Tuesday, September 02, 2014

All friends together

Sand Sifting Goby sifts small pieces of gravel

YouTube link.

Dogs use teamwork to retrieve tyre from pool

YouTube link. LiveLeak link.

Impatient would-be robber failed to get any money after twice being told to wait

Police are searching for a man who attempted to rob two stores in West Valley City, Utah, on Saturday morning. A man entered a Subway restaurant just after 9am, demanded money from the employee and indicated that he had a weapon, West Valley City Police said.

During the holdup, the employee asked the suspect to wait and walked to the back of the store. When the worker didn't return, the suspect became impatient and left. Witnesses told officers they saw the suspect leave the area in a white car driven by another person. Police said the suspect then entered a Family Dollar store and attempted another robbery.

There, the bandit again demanded money - and again, the cashier asked the suspect to wait while they finished assisting other customers. The suspect became agitated and left the store, according to police. While the suspect did not get any money in either holdup, police reiterated that it's safer for store employees to comply with robbery suspects.

"The employees have to follow their own set policies, but we recommend not agitating people in these situations," said Sgt. Jeff Congor of the West Valley City Police Dept. Authorities describe the robbery suspect as an adult male with a thin build, wearing a red hooded-sweatshirt with the word "Utah" on the front. Police are working to obtain store surveillance video and said they will release it when it's available.

Screaming cat saved man from fire that gutted house

A man from Melbourne, Australia, has told how he 'owes his life' to his tabby cat after it woke him up when his house caught fire overnight.

The eight-year-old adopted moggy, named Sally, managed to rouse her owner, Craig Jeeves, by jumping on his chest and meowing loudly in his face, just minutes before the home in the Melbourne suburb of Wandin North was engulfed by flames.

"She was standing on my head screaming, the loudest scream I've ever heard from a cat screaming at me and then I smelt the smoke and jumped out of bed," he said. "I don't think I would have woken up. I'm a pretty deep sleeper. She saved my life." Country Fire Authority Captain Paul Spinks said the owner was lucky to be alive.

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"The cat woke him up and he found the fire and proceeded to get outside," Capt Spinks said. Fire crews found Mr Jeeves in the bushes outside his home. He was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene and will be staying with neighbours until he is able to rebuild the property. The home was gutted in the fire and Mr Jeeves lost everything. "I'm happy to be alive but you can't replace the memories," he said. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Boy tried smuggling pet turtle through airport security in his underpants

An eight-year-old boy who did not want to abandon a pet turtle he had been given while spending summer with his grandma tried to smuggle it onto the aeroplane by hiding it in his underpants.

But Congcong Tai was caught when border guards at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in southern China's Guangdong province became suspicious by the large bulge in his trousers that appeared to be moving. The youngster had been sent by his parents to spend the summer with his grandparents and his grandmother was bringing him back home when he decided to try and smuggle the pet with him.

Border guards spokesman Hu Hsieh said: "She had told him to leave the pet behind but he had disobeyed her and tried to smuggle it on board the plane. When the customs officials noticed he was trying to hide something, he tried to cover it up, and when his grandma asked him what he was hiding he tried to cover it up even more."

Eventually the old woman had told the boy to cooperate with the officials and she opened his trousers to reveal the hidden turtle. But the incident had a happy end for the schoolboy after officials told him that if he agreed to hand it over, they would arrange for it to be sent to his parents' address and they could be reunited free of charge. As a result the youngster boarded the plane, while the turtle ended up travelling in an animal box in the cargo hold.

Employment expert says calling someone a bean is 'unlikely' to spark racism tribunals law

Calling someone a "bean" is unlikely to fall foul of Jersey's new race discrimination law, says an employment expert. The legislation, Jersey's first anti-discrimination law, came into force on Monday. The term "bean", a colloquial reference to Jersey's traditional bean stew, is seen by some as derogatory.

A report recently suggested calling someone a bean at work could prompt complaints under the new law. Jean Marie Renouf, an employment lawyer on Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, said this was unlikely but it would depend on the context. "It comes down to to whether the person is objectively offended," he said. "It's important people are quick to say they are uncomfortable with something.

"That puts the onus on the employer but also gives them the opportunity to do something." Social Security Minister Francis Le Gresley said he understood small businesses were concerned by the new rules. "It's only a minefield if you make it one," he said. "What the law provides is a clause, that I was particularly keen appeared, about the interpretation of harassment. In the workplace, if it seems quite common to say 'bean' or 'jock' then that's fine.

"But if someone takes offence and requests that it stop and it doesn't then that might be harassment." Senator Le Gresley said future anti-discrimination measures related to sex or sexuality would be enacted much more quickly than the race discrimination rules. Toni Roberts, of the Community Relations Trust, said there was "an enormous amount of information" available to help small businesses prepare.

Dog rescued after spending a week trapped at the base of the highest sea cliffs in England

A dog has been miraculously rescued after spending a week trapped at the base of the highest sea cliffs in England, Sprig the springer spaniel was only discovered thanks to a chance sighting by a volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew in Somerset. The nine-year-old dog had been missing for more than a week in the Minehead area.

Minehead RNLI had taken the boat close into the cliffs after noticing a sheep that was apparently trapped but were just turning away when a movement some way below the animal caught their eye. Helmsman Andrew Escott said: “We went in as close as we could and then we could see it was a dog. It was about 30 feet above the water and we couldn’t work out how it had got in that position.”

Mr Escott managed to jump ashore and climb up to Sprig. Minehead’s D-class boat – designed for working close inshore – was then called in so the dog could be lowered down safely. Mr Escott said: “He had clearly been there for some time because he was licking water off my dry suit. And he did seem rather pleased to see us.” It was only after Sprig had been taken back to Minehead lifeboat station and given food and water that it became clear he had been the subject of a major search by his owners, Mark and Susie Sanders, from Wheddon Cross, near Minehead.

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They and their family had organised search parties and scoured the area around Foreland Point after the dog disappeared during a walk there on August 22. They had plastered the area with posters appealing for any sightings while local fishing boats and an animal ambulance team from North Devon had checked along the shoreline. But, said Mrs Sanders: “We were coming to the conclusion that he must have wandered off and then been stolen. I just could not believe it when we had a call to say the lifeboat crew had spotted him and rescued him. It’s amazing - the best news ever. Bless them.”

Monday, September 01, 2014

A land of confusion

Little fella and cat pursue laser pointer

YouTube link.

Meanwhile in Bang Phli, Thailand

Meep meep.

YouTube link. Alternative link.

Man fleeing police following hit-and-run incident stopped to play with cats

Candace Noonan was getting her son ready for school at their home in Boca Raton, Florida, when a complete stranger walked up and opened the back sliding door. “I said, ’Excuse me, can I help you?’” Noonan said. “He said, 'Oh, I’m so sorry. Next door, I’m mowing the lawn. Do you mind if I have a glass of water?'"

Thinking the man was a landscaper, Noonan obliged and went to get the man a bottle of water. Noonan was unaware that authorities said the man, who was identified as Daniel Pinedo Velapatino, 21, was running from police after leading officers on a wild chase, smashing into cars and a police cruiser. When Noonan came back with a bottle of water, she said Velapatino had entered the house and was lying on the living room floor, playing with her cats.

“It was odd, very odd,” Noonan said. “He was stroking my cat. It almost looked like he either was on drugs or he was mentally handicapped.” Noonan’s husband started questioning Velapatino, and the stranger fled out the back door. ”We saw cop cars driving around the front of our house, and that’s when we sort of put two and two together,” Noonan said. Police gave chase, and Velapatino tried to get away by jumping in a canal, but a police boat captured him.

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Investigators said Velapatino had been up all night taking drugs at a friend’s place. He is accused of stealing thousands of dollars in cash from a friend’s wallet, crashing a Lexus into a number of cars, including a police cruiser and a fire hydrant before he fled on foot. Investigators said Velapatino told them he needed the money because he owed his mother $2,000.

Widow claims husband died on flight due to his hairy chest

A man flying from Los Angeles to Albuquerque died of a heart attack. His wife thinks his hairy chest had something to do with his death, however.

Caroline and Jack Jordan were on the Southwest Airlines flight when the heart attack occurred. Passengers performed CPR, but he didn't survive the attack. His wife said a defibrillator was on board but wasn't used because of her husband's hairy chest.

"The flight attendant that had been right up there with us said because his chest is too hairy," she said. A doctor said reacting to an emergency quickly can be the difference between life and death, and chest hair is rarely a factor with a defibrillator not working.

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Staff at the Heart Institute say there are razors and scissors included with the devices to shave hair and cut clothing and jewellery. Caroline Jordan said for her husband, it was too late. A Southwest Airlines spokeswoman said the airline is looking into the incident.

Firefighters returned to finish mowing lawn of man who'd suffered heart attack

For the firefighters and EMTs of Station 4 in Baytown, Texas, it was another normal assignment: rushing to a 911 call to help save someone's life. But to the family and neighbours of John McCormick it was it was beyond normal. It helped restore a bit of their faith in humanity and the kindness of strangers. McCormick, 65, had a history of heart problems - a quadruple bypass more than a decade ago and other lingering health issues.

On Tuesday afternoon he suffered a heart attack while mowing the yard of his Baytown home. He went inside his house and collapsed where his family called for help. Engine 4, Medic 4, and Medic 2 responded. EMT's performed CPR and got a pulse again. And per standard operating procedure, the crew of Engine 4 followed the ambulance to the hospital. But when they left the hospital to drive back to Station 4, engine driver Luke Bednarek had an idea. Why not go back to the McCormick home and finish mowing his yard for him.

"We're all fighting over who can push the mower first," said Station 4 Lt. J.D. Giles. "I just happened to get off the truck first and grabbed the lawnmower first. We were all fighting over it," said firefighter Blake Steffenauer. They took turns behind John McCormick's lawn mower. They finished the backyard too, locked the garage, put the padlock key in the mailbox, and Giles left a handwritten note to Patsy McCormick that said in part "we felt bad that your husband didn't get to finish the yard, so we did." And they didn't think it was that big a deal.

YouTube link. Original news video.

"No not at all. Just something to help someone out in the worst time of their life," said Giles. "They already got stuff they've got going on that's more important," added Steffenauer. "Yard work shouldn't be something they'd have to finish up. So we were happy to come back and take care of that." But it was a letter, and a gesture, that made a daughter weep. "It just showed me that there's still compassion," said McCormick's daughter Jeana Blackford. "That people still do random acts of kindness every day for people that they don't know." However, this story does not have a happy ending. John McCormick died two days later.

Court granted man divorce over wife's excessive demands for sex

A man, who sought separation from his wife alleging that she was aggressive and autocratic with an insatiable appetite for sex, has been granted a divorce by a family court in Mumbai, India. "Due to respondent's (wife's) non-appearance before the court, the petitioner's (husband's) evidence remains unchallenged on record. Hence this court has no option but to accept his evidence as it is and he is entitled to a decree of divorce as prayed," Principal Judge of family court, Laxmi Rao ruled in a recent order.

The husband had approached the family court in January, saying that his wife was "adamant, aggressive, stubborn and autocratic" and would pick up quarrels for no reason. The man, in his petition told the court that she was showing an "excessive and insatiable desire for sex" and harassed him since their marriage in April 2012. He also alleged that she administered him medicines and also forced him to consume liquor. The husband alleged that she used to force him into having unnatural sex and whenever he tried to resist it, she would abuse him following which he had to succumb to her pressure and persistent demands.

He told the court that he worked in three shifts leaving him very tired, and even then he was compelled to satisfy her 'lust'. The woman even went to the extent of threatening him that if her demands were not fulfilled, she would go to another man, without caring for his emotions and feelings, the court was told. In December 2012, the man had to be hospitalised for a stomach ache during which she chose to go her sister's place, only to return after two weeks, the petition said. Though doctors advised him to stay away from any physical relationship for a while, the wife kept up with her sexual demands, even as his health deteriorated for lack of rest, the petition submitted.

Further he said that in October 2013 he was operated for appendicitis and after discharge his wife insisted that they stay with her sister and even there, she forced him into having intercourse. According to him, his wife refused to visit a psychiatrist and threatened him against revealing anything to anybody. In the petition, he said that it was intolerable for him to bear any more atrocities and that he also apprehended danger to his life and limb. He said his wife has made his life horrible with her "cruel behaviour" and her "excessive prank for sex" has made it difficult for him to live together with her under one roof. Judge Rao allowed the petition and dissolved the marriage.

Exclusive school investigated by police over 'turkey slapping' incident

The Kings School in Parramatta, Australia, is the subject of a police investigation after allegations of indecent and physical assault were made by a group of boarding students.

Police confirmed that detectives from the child abuse squad are investigating assault allegations made by students against other students at a school in Sydney's north-west. "Given those alleged to be involved are juveniles it would be inappropriate for police to provide any further detail at this point in time," a statement from the police media unit said.

It is understood that the allegations centre around indecent and unwanted sexual contact, which include the act of "turkey slapping", where a male rubs his genitals on another's face. The headmaster of the private boys' school, Dr Tim Hawkes, confirmed that police were investigating the allegations made by students.

"The school has been made aware of an allegations and is co-operating with the police over this matter," Dr Hawkes said. In accordance with mandatory reporting requirements, all schools are required to report to authorities any incidents where a child may be at risk.

Funeral horse pulling hearse died mid-procession

A grieving family were further distressed when a horse pulling a relative’s hearse dropped dead mid-procession. Police and a fire crew were called at around 1.40pm on Wednesday to Hornchurch Road, Hornchurch, east London, following reports that the animal had fallen sick.

The firefighters from Hornchurch station left shortly later after realising they could not save the horse and officers called the RSPCA for assistance. The road was closed for nearly two hours while the organisers, Harold Wood Funeral Services, of Chippenham Road, Harold Hill, arranged for the horse to be taken away. Andy White, 46, from Dorset, said: “It was horrible. It was my wife’s grandad’s funeral and it upset us all.”

The procession continued by car and despite the incident, Mr White described the company as “fantastic”. Ronnie, the deceased horse, was a middle-aged white carriage horse and was believed to be in good health, funeral director Carol Lawrence said. She said: “We are extremely sad to report the sudden death of Ronnie, a 14-year-old horse in service on the funeral in our care.

“There was no indication of any poor health and he was regularly seen by vets.” The director assured that there was no delay and the coffin was transferred from the horse-drawn cart and put in to a regular hearse that was part of the procession. She added: “The bereaved family are very sympathetic and we have been in touch with them.” Ronnie later received a private burial in a field in the Essex countryside in the stables he lived in.

House currently inhabited by well fed pig for sale

A small detached house in Britannia Road, Ipswich, seemingly occupied by a portly pig, has gone on the market.

In an advert posted at Rightmove by estate agent Connells, one photograph clearly showed the large animal snoozing in the corner of a room.

The photo was mysteriously removed on Sunday afternoon. The house, which is described as "unique" is on the market for £120,000 and used to be a meeting hall.

It features an open plan kitchen and lounge area, where the pig was resting, as well as a bathroom, separate toilet, entrance hall and loft bedroom.