Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The month between August and October

News story.

Dog and parrot battle over yogurt pot

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Brave man saves skunk with head stuck in cup

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Wiggly white lines left drivers confused

Crooked and curving lines on a major road in Fairfax County, Virginia, caused confusion for drivers on Sunday and Monday.

The problem occurred on Interstate 66 between Centreville and Gainesville. Drivers who experienced the wiggly lines described the traffic as "horrific" and said they took alternate roads to avoid accidents

YouTube link. News video update.

The Virginia Department of Transportation said temporary lane striping that crews put down peeled up and moved, and they were working to fix the problem.

The agency also said it was looking into what caused the striping to come unstuck.

Thieves took a nap and a couple of bear heads

A family cabin in northern Franklin County, Maine, is short of two taxidermy bear heads, two lawn chairs and three flashlights following an apparent break in over the summer.

The North Waterboro family reported on Friday that someone had apparently broken in and left the back door unlocked between their last visit in April and return in August, said Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols.

Nichols said the key to the off-the-grid cabin had been kept in the same location for decades and seems to have been used to open the front door because there was no sign of forced entry.

The futons in the cabin appeared to have been slept in, said Nichols. There were two stuffed bear heads that had been in the family for 40 years that were reported stolen. Nichols said it was not known whether the thieves were people familiar with the family or strangers.

Two men arrested after pulling down their pants and yelling obscenities at one another

Police in Struthers, Ohio, arrested two men on Saturday evening after witnesses said they pulled down their pants and yelled obscenities at one another in a woman’s front yard. Police arrested William Anderson, 54, and Michael Susak, 34, charging Anderson with disorderly conduct, public indecency and resisting arrest.

Susak received charges of criminal damaging and public indecency. Police received numerous calls regarding a large fight in the rear yard in Struthers on Saturday evening. One witness said that the argument started when Anderson knocked on a woman’s door, telling her to stop letting her dog urinate in his yard.

Anderson then exposed himself from the waist down, according to witnesses, and yelled obscenities to a number of people who had gathered near the house. When Susak arrived, Anderson began yelling at him with his pants down. Susak then lowered his pants and started yelling back at Anderson.

Witnesses then separated the two, and Susak ran over to Anderson’s porch, ripped an aluminum downspout off the house and threw it in the yard before fleeing the scene of the incident. Officers arrested Anderson on his front porch after he gripped a chair he was sitting in to resist arrest. Susak arrived back at the scene as officers were leaving, and police arrested him as well. Authorities released Susak after he posted $200 bond. Anderson (pictured above) is still in the Mahoning County Jail.

Sheep found wandering in Tasmania could be the world's woolliest

Two Australian farmers have found what they hope to prove is the world's woolliest sheep. Peter Hazell said he had no trouble capturing the animal, which was wandering with its vision obscured by wool in scrubland on his property in Tasmania's Midlands on Sunday. "He couldn't see very well because of the wool over his face, so I snuck up behind him and grabbed him," he said.

"Then Netty and I went and got the ute and put him in the back and brought him into the yard." The six-year-old merino ram was immediately dubbed Shaun the Sheep. Netty Hazell said the sheep's avoidance of the shearing shed had been weighing it down, with Shaun carrying an estimated 20 kilograms of fleece. "It is the heaviest sheep I've ever lifted," she professed. "I just couldn't believe it, I just could not believe a sheep could have so much wool."

Shaun's tag suggested he was from a farm on Tasmania's east coast, meaning he had spent the past six years wandering across the state. Mr Hazell said it was amazing the sheep survived for so long in the wild. "Because usually they get cast and can't get up, or they get fly-struck or the hot weather gets to them," he said. The world record for fleece-yield is held by a New Zealand sheep named Shrek.

YouTube link.

The Hazells plan to take the clippers to Shaun in the next few days and see if he can take the title. But despite the wool's length Ray Peters, who is a sheep judge, said it had held up surprisingly well. "I thought it would be almost impossible for a sheep to go that long and have such good wool on him," he said. Mrs Hazell said she would enter the fleece in country shows. "There's three or four good jumpers in there," she said. And although matted, "it's surprisingly good-quality wool", Mr Hazell added.

Elk freed after wandering into office building

A young bull elk spent five hours in an office building in Dresden, Germany, on Monday, breaking through a glass door to ending up in the canteen.

The elk, which had been spotted several times in the area during the weekend, had been grazing nearby when he was startled by a group of onlookers and police and fled. “This was a sign of panic,” said a spokesman for forest management company Sachsenforst. “He didn't know where to go any more.” After five hours in the office block the animal was anesthetized, loaded into a container and taken away on Monday afternoon.

He was released in eastern Saxony. Trapped between the glass panes of the building and an interior wall, the unusual sight had drawn crowds to the building, although the grounds around it were blocked off by police. Others watched from the upper floors of the office block. Young elks occasionally wander from Poland along old animal tracks towards Dresden, with the last one being spotted several years ago.

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They are driven to leave their homes when the older generation have new children and reorganize their family groups. Sightings have increased across Germany since the fall of the Iron Curtain, particularly in Brandenburg, Saxony and Bavaria. Experts believe that more than ten elk live permanently in Germany and hope that the species will re-establish itself in the country's forests.

Bull rescued after getting stuck in phone box

A bull became trapped in a phone box during a bull run in Spain. The steer, taking part in a traditional stampede through the streets of Santacara, a town in northern Spain, ran straight into the call box where it became trapped by its long horns.

"It gradually demolished the phone box and pulled it to the ground but it is still caught up in the frame. As it struggled to get out it got angrier and angrier," said one spectator. "Most people were fleeing the scene and trying to scramble to safety."

YouTube link. Alternative video filmed from different angle.

However, some brave spectators then grabbed the bull by its tail and help pull the by now furious beast from the box. Officials say the bull completed the run and was treated for cuts caused by the broken glass.

"He was not seriously injured and finished the run where he received veterinary treatment," said a spokesman. "Nobody else was injured in the incident. It was great people helped free the bull but I would warn against people getting too close to the bulls as they are very aggressive and injure scores of people every year."

Traffic disrupted by errant plastic ducks

Traffic on the A4042 at Llanellen, near Abergavenny, Wales, had to slow down to avoid around a hundred rubber ducks at 10:10am on Monday after the boat trailer which was carrying them opened.

The ducks were on their way to the Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canal Trust' annual duck race in Llangynidr when they fell across the road. Tony Pugh, 69, a volunteer for the Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canal Trust, who was transporting the ducks, said: "The ducks were in the boat trailer attached to the Land Rover.

"The back somehow got open and 100 of them scattered half a mile down the road. I had to collect them in the pouring rain as they needed to be released for the duck race in Llangynidr for 2pm that day. Two police officers came to help - to be fair they didn't laugh. I can laugh now but earlier I had to run down the road kicking the ducks to the side and then collecting them.”

"It took about an hour to clear all the ducks, a few went over the fence into the field. A car pulled up and a child nicked a few so we've lost some ducks." A Gwent Police Spokesman said: "There were 100 ducks on the carriageway. Highways have been made aware and the ducks were cleared at 10.40am. There was minor disruption with traffic slowing down."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stick 'em up

Violinist plays Bach for elephants

YouTube link.

Via Daily Picks and Flicks.

No charges in half-naked Messiah incident

A self-proclaimed Messiah is recovering after he attacked a driver while running around while half-naked in the Pennsport section of Philadelphia. On Sunday at around 4am, police spotted the half-naked man who appeared to have been thrown from a black sedan. Investigators say the 57-year-old man was lying on the ground unconscious as the vehicle fled the scene.

The man was taken to Jefferson Hospital and treated for a cut lip. Investigators eventually tracked down five passengers inside the sedan and took them in for questioning. After interviewing the passengers, police determined that the man, who they initially believed was the victim, was actually the aggressor.

According to investigators, the unidentified man became delusional after taking his new medication while drinking alcohol. The man allegedly ran into the street while naked from the waist down. Police say the man was banging on vehicles passing by while claiming he was the Messiah. The "Messiah" then struck a 24-year-old man who was inside the black sedan, according to investigators.

Police say he then fell to the ground after the 24-year-old opened the car door. The "Messiah" allegedly tried to punch him again but the 24-year-old pushed him to the ground. The "Messiah" then chased after the other passengers inside the sedan as they returned to their vehicle and fled the scene. Investigators say the 57-year-old man suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as well as depression. No one has been charged in the incident.

Philadelphia newspaper blames 'Chinky Winky' caption on proofreading error and Britisher editor

In the August 21st print edition of the Philadelphia Public Record, the free weekly tabloid published by former Philadelphia City Councilman Jimmy Tayoun Sr., current Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla is pictured at an event in Chinatown with, among others, “Chinky Winky,” “Me Too,” and “Dinky Doo.”

“It was a proofreading error,” Tayoun said on Friday afternoon. According to Tayoun, the editor who used those names did so because he didn’t have the actual names.

When it was pointed out to Tayoun that there were actually more names than there were people, he reiterated, “It was a proofreading error.”

And when asked why the editor didn’t use a generic placeholder instead of an ethnic slur, he insisted that there’s no prejudice or bigotry involved here. "That editor is a Britisher," Tayoun explained. "He didn't mean anything by it. The Public Record is the most inclusive publication in Philadelphia." The Public Record has now issued something of an apology.

Elderly woman attacked by raccoon she let into house after mistaking it for her cat

An 88-year-old woman from Hamden, Connecticut, was attacked on Sunday night by a raccoon she accidentally let into her home and then tried to pet, thinking it was her cat. The woman was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for several injuries. She had been released from the hospital by Monday morning.

Officers responded at about 11pm to a report of a wild animal attack at a home, Capt. Ronald Smith said. Police found that the woman was attacked after a raccoon followed her cat into her home through a sliding glass door. The woman had heard a scratching sound outside the door and opened it to let her cat in, Smith said.

When the woman attempted to pet what she thought was her cat, the raccoon attacked her, biting her on the elbow, hand, forearm, lip and chin. The woman was transported to the hospital by ambulance. The raccoon charged two officers when they arrived at the house, according to Smith. The raccoon was caught and euthanized “before it inflicted further damage,” Smith said.

The Hamden Animal Control Division transported the raccoon to the Connecticut Public Health Laboratory in Rocky Hill for rabies testing. In February a 73-year-old Hingham, Massachusetts woman was attacked by a raccoon that entered her home through a door flap her cat used to get inside the house.

Families in dispute over two-timing cat that has been living secret double life for a decade

A two-timing cat in New Zealand has prompted a tug-of-war, with two families laying claim to their beloved pet. The straying feline, known as Ming to the Alexander family and Cleo to the Smith family, has been playing away for nearly 10 years, living a secret life with each family. It all started when Alice Alexander bought a pedigree Siamese cat, which she named Ming, in 2000. He had a habit of mingling, thus the name and he once took a nap in a removal truck and ended up in the eastern suburbs of Wellington, before being discovered.

"Everyone knew Ming and I would often get calls saying he was in someone's house." When the family moved to Strathmore in 2005, Ming would go wandering, often returning home not hungry and without his collar, which had his name and the Alexanders' phone number. The wandering became more frequent, then in 2010 Ming disappeared. Alexander put missing cat posters up around her neighbourhood, but no-one had seen Ming. In May this year, she was shocked when he "just appeared out of nowhere" after four years. Alexander had been sitting on her deck when a cat climbed onto the glasshouse roof and began meowing.

"I picked it up and realised it was Ming. I was running scenarios through my head, wondering where he had been." She got Ming microchipped and put on another collar, but the cat disappeared again. A month later, he returned with a shaved leg and had obviously been to the vet, Alexander said. "I knew then that someone had him so I put up more missing cat posters and one week later, a lady got in touch to let me know Ming was living with them." It transpired Ming was living a double life as Cleo in the Smith family home, which was next door and down the hill. The Smiths had moved to Karori, but when they shifted to Auckland, they took Ming, who had been Cleo for five years, with them.

They moved back to their Strathmore home earlier this year. Glenda Smith said that until she saw the posters, she had no idea about her cat's "secret life." Cleo had been her husband's cat before they got married. The cat spent so much time at his house, he assumed it had been a stray so took it in and did not steal it, she said. "Cleo is part of the family and been with us for nine years, we can't just push him away now. It's emotional for us too, he loves us and always come back." The fate of Ming/Cleo has yet to be decided but both women say that they just want the cat to be happy. "It's so difficult, we love him so much and want him to be happy but worried the family will move. Ming is 15 years old now and deserves to retire. He shouldn't have to try and reclaim territory," Alexander said. She had contacted the SPCA and police who told her they were unable to help.

Man accused of simulating sex with mattress

A man has appeared in court in Northern Ireland accused of simulating sex with a mattress. A PSNI sergeant told a special sitting of the Magistrate’s Court in Derry that he found the convicted sex offender, naked from the waist down, watching porn on a handheld DVD player and having simulated sex with a mattress in the car park of an old peoples’ home in the city in the early hours of Saturday.

Martin Gregory Coll, 52, of no fixed abode, appeared in court charged with two offences linked to the alleged incident. He is charged with committing indecent behaviour in the car park at Lavery Fold Old Peoples’ Home at Asylum Road. The defendant is further charged with “committing an act of lewd, obscene and disgusting nature and of outraging public decency by watching pornography in a public place and with having simulated sex with a mattress while naked”.

The police sergeant told District Judge Peter King that the defendant was observed entering the rear car park of the old peoples’ home by police officers at 5am on Saturday. He added: “He went to the rear car park which is used by staff and by residents. Officers went to check and when they arrived they heard what they described as sex sounds emanating from behind a fence in the car park. He had a handheld DVD player with the volume turned loud.

“He was laying on a mattress naked from the waist down with his trousers and underwear down by his ankles and he was simulating sex with the mattress. A number of residents in the old peoples’ home were awake at the time but they did not want to make a statement to the police.” District Judge King said the defendant had 72 previous convictions. He remanded Coll, who is already the subject of a Sexual Offender’s Prevention Order, in custody until Thursday of this week.

Council workers managed to misspell 'bus'

Council workers have managed to misspell the word 'bus' during roadworks in Bristol.

"Bup Stop" was painted onto the road surface on the street in the Old Market area.

The gaffe appeared last week as part of road repairs in the centre of the city.

Nobody from Bristol City Council was available for comment.

Woman called police after rag and bone men's horse did a massive poo on her front lawn

A woman was furious at being told to f*ck off after politely asking two rag and bone men to clean up the ‘huge poo’ left on her front lawn by their horse on Thursday morning.

Lesley Sitchett, of New Eltham, south east London, said she witnessed the animal offload onto her lawn and was subsequently ‘given the finger’ by the men. Mrs Sitchett claims the police were unresponsive upon telling them about the incident which left her with excrement outside her house.

The 58-year-old said: “It was so big you’d need a bin bag to pick up that mess! What bothers me is that the council come down so hard on us dog owners and I always pick up after my little springer spaniel so why do they get away with it and we don’t?” Mrs Sitchett said rag and bone men would often ride up and down the road where she lives and has never had any problem with them in the past.

“We grew up with rag and bone men and have never had a problem with them at all but I just can’t believe what those two men did. We had a lovely old gent who used to ride up and down his streets and he would always pick up after his horse so why can’t they do the same?”

Inebriated lady left false teeth embedded in hand of police officer arresting her

Drunken mother Jeanette Hopper left her false teeth embedded in a police sergeant's hand after she bit him while he was arresting her, a court heard. Police had been called to the 50-year-old’s home in Ruardean, Gloucestershire, after reports that she was wielding a knife and making threats to her 67-year-old husband, Gloucester Crown Court was told.

When Sergeant Miles Ajinka arrived at 11pm on May 26 he saw “'an appreciable amount of blood” around her home and Hopper then appeared with dry blood on her hands. “It was clear to the sergeant that the family in the house were in fear,” said prosecutor Richard Posner. “The sergeant decided to arrest her. Her reaction was to struggle and she then bit the sergeant on the hand.

“She sunk her teeth into the ring finger of the officer's right hand. He slapped the back of her head to seek release from the bite As she moved her head away the false teeth she was wearing stayed embedded in his finger. Other officers attended and she was controlled and take into custody. When she was interviewed she said she had only a hazy recollection.

“She said the biting had been a kneejerk reaction to the handcuffs being placed on her wrist. She'd had a fracture of the wrist and it was painful.” Hopper pleaded guilty to common assault on the sergeant but denied an offence of affray. Her pleas were accepted by the prosecution. She had made 11 previous court appearances for 23 offences, mainly of dishonesty or drink driving, the prosecutor said. Recorder Nicholas Atkinson QC sentenced her to 12 months supervision.