Saturday 30 April 2011

It’s A Toy??

Police called to investigate noise find lone jiggling vibrator

Police called to a flat in Berlin by neighbours who said it sounded like someone was using an electric drill through the night smashed down the door to find a vibrator had switched itself on and was jiggling around on the floor.

Officers who answered the desperate call of the neighbour tried repeatedly to contact the 23-year-old woman whose flat it was, according to a report in the Berlin Kurier on Saturday.

But they could not get a response, and eventually decided to break in the door in an attempt to find out what was going on in the flat.

“You could hear the noise out on the street,” one neighbour was quoted as saying.

When the officers smashed their way into the flat they found nothing more dangerous than the vibrator which was doing its best on the floor.

Now the young woman is not only going to have to face her neighbours when she returns home – she will also have to pay for the smashed door, the paper said.

Friday 29 April 2011

It’s A Stinker!!

Swiss flock to watch giant stinking flower

Thousands of plant lovers have flocked to the northern Swiss city of Basel to see a giant, stinky flower bloom for the first time.

The Basel Botanical Gardens expects 10,000 people to see its amorphophallus titanum, or corpse flower, in full glory before the bloom wilts late Saturday or Sunday. The plant is 17 years old and has never bloomed before.

Visitors haven't been deterred by the strong stench of rotting flesh the flower emits to attract insects for pollination.

The 6.6-feet (2-meter) tall flower is native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the last one to bloom in Switzerland was 75 years ago.

Worldwide, there have been only 134 recorded blooms from artificial cultivation.

Thursday 28 April 2011

Battling Granny

Disabled Granny Headbutts Midget Muggers

NEWS from Barnbstable, Devon, that a “disabled grandmother” has saved herself from a mugging by headbutting one of the three villains. The Ealing Times does not name the woman. All we learn is that she is 49-year-old, five feet tall and registered disabled. She is a mother to six. She has 24 grandchildren. She was attacked by three hoodies as she piloted her mobility scooter along a road.

Says she:

“They were not expecting me to fight back. I am a very strong person because of what I have gone through in my life. As they attacked me, I heard my grandchildren saying to me in my head ‘Nan, get up and fight them’.

“When I headbutted the robber I think I broke his nose, it was that strong. Once they saw me attack him his mates scarpered and so did he.”

The small woman in the wheelchair headbutted the villain across his nose? Are police now looking for a gang of midgets? The story is taking on the status of urban myth. The woman has not been named. And we are soon told:

The fight did not go all her way, as she was tipped from her scooter and kicked, needing hospital treatment for face and stomach injuries which exacerbated a previous medical condition. Her scooter was damaged beyond repair and she spent all her savings on a new one.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Drink Up??

Viagra beer released in UK to mark royal wedding

Our favourite brewers are at it again. And this time the crazy guys at Brewdog have created a beer called 'Royal Virility Performance' to mark the forthcoming Royal Wedding.

But as you'd expect from the people who created the world's strongest beer and served a brew in dead animals, this is no ordinary beer… it's said to be laced with viagra.

In fact they claim the aphrodisiac-filled India Pale Ale means that drinking three of the 7.5 per cent ABV bottles is the equivalent of taking one Viagra pill.

And it doesn't end there. Packaging on the bottles includes line like "Arise Prince Willy" and makers say they've sent some for the Prince to have a stiff drink on his wedding night.

James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog said: "We put a bottle in a jiffy bag marked ‘Prince Willy, Buckingham Palace’. As the bottle says, this is about consummation, not commemoration, so we hope he gets it.”

The craft ale will cost £10 per bottle, with all proceeds going to the charity Centrepoint, which Prince William supports and just 40 bottles of the beer will be sold via

For anyone wondering about the legality of selling a viagra-laced beer it's worth noting the label states it contains: "Viagra, chocolate, Horny Goat Weed and a healthy dose of sarcasm".

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Coin It In?

Very heavy bag exposed coin fraud ring

An airline stewardess struggling to lift her bag at a German airport led to the discovery of a 6-million euro ($8.4 million) coin fraud.

The customs officer who stopped the stewardess in early 2010 found thousands of one and two euro coins in her bag, Bild newspaper reported in its Thursday edition.

The incident sparked an investigation that has uncovered a forgery ring stretching to China and potentially implicating employees of German airline Lufthansa, the paper said.

The Frankfurt prosecutors’ office said on Thursday it carried out dawn raids on offices and residences and arrested six people, four of whom are from China.

It suspects them of having smuggled coins that had been taken out of circulation or bits of those coins into Germany from China, where they had been sent as scrap metal.

The suspects then put the coins back together and exchanged them for a total of 6 million euros at the Bundesbank from 2007 to 2010, the prosecutors said.

Airline cabin crew do not have a weight limit on their baggage, prosecutors highlighted in a statement.

There was no suspicion of any wrongdoing on the part of Bundesbank employees, the prosecutors’ office added.

The Bundesbank said in a statement it was aware of the investigation into the use of scrapped coins. It also said that no Bundesbank employees were subject to the investigation.

A Lufthansa spokesman on Thursday said it was aware that individual employees were under investigation, but said the group could not comment on the investigation.

Old euro coins are taken out of circulation by removing the inner part of the coin from an outer ring and thus effectively turning them into scrap metal.

The investigators recovered around 3 tonnes of coin pieces as well as a machine for putting them back together, prosecutors said in the statement.

The Bundesbank is the only institute in Europe that exchanges damaged euro coins for free, replacing them with new ones of the same value.

Monday 25 April 2011

Rubber Love

Penguin falls in love with keeper's rubber boots

Dennis Kübler, who looks after the penguins at Sea Life Konstanz, found himself not only pursued by Bonaparte for his boots, but also many of the other penguins who decided they also wanted a piece of rubber sole.

The mass enchantment of the Gentoo penguins for Kübler's black and white boots finally forced him to switch footwear - to give the birds a chance of mating with each other.

“For three days I’ve been going with blue rubber boots in the enclosure,” Kübler says.

Bonaparte, first fell in love with Kübler’s boots when mating season began about four weeks ago, rubbing up against them and apparently mistaking them for a lady penguin lying on her stomach.

Other penguins soon caught onto the idea, competing with Bonaparte for the boots’ affections, forcing Kübler to get a pair of blue boots, which do not seem to be so penguin-friendly.

He says that Bonaparte now interacts much more with real females – although the bird was initially baffled and bemused.

This is not the first time German penguins have fallen hard for something – or someone – not of their own kind.

Sandy the penguin at Münster’s zoo had a long-term on-again, off-again crush on her human keeper Peter Vollbracht. Earlier this year, however, she settled down with a penguin named Hermann.

The love lives of penguins at Konstanz became the focus of tabloid attention last year when two male penguins paired up and have unsuccessfully been trying to mate.

Kübler says he’ll likely put his favourite boots back on once Bonaparte finds a real partner.

“Penguins are monogamous,” Kübler he said.

Sunday 24 April 2011


Traffic light sex couple leaves town baffled

The lights - in Nimwegen, Holland - literally stopped the traffic when passers by stopped to gawp at them during rush hour.

One officer said: 'People kept pressing the button to see the couple having sex and of course every time they did, the traffic had to stop suddenly. We had quite a lot of rear end shunts from drivers who were too distracted.'

Transport officials are investigating how computer hackers managed to get into the town's traffic light system to manipulate the image.

A Town Hall spokesman said: 'We are looking at who had access and opportunity.

Saturday 23 April 2011

Oh..No…It’s Charlie Sheen!

Charlie Sheen sex doll sells out in a day

A Charlie Sheen sex doll called 'Crackhead Charlie' sold out in just one day, it has been reported.
According to the Evening Standard, Pipedream Products' blow up version of the former Two and a Half Men actor was an instant hit with customers.

The company's CEO Nick Orlandino said: "The Crackhead Charlie doll sold out in one day, the same day we released it. We could of sold more dolls if we had more in stock but they are sold out right now (sic)."

The $30 doll, which is not endorsed by Sheen himself, features a cartoon picture of the actor on the packaging, surrounded by scantily clad women.

The description reads: "You don't have to be a slutty porn goddess to party with this radical rockstar from Mars!

"Just add air and this neurotic nutjob will show you his two and a half personalities, warlock, fangs, fire-breathing fists and Adonis DNA.

"Don't be a foolish little troll, experience the bitchin' drug they call Charlie and let him rock your world!"

Sheen is currently touring his one-man stage show across the US.

Friday 22 April 2011

We’re Cool, Dude

Monkeys steal sunglasses

Monkeys in a British zoo have accumulated a collection of sunglasses stolen from visitors.

Staff at London Zoo are now having to give the Bolivian squirrel monkeys a crash course to teach them not to pinch the accessories from their customers.

It is thought the primates are attracted to the shades because of their shiny lenses and now zookeepers have coated their hoard in a bitter tasting apple substance their pilfering ways should come to an end.

Zookeeper Kate Sanders said: "Once they get hold of a pair they all race round the enclosure chasing each other with the glasses. They've grabbed around seven pairs so far.

"Hopefully this treatment with the bitter apple will work, we are planning to repeat it until they associate sunglasses with something that is unpleasant.

Thursday 21 April 2011

Man Bites Dog?

Man bites dog _ then sues over police

A 33-year-old man who bit back after he was caught by a Phoenix police dog is suing police.

Erin Sullivan alleges the dog violated his civil rights and used excessive force to capture him after he ran from officers in Glendale during a burglary investigation last year.

Police say Sullivan bit the dog back, injuring it.

The lawsuit names the cities of Phoenix and Glendale and four officers.

Precursor filings to the lawsuit sought $200,000 from Glendale and $250,000 from Phoenix.

Officials in Glendale and Phoenix have declined comment.

Sullivan also alleges Glendale police refused to give him insulin to treat his diabetes. Sullivan's attorney, Keith Knowlton, has said his client suffered a diabetic seizure in a Glendale cell.

Sullivan is serving eight years for convictions in the Glendale burglary.

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Punks Are Back?

Punk duck has a blond mohawk scares other birds

A bizarre-looking duck has been scaring off other birds on his canal - because he sports a mohawk and a punk rock attitude.

Bearing a resemblance to Johnny Rotten or Billy Idol, 'Punk Duck' - of the Worcestershire canal - is said to have been terrorising the local birdlife.

Locals say his unique-looks and rowdy behaviour have made him an outcast among his fellow birds in Stourport - but he's proved more popular with residents.

Many have started taking photos of his unusual hair-do and with the school holidays he's has become something of a tourist attraction for locals… not that he gives a duck.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Steal This?

Sheep dyed orange by Dartmoor farmer

A farmer in Dartmoor has dyed all of his sheep orange to deter thieves.

According to This Is Devon, John Heard lost around 200 animals in the past few years before colouring his herd with a non-toxic dye.

He said: "It works because they are so easy to distinguish, making it easier for me and my neighbours to keep an eye out for them. Plus, the rustlers are obviously nervous about stealing such easily distinguished animals."

Heard's ewes are said to be worth £140 ($229) each, and the farmer mentioned that the plan came from his son, explaining: "James suggested the orange dye, and although it produces some strange-looking sheep, it has done the trick and I haven't lost one this year."

Heard went on to reveal the origin of the idea, telling BBC News: "[James] was working on a farm [in] Scotland, and they used it up there when they're showing and selling the sheep."

Monday 18 April 2011

Err…..Wrong City!

Statue of Liberty postage stamp shows Las Vegas

After printing 3 billion copies of a new postage stamp bearing an image of the Statue of Liberty, the United States Postal Service received a strange question from a stamp collector.

Did postal officials realize the photograph was not of the famed statue in New York Harbor, but of a less-feted fiberglass and Styrofoam replica outside a Las Vegas casino?

They did not.

“We certainly regret having made the error,” Roy Betts, a USPS spokesman, said Friday.

The first-class postage stamp, which shows a low-angled close-up of Lady Liberty’s face and crown, was issued in December, according to an announcement about the “world-recognized” symbol of the United States.

The statement described the statue as a gift from the people of France, designed by sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, which stands 305 feet tall on Liberty Island off the tip of Manhattan, “a symbol of political freedom and democracy for millions of people around the world.”

None of which is quite true of the half-sized replica outside the New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The USPS became aware of what it is calling a “mischaracterization” about a month ago, Betts said.

MGM Resorts International, which owns the New York-New York Hotel, seemed pleased with the mix-up.

“We all thought that the Post Office was honoring just one great American institution, but in reality it was honoring two — The Statue of Liberty and Las Vegas — with just one stamp,” said Yvette Monet, a spokeswoman for the company. “Regardless of how it came about, New York-New York is honored to be the first Las Vegas casino resort to be on a U.S. stamp.”

The USPS said it will correct the catalog information connected with the stamp and live with the error, and has no plans to issue a recall. “Our track record is excellent for this as far as we’re concerned,” Betts said. “We’ve been issuing stamps since 1847. Very few errors have occurred over the years.”

Sunday 17 April 2011

Winkles Be Gone!

Dutch woman's bra cure for cleavage wrinkles a hit

Rachel de Boer finally told some friends a secret she'd kept for years: She slept with stuffed socks sewn between the cups of an old bra to prevent cleavage wrinkles and smooth out her neckline.

Three years later, a professionally designed and manufactured version of that same contraption is sold in 150 lingerie shops across the Netherlands and Belgium, approved by a research institute and getting interest from retail outlets in Germany, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Britain and France.

"It started out as my secret, I didn't want to talk about my wrinkles or the (first) bra I made, which was ugly," de Boer told Reuters on Thursday. "But I slept like that for seven years and then I turned 40, told my friends and they admitted they also had this problem."

Sceptical but curious, her friends also wanted sock bras to smooth out their cleavage wrinkles. So De Boer made five more versions of what is now called "La Decollette."

Her friends were so enthusiastic about the results, they encouraged the former real estate agent to stop selling houses and design an anti-wrinkle night bra that women would want to wear to bed.

La Decollette, which has a soft, padded rectangular piece of material between the collar bone and the sternum and sits between the breasts, was born and to De Boer's amazement, has addressed a problem many women all over Europe seem to share.

The cupless bra is worn at night and keeps the breasts "in place" to prevent the compressing of breasts together which De Boer says can create vertical wrinkles.

"If you sleep on your back, then you will never have this problem," she says adding, "Le Decollette works because the breast are separated through the night."

De Boer's anti-wrinkle bra has been a hit at lingerie shows around Europe and she said it also has the stamp of approval from the Parisian research institute CERCO or Center d'Etudes et de Recherches Cosmetologique.

CERCO carried out research on women between 35 and 60 years old and declared that those who wear the bra can see cleavage wrinkles reduced significantly after 24 hours, she said.

De Boer sold 12,000 of the 50-euro ($72) one-size fits all, anti-wrinkle bras last year, expects to sell 25,000 this year and 50,000 next year.

Talks are also underway to ship the bras to the United States and Canada.

Saturday 16 April 2011

Drunk By Proxy?

Teens 'using vodka tampons to get drunk'

Teenagers in Germany have reportedly been urged not to use vodka-soaked tampons to get drunk.

According to The Local, police in the Baden-Württemburg city of Tuttlingen issued a statement following online claims that teens of both sexes are inserting the sanitary products vaginally or anally in the hope of getting drunk quickly without smelling of alcohol.

The head of a children's clinic in Singen told Südkurier: "I believe this is very dangerous, For us this is a new thing."

The same newspaper claims that a 14-year-old girl collapsed during a street festival in Konstanz after using a vodka tampon.

It is believed that the use of vodka tampons can harm the body internally and cause infections.
However, it has been claimed that reports of young people using feminine hygiene products in such a manner are nothing more than urban legends.

Friday 15 April 2011

Forget Drugs?

Man Caught 'Smuggling' Bear Out Of Russia

Russian customs have caught a man trying to smuggle a live bear out of the country.

Kesha', an elderly and endangered bear, was hidden under a blanket between two seats in the man's van.

Pictures shows 23-year-old Kesha looking sad and bedraggled, though she appears to show some affection towards her owner, Anatoly Kolodenko.

Customs officials detained the pair saying Kolodenko did not declare the bear and has no documentation for her.

Kolodenko claimed to be a circus performer returning home to Crimea. He said he and now-retired Kesha had performed around the world together.

"There are situations where people exploit animals for money - but I have no commercial interests.

"They have been telling me I have to euthanize her. But I can't do it. I can't kill my own child."

Kesha's fate is yet undecided. She may end up in a zoo as with previous smuggling cases.

Thursday 14 April 2011

Table Manners?

Table manners are a thing of the past

Good table manners have become a thing of the past, as traditional sit-down meals are ditched in favour of TV dinners, it's been claimed.

A study of British diners found that a quarter of people now believe table manners are no longer important -- a far cry from 15-20 years ago.

And it's clearly true… because 44% of people say they start to eat their food before others arrive at the table, while 38% regularly answer phone calls while they are eating.

33% of those polled also admitted to not thinking twice before stealing food off other people's plate and 10% never say please or thank you during meal times.

Another one-in-ten people also claim they regularly wear headphones to dinner… well you've got to drown out the sound of The One Show somehow.

A spokesperson for Bisto, which commissioned the research, said: "It seems the traditional family meal is on a decline and is leading to a slip in good table manners."

Carrie Longton, co-founder of Mumsnet added, “Whilst it is understood that families should take the time to eat together, Mums have expressed that this is a daily struggle and have seeked advice on how to achieve these special occasions.

"Some tips Mumsnetters have provided include getting children to help with meal times such as setting the table, developing a routine and being organised and not allowing the dining table become a space for clutter."

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Gay Abandon?

First gay caveman uncovered

Archaeologists have unearthed the 5,000-year-old remains of what they believe may have been the world's oldest known gay caveman.

The male body - said to date back to between 2900-2500 BC - was discovered buried in a way normally reserved only for women of the Corded Ware culture in the Copper Age.

The skeleton was found in a Prague suburb in the Czech Republic with its head pointing eastwards and surrounded by domestic jugs, rituals only previously seen in female graves.

"From history and ethnology, we know that people from this period took funeral rites very seriously so it is highly unlikely that this positioning was a mistake," said lead archaeologist Kamila Remisova Vesinova.

"Far more likely is that he was a man with a different sexual orientation, homosexual or transsexual," she added.

According to Corded Ware culture which began in the late Stone Age and culminated in the Bronze Age, men were traditionally buried lying on their right side with their heads pointing towards the west, and women on their left sides with their heads pointing towards the east.

The men would be buried alongside weapons, hammers and flint knives as well as several portions of food and drink to accompany them to the other side.

Women would be buried with necklaces made from teeth, pets, and copper earrings, as well as jugs and an egg-shaped pot placed near the feet.

"What we see here doesn't add up to traditional Corded Ware cultural norms. An oval, egg-shaped container usually associated with female burials was also found at the feet of the skeleton. None of the objects that usually accompany male burials - such as weapons, stone battle axes and flint knives - were found in the grave.

"We believe this is one of the earliest cases of what could be described as a 'transsexual' or 'third gender grave' in the Czech Republic," archaeologist Katerina Semradova told a press conference.

Tuesday 12 April 2011


Naked man shoots SWAT robot

A Florida man is facing charges after he shot a SWAT robot while in the nude, police say.

The robot was sent into the man's West Melbourne home last week after someone called police and said the man intended to commit suicide and would harm anyone who tried to stop him, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office said.

So police decided to send in the remotely operated robot, which is mounted with four cameras. Police say the robot recorded the suicidal man as he burst out of a bedroom carrying an AK-47. He shot the $65,000 US robot four times, severely damaging it, officials said.

The violent reaction prompted officials to evacuate nearby homes. But police said the standoff eventually ended peacefully with the man surrendering to officers -- fully clothed.

He was taken into custody and is undergoing a mental health evaluation, police said. He is charged with criminal mischief.

Monday 11 April 2011

Chicken Plucker?

Chicken-down-the-pants theft

What started out as an attempt by a man to shoplift chicken by stuffing the bird down his pants took a violent turn in Peterborough, Ont., last Saturday.

Police said an employee watched a man place four packages of chicken down his pants and walk out of a No Frills grocery store.

When a security guard at the store tried to stop him from leaving, the man turned violent and punched him, police said.

Jessie Adam Johnson, 31, is charged with theft, assault with intent to resist arrest and breach of probation.

He is to appear in court April 21.

Sunday 10 April 2011

Naked Ambition?

Man banned from standing naked next to his window

Mark Benfold, 34, is said to have 'unnerved' a schoolgirl and a number other women who passed by the full-length glass window in his flat

The Ashford, Kent, resident was cautioned by police after a complaint was made, but he ignored it and was subsequently arrested on July 13 last year.

Once in custody, Mr Benfold conceded that witnesses may have felt threatened by his behaviour, but said his actions were part of a sexual fantasy he had about starting affairs with women who 'liked what they saw'.

Sentencing Mr Benfold to a 36-month community supervision order and instructing him to undergo a sex offender's treatment programme, Judge James O'Mahony reportedly said: 'Your unusual sexual gratification upset other people.'

In February, 38-year-old David Gray pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent exposure after admitting he got a 'buzz' by jumping out of cars completely naked and flashing at oncoming traffic on the A9 near Dunblane.

A number of lorry drivers were said to have been 'alarmed' by Mr Gray exposing himself, and he was placed on probation for three years.

Saturday 9 April 2011

Gay Drug?

Man claims faulty drug turned him into 'gay sex addict'

Didier Jambart, a 52-year-old married father who suffers from Parkinson's disease, has accused pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline of producing a "defective" drug that turned him into a gay sex addict.

"After first taking the drugs, I was bursting with energy," the U.K.'s Daily Mail newspaper quotes Jambart. "I would get up at four in the morning and run 10.5 km, but later, it went more than too far."

Jambart said he suffered from severe depression, attempted suicide as many as eight times and became a compulsive gay sex addict. He says he exposed himself on the Internet and was raped because of his dangerous sexual encounters.

While the company denies any wrongdoing, a French patient group says it has been contacted by 100 other people who have suffered similar side-effects.

The crux of Jambart's case is he began taking the medication in 2005, but GlaxoSmithKline didn't including a warning against strange side-effects on the package until 2006.

The Daily Mail previously reported that Peter Shepherd, a British IT manager, underwent a similarly dramatic personality change in 2001 when he began taking another kind of Parkinson's medication. In that case, Shepherd became a sex-crazed transvestite and spent more than $600,000 on a "luxury lifestyle."

None of the allegations have been proven in court. A ruling in Jambart's case is expected this week.

Friday 8 April 2011

The Killer Punch!

OAP knocks burglar flying

A British pensioner sent a burglar flying when she caught him in her living room and delivered an "almighty" punch.
Joan Permenter, 79, sent 6ft Luke Clay to the floor when she saw him and his brother Lee were trying to make off with her possessions.
The criminals, aged 21 and 25, fled in terror but the tough OAP gave chase.
She said: "I'd do it again. I'm afraid of no one."

Thursday 7 April 2011

Feeling Flushed?

Citation over front yard toilet planter dismissed

An eastern Tennessee man has won what became the battle of the bowl when the city cited his front yard toilet planter as rubbish.

William Terry's appeal of his citation went to City Court in Oak Ridge where a judge dismissed it Thursday, ruling the city's definition of rubbish was overly broad.

Flush with success, Terry told the Knoxville News Sentinel he might celebrate by flanking his driveway with two more commodes.

Judge Robert A. McNees III praised the city's effort to clean up neighborhoods and encouraged its continuation, but said the city must enact ordinances in language citizens can understand.

City code enforcement supervisor Denny Boss called the ruling an interpretation of who is right.

Terry called it wonderful for flower pots everywhere.

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Broken Promise??

Man reports lap dancers to cops

A US man complained to the police after two lap dancers broke a promise to visit him in his hotel room.

The 37-year-old Illinois man met the girls at the On The Border gentleman's club during a visit to Franklin, Wisconsin.

The man told police he spent $1,000 (£625) on lap dances from the two dancers, reports Franklin Now.

They apparently told him they would come to his hotel room later on for private lap dances "on the house".

But when the woman failed to show up, he called police complaining that he had been cheated

Tuesday 5 April 2011


Police had to be rescued from lift

Six burly policemen called to a disturbance at a tower block had to be rescued by firemen - after they got stuck in the lift.

The officers piled into the lift at the 13-storey Brooke House in Basildon, Essex, but their combined weight was too much for it.

The men, who have been dubbed the 'slow response team', were trapped for 17 minutes before being rescued, reports the Daily Mail.

A fire brigade source said: "They had gone to make an arrest or deal with something when all six of them decided to get into the same lift.

"It was the combined weight of all of them that caused it to get stuck. The crews had to use a lift key to get them out."

Police from the Basildon neighbourhood support team had been called to the town centre tower block following reports of a disturbance.

They began their lift journey up the 13-storey building, but soon came to a halt because they were too heavy.

A spokeswoman for Basildon police said: "Whilst on their way to the scene officers got stuck in a lift for a short time and were assisted by the fire brigade who helped them get out.

"It transpired that no crime, disturbance or breach of the peace had been committed."

Monday 4 April 2011

None Too Bright?

Bank robber busted after showing staff ID

A feckless criminal has been jailed after he foolishly proved his identity to a bank worker – during a robbery.

Stupid Nathan Wayne Pugh, 49, stormed into the Wells Fargo bank in Dallas and approached the clerk where he asked to ”make a withdrawal”.

When the bank worker replied ”how much?”, Pugh – who was carrying a fast food bag – handed over a poorly scribbled note.

It read: ”Look if you don’t want to die then you should do as this note says This is not a bag of food This is a bom, so just put money in an envelope and do not make any move till after I have left for ten mintis.” (sic)

The brave bank worker then agreed to hand over the $2,000 (USD) requested but coolly demanded to see some identification first.

Amazingly, Pugh cooperated and showed the lady his Wells Fargo debit card.

However, this wasn’t enough for the courageous clerk who asked to see another form of ID.

Pugh then showed the lady his State of Texas identification and she handed him $800 (USD).

Police arrived at the bank just as the career criminal was about to make his exit and, after a fruitless attempt to take a mother and daughter hostage, he was apprehended.

Pugh, who was already on parole for two previous robberies, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Sunday 3 April 2011

A Clean Breast??

Breasts upset French mayor

The mayor of a town in France has thrown a patriotic female statue out of his town hall because its breasts were too big, his aides said on Friday.

The terra-cotta bust of Marianne -- the traditional female embodiment of the French Republic in a Phrygian cap -- was an original work by a local artist, installed in 2007 at the town hall in Neuville-en-Ferrain, population 10,000.

"It was making people gossip," said one town hall employee who asked not to be named. "Remarks were made, during weddings for example."

Mayor Gerard Cordon persuaded councilors to approve 900 euros ($1,280) in this year's budget to buy a replacement, a more conventional bust of Marianne modelled on the statuesque French model Laetitia Casta.

The artist who made the rejected bust, Catherine Lamacque, said she gave it outsized breasts deliberately, "to symbolize the generosity of the Republic."

The town hall bought her terra-cotta statue in 2007 for 1,400 euros.

"The mayor has had it under his nose for several years. He chose it from among other designs even before I baked it," she told AFP.

"His decision is absurd. I only hope he will not have it destroyed."

Another town hall official who asked not to be named said he regretted the bust's removal, which was done "not by a joint decision but by the mayor alone."

"It was a unique work," he said. "After all, Marianne is a symbol of motherhood."

Saturday 2 April 2011


Abandoned deaf puppy learns sign language

A puppy which was dumped by a breeder when he realised she was deaf, has been found a new home and is now learning sign language.

Yes this story is just as cute as it sounds. Alice, an 8-week-old black and white springer spaniel, was taken to an animal rescue centre after she was abandoned in Ireland.

Staff at the centre which took her in instantly knew the puppy would need specialist training and that most people would not want a pup who could not hear commands.

But luckily a deaf couple, Marie Williams and Mark Morgan happened to be looking for a dog and decided Alice would be the perfect pet for them.

The pair have now started teaching the pup sign language and can use it to instruct her to sit down, sit up, come and roll over.

Williams, from West Mersea, Essex, said: "We were thinking about getting a dog but when we saw Alice was deaf we just couldn’t believe it.

"She was so beautiful and the fact that she was deaf just made us fall in love with her even more – we knew that she would fit right into our family.

"When we went to visit her at the centre I had tears in my eye, because she was so cute and we bonded straight away."

Julie Stone, manager of The Blue Cross animal adoption centre in Lewknor, added: "Alice is such a loving and responsive dog and she proves that with a bit of time and effort, a deaf dog can be trained and become a wonderful pet.

"It was amazing to see how Marie, Mark and their children immediately bonded with Alice and how they knew just how to get her attention.

"They are a brilliant match and Alice has found the perfect home where I know she will get the love she deserves."

Friday 1 April 2011

Tight Squeeze

Man Survives Being Pulled Through Tiny Gap

A factory worker says he is lucky to be alive after being dragged through a 5in gap in machinery that left him with serious injuries

Matthew Lowe, 25, had his back broken in two places, his pelvis shattered, both hips and several ribs fractured and his stomach and bowel ruptured.

While he was going through the gap, measuring the size of a CD case, the only sound he heard was his right arm snapping.

Now, two years after the event, the father-of-one's only visible sign of injury is a weakened right arm.

"I still don't know how I didn't die," Mr Lowe, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, said.

"As the machine dragged me through I just relaxed because I knew I couldn't do anything and I thought that was the end for me."

He added: "I felt the machine grab me and at that point I knew something serious was going to happen.

"I never felt pain, the only thing I felt was my arm snap - and then it was over in seconds."

Astonishingly, the machine eventually deposited him on the floor with his clothes in tatters.

He said he remembered lying on the floor, trying to breathe, and being determined not to leave his young daughter Evie growing up without a father.

"I just thought, I’ve got to get through this for my little girl, she can't grow up without a dad, so I just lay there and did my best."

It was then that the pain hit him and other workers raced to help him after hearing his screams.

He was rushed to hospital where surgeons initially stabilised him and later operated.

In all, he spent a month in hospital and had to have six operations to pin his broken limbs back together again.

Mr Lowe, who was working at Compass Engineering's factory at Barugh near Barnsley - the firm he had joined as a school leaver - is now back at work at the company and training to be a site supervisor.

The company is due before magistrates in Barnsley to answer allegations over health and safety.