Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Monkey business

Chicken enjoys a ride on a Roomba

Catherine Bremner from Australia was surprised to discover her chicken James, who had wandered into her home, switched on the Roomba, and was happily riding around the living room on it.

YouTube link.

Beer truck ran over man after he stole it

A man has been arrested and taken to the hospital after stealing a beer truck and running himself over while trying to elude police. At around 5:45am on Monday, police in Columbus, Georgia, responded after a man stole a Coors beer truck.

The man then led police on a chase. The suspect, 55-year-old Gregory Miller, jumped out of the semi-truck attempting to elude police. He jumped out of the semi-truck, and ran over his own leg. Miller was caught on the scene.

Miller was taken to Midtown Medical Center and is currently in unsatisfactory condition with a severe ankle injury. Once released CPD Major J.D. Hawk says he will face theft by taking a motor vehicle and eluding police. Police think it was left running during a delivery.

“Officers put out a broadcast on the beer truck at which time it was later discovered," Hawk said. A brief high speed chase ended with the suspect crashing into a fence. According to police, the suspect did not put the truck in park so when he got out he ended up getting run over by it causing severe injuries to his ankle.

With news video.

Mask wearing man arrested after not robbing store

A mask wearing man was arrested after he did not rob a store in Florida. An Indian River County Sheriff’s deputy went to a Walgreens in Vero Beach at about 3:15am on Nov. 6 after a suspicious person report.

Dispatchers reported a Walgreens worker said a man in the store was wearing a mask and black gloves. When a deputy arrived he saw a man with black gloves and a mask on top of his head by the cash register.

He told the man, identified as Kyle Seaman, 29, to go outside and take off the mask. A delivery driver told investigators he was outside and the man came up wearing gloves and a mask. He had a hand in his shirt, making it look like he had a weapon.

A Walgreens worker reported Seaman walked around with the mask covering his face. “Why does everyone think I’m going (to) rob the place wearing the mask,” Seaman is quoted as asking. Investigators did not accuse Seaman of robbing or attempting to rob Walgreens. Instead, Seaman, of Jupiter, was arrested on a misdemeanor wearing a mask, hood, or other device on public property charge.

Cat killed deadly snake after it bit her owner

A woman from north Queensland, Australia, is recovering in hospital after being bitten by a deadly red-bellied black snake that was hiding under a garden hose. Denise Thynne was gardening at her home in Mirani, west of Mackay, when she was bitten on Monday morning. "I walked out to the yard to pick up the hose to water the roses. There was a little snake laying under the hose that I didn't see," she said. "It was laying there in the sun, I didn't take any notice until I felt the sting."

Her cat Skitzo rushed to her aid, attacking and killing the reptile. "She came out stalking and it looked like she was mesmerising it and then she just went in for the kill," Ms Thynne said. "I turned the snake over and saw the red belly and thought 'oh that's not a very friendly one'." The 66-year-old's hand started to hurt and she was taken to the Mackay Base Hospital, but she is expected to be released this morning after it was found the snake did not inject her with poison.

Ms Thynne said she was well versed in what to do, as it was the fourth time she had been bitten by a snake. "I'm a bit of a pro at this snake business," she said. "My mum always said it'll be a snake that kills me, so yeah, I'm not really planning on one [a fifth experience], but who knows. Just be careful, and wear your glasses when you go outside, that helps." Ms Thynne said her experience had taught her that if you were bitten by a snake you should "definitely not panic".

"If it's a real deadly looking one, sit under a tree with a cigarette, with a cup of tea and pray, but yeah wrap it up and hope." Emergency doctor Neale Thornton said it was important to stay calm and call triple-0 if you were bitten. "No panic, no running around, just get to a phone, call the ambulance, first aid measures is what they call it," he said. "Pressure, immobilisation bandage, if you've got the right kit, and you know how to do it, do it. If you see a snake minding its own business in the bush, just leave it alone, don't play with it, even if you think it's a non-poisonous one."

There's an audio interview with Ms Thynne here.

Naked man charged over Whopper

A naked man was arrested and charged after he allegedly stole a Whopper from a man’s car in Derby, 2400km north of Perth in Australia.

Derby police say the local man stole the Hungry Jack’s burger from a tradesman’s car parked in the remote town.

The tradesman had organised for a friend to bring him several Whoppers from Darwin (no less than 1800km north-east) in the days prior to the alleged theft. Police say one of the burgers was left in the car and the local forced his way inside and took it.

When he was confronted by the tradesman, the offender removed all his clothes and walked away, police said. Officers apprehended him in the street a short time later and charged him by summons with stealing and disorderly behaviour.

Abandoned puppy guided and protected his blind sister until they were both rescued

A greyhound puppy in Spain refused to leave the side of his blind sister and protected and guided her until the pair were rescued.

The pair of downtrodden pups were discovered by residents at a battered women’s shelter in Navalcarnero near Madrid when it was noticed that one refused to leave the side of the other and appeared to be guiding her through the fields.

It emerged that the male dog, who is darker in colour, was permanently at the side of his lighter-coloured sister as she took tentative steps through scrubland searching for food. "On approaching the dogs, it was possible to see that one of them had a cloudy veil covering the retina of the eyes," explained Nacho Paunero, the head of El Refugio, a dog shelter charity in Madrid.

YouTube link.

"Her brother seemed to be fully aware of the blindness of his sister and would not be separated from her for a single second, he was protecting and guiding her," Paunero said. The dogs were given the names Pisper and Blinder and have now been taken in by the charity, which is hoping to rehome them together. "The dogs have been seen by the vet and the blindness is most likely caused by an infection," said the charity. "With the right treatment we hope she will make a full recovery."

Elderly man attempted to get himself arrested after council failed to empty his bin

An elderly man from Erith in south east London reported himself to the police as he threatened to fly-tip after Bexley Council had allegedly failed to empty his bin. John Mayne, 77, has spoken about his anger of having to go to extreme lengths to ensure his bin was emptied – five days after it should have been. The latest Bexley bin collection was meant to take place on November 13.

Despite telling the council that he was going to ‘bring a shovel and broom’ to chuck his rubbish on the street, he also rang the police, in the hope that they would arrest him. Mr Mayne said: “The final straw for me came when my bin should’ve been emptied on November 13 but by Wednesday morning (November 18), still, nothing had been done. I rang the council asking why my bin had been left and they told me they would empty it on Thursday. I was so fed up that I told them ‘I am going to bring a shovel and broom to offload my rubbish on the road.

“I phoned the police on the 101 line and said that I was going to commit the act of fly-tipping – they didn’t really know what to say because they probably thought I was a nutter.” After Mr Mayne’s threats, Serco, the company who empty Bexley bins, collected his rubbish at around 6.30pm on Wednesday evening. Bexley Council should empty residents’ bins every fortnight but allegedly failed to empty Mr Mayne's for nearly an extra week. He added: “They came round to my house like thieves in the night to empty my bin because they didn’t want to see me. The whole situation has left me bleeding livid – I’ve been treated like an idiot.

“My wife is concerned for my health and she’s even told me that I’m going to have a stroke if I don’t calm down. I’m going to be 78 in a couple of weeks so I should not have to resort to threatening to fly tip just so I can have a service, which I pay for, completed.” Mr Mayne pays £27-a-year to have his 250 litre bin emptied. A Bexley Council spokesman said: “Unfortunately operational issues did mean that our contractor missed some collections in Erith. This was sorted out as quickly as possible and collections will be made on the scheduled day. There is no excuse for fly-tipping and fly-tippers will be prosecuted.”

Dog's life saved thanks to custom-built highchair

Pluto, a year-old golden Labrador, suffers from a rare condition that means he cannot eat like a normal four-legged animal and needs to sit bolt upright. The labrador arrived at Battersea’s Brands Hatch centre in February as a severely underweight four month-old puppy, after his owner sadly passed away. He was diagnosed with Mega-oesophagus, that means the muscles in his gullet don’t work properly and anything he chews could get stuck in his throat, potentially causing him to choke to death.

But staff at the Kent rescue centre spent just £3 in turning a selection of old desks and furniture into a custom-made highchair so he can eat safely like a human baby. The chair, known as a Bailey Chair, took just a day to make by three staff members and the only expense was nails and hinges. Pluto can now eat his dinner sitting upright, allowing the food to reach his stomach safely. He then has to stay upright in his high chair for ten minutes after eating so his food doesn’t come back up again, and has all four meals a day in his special ‘throne.’

YouTube link.

The average dog stays at Battersea for just a month, but due to his illness, Pluto stayed for 225 days – leading to him forming close bonds with many who worked there. Veterinary Surgeon Shaun Opperman said: “It’s all about gravity when you feed Pluto, he needs to be fed upright and have all his food in one go. At Battersea we put water in the food to hydrate him because he couldn’t even have a drink – it’s a fairly long process. Anything can get stuck in his oesophagus and people need to be really vigilant – even if he eats a small piece of food or fluff off the floor it would put back his progress.” Finally, at the end of October Pluto moved into a loving new home in Oxfordshire, with Deborah and Alan Scoones.

Pluto going about his daily business.

YouTube link.

Alan said: “Our daughter Chloe works at Battersea Brands Hatch and fostered Pluto and we had the chance to meet him. “We fell in love with him and wanted to rehome him, so Chloe taught us all we needed to know about his condition. Now we have a good routine at home with feeding and we all take turns four times a day to give him a meal. Pluto knows to get straight into his chair and backs in to it all on his own – he sits there waiting for his food to be brought over. He scoffs it down and seems very happy. It’s a small price to pay to have such a perfect dog in our lives. It’s great that Chloe can still see Pluto when she visits us, especially after she cared for him and did so much work with him at Battersea.”

Operation to fix rooster's cock-a-doodle-doo hailed a success

An operation to fix a mute rooster's beak has been hailed as a success and raised hopes he will cock-a-doodle-doo for the first time. Captain Beaky, who also struggled to eat, went under the knife to have his broken bottom jaw fixed.

The operation means the cockerel from Lancaster, Lancashire, can now easily feed himself but he is yet to give the famous call. He had to travel to Northern Ireland for the operation as it was hard to find a vet to do the job in England. However, the rooster then went on to have an accident while recuperating at the animal hospital when he bashed his new beak into a wall and needed a second operation.

The procedures have cost owners Tina and Martin Wilkinson a total of £500, along with travel expenses. The rooster was adopted by the couple after he had been found abandoned in a woodland near their house. The family have 80 chickens, 10 ducks, two turkeys, four cats and two dogs. They decided to raise money for Captain Beaky's operation because they wanted to "make his life easier".

Mrs Wilkinson, who set up Hedwig's House for Chickens in Hestbank, Lancaster, in 2014, said: "He was struggling but we saw his will to live." She added she had been shocked to hear about the accident after the first operation. "He is fine but I feel guilty because he had a major operation. I worry about him," she said. "He doesn't realise he can eat because he has always struggled." The couple said Captain Beaky was still trying to learn how to use his new beak.

There's a news video here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Sleeping meerkat falls off a rock

YouTube link.

Hamster enjoys breakfast in bed

YouTube link.

Original Facebook video.

Woman allegedly called 911 to lure police away from her location so she could drive home drunk

A New Jersey woman allegedly made a false 911 call in order to divert police away from the bar in Wayne she and a friend were drinking in so they could leave and not be caught driving drunk.

Police said that Hayley Oates, 25, posted on social media after she called 911: “lmao.. 2 mins later the cop peals out..silly piggies tricks r for u,” Detective Capt. Laurence W. Martin said in a statement. Oates, from the Lake Hiawatha section of Parsippany, was arrested on Thursday and charged with filing false reports to law enforcement and creating a false public alarm, Martin said.

She was released pending a court appearance. Martin called Oates’ alleged actions “inexcusable and reprehensible behaviour,” and said police officers place themselves in harm’s way daily responding to real events. Officer Gregory Halligan and Sgt. Donald Davidson were dispatched to Mother's Ale House at around 3:15am on Monday morning after the department received a 911 call reporting “a female being attacked in the parking lot.”

The caller told the dispatcher that the suspect was in a blue pick-up truck before abruptly hanging up. The officers raced to the bar with their lights and sirens activated and found no evidence of an assault and no witnesses, Martin said. The surveillance cameras in the area did not pick up any assault. Detective Sgt. Robert Simpson and Detective Dave Collins determined that Oates allegedly made the fake call to draw officers to Mother’s Ale House while she and an unidentified man could leave the Grasshopper Bar and Grill without being stopped for driving under the influence, Martin said.

University yoga class suspended over 'cultural appropriation issues'

A yoga instructor who says her free class at the University of Ottawa in Canada was cancelled for cultural reasons believes the student federation's concerns are misplaced. Jen Scharf said she's been teaching a free yoga class for the university's Centre for Students with Disabilities, which is run by the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, for the last seven years. When she checked back in with the centre in September, she said she was told by them the class wouldn't be happening because some students and volunteers were uncomfortable with the "cultural issues" involved. "I guess it was this cultural appropriation issue because yoga originally comes from India," she said. "I told them, 'Why don't we just change the name of the course?' It's simple enough, just call it mindful stretching.… We're not going through the finer points of scripture. We're talking about basic physical awareness and how to stretch so that you feel good.

"That went back and forth… The higher-ups at the student federation got involved, finally we got an email routed through the student federation basically saying they couldn't get a French name and nobody wants to do it, so we're going to cancel it for now." Cultural appropriation is when a culture that's seen as an oppressor borrows or steals elements of a culture they're oppressing. Scharf said there is also concern over yoga instructors who claim to be experts in the more spiritual aspects of yoga, but aren't. "I'm not claiming it's anything more than a physical practice within that class," she said. "There's been so much positivity and so many people positively helped by this, and that's part of the reason why I'm fighting so hard to keep it. Those issues are important issues and they should be raised but it's not me they should be mad at; it's the fake people that are making claims they can't possibly substantiate." Scharf said she'd love to start her class again but hasn't found a place or organisation at the university willing to host it.

Student federation president Roméo Ahimakin said there were no direct complaints about the class, more general questions about the issues and ideas around it. Ahimakin said they suspended the class as part of a review of all their programmes to make them more interesting, accessible, inclusive and responsive to the needs of students. He said they're doing consultations on the idea of bringing a free yoga class back and could get a more accessible version of it as soon as the next semester starts in January. There have been concerns among some Hindus over how yoga has crossed over to the Western world. For instance, the Hindu American Foundation's "Take Back Yoga" campaign is against yoga's commercialisation. But at the Hindu Temple of Ottawa-Carleton, one husband and wife said they didn't have an issue with what they've seen around the community and didn't agree with the idea that non-Hindus teaching yoga is culturally insensitive.

"In Hindi 'yog' means to unite. To unite with who? With your true self. That's what yoga is. Here we tend to relate it with the postures but it's not just postures... and it has nothing to do with religion," said Girija Waghray, who's been teaching yoga around Ottawa for more than 10 years. "It's basically focusing on our health. By calming our mind, our mind becomes positive." Dilip Waghray said he's been practising yoga for 50 years and while he's uncomfortable with how it's been commercialized in the West, he chooses to focus on the benefits it's having. "When I saw what was happening [with big crowds for free yoga] on Parliament Hill I was thrilled and probably a little bit ashamed that my body wasn't as flexible as theirs. I said, 'Wow,' and the first thing I did was share with my classmates back home," he said. "If you look at what the Western world has adapted it is just phenomenal. Imagine how much good they're doing for themselves. They'll live a long and very happy life."

Police seek man who robbed stores while armed with a snow brush

Police are searching for a man who held up two convenience stores while armed with a snow brush.

The man entered two Mac’s stores in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, on Saturday morning.

On each occasion the suspect entered the store armed with an automotive snow brush and scraper and demanded the clerk hand over money from the register.

YouTube link.

The suspect is described as standing between 5’8” and 5’10”, weighing about 170 pounds and wearing a beige hat, a dark SPY Optics hoodie, dark pants and sunglasses.

Woman presumed dead for 10 years had been living and playing games in internet cafés

A Chinese woman who was presumed dead after she went missing 10 years ago has been found after allegedly spending the last decade living and playing games in internet cafés. The woman, known as Xiao Yun and now aged 24, left her home in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang 10 years ago after a quarrel with her parents.

Presumed dead by her family, she was finally found by police officers on Nov 20 after a routine check on an internet café in the wee hours of the morning. Xiao Yun, who was carrying a fake identity card, was taken to a local police station for questioning where she revealed that she had been living in internet cafés for the past decade.

A fan of the multiplayer first-person shooter game CrossFire, she spent her days playing the game and slept mostly in cafés and bath houses. She relied mostly on handouts from fellow cafe patrons and occasionally worked as a cashier at some cafés to earn additional income. She told the police that she had been brought up by her grandparents.

The police fined her 1,000 yuan (£100, £150) and after initial resistance from her, contacted her parents so they could be reunited with their long-lost daughter. Her mother said that she had not changed her phone number since Xiao Yun left home, in the hope that she would contact her. "I have a stubborn personality and a short temper, so I used to scold her. But it's been 10 years and now she's an adult. I will never scold her again," she said.

Police apologise for detaining artists over floating cow

Police in India's Rajasthan state have apologised to artists for raiding an exhibition featuring a polystyrene cow dangling from a helium balloon. Officers arrived at the Jaipur Art Summit on Saturday following complaints that the life-size cow floating in the air was offensive to Hindus. They detained two artists for a few hours, while Hindu activists brought the installation down.

Activists say the raid is a sign of growing religious intolerance in India. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said that she was "saddened" by the incident, and the police commissioner of Jaipur also apologised. She said the chief of the local police station was "removed and I have spoken to the artist personally".

Artist Siddhartha Kararwal had called his life-size cow effigy Bovine Divine, and had created it to highlight the plight of Indian cows that scavenge and choke on plastic bags. But some people complained the cow looked as if it had been hanged, and that the model insulted the animal, which Hindus revere as a symbol of life and sustenance.

YouTube link.

Some Hindu activists brought the installation down, but garlanded and blessed the cow before it was seized by police. The police briefly detained two other artists, Chintan Upadhyay and Anish Ahluwalia, who protested against the move. The director of the art summit Pratap Sharma said that they don't plan to reinstall the work. "We don't want to hurt anyone's sensibilities again, so we are not going to install the work again," he said.

Concrete-covered cat found on woman's doorstep saved by emergency treatment

A ginger tom-cat has undergone a full body shave after he was found covered in concrete from nose to tail in what is believed to be a malicious attack. The two-year-old moggie, nicknamed Grant, was shorn by vets after it became impossible to wash the building material from his matted fur. Concrete powder, which is toxic for cats, had even found its way in to Grant's eyes making, them irritable and difficult to open. Thankfully the little cat is making a good recovery, but vets are concerned that he may have been targeted by cruel persons playing a sick joke. Grant was found huddled on the doorstep of Faye Richards' house in Withywood, Bristol, on Thursday. She said: "At first I thought it was a screwed up ball of brown parcel tape that had been blown onto my front step.

"It was only when I got closer I realised it was a cat. It had started to go rock hard on his back, but his belly was still soaking wet and he could barely open his eyes." Faye rushed him to 'The Vet' surgery in Hengrove, where she takes her three cats. Recognising the serious nature of his condition, vet Adam Sheridan immediately started work to remove the drying clumps. He said: "Most of his top coat was covered in concrete and it was matting together. We attempted to groom as much out of the fur as we could, but we had to take the decision to shave him. We didn't want to bathe him as baths can be very stressful for cats, and we didn't want to move the concrete on to his skin or close to his mouth because of the minerals within it.

"Our biggest fears are if he has ingested or inhaled any of the concrete. He has gone to the toilet, but we can't tell if any of the powder has got in to his lungs yet. It is a case of waiting to see any signs." He is hopeful that the tom-cat will make a full recovery, and he even took Grant home to nurse him over the weekend. "He is an adorable cat," Adam said. "He was very subdued and quiet when he first came in, almost certainly due to the trauma. But he has made big improvements over the past couple of days. He is very friendly and charming, and has mostly been catching up on his sleep over the weekend. We have got most of the concrete off, but there are still little clumps which we can't get to yet."

Sadly, Adam believes Grant may have been targeted for the concrete-dunking. He said: "Myself and the other vets are suspicious as to the cause of it. "Grant did not have any concrete on his paws and the pattern of the concrete on his fur looks like it was poured over him as is has moved from the top to the bottom of his body. "Cats are not normally attracted to wet concrete, because of the soft feel of it they find it quite unsettling." So far several people have come forward to claim Grant, but the surgery want to make sure he is returned to the right home. "He is the sob-story cat and we have had a lot of people say either he is theirs or that they want to adopt him," Adam said. "We are just in the process of figuring out who he belongs to and whether it is safe for him to go back. We will definitely make sure he goes back to a good home."

Wife took revenge on cheating husband by selling home while he was away on business trip

A wife gained revenge on her cheating husband by selling their house while he was away on a business trip. Craig Arnolds returned to the property in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, from New York to find the locks changed and six students in his lounge. Wife Laura, aged 42, had packed her bags and gone. She decided to get even, rather than mad, after discovering an incriminating message on her partner’s phone. And she was able to sell the property behind Craig’s back because her parents had taken over the mortgage after the pair ran into financial difficulties.

The place was sold within a fortnight through an online quick house sale service and occupied by University of Warwick students. Laura said: “Things aren’t great between us at the moment. I could do it because my parents came up with the deposit for our home and when we struggled with the mortgage, they came in.” She decided to get even, not mad, after 44-year-old Craig made forget his phone when on many business trips to America. When the phone flashed an unknown number, suspicious Laura swooped. The steamy message was from an American woman who described the kind of hot reception Craig could expect in New York.

It was then she hatched her revenge plot. Craig, who now lives in London, described the baffling scene that greeted him at the former family home. He smelt a rat when he spotted a Nissan Micra on the drive. “All the lights were on and the TV was blaring,” he said. “I remember thinking it was really out of character for Laura to be up past 11pm. I had no idea what on earth was going on. At this point I was seriously freaked out, jet lagged and frantic. I started banging on the door and shouting Laura’s name, but was greeted instead by what looked like a 21-year-old hippie.” The terrible truth dawned on Craig when he walked into the property.

He added: “I noticed all Laura’s furniture was gone, but the chairs and tables I’d inherited from my late father, plus my set of golf clubs and vintage radio, which Laura always hated, was sitting on the kitchen table in all its glory. She’d included my most prized possessions in the ‘fixtures and fittings’. I was gutted. I still can’t get my head around how she did this in the space of  two week,.” Craig added wryly: “Last time I marry an Italian, that’s for sure. I made a mistake and paid for it dearly. I was very annoyed at first but life is too short to dwell on these things and I made the decision that for the children’s sake, we should stop the hostilities there. Who knows, maybe by getting this out of her system will allow us to build on the existing amicable relationship?” But he did admit: “What I would really like to say is a little more colourful than that so probably wont be printable.”