Saturday, April 19, 2014


The sound of a moth

This is an Acherontia atropos moth, apparently the only moth in Denmark that makes a noise.

YouTube link.

Car accidentally stolen by dog-sitting mother eventually returned to rightful owner

Nekisia Davis' mother, Cheryl Thorpe, accidentally stole a car. "She felt really guilty but she has a good sense of humour and we've been laughing about it a lot," said Nekisia of Brooklyn. But Emilee Hickert, also of Brooklyn, wasn't laughing when earlier this month, she returned to where she parked her Honda - and found it was gone.

"We walked back to the car and it was just an empty space," said Hickert. This tale began when Nekisia and two friends took off for a long weekend. Her mother had been dog-sitting for her daughter. She also was in charge of moving Nekisia's and her friends' cars to comply with alternate side parking rules while they were gone. "She sent me a text message Sunday saying all the cars were successfully moved, yay, so proud of herself," said Nekisia.

But when the girls got back in town and Cheryl directed one of the friends to her car, the woman said there had been a mistake. "She said, 'I don't see my car' and my mom said, 'it's right there' and Deanna said, 'that's not my car', said Davis. "My mom said 'that's the car I moved with your keys.'" But, in fact, the friend's actual car was exactly where she had left it. Her keys had worked in a stranger's car.

YouTube link.

Nekisia called police and so did Hickert, who also saw surveillance footage of Davis moving her car. "I thought, she knows what's she's doing," said Hickert. "She can get in it..." Davis posted flyers everywhere, trying to find the owner of the "stolen" car. On Wednesday, police connected the dots and brought the two confused parties together. "She felt awful. She put in so much effort," said Hickert. "I don't even mind, I'm just happy to have it back." A representative from Honda said that it is rare for the same keys to work in two cars, which is what happened to Davis and Hickert.

Kittens accidentally packed in box before being shipped from Los Angeles to San Diego

A Cox Communications employee was shocked after he opened a box at work and found two newborn kittens clinging to life inside. Two kittens are recovering after they were found inside a box that was shipped from the Los Angeles area to a Cox Communications office in Chula Vista. The two kittens were somehow packed with fibreglass equipment, loaded into a Cox Communications semi-truck and shipped from the Hollywood to San Diego County.

Cox employee JC Collins said, "They were very, very lucky that they didn't fall out of it in transport or when we were unloading the truck." Collins has been working at the Cox warehouse for 34 years and thought he had seen it all. He couldn't believe it when a co-worker opened a box and found the two little furballs staring right up at him. "When I first saw them, I knew they were very, very young," Collins said.

Collins called his nephew, who happens to be an investigator with the San Diego Humane Society. "They actually came to us with their umbilical cord still attached," said Jenny Bonomini, a nurse at the San Diego Humane Society. Bonomini has been helping care for the black kittens and helped name them Mouse and Wifi. "What we think happened was the mom had the babies and she put them in a safe spot … and she left. Then they got boxed up and they got shipped."

YouTube link. Original unembeddable YouTube link.

San Diego Humane Society spokeswoman Kelli Schry said, "We're actually one of the only around-the-clock kitten nurseries in the country. Most shelters don't have the resources to provide around-the-clock care that kittens need." Mouse and Wifi will live in the nursery for a few more weeks, where they will receive around-the-clock care. They will then go to a foster home. When they are eight weeks old, the kittens will be spayed and neutered and will then be ready for adoption.

So, farewell David W. Cummings

The obituary from the Tampa Bay Times of the recently deceased David W. Cummings.

Panic in Nigerian town after chicken suddenly started speaking in Arabic

Residents of Makurdi, capital of Benue state panicked as a story spread that a chicken being taken to market for sale suddenly started speaking in Arabic. Residents around the ‘A’ division police station beside Wadata Market, Makurdi fled in different directions as news of the mystery spread.

The incident happened around the Wadata central mosque premises located few metres from the divisional police station. A woman in the area who gave her name as Aishetu said “I have not seen the chicken myself,” she confessed. “I heard that police have taken it into custody and that is why the station is so crowded. Everybody wants to see it talk,” she said.

The incident initially created a tense atmosphere for motorists plying the route as they hurriedly reversed in the opposite direction while buyers and sellers in the market ran helter-skelter for safety fearing it was a renewed hostility between farmers and herdsmen who ceased fire barely a week ago.

A policemen reportedly threw a canister to disperse the crowd who returned a few minutes later determined to see for themselves. However, spokesman of the police, SP. Daniel Ezeala dismissed the claims saying “How can a fowl talk’” he queried. “There is nothing like that because it is unnatural for animals to talk. It is the handiwork of mischief makers who wanted to displace traders and loot their wares in the market,” Ezeala said.

Portuguese Navy's drone demonstration didn't go quite as well as hoped

Portuguese Defence Minister Aguiar Branco visited a Navy base in Alfeite on Wednesday to watch a test of an unmanned aircraft that will soon provide surveillance for the coast of the country.

Branco said before the device was thrown that this "will be highly effective in missions the Navy has to fulfill." Afterwards he said: "This explains why it is always necessary to invest a lot in training at the right time so that the tasks do not fail."

YouTube link.

Irish county's roads to get prayers and blessings on Easter Sunday in a bid to reduce road deaths

The roads in County Mayo will be blessed this week in what Mayo County Council describe as a “novel ceremony” aimed at reducing the number of people who die in traffic accidents each year.

A special ‘blessing of the roads ceremony’ will take place in most parishes and services throughout the county on Easter Sunday as religious leaders back the campaign to make the roads safer, said the council.

The ceremony, which will place at all Catholic and Church of Ireland churches on Sunday is being promoted by the Road Safety office of Mayo County Council. Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer for Mayo County Council said that that six people were killed on Mayo’s roads last year. The total so far this year is three.

Tuam Archdiocese spokesperson Father Fintan Monaghan said the church was “fully behind the campaign. We all need to play our part to reduce the number of road deaths”.

Stock literally flying off shelves at psychic shop after owner accused of carrying out devils work

The owner of The Psychic Shop in Kilmarnock believes the place is haunted. Sharon Short, claims that paranormal activity has been taking place and she’s now looking into having paranormal investigations carried out over the next few weeks.

She said when she went in on Monday morning stock was found lying on the floor. As this had never happened before Sharon thought it was “weird” so she had her colleague check the CCTV footage, which shows an ornament slide off the shelf and fall on to the floor.

Sharon, who only opened the shop earlier this year, said that this strange activity had only begin to take place after a woman came into her shop to enquire about paranormal investigations.

YouTube link.

The woman also accused Sharon of carrying out the devils work by doing readings for people. Since then, stock has apparently been flying off shelves and also there are also claims that there are cold spots in the reception area of the shop.

There's another video of stock flying off the shelves at the shop here.

Masked water pistol-wielding school intruder wearing girl's trainers laughed at by pupils

Police were called to a school after a masked raider holding a water pistol demanded cash and mobile phones from stunned teachers and pupils. Officers attended Fearns Community Sports College in Stacksteads, Lancashire, after reports of an offender wearing ‘girls' trainers threatening members of staff and pupils in the reception area with what was originally thought to be ‘a small, black pistol’.

Ten officers were involved in the case, including four officers who volunteered after the report came in to go and search for the ‘gunman’. A police spokesman said: “A male or possibly female entered the school wearing a black ski mask and carrying what looked like a small black pistol. Witnesses described someone in girl’s trainers who sounded like a girl putting on a man’s voice demanding money and mobile phones, before fleeing the school.

“Due to the appearance of the individual, the veracity of the weapon was very quickly put in doubt. Pupils in the reception area immediately laughed at the person making threats, and the weapon turned out to be a blue plastic toy gun with an orange tip. Two lines of enquiry were followed on two possible perpetrators, but both were found to have no case to answer. The case remains open, so we are appealing for anyone with information to call police.”

Nigel Dawson, headteacher, has said that support has been offered to the three members of staff and three pupils present at the time of the incident. One staff member present was said to be ‘shaken’ by the events. Mr Dawson said that the events were ‘very unusual’ but added that ‘no one was hurt’. The head also praised staff for their reactions. He said: “This was a very unusual incident but I’m relieved to say that it appears no one was in danger at any time. Everyone reacted appropriately and calmly, and the whole thing was over in a few moments. Thankfully no one was hurt, and no items were stolen, before the intruder ran off.”

Friday, April 18, 2014

Can you hear me now?

Tom Mabe reminds people of the real meaning of Easter

It doesn't always go well.

YouTube link.

Tennis player warned for son of a biscuit outburst

During his opening round win over Alexander Zverev at the Sarasota Challenger earlier this week, Donald Young hit a backhand into the the net and yelled “Son of a biscuit, man! Biscuit, man! Biscuit!”

When umpire Keith Crossland then gave him a warning, Young was confounded. “Come on Keith, don’t give me crap for that, man,” Young replied. “I said ‘son of a biscuit.’ That’s a problem? That’s a problem now?”

YouTube link.

Dentures stolen from woman's mouth

Police in Richmond, Virginia, are searching for a man who robbed a woman of her dentures. Richmond police Capt. Roger Russell explained that a woman’s dentures were pulled out of her mouth and taken by a man she knew during an altercation outside herapartment. He said investigators were told by those who heard the altercation that the suspect shouted that “he had paid for them and was taking them back.”

The victim, who doesn't want to be named, says it was “a fatal attraction thing” that led to her dentures being wrestled out of her mouth by a former suitor who had paid for them. “I hadn’t been able to afford dentures,” she explained. “He says to me, ‘you’re a pretty girl but I can see you’re self-conscious about your teeth.’ And he said, ‘I want to surprise you,’” she added.

That former neighbour took her to Affordable Dentures early one morning and after a long day there, she had her dentures. She said the man wasn’t her lover, but her friend. A man who looked out for her, admired her, she believed. She said she needed a friend, and smile. But, she said, he wanted more. His calls and appearances at her door eventually became too much, she said, and she warned him off.

He was waiting outside of her apartment on Tuesday evening as she walked out to do her laundry, she said, describing how he grabbed her behind her neck and forced the dentures out of her mouth. Russell, who will have been on the police force 30 years this summer, said it’s the first denture robbery he’s seen. He said the victim could’ve been hurt during the attack and they’re taking the crime seriously. Police have identified the suspect as Linwood Harris, 63.

With news video.

Judge amused by Mr Cocaine's name

The judge did a double-take and there were giggles aplenty in a Florida bond court on Wednesday when a bailiff announced the name of a man arrested for drug possession: Edward Cocaine. "What?" uttered a stunned County Judge John "Jay" Hurley.

"My last name is Cocaine," proudly stated the man at the podium. His name was indeed legal and inscribed on his driver's licence. "You know, I'd thought I'd seen it all," Hurley laughed, shaking his head. "How many times have the police told you to step out of the car during your life?"

"Just about every time I get pulled over," a chuckling Mr Cocaine admitted. The 34-year-old Fort Lauderdale man, who was arrested on Tuesday for possessing Xanax, explained how he got his name.

YouTube link.

"My great-grandparents came over here from Greece and they changed it," he said. "That was like in the 1920s." The judge remained nonplussed. "I'm still trying to absorb this," he said. Judge Hurley released Mr Cocaine on his own recognizance.

Parents upset about bathroom break schedule note sent home with young children

A note sent home with a class of children from an elementary school in Lexington, Kentucky has upset some parents. The bathroom break dilemma happened at Deep Springs Elementary on Wednesday.

A note was sent home with a class of kindergartners stating "Bathroom Reminder!!! Due to our building only having one bathroom for the school to share, our class will only be able to go to the bathroom at our scheduled times listed below. It may be a good idea to keep an extra change of clothes in your child's backpack in case of an accident. Thank you for your support." Then it stated that the bathroom schedule was 8:40am. 11:05am and 12:00pm.

Kyra Fobear is one of many parents outraged by the letter sent home from school with her six-year-old. "We got this note stating that the kids were only allowed to go to the bathroom three times a day, and they couldn't go any other time due to there only being one restroom," said Fobear. School officials later said the note was a complete misrepresentation of the school, and the letter was poorly worded.

They said despite the construction, there are plenty of bathrooms for students. The school district said classrooms with younger children do have scheduled times to go to the bathroom, however the children are welcome to go whenever they have to. Fobear said she's angry the note made it home at all. Now she plans to send her kindergartner back to school with a new lesson. "I told her if she has to go, then you have to go," said Fobear. The school district said they plan to call all of the parents who received the note and let them know there are no bathroom restrictions.

With news video.

38 million gallons of water to be flushed from reservoir after man urinated in it

Portland, Oregon is flushing 38 million gallons (143 million litres) of drinking water down the drain because a 19-year-old man urinated in an open reservoir early on Wednesday morning, city water officials said.

Three teens were observed at the reservoir in a Portland park at about 1:00am on Wednesday, Portland Water Bureau spokesman David Shaff said, and one of them was filmed urinating through an iron fence into the water. The other two tried to climb the fence and one got into the secure area around the reservoir, but Shaff said it is not clear what he did then.

YouTube link. Much, much longer video.

The 50-million-gallon (189-million-litre) reservoir was taken off line and was tested for possible contamination. In the meantime, the city has decided to "discard" 38 million gallons of water and clean the reservoir. Shaff said: "That water goes directly into people's homes. There is no way to re-treat it."

The three teens were cited for trespassing and one for public urination. Additional charges could be filed as the investigation continues. "We are not in the arid Southwest," Shaff said, "We have hundreds of millions of gallons available, so that makes it an easy call for me to discard the water". He estimated the cost of cleaning and replacing the water at several thousand dollars.

Woman jumped out of moving truck after seeing lizard

A woman in Florida was injured at about 1:20pm on Wednesday when she leapt out of a moving pickup truck after seeing a lizard, according to Boca Raton Police.

Police spokeswoman Sandra Boonenberg said a man was driving a pickup truck when his wife saw a lizard in the truck and jumped out.

Paramedics placed her on a stretcher and took her to a hospital. The extent of the woman's injuries were not immediately known.

Investigators were later seen searching underneath the pickup truck but it is not known if the lizard, of unknown size, was recovered.

Wayward sea lion pup found in almond orchard a mile away from nearest water

Workers at a central California ranch could hardly believe their eyes when they spotted a sea lion pup hopping through an almond orchard, a mile from the San Joaquin River.

The ranch hands quickly got in touch with wildlife officials after discovering the confused animal at Mape's Ranch near Modesto.

A Marine Mammal Center volunteer eventually coaxed the lost sea lion into a cage, where it promptly fell asleep. The 36-pound sea lion, nicknamed Hoppie, is recovering at the center.

Hoppie is undergoing treatment for sores and getting some nourishment in hopes of returning him to the wild. Officials aren't sure why the sea lion left the river or hopped such a long way on the ground.

Team of volunteers spent six days searching dirty ditches to rescue two abandoned terrapins

Two terrapins were scooped from stagnant ditches in Dartford, Kent, earlier this month as part of a six-day rescue mission.

" Rare breeds expert Wayne May was called out to the industrial estate in Sandpit Road, Northfleet, by an ornithologist who spotted the animals in distress while monitoring bird activity. Mr May recruited a team of volunteers who spent days in waders and surgical gloves, searching with nets in the 2ft-deep mud for the terrapins, thought to be abandoned pets.

The 42-year-old, who runs an animal sanctuary in Dartford, said: "The ditches there are so polluted. It was dire. Without a doubt they were abandoned pets. They were in a ditch and covered in polystyrene all over them and the water was all stagnant. There is no way they could have survived the summer given the environment they were in."


Mr May believed there could have been more in the ditches but the team was unable to find them. He said: "We cleaned the two we found with cold water and a toothbrush, covered in green slimy algae, their shells are stained. It’s a real tragedy to see animals abandoned like that. Now they have to spend six months in quarantine."