Friday 30 April 2010

Croak It!

'Colourful' Kiwi leaves quirky funeral instructions

Inside an envelope reading "Eeek! I've Carked It" a New Zealander described as "extremely colourful" has left final instructions for his family.

"I finally carked it after a lifetime of fun," Andy Nathan wrote.

"Time to celebrate! Men: Hawaiian shirt ... Ladies: painted toe nails please ... Don't be late!"

The 43-year-old, who appeared on Sale Of The Century in Australia and penned the book A History Of Now, died last week following diabetes-related complications.

Mr Nathan's sister, Vicki Hudson, says her brother's health had been on the decline for about six years.

"He knew that he wasn't going to have a long life and he wanted to make it easy for everybody," Ms Hudson told the New Zealand Herald.

Following his death, Mr Nathan's family found an envelope marked with a sad face baring crosses for eyes.

Mr Nathan included his own death notice, instructions for his funeral, how to inform his friends of his demise on Facebook and who should carry his coffin.

"He wants everybody to wear Hawaiian shirts," Ms Hudson said, adding that he only cut his blonde hair once a year - on his mother's birthday.

"He's always been extremely colourful."

Thursday 29 April 2010

It’s All Barbie’s Fault


Man loses licence after drink-driving in toy Barbie car

Paul Hutton, 40, was pulled over by police as he drove an electric Barbie car, which moves slower than a mobility scooter, near his home in Essex.

Mr Hutton, who has four children Simon, 17, Calum, 14, Laina, 12, and John, 11, admitted being a 'complete twit'.

Speaking after the hearing at Colchester magistrates court, he said: "You have to be a contortionist to get in, and then you can't get out.

"I was very surprised to get done for drink-driving but I was a twit to say the least.

"It is designed for three-to-five-year-olds.

"Originally it was a pink Barbie car but I put bigger wheels on it but it's not fast.

"I'm not unhappy with my punishment, just a little bit surprised."

Mr Hutton, who is divorced, is a former RAF aeronautical engineer who now studies electrical engineering at Colchester Institute.

He explained: "I'm in the third year of my electrical engineering course and it was a little project I was doing with my son who is doing a car mechanics course.

"When it was done I couldn't resist the temptation to take it out."

Mr Hutton, was found to be twice the drink-drive limit, he said.

Appearing before magistrates last week, he admitted driving the toy car while drunk.

He was given a mandatory three-year ban because he had received another drink-drive ban within the past ten years.

Magistrates also gave him a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £85 court costs.

Chairman of the bench Neil Munson said: "This is most unusual.

"I have never seen the like of it in 15 years on the bench.

"The vehicle is not even capable of doing the speed of a mobility scooter and could be outrun by a pedestrian.

"Taking this into account, we feel we can impose a sentence of a conditional discharge for a period of 12 months."

The car was confiscated by police until the hearing but Mr Hutton now hopes to get it back.

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Bart’s Support

The Simpsons supports South Park writers in Mohammed censorship row

The opening titles of The Simpsons were altered to acknowledge the controversial decision by channel Comedy Central to change the 201st episode of South Park after the previous edition depicted the prophet disguised in a bear costume.

South Park's creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, were sent a warning by a New York-based radical Islamic website for the 200th episode. The programme also lampooned Jesus and Buddhism

"South Park - we'd stand beside you if we weren't so scared," Bart Simpson wrote on the blackboard in the opening sequences.

The Mohammed character was introduced as part of a joke about censorship based on the 2006 death threats made against Danish cartoonists by Islamist extremists, who see any depiction of Muhammad as a gross insult to their religion.

In the 201st episode, all mentions of the prophet were "bleeped" out and his image was blocked out with the word "censored."

Mr Parker and Mr Stone released a statement: "In the 14 years we’ve been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn’t stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode.

"It wasn’t some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle’s customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn’t mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too. We’ll be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we’ll see what happens to it."

Abu Talhah al Amrikee wrote on that the decision to caricature the prophet was "stupid".

He wrote that they would "probably wind up like Theo van Gogh", the Dutch film-maker who was murdered in 2004 after making a documentary on violence against Muslim women.

"It's not a threat, but it really is a likely outcome," wrote Mr Amrikee. "They're going to be basically on a list in the back of the minds of a large number of Muslims. It's just the reality."

In July 2001 South Park featured an episode where all the founders of the major world religions including Mohammed appeared as a group of crime fighters called the Super Best Friends.

In its history the cartoon has depicted the Queen being shot dead and Saddam Hussein as Satan's lover. It has targeted religions and politicians and has repeatedly depicted Tom Cruise in a closet.

…………… the freedom to caricature is dead or dying….Another nail in the freedom of speech

Tuesday 27 April 2010

On Yer Bike

Danish hotel to get 'green' energy from pedaling guests

A luxury hotel in Copenhagen is taking green energy to a new level on Monday when guests will be able to help provide electricity by pedaling bikes hooked up to generators.

Every guest at the 366-room Crowne Plaza hotel that generates 100 watt hours will in return get a meal worth 200 kroner (27 euros, $36), hotel spokesman Frederikke Toemmergaard said.

Two bicycles will be set up with little screens mounted on the handle bars so riders can see how much electricity they have generated for the hotel, which bills itself as "one of the world's greenest".

Thanks to the set-up, guests will be able "to reduce their carbon footprint and save money and energy," Toemmergaard said.

"A person in bad shape has to pedal about 10 minutes to generate 10 watt hours and someone in good shape can generate up to 100 watt hours in 60 minutes," she said.

The 26-floor hotel claims to be the first hotel in Denmark to have all of its energy provided with renewable sources thanks to solar panels and a groundwater-based cooling and heating system.

Monday 26 April 2010

Pheasant Plucker!

Devon couple stalked by angry pheasant

A retired bird expert is reportedly being stalked by a ferocious pheasant who has made his life a misery.

The wild bird apparently sits and waits for either John Tucker or his wife Carol to leave their Devon home so that it can attack.

Mr Tucker, 72, has taken to climbing out of a back window to avoid the bird and its vicious airborne assaults. The pheasant chases the retired ornithologist around his garden and has so far caused injuries to his head, arms and legs.

"It has got to the point where I have to climb out of the back window as he's waiting at the front door. It was quite funny to start with, but now it's extremely irritating," he told the Daily Mail. "He hits my wife in the midriff and I have to wear long johns when I go out because he tears me to bits."

Mr Tucker believes that the pheasant's behaviour is due to territorial instincts and hormones. "I think he's either pumping with testosterone during the mating season and taking his frustrations out on me, or he's just a mad old bird."

Despite being under siege in their own home, Mr Tucker said that he could never 'make him into a pie'. "I did nearly lose my cool with him the other day as he was being particularly aggressive," he said. "I picked him up and thought 'I could just wring your neck'. But as he looked at me with his brown eyes I knew I couldn't ever do it."

Sunday 25 April 2010

The Flip Side

Learner driver flips

A British learner driver flipped her instructor's car on the second lesson.

The 20-year-old female driver - who had spent less than two hours in her Fiat 500 vehicle - accidentally locked the steering wheel to the right and stamped on the accelerator pedal as she left a junction, causing her to flip over into a garden gate.

The car landed on its roof but neither the instructor or learner were hurt.

Homeowner Dermot Dobson joked that it would be a ''long while'' before the pupil was ready for her test.

He said: "It's an unusual way to announce your arrival in front of someone's house on a Sunday morning but most astonishing is how such a small car can accelerate so quickly."

Saturday 24 April 2010

To Top It All!

Locust swarm inspires new pizza topping

Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of locust swarms sweeping northern Victoria, with one Mildura cafe offering a locust pizza to patrons.

Authorities say the swarms are among the biggest seen in northern Victoria in 30 years.

In the Mallee, the insects are plastered across the front of vehicles forced to drive through locust clouds.

The idea for the pizza was the brainchild of Mayor Glenn Milne, who rounded up the insects and trapped them in a garbage bag.

"You can't stop finding them when they get killed on your car, but it's another story when you get out on the oval and try to catch them," he said.

Mildura car wash operator Jeff Becker says his business has quadrupled as motorists try to keep their windscreens clean.

"The bugs don't care, they'll just get on your car," he said. "Doesn't matter who you are, what you drive."

The swarms are not such good news for farmers because the locusts are feasting on early-sown crops.

The pests are also causing problems for footballers, lawn bowlers and golfers who are having to play on through clouds of locusts attacking any grassed playing surface.

Friday 23 April 2010

Snake Alive

'Snake attack' man arrested after 'motel python slap'

According to police, the victim says that he got into an argument on Tuesday night with another motel guest, over loud music coming from the man's room.

The dispute appeared to be over, but the victim told police that the man - identified as 29-year-old Tony Smith - then walked up to him several hours later with a four-foot python and hit him in the face with the snake's head.

Smith handed over the the snake to members of his family before police handcuffed him and took him to jail.

He was charged with assault and battery and remains jailed on a nearly $1,100 bond.

Thursday 22 April 2010


Pot enthusiasts gather at California cannabis expo

Medical marijuana users near San Francisco lit up Saturday at the opening of the two-day International Cannabis and Hemp Expo, where vendors displayed bongs, vaporizers, hash brownies and other marijuana-related products.

Organizers of the event at the Cow Palace said they insisted on having an onsite medicating area before holding the expo. Under a white-canopied courtyard, young adults in baggy jeans and baseball caps smoked alongside aging hippies.

Adrian Hernandez said marijuana use helps him deal with chronic knee pain.

"Everybody needs their medication when they need it," said Hernandez, who is in his 30s. "We'd have to step out and go hide in our cars."

In 1996, California voters approved a measure that allowed sick people to use marijuana if they have doctor referrals and an identification card.

But marijuana advocates want to take it a step further. In November, voters will consider a ballot measure on whether to legalize and tax pot in California.

Bob Katzman, chief operations officer for the expo, said one of the goals of the event — held in an arena that once hosted The Beatles and the 1964 Republican Convention — was to show just how big and far-reaching the state's pot industry has become.

"I think we're already mainstream," he said. "At least in Northern California."

Katzman said he obtained permission for the medicating area last year from the Cow Palace, which is controlled by the state, after years of negotiations. He credited the recent push to legalize marijuana in part for the approval.

The expo, and others like it, will help develop the multibillion dollar pot industry, said Bucky Fisher, national sales manager for Medical Marijuana Inc., which sells hemp-related products and provides services to ensure marijuana dispensaries follow the law.

"It makes the industry more of a community, more visible, more powerful," he said. "This country is definitely in need of a homegrown industry, and this could be it."

Wednesday 21 April 2010


George Washington owes $300,000 in library fines

New York City's oldest library says one of its ledgers shows that the first U.S. president has racked up 220 years' worth of late fees on two books he borrowed, but never returned.

Adjusted for inflation, that means Washington owes approximately $300,000 (£197,000).

One of the books was the 'Law of Nations,' which deals with international relations. The other was a volume of debates from the UK's own House of Commons.

Both books were due on November 2, 1789.

New York Society Library head librarian Mark Bartlett says the institution isn't seeking payment of the fines. 'But we would be very happy if we were able to get the books back,' Bartlett added.

The ledger also lists books being taken out by founding fathers Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and John Jay - but they managed to return them.

Tuesday 20 April 2010


Cookbook pulped over 'ground black people' typo

An Australian publisher is reprinting 7,000 cookbooks over a recipe for pasta with "salt and freshly ground black people."

Penguin Group Australia's head of publishing, Bob Sessions, acknowledged the proofreader for the Pasta Bible should have picked up the error, but called it nothing more than a "silly mistake."

The "Pasta Bible" recipe for spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto was supposed to call for black pepper.

"We're mortified that this has become an issue of any kind and why anyone would be offended, we don't know," he told The Sydney Morning Herald for a story printed Saturday.

"We've said to bookstores that if anyone is small-minded enough to complain about this ... silly mistake, we will happily replace (the book) for them."

The reprint will cost Penguin 20,000 Australian dollars ($18,500), but books already in stores will not be recalled because doing so would be "extremely hard," Sessions said.

Monday 19 April 2010

Cover Up

Penis sculpture must go before Pope's visit

The mayor of a town near Malta's main airport has called for the removal of a sculpture resembling a penis near the road leading to the capital Valletta ahead of a weekend visit by the Pope.

The sculpture, which mayor John Schembri described as "obscene" and "embarrassing", should be removed "as a sign of respect" for Pope Benedict XVI, he said.

The Colonna Mediterranea, or Mediterranean Column, is the work of ceramic artist and sculptor Paul Vella Critien and was installed on a roundabout at the entrance to the village of Luqa in January 2006.

Many residents of predominantly Catholic Malta have complained about the sculpture, which Critien describes as a modern three-dimensional representation of a symbol dating from ancient Egypt.

Similar works by Critien have been erected in Germany, Italy and Australia.

The pope is to visit on Saturday and Sunday after recent revelations that a paedophilia "response team" set up by the Maltese Catholic Church in 1999 had received allegations against 45 priests.

Nearly half of the cases have been ruled groundless, the Church said Monday, adding however: "For the Church, every case is one too many."

The Roman Catholic Church has battled a wave of paedophile priest scandals in the United States and Europe since last November.

Sunday 18 April 2010


Cat awarded for using paw to warn of gas leak

A 3-year-old cat credited with saving lives by tapping its owner's nose with a paw to alert her of a gas leak has been awarded the Purple Paw by the Great Falls Animal Foundation. Schnautzie received her award Saturday at the foundation's annual Fur Ball.

Trudy Guy says Schnautzie was just 6 months old in 2007 when Guy awoke with Schnautzie on her chest and a paw on her nose.

In checking the house she heard a roaring sound in the bathroom and found a gas pipe outside the bathroom had broken above the shut-off valve.

She said responding firefighters told her the house could have blown up due to the gas levels.

Saturday 17 April 2010

Post It

Thief posts himself into buildings, robs them, posts himself out again

Stanislaw Muchy, 39, would then make his getaway by sealing both himself and the loot in another box addressed to his Warsaw home.

His scheme came to an end after he fell out with an accomplice, whose job was to deliver him to courier firms, who contacted police to spill the beans on the scheme.

After being tipped off, police said: ‘We arranged a special delivery of our own.’ By which we assume they mean that they arrested him.

Friday 16 April 2010

Stuff it!

Stuffed menagerie goes under the hammer

A collection of more than 250 stuffed animals that has served as a visitor attraction since the 1960s is to be sold at auction in Dorset.

The eclectic mix of taxidermy includes, amongst many others, a baboon, lion, zebra and tiger.

Together the lots form one of the most peculiar sales ever to have taken place at the Duke's salerooms in Dorchester.

The auction house now looks like a zoo with the animals on display ahead of the auction on 13 April.

The bulk of the exhibits were put together by a Victorian collector and since 1965 they have been part of the Brading Experience, a museum on the Isle of Wight.

Matthew Denney from Duke's said: "In a varied job this is as varied as it gets. The museum closed due to a drop in visitor numbers and we are to sell them all with no reserves.

"Most of the collection was put together by a Victorian gentleman and it has been added to over the years.

"Some of the animals are in display cabinets and others are on their own. The standard of some taxidermy is excellent.

"The tiger is very good and could reach a figure in the thousands. There are collectors and dealers in this area and we've had a great deal of interest.

"There are over 250 animals - some are small examples displayed together - and they all have to go."

Thursday 15 April 2010

Feeling Peckish!

Man with no cash eats burrito & Funyuns at store

Authorities said a man took a bite into crime when he helped himself to a burrito and a bag of Funyuns snacks at a gas station food store in Hastings, then told the clerk to call police because he had no money to pay.

Barry County Prosecutor Tom Evans said 28-year-old Michael Odell was charged with retail fraud. Odell, who told police he is homeless, is jailed on a $2,000 bond with a pretrial hearing set for May 4.

Evans said Odell ate the burrito and Funyuns on Saturday morning, then had the cashier call police. The prosecutor said Odell told officers he had spent his money at a tavern in the city 35 miles west of Lansing.

Jail records say Odell didn't have an attorney as of Wednesday.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Here Kitty Kitty

Elderly cat attacks postal workers and 'chases them down garden path'

Tiger, a 19-year-old black-and-white male moggy, has attacked three employees recently, pouncing on them and chasing them down the garden path.

Now Tracey Brayshaw, his owner, has been told by the postal service that her pet is aggressive and she won't be getting deliveries to her house in Farsley for the next two weeks as a result.

Brayshaw has to pick up her mail from her local sorting office and deems the suspension of her deliveries "a bit silly".

According to the 43-year-old, her pet is a geriatric who likes lazing in the sun and sleeps for 20 hours a day.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Dead Loss!

Funeral van towed with body inside

A police tow truck removed a minivan parked outside a New York City funeral home - with a body inside.

New York police spokesman Paul Browne says there was "nothing to indicate it was more than just an illegally parked car."

Redden's Funeral Home director Paul DeNigris said a windshield placard had fallen flat. The van's tinted windows helped obscure the white cardboard box that held the remains.

DeNigris says he was "a wreck" after discovering the van missing Monday in Manhattan, according to the Daily News newspaper. He rushed to the tow pound, where he discreetly explained the circumstances and got the van back. He also got the body to an airport in time for a scheduled flight to Miami.

He plans to fight the $115 parking ticket.

Monday 12 April 2010

Tony Takes Early Bath

'Tony' the tiger pulled from moat at zoo

‘Tony’ the Siberian tiger is back on display at the San Francisco Zoo after being shot with tranquilizers and hauled out of a moat where he’d spent four nights.

Zoo officials say it’s not clear why Tony stayed in the moat. He’s in good health, although he’s 18 and a recent medical evaluation showed signs of senility.

Zoo officials decided on Monday that Tony could no longer stay in the dry moat he climbed into Thursday. The excrement was piling up and officials worried about a potential health hazard.

So with the help of firefighters, they hit the 360-pound tiger with tranquilizer darts, strapped him to a board and hauled him out with a pulley.

Siberian tigers have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years in the wild and 14 to 20 years in captivity.

Sunday 11 April 2010

Fly Me!

Unpaid Spanish air hostesses strip in protest

Flight attendants owed up to nine months' wages by a grounded Spanish airline have posed nude for a calendar to draw attention to their plight, one of the cabin crew turned models said on Wednesday.

The calendar, numerous excerpts of which appeared in the Spanish media, shows the Air Comet attendants, all female, posing provocatively in and outside airline cabins, and in one case on top of a jet turbine.

"We are just demanding our rights to receive what is ours, we each have eight or nine months of unpaid salaries," attendant Adriana Ricardo, who appears in the calendar, told Reuters.

Air Comet, run by the embattled chairman of Spain's main employers' association CEOE, Gerardo Ferran, filed for administration in December after a British court impounded nine of its aircraft at the request of German bank HSH Nordbank.

Saturday 10 April 2010

Gone Fishing!

Crook with hook tries to reel in cash

South Carolina authorities said a fishing crook never had a chance to land the big one. Police told The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg a robber tried to steal money bags from a bank's night deposit drop box using fishing line and hooks.

Authorities said employees at a First Citizen's Bank in Orangeburg found a fishing hook in a bag last Friday morning and at least two other hooks in the box. One hook still had a small piece of fishing line attached.

The bank said it has security footage of the would-be angler.

Police said the crook's task was impossible because the night deposit boxes are set up with trap doors so that once bags are dropped in, they can't be taken out the same way.

Friday 9 April 2010

Over The Top!

Granny gets ankle tag for selling goldfish to child

A British grandmother has been fined and electronically tagged for selling a goldfish to a child, triggering criticism of over-zealous use of animal protection laws.

Pet shop owner Joan Higgins, 66, was fined 1,000 pounds ($1,650) and given a dusk-to-dawn curfew for selling an animal to a person under the age of 16.

Her 47-year-old son Mark, who was ordered to do community service, slammed the ruling as a farce.

The pair were prosecuted after the local council sent a 14-year-old boy to buy a goldfish in a sting operation following reports that their shop, Majors Pets, had sold a gerbil to a teenager with learning difficulties.

The shopkeepers sold the fish without asking his age or how the fish would be cared for, prosecutors said.

"I think it's a farce and legal lunacy and I told the council that," said Mark Higgins, cited by the Daily Telegraph, noting that his mother was also given an electronic tag.

"What gets me so cross is that they put my mum on a tag. She's nearly 70, for goodness sake. You would think they have better things to do with their time and money," he said.

But Trafford Council in northern England defended the decision to prosecute, noting that the gerbil sold to the teenager with learning difficulties, who was also 14, was put in a cup of coffee.

"The evidence presented for this conviction clearly demonstrates that it is irresponsible to sell animals to those who are not old enough to look after them," said Iain Veitch, the council's head of public protection.

Higgins and her son pleaded guilty at Trafford Magistrates Court to selling an animal to a person aged under 16. She was ordered to obey a curfew from 6:00pm to 7:00am for seven weeks because she is unfit for community service.

Her son, who manages the shop, was fined 750 pounds and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid community work at the end of eight months of legal action.

The story was highlighted by a number of British newspapers. The Daily Express said it made a "farce" of Britain's legal system, adding in a front-page headline: "Proof Britain really has gone mad."

Thursday 8 April 2010

The Booby Prize

Fake boob theft lands woman in jail

30-year-old Yvonne Jean Pampellonne, of Westminster in Orange County, California, fraudulently used a line of credit set up in someone else's name to pay for the $12,000 procedures at the Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery in Huntington Beach.

She was sentenced on Monday to 180 days in jail and placed on probation for three years, after she pleaded guilty tosecond-degree burglary, grand theft and identity theft. She was also told to pay restitution, although the amount is not yet clear.

After she had the cosmetic surgery, Pampellonne never returned to the clinic for follow-up appointments. She was identified via a photo line-up, according to the Daily Breeze newspaper.

Tuesday 6 April 2010


Man tries to escape police by jumping into prison

Police in Garfield Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio say that the badly thought-out escape attempt followed a high-speed chase, which reached speeds of 90mph.

The chase ended when the driver and his passengers abandoned the vehicle. The driver and one of the passengers made a break for the nearby fence, and scaled it - apparently not aware that it was the outside fence of the state women's prison.

The two prison-breakers were arrested, along with two other passengers who chose to flee in a different direction.

Monday 5 April 2010

Puppy Love!!

Urinating man in unfortunate puppy v. penis incident

A drunk Cambodian man became embroiled in an unfortunate genital incident when, as he was urinating through a fence, a happy little puppy on the other side bit onto his penis.

News reports in Phnom Penh said that Kann Veasna was relieving himself through a hole in the fence after a hard day drinking wine when the incident occurred.

The Rasmei Kampuchea newspaper suggested that the puppy may have thought Veasna's penis was toy.

Mr Veasna's puppy/penis misfortune came to light when he turned up at hospital in the Cambodian capital, and regaled them with his tale of mirth and woe.

He was suffering from lacerations to his penis. However, doctors were able to save his organ, and are hopeful that the puppy did him no permanent damage.

News agency DPA quoted one doctor as saying: 'It's undoubtedly sore now, but luckily it should still be useful to him in the future.'

Sunday 4 April 2010

On My Head!

US zookeeper injured after giraffe headbutt

The incident was simply a 'playful' accident, according to a spokesperson for the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island.

The keeper was cleaning up a space between the exhibit and the viewing area when the giraffe suddenly took a swipe at her.

The keeper managed to remain conscious after being hit by the towering beast, and even walked to safety after the incident.

Spokesperson Jan Mariani said the attacker, 20-year-old giraffe Griffy, is not an aggressive animal but likes to get close to people and get his head petted.

Friday 2 April 2010

What A Dickhead!!

Man's penis freed from metal pipe with industrial grinder

Medics at Southampton General Hospital struggled to get the man's penis out of the stainless steel pipe, because the restricted blood flow had caused it to become erect.

Instead, they resorted called in Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The fire crew turned up with a special equipment unit from St Mary's station in Southampton and seven firefighters to help, in what a spokesman understatedly described as a 'delicate operation'.

The firefighters used the four-and-a-half-inch industrial metal grinder to cut the pipe from around the anaesthetised man's penis.

The penis was left bruised and swollen, but otherwise unharmed by its traumatic day.

The man, thought to be aged around 40, did not explain to hospital staff how exactly the pipe got stuck around his penis, after he presented himself at the hospital's Accident & Emergency department on Tuesday morning. He was said to be 'quite concerned and anxious'.

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: 'It was a very delicate operation that required a very steady hand and the crew was worried about things getting too hot during the cutting.

'It's certainly an unusual call-out, and I'm sure the man won't be getting into that situation again.'

Watch manager Greg Garrett from the Redbridge fire station told the Southampton daily Echo: 'I’ve only come across this type of thing three or four times in my 17 years as a firefighter. It’s not a daily occurrence.'

Thursday 1 April 2010

Colour Blind

Supermarket launches white strawberries?

A leading supermarket chain has claimed that it will be selling "pineberries" for the next five weeks.

The fruit, which look like white strawberries and taste like pineapple, will be on sale at 45 Waitrose branches. The company has made the announcement a day before April Fools' Day.

Waitrose fruit buyer Nicki Baggott said: "Pineberries offer our customers the chance to add a new fruit into their diet and the berry's bright appearance can add an unusual decoration to sweet dishes.

"As the summer unfolds we won't be surprised to hear that our customers are inviting their friends over for pineberry pavlovas, punch or serving them up with yogurt for a lighter alternative."

Supposedly discovered in South America and saved from extinction by Dutch farmers, a 125g punnet of the fruit will be available from £2.99 until April 13 and £3.99 after this date.

Dead Loss!

Funeral van towed with body inside

A police tow truck removed a minivan parked outside a New York City funeral home - with a body inside.

New York police spokesman Paul Browne says there was "nothing to indicate it was more than just an illegally parked car."

Redden's Funeral Home director Paul DeNigris said a windshield placard had fallen flat. The van's tinted windows helped obscure the white cardboard box that held the remains.

DeNigris says he was "a wreck" after discovering the van missing Monday in Manhattan, according to the Daily News newspaper. He rushed to the tow pound, where he discreetly explained the circumstances and got the van back. He also got the body to an airport in time for a scheduled flight to Miami.

He plans to fight the $115 parking ticket.