Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Brmm brmm

Dog heads out on the highway

While strapped to the back of a lady motorcyclist travelling at 70mph.

YouTube link.

Newborn goat traverses dog

It's a big hike when you're only little.

YouTube link.

Man who took cat canoeing drowned trying to save it after it jumped overboard

A 46-year-old man died while canoeing in Loon Lake in the northern suburbs of Illinois on Monday after he jumped in the water to try and save a cat.

Officials with the Lake County Sheriff's office were called to the scene in Antioch a little after 7:30pm. The man was in a canoe with another man and woman on Loon Lake when the cat, also in the canoe, jumped into the water, police said.

The man tried to save the cat but went under the water, according to authorities. His body was recovered shortly after midnight. The identification of the man, who police say is from Ingleside, has not yet been released.

Police said alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the incident. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is investigating the death. It is not known what happened to the cat.

Hungry bear scaled power transmission tower to raid raven's nest

A group of bison hunters visiting Wood Buffalo National Park in north eastern Alberta, Canada, watched a bear climb a power transmission tower and raid a ravens' nest earlier this month. Linda Powell of Greensboro, North Carolina, shot the photos and video on May 10.

"We were in a clearcut, where there were actually power lines and towers and I had noticed earlier there were nests at the top of them. I was sitting there and glanced over and happened to see a black bear on its hind legs at the base of the tower and my first thought that went through my mind was: that bear's gonna climb the tower but I didn't really think that it would."

She says everyone in her party was so shocked at first, they didn't grab their cameras until the bear was near the top of the tower. "Over the next few minutes we watched him very skillfully climb the tower while the ravens were diving at him pecking at him, squawking, trying to do everything they could to discourage him, and he just climbed right to the top." Powell is the director of media relations for O.F. Mossburg and Sons, a U.S. company that makes firearms.

YouTube link.

She had brought two hunters with decades of experience to the area to field test some of the company's hunting guns. "None of us had ever seen anything like that in all of our years or our time out in the field hunting," she says. After raiding the nest for eggs, the bear struggled a little on the descent but made it down safely, she says. Later, the ravens just sat by the nest "almost like they were in mourning." Other than the great bear story, she says the group didn't have much luck hunting.

Wandering seal that relaxed on man's driveway visited car wash overnight - Update

A gathering crowd applauded as a seal was herded into a cage after coming ashore for the second day in a row. The seal spent Monday morning wandering about the New Zealand suburb of Papakura, before emergency services guided it towards an estuary.

It was loaded onto a Department of Conservation (DOC) vehicle and taken away from its south Auckland sleeping spot on Tuesday afternoon. Auckland Zoo head vet James Chatterton described the seal as being "calm and gentle". The seal was found asleep in a car wash building in Papakura on Tuesday morning.

YouTube link.

Police came across the seal at a road intersection in the suburb at about 2am, Inspector Chris Money said. The seal then made its way into the car park of a nearby medical clinic. From there it entered the Uwash car wash building, where it fell fast asleep. It woke up at around midday, and waved a flipper at the crowd of about 50 people who were watching.

The increased activity prompted DOC staff to move people further away from the lost mammal. The large fur seal's city excursion ended when he was coaxed into a crate. He was then loaded into a vehicle and was driven to Karioitahi Beach, southwest of Auckland, where he was released by Department of Conservation and Auckland Zoo staff.

Farmer spells out drought frustration with sheep

The mood is low in drought-ravaged North Canterbury, New Zealand, so one farmer has recruited his sheep to motivate a struggling community. Parnassus sheep farmer Mike Bowler has been hit hard by the drought, which has crippled farming operations in the area. The harsh conditions have scorched his fields, requiring Bowler to drop thousands of dollars of feed each day for his stock.

To vent his frustration, each day he scatters the feed into a different pattern, manipulating his sheep into a giant roadside billboard. One day it was the shape of a kiwi; other days it has been the names of his grandchildren. Bowler's most popular design expressed in simple terms what many of his fellow farmers are thinking – "bugger".

His sheep art had been a useful way for dealing with his frustration, he said. "I feel that if I'm pouring that much money into the ground I might as well get some benefit from it, even if it is just a smile from somebody going along the road." He does not hang around to see the reaction to his art but has spotted a few drivers slamming the brakes to jump out and take photos.

The drought had been tough, he said. In a usual year, he would go through 10 tonnes of grain; this year, he has already gone through 120 tonnes. About 10 millimetres of rain fell on Sunday night, the first double digit rainfall since December, but frosts meant it was too late for any recovery. Bowler planned keep his chin up and let his sheep do the talking. "If you've got stock, you've gotta feed 'em, simple as that. It's definitely hard . . . It's the same old thing every day but we'll get there."

Controversy after baby rabbit beaten to death with bicycle pump during live radio show

A radio presenter in Denmark has killed a baby rabbit live on air, provoking listeners to campaign for a boycott.

The Radio24syv presenter was hosting a debate on animal welfare and said he carried out the killing to demonstrate the hypocrisy of animal campaigners who eat meat from supermarkets. Alan, a nine-week-old rabbit, was hit three times over the head with a bicycle pump by Asger Juhl. The rabbit apparently twitched several times before quietly dying.

Mr Juhl said he wanted to see whether he had become so attached to the rabbit by the end of the debate that he wouldn't be able to kill him. Linse Kessler, an activist who had been part of an earlier discussion, talked her way back into the studio to try to save Alan. She chased Mr Juhl around a table but did not manage to rescue the rabbit.

He has since taken the animal's carcass home and skinned it with his children who are aged six and eight. They are planning a dinner of rabbit ragout. Since the broadcast there has been an angry protest, with people calling for a boycott of the radio station and describing the presenter's behaviour as disgusting.

Mural's 'rude bits' censored with planks of wood

A mural by a celebrated artist has been censored by its owner who has covered up the 'naughty bits' with a plank of wood. Robert Oscar Lenkiewicz painted a couple having sex on the side of a shopping arcade in Plymouth Harbour's Barbican building more than 30 years ago. The unfinished work was created on the concrete but never completed when surrounding businesses got fed up of the scaffolding and the time the work was taking.

A different work by the artist, called The Last Judgement, was painted on wooden boards and fixed over it instead. The mural, which was never seen due to tarpaulin around the wall when it was painted, was revealed for the first time last November when the boards were taken down for preservation. But now the building owner Adele Nash has covered up the 'rude' parts by fixing bits of wood across the painting, which was originally commissioned by her late husband. Adele said "freedom of artist's expression" did not mean the recently-discovered mural was "an appropriate image to have in the public domain".

She added: "We were very surprised to see so little had been accomplished during the six months Robert worked on the scaffold back in 1982. We are also somewhat perplexed at realising this fait accompli did not fall into any category of the commission remit given to Robert." The plank of wood is from the original batons which held The Last Judgment over the mural on the side of independent shopping centre The House That Jack Built. But Rob Ferguson, who owns the nearby Barbican Reach Guest House, said the cover-up was "a clear act of vandalism".

He said: "I can understand that a few people may find part of it offensive; I can also appreciate that a temporary covering could have been put up until a decision is made as to its future. What I am incensed about is that a series of holes have been drilled across the middle of a unique piece of work by one of Plymouth's most renowned artists." London-born Lenkiewicz, who died aged 61 in August 2002, was a celebrated artist in South West England who produced up to 10,000 works. Many were on a large scale and explored difficult social themes such as vagrancy, suicide and mental health.

Dog used trampoline to jump fence and follow owner to work

A dog surprised its owner on a train after escaping from its garden by using a trampoline to bounce over a 6ft fence. Thomas McCormack, 34, was left puzzled when his pooch Paddy unexpectedly followed him on his morning commute to work. The male labrador collie cross had traced him to a railway station before boarding the same carriage and jumping in a seat beside him. Thomas couldn’t make sense of how his canine friend had escaped its fenced garden kennel or how it managed track him down on Friday morning.

But neighbours revealed they had seen Paddy bouncing on the trampoline and jumping over the fence after Thomas left the house. Thomas from Croy, North Lanarkshire, said he was left with no choice but to take the dog into work for the day. He said: “I was just on my way to work and went to the train station. I jumped on the train and the next thing I know Paddy comes in and sits on the seat next to me. I was shocked. He just looked at me as if he was saying ‘Where are you going?’

“I was confused, but laughing. The neighbour told me he was bouncing on the trampoline and came flying over the fence. That’s how he got out. He is some dog. He obviously followed my scent all the way to the station and jumped in the seat next to me. It’s the only explanation I have.” Paddy is usually kept in the house and stays in the back garden when his owner leaves for work around 8am. But Thomas was baffled when his dog began waiting outside the family’s front door on his return from work in recent days.

YouTube link.

The mystery was only solved when neighbours revealed they had seen Paddy jumping on the trampoline and bouncing over the fence. Thomas said: “I’ve been coming home from work and he was sitting outside the front door. He’s sitting there and I was thinking ‘How did he get over there?’ He was in a kennel in my back garden and the fence is six feet, so he can’t jump it. But he’s bouncing on the trampoline with the kids all the time, that’s where he must have learnt it. He’s a clever dog. I think he’s been following me to work. My guess is that he’s made the journey a few times, but never managed to find me until the other day. That morning he obviously caught me. I had to take him to work.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Giddy up

Eclectus chick propels his bowl along

This week-old eclectus chick has a wing-powered bowl.

YouTube link.

Hyperactive kitten is hyperactive

Five-week-old Rickles' brothers, Shecky and Belushi, aren't quite sure what to do with their energetic sibling.

YouTube link.

Town hopes that fake whale will fix their sea lion problem

A community in Oregon is bringing in some unusual help to fix their sea lion problem. They're hoping a fake killer whale from Bellingham, Washington, will do the trick.

"I don't have any idea in the world if it'll work or even should work. It's just kind of a fun, crazy thing to do," said Terry Buzzard, who runs Island Marine Cruises in Bellingham. He owns a life-size mock orca which he's used to promote his business during parades and other events.

Buzzard recently heard about the problems at the Port of Astoria, where hundreds of sea lions have taken over the docks, preventing boat owners from using their slips. He offered up his giant mock orca, which will head south to act as a scarecrow of sorts.

YouTube link.

"If it doesn't look like an orca whale and they call our bluff, then I guess they'll sit there and thumb their noses at us," said Buzzard. The Port of Astoria has tried using electrified mats to deter sea lions, but those didn't work all that well. They've considered putting up fences, but they're worried the animals will just knock them down.

Man died while 'fooling around' with bulletproof vest and gun

A man has been arrested in connection to a deadly shooting on Friday night on the American River Bike Trail in Fair Oaks, California. According to the victim's brother, the shooting resulted from the victim and his friends playing around with a bulletproof vest and a gun.

Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies said 21-year-old Elijah Lambert faces a murder charge in the death of 19-year-old Miguel Henry Martinez, who was identified by family members. Martinez's older brother, Tom Cline, said Martinez died in the most senseless way. At around 9:45pm, "Miguel was fooling around with his buddies. They were in possession of a gun and a bulletproof vest," Cline said.

Cline said friends encouraged his brother to put on the vest. The three friends with Martinez assured him that he would not be hurt, Cline said. According to the sheriff's department, Lambert fired the gun. "The kid had shot my brother. The bullet penetrated the top of his vest," said Cline. "My brother was hit. My brother said he couldn't breathe." According to Cline, one person ran for help. Two men carried Martinez up the bike path to meet deputies, but Martinez died.

"My brother did not deserve this death," Cline said. "I want everybody to know Miguel Henry Martinez was a good boy." Cline said he believes his brother might have survived the shooting if someone called for help sooner. He said he doesn't know where the bulletproof vest or gun came from. The sheriff's department would not comment. Lambert is expected to go before a judge on Wednesday to answer to homicide charges.

Six cyclists arrested after attacking PedalPubs with water pistols

They arrived armed and on bicycles, planning a “Mad Max”-style attack. Their target were PedalPubs in downtown Minneapolis. Their weapons of choice were water pistols (squirt guns) and water balloons. What they didn’t know was that there were off-duty police officers among the passengers.

Two of the people-powered, 16-seat vehicles were hit on Saturday in the late afternoon, said Lisa Stanplin, manager of Twin Cities PedalPubs. In the first attack, the cyclists rode to the front of the PedalPub and squirted the driver in the face. In the second, cyclists approached on both sides, squirted passengers with water pistols and hit one woman in the back of the head with a water balloon.

A potential third attack was thwarted when PedalPub passengers spotted the cyclists’ approach, jumped off and turned the tables on the cyclists. A video showing the aftermath of the third incident shows abandoned bikes littering the street and what appear to be several cyclists being pinned down on the pavement. One cyclist can be heard yelling, “I don’t even have a water bottle!” A woman can be heard telling the cyclists that it was “a PedalPub full of cops.”

Contains NSFW language.

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Indeed, Burnsville Police Chief Eric Gieseke confirmed on Sunday that six of his off-duty officers were on board. Minneapolis police arrested six people, who were booked into the Hennepin County jail and released on Saturday night after each posting $78 bail. The jail log lists fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct, misdemeanors, as probable-cause charges. All have their first court appearances set for June 4.

Wayward seal coaxed back to estuary after relaxing on man's driveway

A seal on the loose in South Auckland, New Zealand, has been rescued by emergency services. The Papakura seal was herded down to the reserve near the estuary by police and firefighters before being monitored by Department of Conservation staff.

"Hopefully will just jump back in and swim home," an emergency services source said. When Danny Yong woke up on Monday morning and found his house surrounded by police and firefighters - he naturally panicked. "I thought I'd got myself into trouble somehow. Then my flatmates went outside and saw a seal in the driveway," he said.

Unbeknown to Mr Yong, the seal had settled into his driveway and was in no hurry to move. "It was very, very cool. We were trapped in the house for about three hours while police tried to move it," he said. "It was just relaxing, doing nothing in the driveway. It was lying down in front of my door."

YouTube link.

Emergency services staff made a makeshift enclosure out of plywood to stop the seal getting away from them, and eventually managed to coax the mammal to the estuary opposite Mr Yong's home. "It's the first time I've had a seal in my driveway," he said. "It was pretty interesting." Nearby residents had been advised to stay indoors until the seal had been caught.

There are additional videos, filmed by Mr Yong, here, here and here.

Armless man denied disabled parking permit because he can walk

A Swedish man has had his disabled parking permit revoked despite lacking both arms and thus unable to pay for a ticket either via phone or at a meter.

Thomas Johansson's request to renew his disabled parking permit was rejected by Örebro municipality in central Sweden due to the fact that he can walk. Mr Johansson, who lost his arms in an accident in 1989, drives a specially designed car which allows him mobility despite his handicap.

The car is important to his family and now he's considering resigning from his job as a motivator for people with addictions. "I'm so disappointed in society. I have tried to help despite my injury," he says. Mr Johansson appealed the municipality's decision but the decision was backed up by both the county administrative board and the Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen).

Mr Johansson has argued that despite his ability to walk he has trouble carrying heavy items for long distances. A disabled parking permit affords the user free use of designated parking places in Swedish cities which are typically located close to stores and public transport links.

Man sets new world record for longest plank

Denmark is once again home to the world record holder in planking after a Danish fitness instructor held his body's weight on his forearms, elbows, and toes for four and a half hours, smashing his previous record. 51-year-old Tom Hoel reclaimed his title in the Zealand town of Jægerpris on Friday night, beating his own previous world record by a full 80 minutes.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to get the title of world champion back. The best feeling is actually not the title but meeting the hopes and expectations of all my friends and club members, who were there to share both my pain and happiness,” Hoel said. “I have never pushed myself that far. I had a serious crisis for almost two hours. After mentally arguing with myself, I finally asked for the time at three hours and 41 minutes.

"I thought that I was still under three hours and was ready to quit but when I realised I that had beat my former record and the goal was within sight, I mobilised every resource in my mind and body,” he said. Hoel said he was able to knock China’s Mao Weidong off his perch as the global master of the abdominal core exercise thanks to a strict training regimen. “The new record time is a result of nine months of structured training.

"My first record was made after four months with little or no planning. I’ve had no alcohol the last four months, have eaten healthy foods and focused a lot on getting enough sleep. Sleep timing was a challenge for me, basically because it’s easier to find time for long planks when my family is asleep,” Hoel said. Hoel’s family were there to cheer him on and he said he couldn’t have done it without the support of his wife Kirsten and sons Frederik and Kaj.

There's a two hour-long video here.

Artist to have second road named in his honour after the first was spelt wrong

A second road is to be named in honour of a celebrated Suffolk painter after a typing error meant the first one was misspelt. Paul Earee, who died in 1968, is considered by some to be the finest Sudbury artist since Thomas Gainsborough.

The town and district councils agreed to name a road after him, however, it was misspelt as Paul Airey Mews. After residents refused to change their addresses, a new location was agreed.

The original road sign was installed in Paul Airey Mews, a development close to where Earee lived, in July last year. "It took until February for anyone to notice the mistake," Jodie Budd, customer services manager at Sudbury Town Council, said.

"It was a simple typing error in an email we sent to Babergh District Council," she added. The district council is responsible for registering new roads in its area. Gary Starling from the district council confirmed a location has now been identified and agreed by both councils and Earee's family.