

She had read the book a number of times over the years she had it. Cornelius said it wasn't uncommon to have books returned after several years, but this was the oldest overdue book she'd seen. "It was fantastic, though, that she could bring it back for us and tell us about it. I just got such a thrill out of it." The due date slip inside the back cover clearly states the borrower will be fined "at the rate of three-pence for the first week or part thereof, and one-penny per day thereafter".

According to those terms, the woman would be fined 102.50 pounds for the 24,604 days it was overdue. Converted to todays money and adjusted for inflation (using the Reserve Bank's online inflation calculator), that's a $7,321.43 fine. But she would be fined even more by today's standards. These days Auckland Libraries fines members a flat $1 for each day a book is overdue, making the woman's debt $24,604.00. However, Cornelius said the woman would "definitely not" be fined. "Of course she would have been a child at that time as well, and we don't charge our kids fines," she said.

There's a video here.

Cat rescued from tree by crowdfunding

A woman from Melbourne, Australia, has used a crowdfunding campaign to get a cat out of a tree. Susie Butler started a Gofundme page to get her neighbour's cat, Boots, out of a tree he became stuck in on Wednesday.

She was refused help from the RSPCA, the local council and the fire brigade so she turned to the internet to raise cash for a professional rescue. 'We have tried everything to get him down but the tree can't be climbed,' Ms Butler said on the crowdfunding page.

'I would so love to pay to get him down myself but we are a little down on our luck at the moment, as is my neighbour.' As of Thursday morning Boots had been stuck up the Ferntree Gully tree for more than 30 hours.

YouTube link.

The crowdfunding page raised the $205 needed to call in an animal rescue business to get him down. Boots was rescued on Thursday. Boots was rescued from the tree by Nigel Williamson from Nigel's Animal Rescue at around 11am on Thursday.

Royal Mail may ban deliveries due to post-snatching cat

A couple have been told to restrain their cat or face having their mail deliveries suspended. Matthew Sampson was notified by Royal Mail last week of a "potential hazard" at his home in Patchway near Bristol which was "affecting deliveries".

According to Royal Mail, Bella the cat is a "threat" to staff and has been putting "fingers at risk of injury". But owner Matthew Sampson, said he was "shocked" by the notice as he has "never seen her get aggressive". The letter states: "I'm writing to let you know that we're experiencing difficulties in delivering mail to your address because of the actions of a cat at your property.

"As a result, a health and safety risk assessment has been carried out, and has determined that the level of threat requires actions to be taken to ensure the safety of its delivery staff . . . Your postman has reported that when he pushes the mail through your letterbox your cat snatches the mail and puts his fingers at risk of injury. Please, therefore, either ensure that the cat is restrained at all times away from the back of the letterbox, or provide an alternative safe delivery point for your property."

Mr Sampson said he "understands where the postman is coming from" but had found the letter "really funny". "We've noticed over the last couple of days that the postman is very hesitant at putting the letters in and Bella thinks it's a game that he's trying to play," he said. "I haven't seen her put her paws all the way through but I think it's fair what they're saying - it's just how they're worded the letter. As to restraining the cat - I'd no way dare."

Terrified woman says a stranger tried to shave her hair in the street with electric clippers

A terrified woman called police after a man tried to shave her hair in the street with a set of clippers. The 24-year-old was walking through Piccadilly in Manchester city centre when a man in a baseball cap lunged at her and tried to shear the back of her head.

She told police the ‘aggressive’ man, who pulled out a pair of electric clippers, then tried to do the same to other passers-by after she ran away. Fortunately, the woman escaped with her hair intact following the ordeal on Wednesday at around 7pm. Officers later attended, but there was no sign of the man. He was white, around 5ft 7ins, with stubble and a large build.

The woman said he was wearing a blue baseball cap and a grey raincoat. Officers manning the GMP City Centre Twitter account posted: “Strange job Piccadilly 8pm. Aggressive man turned on electric shavers and tried to shave back of 24 yr old woman’s head. Description not the same as man who snipped student’s hair on Friday night, but we’re keeping an open mind.”

The incident came after another woman had locks of her hair hacked off by a stranger in Manchester city centre last week. She said the man was aged between 30 and 35 with a small build. He was wearing a black jacket, black trousers and a black woollen hat. Police say descriptions of the men in the two incidents don’t match and that they are not, at this stage, thought to be linked. CCTV footage of both incidents is being reviewed.

Woman amused after being given 'sex ticket' by man in a van

A young woman says she could do nothing but laugh when she received a bizarre “sex ticket” from a man in Bexleyheath, south east London,.

Nikola McMillan, 22, from Bexleyheath, was shopping with her mum and daughter in Broadway on Tuesday when a man in a van called her over. After she was handed what she first thought was a leaflet, she showed her mother and the pair burst out laughing.

Miss McMillan said: “I thought it was a leaflet for his business or something because he was in a work van. He literally called me over and gave me the sex ticket, rolled up his window and then looked in the other direction.” The mother-of-one has seen the funny side of the “sex ticket”.

She added: “My mum and I read through it and started laughing – something like this has never happened to me before. My sister phoned the number on the card to see who would answer and she said it sounded like an old man.”