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Weird and/or silly
Topic: Weird and/or silly (Read 54811 times)
Weird and/or silly
Reply #50 on:
March 11, 2005, 12:57:00 AM »
'Bush Rage' Driver Charged in Florida
Thursday, March 10, 2005
?Man Charged in Rep. Harris Camp Assault?Man Charged With Trying to Mow Down Katherine Harris
TAMPA, Fla. ? A man apparently enraged by a Bush-Cheney sticker (search) on a woman's sport utility vehicle chased her for miles and tried to run her off the road while holding up an anti-Bush sign, police said.
"He told our officers that he just got mad at her, so he went after her," said police spokesman Joe Durkin.
Nathan Alan Winkler (search), 31, was freed on $2,000 bail early Wednesday on a charge of aggravated stalking (search), which carries up to five years in prison.
No one answered the telephone Thursday at Winkler's home, but his father, John Winkler, said: "I know that he's very anti-Bush. But I don't see him doing anything like that. He's the least aggressive person I know."
Winkler told police he got upset with the woman, 35-year-old Michelle Fernandez, after she made an obscene gesture, Durkin said. Fernandez was taking her 10-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter to a ball field Tuesday when the incident occurred.
"Whatever gestures I made, I made them because I was trying to figure out why he was honking at me and pointing at his sign," Fernandez said.
Police said that as Winkler chased the woman's vehicle, he held up a small sign that read: "Never Forget Bush's Illegal War Murdered Thousands in Iraq."
Fernandez found a police officer and described the car and license number. Within an hour, police arrested Winkler at his home.
Fernandez said she is a registered Democrat who voted for President Bush in 2004.
Weird and/or silly
Reply #51 on:
March 18, 2005, 11:09:44 AM »
Former Dentist Accused Of Squirting Semen Into Mouths Of Patients
POSTED: 7:02 am EST March 15, 2005
UPDATED: 11:43 am EST March 15, 2005
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A former North Carolina dentist accused of using syringes to squirt semen into the mouths of female patients was charged Monday with multiple misdemeanor counts of assault on a female.
A Mecklenburg County grand jury indicted Dr. John Hall on seven counts of assault on a female. He was charged with assaulting six patients, including one of them twice, over an eight-month period in 2003.
Hall, 44, who practiced in nearby Cornelius, is expected to turn himself in at the Mecklenburg County jail on Wednesday. He faces up to 120 days in jail if convicted on all the charges.
Hall could not be reached for comment. In the past, he has denied the allegations, calling them "bizarre and sensational."
Assistant District Attorney David Maloney, who sought Monday's indictments against Hall, would not comment on the charges.
"We knew these indictments were coming," said defense attorney George Laughrun. "This is just the first step in the process. My client is anxious for the process to get started and get this behind him for himself and his family."
The North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners revoked Hall's license in August after six former patients testified in Raleigh that the dentist made them swallow what they now believe was his semen.
In testimony before the dental board last summer, Hall denied the allegations.
"I have never injected semen in any patient's mouth," he said. "I never would. I've got a 10-year-old daughter. That whole concept is so beyond me."
Police searched Hall's office and confiscated syringes after several employees said they were suspicious of the dentist's behavior. DNA tests on the syringes later showed they contained Hall's semen.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
Weird and/or silly
Reply #52 on:
April 08, 2005, 02:28:45 PM »
Well, this feels weird in a good way to me , , ,
Weird and/or silly
Reply #53 on:
April 08, 2005, 04:25:35 PM »
Ryan “Guard Dog” Gruhn
Guro / DBMAA Business Director
Dog Brothers Martial Arts Association
"Smuggling Concepts Across the Frontiers of Style”
Reply #54 on:
April 13, 2005, 11:07:12 PM »
Just in case this applies to anyone on the list. . . .
Viagra ruled 'kosher for Passover'
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, THE JERUSALEM POST
Apr. 13, 2005
Rabbis have risen to the occasion and found a way for men who want to enjoy their Passover to take the erectile dysfunction medication Viagra without violating the laws about consuming hametz (leaven) leaven during the holiday.
Four years ago, The Jerusalem Post revealed in a widely quoted story that taking Viagra during Passover was forbidden by Jewish law because its coating was made with hametz.
Rabbi Menahem Rosenberg, the rabbi of Clalit Health Services, then confirmed that Viagra (sildenafil citrate) was not kosher for Passover because of the coating.
He noted that all drugs taken for life-threatening conditions, even if they contain leaven, can - and must - be taken during the holiday. Since impotence can hardly be considered a life-threatening condition, few rabbis approved its use during the holiday.
But now former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliahu has issued a ruling after receiving a query from Rabbi Menahem Burstein, a rabbinical expert in the field of fertility and head of the the Puah Institute for Fertility and Medicine According to Halacha in Jerusalem.
Burstein received queries from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals-Israel and religious men on whether the drug can be taken on Passover.
Eliahu replied that men who need Viagra can do so if they purchase before the holiday special empty capsules made from kosher gelatin, insert the blue pill into the capsule and swallow it. The company explained that since the capsule is not in direct contact with the body, it is permissible to swallow it on Passover.
First unveiled by Pfizer International in 1998, Viagra has been prescribed more than 120 million times for problems of erectile dysfunction. Since then, at least two competing drugs, Cialis and Levitra, have been put on the market. In Israel, a three-pill prescription for Viagra is issued every minute on average; the health funds do not provide these at nominal cost, as such medications are not included in the basket of health services, but they do offer a discount.
There was no information about whether Cialis and Levitra have leaven as well and if so, whether the glycerin capsule technique would be a solution for them as well.
When Garden Gnomes are Banned. . . .
Reply #55 on:
April 15, 2005, 05:26:50 PM »
Grandma stops intruder with garden gnome
LONDON (AP) -- A grandmother stopped an intruder from entering her home by lobbing a heavy garden gnome at him, police said Friday. Jean Collop was woken early on Tuesday morning by the sound of an intruder on the roof of her home in Wadebridge, southwest England.
"I grabbed the first thing that came to hand - one of my garden gnomes - and hurled it at him, and hit him," she recalled.
"He lay there and I began to scream. I went back into the kitchen and found a rolling pin in case he came down. I didn't want to break another gnome."
A neighbor alerted police who arrived shortly afterward and arrested the intruder.
He added: "Our usual advice would be not to get involved, but to contact the police straight away," said a spokesman for the Devon and Cornwall Police.
"We do appreciate that in the heat of the moment people react to that situation, and if it results in a happy outcome that's great."
Weird and/or silly
Reply #56 on:
April 20, 2005, 09:25:32 AM »
Beware of flying frozen sausages.
An Englishman learned that the hard way Monday afternoon, according to British wire services.
"He was driving his car when the offending item came through his open window and hit him on the nose," an ambulance-service spokesman told reporters.
The unnamed man, 46, had left work and was heading home to South Woodham Ferrers, Essex (search), east of London, when the meat missile entered his vehicle.
Despite having broken his nose, and losing a lot of blood, the driver declined to be taken to the hospital.
"It must have been an incredibly lucky, or unlucky, shot to get the sausage through a moving car window," commented the spokesman. "I have never seen or heard of anything like this before."
Police said they were looking into the incident
Weird and/or silly
Reply #57 on:
May 05, 2005, 11:31:33 PM »
Thursday, May 5, 2005
BENTON HARBOR -- A pop culture controversy that has simmered for decades came to a head when a middle school marching band was told not to perform "Louie Louie."
Benton Harbor Superintendent Paula Dawning cited the song's allegedly raunchy lyrics in ordering the McCord Middle School band not to perform it in Saturday's Grand Floral Parade, held as part of the Blossomtime Festival.
In a letter sent home with McCord students, Dawning said "Louie Louie" was not appropriate for Benton Harbor students to play while representing the district -- even though the marching band wasn't going to sing it.
Band members and parents complained to the Board of Education at its Tuesday meeting that it was too late to learn another song, The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph reported.
"It's very stressful for us to try to come up with new songs for the band," eighth-grader Laurice Martin told the board. "We're trying to learn the songs from last year, but some of us weren't in the band last year."
Dawning said that if a majority of parents supports their children playing the song, she will reconsider her decision.
"It was not that I knew at the beginning and said nothing," Dawning said. "I normally count on the staff to make reliable decisions. I found out because a parent called, concerned about the song being played."
"Louie Louie," written by Richard Berry in 1956, is one of the most recorded songs in history. The best-known, most notorious version was a hit in 1963 for the Kingsmen; the FBI spent two years investigating the lyrics before declaring they not only were not obscene but also were "unintelligible at any speed."
Weird and/or silly
Reply #58 on:
May 06, 2005, 12:16:08 AM »
Let's not forget the finest version of "Louie, Louie". Seattle garage rock pioneers The Sonics rocked a really heavy "ahead of it's time" version. Alas they never broke through into nationwide success. Maybe this was due to their penchant for referring to the Ford Mustang as a "Boss Hoss" in song.
the way OUT is THROUGH
Reply #59 on:
May 16, 2005, 09:28:36 PM »
As a parent all I can be is astounded:
Blind Couple Allowed To Open Day Care
Colorado Judge Says Denial Violated ADA
POSTED: 7:55 am PDT May 12, 2005
DENVER -- A blind couple has won the right to open a day-care center in Colorado.
The couple was given permission after a judge said the state's refusal to issue them a license violated the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The couple's attorney said they will apparently be the first blind couple to operate a day care in Colorado, which is one of only a few states where courts have allowed blind people to run day cares.
The attorney, who also is blind, called the judge's ruling "yet another victory in a long string of victories for blind and disabled people."
Christine Hutchinson said she and her husband, Thomas, will move ahead with plans to open a facility, although they are worried they will be hounded by inspectors looking for problems.
i don't even know what to say about this
Reply #60 on:
May 18, 2005, 08:47:23 AM »
Weird and/or silly
Reply #61 on:
May 24, 2005, 01:03:26 AM »
Lion Mutilates 42 Midgets in Cambodian Ring-Fight
An African Lion much like this is responsible for the death of 28 Cambodian Midgets
Spectators cheered as entire Cambodian Midget Fighting League squared off against African Lion
Tickets had been sold-out three weeks before the much anticipated fight, which took place in the city of K?mp?ng Chhn?ng.
The fight was slated when an angry fan contested Yang Sihamoni, President of the CMFL, claiming that one lion could defeat his entire league of 42 fighters.
Sihamoni takes great pride in the league he helped create, as was conveyed in his recent advertising campaign for the CMFL that stated his midgets will "... take on anything; man, beast, or machine."
This campaign is believed to be what sparked the undisclosed fan to challenge the entire league to fight a lion; a challenge that Sihamoni readily accepted.
An African Lion (Panthera Leo) was shipped to centrally located K?mp?ng Chhn?ng especially for the event, which took place last Saturday, April 30, 2005 in the city?s coliseum.
The Cambodian Government allowed the fight to take place, under the condition that they receive a 50% commission on each ticket sold, and that no cameras would be allowed in the arena.
The fight was called in only 12 minutes, after which 28 fighters were declared dead, while the other 14 suffered severe injuries including broken bones and lost limbs, rendering them unable to fight back.
Sihamoni was quoted before the fight stating that he felt since his fighters out-numbered the lion 42 to 1, that they ?? could out-wit and out-muscle [it].?
Unfortunately, he was wrong.
The Offending Finger
Reply #62 on:
May 25, 2005, 05:29:33 PM »
Maybe the lady who dropped a finger in some chili and then sued Wendy's could use one of these.
Protester who chopped off finger tip selling guillotine on Internet
Published May 22 2005
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Joel Gonzalez is bringing cutting edge equipment to the Internet. Literally.
Gonzalez, who cut off the tip of his finger outside the state Capitol in 1994 to protest efforts by the gun lobby to scuttle tougher firearms laws, is selling the homemade guillotine and hammer used in the severance on eBay. The bidding begins at $50,000.
"When I did it, people said I was crazy," said Gonzalez, a former Bridgeport city councilman. "I wonder what they are saying now."
Gonzalez told the Connecticut Post that he wants to sell the items to raise money needed to continue his activism in causes including bringing prayer back into schools, finding more money for education, abolishing the death penalty and, of course, strengthening gun control laws.
If he gets a $50,000 bid or more, he promised to give half to the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.
No one has bid on the two items, but 391 people have looked at the eBay listing.
The guillotine is 8 inches tall. The 2-pound hammer was used to drive the guillotine blade into left index finger. Both items include state police evidence tags.
State Capitol police threatened to arrest Gonzalez but never did. But they did arrest his friend, who was filming in the incident, and seized the videotape.
Gonzalez was taken with his finger tip to Hartford Hospital, where he elected not to have it reattached. Hospital staff sewed up the injured finger with 13 stitches and never returned the severed part.
Gonzalez believes there should be a harsh penalty for people who commit crimes with guns.
"States must consider amputating the trigger fingers of anyone who uses a firearm to commit a premeditated crime," he said.
UK Drs. want to Ban Kitchen Knives
Reply #63 on:
May 26, 2005, 10:13:46 PM »
Can tree limbs be far behind?
Doctors' kitchen knives ban call
A&E doctors are calling for a ban on long pointed kitchen knives to reduce deaths from stabbing.
A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase - and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings.
They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon.
The research is published in the British Medical Journal.
The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all.
They consulted 10 top chefs from around the UK, and found such knives have little practical value in the kitchen.
None of the chefs felt such knives were essential, since the point of a short blade was just as useful when a sharp end was needed.
The researchers said a short pointed knife may cause a substantial superficial wound if used in an assault - but is unlikely to penetrate to inner organs.
In contrast, a pointed long blade pierces the body like "cutting into a ripe melon".
The use of knives is particularly worrying amongst adolescents, say the researchers, reporting that 24% of 16-year-olds have been shown to carry weapons, primarily knives.
The study found links between easy access to domestic knives and violent assault are long established.
French laws in the 17th century decreed that the tips of table and street knives be ground smooth.
A century later, forks and blunt-ended table knives were introduced in the UK in an effort to reduce injuries during arguments in public eating houses.
The researchers say legislation to ban the sale of long pointed knives would be a key step in the fight against violent crime.
"The Home Office is looking for ways to reduce knife crime.
"We suggest that banning the sale of long pointed knives is a sensible and practical measure that would have this effect."
Home Office spokesperson said there were already extensive restrictions in place to control the sale and possession of knives.
"The law already prohibits the possession of offensive weapons in a public place, and the possession of knives in public without good reason or lawful authority, with the exception of a folding pocket knife with a blade not exceeding three inches.
"Offensive weapons are defined as any weapon designed or adapted to cause injury, or intended by the person possessing them to do so.
"An individual has to demonstrate that he had good reason to possess a knife, for example for fishing, other sporting purposes or as part of his profession (e.g. a chef) in a public place.
"The manufacture, sale and importation of 17 bladed, pointed and other offensive weapons have been banned, in addition to flick knives and gravity knives."
A spokesperson for the Association of Chief Police Officers said: "ACPO supports any move to reduce the number of knife related incidents, however, it is important to consider the practicalities of enforcing such changes."
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/05/26 23:48:35 GMT
Reply #64 on:
May 26, 2005, 10:28:56 PM »
The British Medical Journal article that got the ball rolling:
Reducing knife crime
We need to ban the sale of long pointed kitchen knives
"Britain in the grip of knives terror?third of murder victims are now stabbed to death." Daily Express, 31 January 2005
"Stabbing rampage kills one, injures five?a large kitchen knife was found." Independent, 24 December 2004
Violent crime in the United Kingdom is increasing; figures from London show a 17.9% increase from 2003 to 2004,1 and one easily accessible weapon used in many incidents is the kitchen knife. Unfortunately, no data seem to have been collected to indicate how often kitchen knives are used in stabbings, but our own experience and that of police officers and pathologists we have spoken to indicates that they are used in at least half of all cases. UK government statistics show that 24% of 16 year old boys report carrying knives or other weapons and 19% admitting attacking someone with the intent to harm.2 Although other weapons?such as baseball bats, screwdrivers, and chains?are also carried, by far the most common weapons are knives.3 In the United Kingdom in the first two weeks of 2005 alone, 15 murders were attributed to stabbings and 16 other non-fatal attacks.4
To tackle this increasing problem, various measures are being considered by the government, particularly targeting the adolescent age group. These include raising the minimum age for purchasing a knife from 16 to 18 years and allowing head teachers the power to search pupils for knives.5 However, not all crimes are committed with newly purchased knives, and every household and home economics department in schools contains a plethora of readily available weapons. The modern stainless steel kitchen knife has a high quality blade that makes it unnecessary to look further for another lethal weapon.
Most domestic kitchen knives are based on two designs, the dagger variety with a pointed tip?for example, vegetable knife or carving knife?and the blunt round nose variety?for example, bread knife. When using a knife to harm, a blunt nosed knife is unlikely to cause serious injury, as penetrating clothing and skin is difficult with it. Similarly an assault with a knife with a short blade such as a craft knife may cause a dramatic superficial wound but is unlikely to reach deep structures and cause death. A dagger type knife, however, can penetrate deeply. Once resistance from clothing and skin is overcome, little extra force is required to injure vital organs, increasing the chance of a fatality (likened to cutting into a ripe melon).6
As knives are so readily available, does a culinary reason exist for so many domestic knives to be of the dagger variety, or are we just sticking to tradition? Knives as we recognise them were made first from copper and bronze between 3000 and 700 bc, and some are very similar in design to those used today. Personal eating knives were first used in Britain in the 14th century and became commonplace during the 1800s when manufacturing processes improved.7
Knives were used to spear meat, lifting it from plate to mouth, so pointed tips were vital for this function. Also, with repeated sharpening of a flat blade, a pointed tip inevitably develops. However, now domestic knives do not need sharpening, and numerous other kitchen utensils can be used to spear food. The current practice of eating with forks and blunt ended table knives was introduced in the 18th century to reduce the injuries resulting from arguments in public eating houses. In 1669, King Louis XIV of France noted the association between pointed domestic knives and violence and passed a law demanding that the tips of all table and street knives be ground smooth.8 Today many households have a block of kitchen knives of which several will be of the long pointed variety.
Perhaps the pointed kitchen knife has a culinary purpose that we have failed to appreciate? We contacted 10 chefs in the UK who are well known from their media activities and chefs working in the kitchens of five leading London restaurants. Some commented that a point is useful in the fine preparation of some meat and vegetables, but that this could be done with a short pointed knife (less than 5 cm in length). None gave a reason why the long pointed knife was essential. Domestic knife manufacturers (Harrison-Fisher Knife Company, England, personal communication, 2005) admit that their designs are based on traditional shapes and could give no functional reason why long pointed knives are needed. The average life of a kitchen knife is estimated to be about 10 years.
Many assaults are impulsive, often triggered by alcohol or misuse of other drugs, and the long pointed kitchen knife is an easily available potentially lethal weapon particularly in the domestic setting. Government action to ban the sale of such knives would drastically reduce their availability over the course of a few years. In addition, such legislation would make it harder to justify carrying such knives and prosecution easier.
The Home Office is looking for ways to reduce knife crime. We suggest that banning the sale of long pointed knives is a sensible and practical measure that would have this effect.
Emma Hern, specialist registrar in emergency medicine, Will Glazebrook, specialist registrar in emergency medicine Mike Beckett, consultant in emergency medicine
West Middlesex University Hospital, London TW7 6AF (
Competing interests: None declared.
Metropolitan Police Service. Latest crime figures for London.
20 Jan 2005).
Beinart S, Anderson B, Lee S, Utting D: Youth at risk? A national survey of risk factors, protective factors and problem behaviour among young people in England, Scotland and Wales. London, Communities that Care, 2002, JRF Findings 432.
Townsend M, Barnett A. Children of five who carry knives in class. Observer 2003, November 23.
(accessed 21 Apr 2005)
BBC News Online (manual search).
(accessed 20 Jan 2005).
Home Office. Off the streets and out of schools: Home Secretary's fight against knives. Press Release 389/2004. 15 December 2004.
(accessed 30 Mar 2005).
Sadler D. Injuries of medico-legal importance. Lecture notes for LLB in Forensic Medicine, University of Dundee.
(accessed 20 Jan 05).
The Sheffield cutlery industry.
(accessed 20 Jan 2005).
(accessed 20 Jan 2005).
Weird and/or silly
Reply #65 on:
May 28, 2005, 12:13:05 AM »
Bloody Chainsaw at the Border
Reply #66 on:
June 07, 2005, 04:33:10 PM »
Suspect in killing entered United States with bloody chainsaw
Tuesday, June 7, 2005
By Michael Kunzelman
Copyright ? 2005 AP Wire
BOSTON -- On the morning of April 25, Gregory Despres hitchhiked to the Canadian border crossing at Calais, Maine, carrying a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained by what appeared to be blood.
Customs officials confiscated the cache of weapons and fingerprinted Despres, but allowed him to enter the United States -- not knowing the gruesome scene about to unfold in the hitchhiker's hometown.
The following day, in the village of Minto, New Brunswick, the decapitated body of a well-known country musician named Frederick Fulton was discovered on his kitchen floor. Police found the 74-year-old man's head in a pillow case under a kitchen table and the body of his common-law wife, Veronica Decarie, stabbed to death in a bedroom.
A history of violence between Despres and his neighbors immediately made him a suspect in the murders, and the 22-year-old was arrested April 27 after police in Massachusetts saw him wandering down a highway, wearing a sweatshirt with red and brown stains.
Despres, now held at a jail in Plymouth on first-degree murder charges, is scheduled to return to a Boston federal court on July 21 for an extradition hearing.
While authorities on the Canadian side of the border await his return, a question for customs officials lingers: At a time when the U.S. is tightening its borders, how could a man toting a bloody chain saw be allowed to enter the country?
Bill Anthony, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said the Canada-born Despres couldn't be detained because he is a naturalized U.S. citizen and wasn't wanted on any criminal charges on the day in question.
Anthony said Despres was questioned for two hours before he was released. In the interim, he added, customs agents employed "every conceivable method" to check for warrants or see if Despres broke any laws in trying to re-enter the country.
"Nobody asked us to detain him," Anthony said. "Being bizarre is not a reason to keep somebody out of this country or lock them up... We are governed by laws and regulations, and he did not violate any regulations."
Anthony conceded it "sounds stupid" that a man wielding a bloody chain saw couldn't be detained.
Weird and/or silly
Reply #67 on:
June 09, 2005, 11:23:41 PM »
"MARCH 25--Richard Simmons was arrested yesterday and charged with assaulting a Harley Davidson salesman during a confrontation at a Phoenix airport. No, that is not a joke. The 54-year-old fitness guru (5' 7", 155 pounds) laid the smackdown on one Chris Farney, a 23-year-old Mesa man (6' 1" and 255 pounds) who happens to cage wrestle in his spare time. According to the below Phoenix Police Department report, when Farney spotted Simmons (whose real first name is Milton) walking through the Sky Harbor International Airport, he said, "Look, Richard Simmons. Drop your bags, let's rock to the 50's." Farney told cops he was referring to an old Simmons workout tape. The diminutive star responded by walking over to the strapping Farney and saying, "It's not nice to make fun of people with issues." He then slapped Farney's face. The motorcycle salesman, who was not injured, called cops, who cited an "emotional" and repentant Simmons for assault. "
Don't Siphon Gas with a Vacuum Cleaner
Reply #68 on:
June 17, 2005, 11:58:31 AM »
Arundel digest: Area news briefs
Man burned when he tries to siphon gas
An 82-year old Glen Burnie man was transported to the Bayview Burn Center in Baltimore this morning after trying to siphon gas from his car with a vacuum cleaner while the engine was running.
Hospital officials refused to release a status report, but fire officials said he suffered first- and second-degree burns to 20 percent of his body, primarily to the left side of his abdomen, chest, hands and face.
"The vacuum not withstanding, it's not advisable to siphon gas while the car is running," said Lt. Russ Davies, spokesman for the county fire department.
He added that the fire could have spread to the gas tank, blowing up the entire vehicle. "It certainly would have been possible," he said.
According to Lt. Davies, the man had locked his keys inside the vehicle last night while it was still running. Unable to get them out, the man left the car running in his driveway at 212 Benmere Road and went to bed only to find the vehicle still idling when he awoke this morning.
Determined to stop the car, the man pulled out an electric vacuum cleaner around 7:30 a.m.
Lt. Davies explained the vacuum cleaner's electric motor caused a spark and ignited the gas.
"You have to wonder what type of judgment was being used there," said Lt. Davies.
Police said the man lives with his son and daughter-in-law.
Can Calls for Iguana Control be Far Behind?
Reply #69 on:
June 17, 2005, 01:27:25 PM »
Man uses pet iguana as weapon
POLICE called to a domestic disturbance in Bishop's Stortford found themselves threatened by a man wielding a 5ft long iguana.
Officers were dispatched to a house in Urban Road on Wednesday last week following a call from a mother who said her son had become violent and was smashing up their property. When the police arrived, they were confronted by an agitated man who was destroying the contents of his bedroom.
Herts police confirmed that he threatened to kill the officers and ran at them with a carving knife. He then retreated back into the house and came out with a pellet gun which he pointed at the surrounding policemen, who had cordoned off the area.
He was initially able to escape from the officers by running through a back entrance to the house, but was soon spotted with a 5ft (1.5m) long iguana draped over his shoulder.
A spokeswoman for Herts police said: "He was followed and contained in a nearby off-licence by local officers. The man became very aggressive and threatened to utilise the iguana's tail and claws to slash the police. After a violent struggle, he was finally overcome through the use of tactical equipment.
"The iguana was successfully retrieved by an officer who had experience with the Victoria State Police in Australia and was fortunately familiar with exotic reptiles. The RSPCA were also informed of the incident."
She then revealed that a subsequent search of the man's home resulted in the recovery of two ball-bearing guns, a big carving knife and a large bag of cannabis.
A 34-year-old warehouse worker was arrested and charged with intentional harassment, threats to kill, possessing a controlled drug and criminal damage. He was due to appear at Hertford Magistrates Court yesterday (Wednesday, 15 June).
16 June 2005
Weird and/or silly
Reply #70 on:
June 18, 2005, 07:39:29 AM »
Weird and/or silly
Reply #71 on:
June 21, 2005, 09:54:18 PM »
Women bare all to save their men
SONALI DAS, INDIA
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2005 10:10:44 AM ]
Surf 'N' Earn -Sign innow
RANCHI: It is common knowledge that eunuchs strip to extract money from frightened passersby.
But the reason behind the "striptease" of the women living in and around the forests of Chakulia in west Singbhum is different?they perform the act to save their menfolk from being punished after being caught felling trees.
Embarrassed forest guards often allow the illegal fellers to leave when the village women gather around them and start shedding their clothes.
That the women come fully prepared for the act is clear, for, they organise themselves in groups and start stripping, giving time for the offenders to escape.
"As the women start stripping, the foresters beat a hasty retreat fearing that the villagers may accuse them of rape and assault," said K K Chatterjee, conservator, Kolhan south circle.
Remarking that they had not come across such escape routes in any forest area, he said, "We fear that others may follow suit."
Last week, a group of villagers had...
... entered the Sunsuniya forest in Chakulia block when forest guards found out and tried to nab them.
But their efforts went in vain as the women members of the group began undressing , forcing the guards to run while the offenders stood.
Chatterjee said although the modus operandi was common in the forest areas of Rajabasa, Chatradobha and Jorisa, the divisional forest officer (DFO) concerned was still to submit a report in this regard.
According to forest officials, villagers living in the area have always been dependent on the woods for a livelihood?sometimes taking to rampant felling of trees.
However, they are not connected with the timber mafia but sell the timber in the open market at throwaway prices.
Although the forest management committees comprising villagers have launched several initiatives to ensure the protection of the forests, the latest tactic by the village women have left even them stunned.
Surf 'N' Earn -Sign innow
?Bennett, Coleman and Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.
Weird and/or silly
Reply #72 on:
June 22, 2005, 04:55:00 PM »
Grandfather kills leopard with his hands
Wed Jun 22,11:42 AM ET
NAIROBI (Reuters) - A 73-year-old Kenyan grandfather reached into the mouth of an attacking leopard and tore out its tongue to kill it, authorities said Wednesday.
Peasant farmer Daniel M'Mburugu was tending to his potato and bean crops in a rural area near Mount Kenya when the leopard charged out of the long grass and leapt on him.
M'Mburugu had a machete in one hand but dropped that to thrust his fist down the leopard's mouth. He gradually managed to pull out the animal's tongue, leaving it in its death-throes.
"It let out a blood-curdling snarl that made the birds stop chirping," he told the daily Standard newspaper of how the leopard came at him and knocked him over.
The leopard sank its teeth into the farmer's wrist and mauled him with its claws. "A voice, which must have come from God, whispered to me to drop the panga (machete) and thrust my hand in its wide open mouth. I obeyed," M'Mburugu said.
As the leopard was dying, a neighbor heard the screams and arrived to finish it off with a machete.
M'Mburugu was toasted as a hero in his village Kihato after the incident earlier this month. He was also given free hospital treatment by astonished local authorities.
"This guy is very lucky to be alive," Kenya Wildlife Service official Connie Maina told Reuters, confirming details of the incident.
. . . and After the Game we can Eat Kim Chi
Reply #73 on:
June 23, 2005, 04:08:27 PM »
Cooling cabbages banned from Korean baseball
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea?s baseball players have been banned from putting frozen cabbage leaves under their caps to beat the summer heat.
The Korea Baseball Organisation (KBO) took action after Doosan Bears pitcher Park Myung-hwan?s cap fell off during a game last weekend, revealing his secret cooling agent.
After an emergency meeting, KBO officials ruled that cabbage leaves are a distraction and cannot be considered part of the baseball uniform.
"Park has been using frozen cabbage to cool down since last summer, but we didn?t know until now," KBO chief of referees Heo Koo-youn told Reuters on Wednesday.
"We had to act because imagine if it happened in the World Series. If something drops out of the pitcher?s cap, it could put the batter off. Does the umpire call strike or ball?"
Park, who twice dropped leaves on the mound during last Sunday?s game with the Hanhwa Eagles, said he was disappointed with the ruling but would not appeal.
"I?m sensitive to the heat and my wife recommended I put frozen cabbage leaves under my cap to cool my head," he said.
"I will respect the KBO?s decision. Even without the cabbage, my pitching won?t be affected."
At Least They have Their Priorities Straight. . . .
Reply #74 on:
June 30, 2005, 02:12:28 PM »
No beer? No lunch!
Email this Story
Jun 30, 9:13 AM (ET)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A lunch meeting between a leading parliamentarian in Belgium and counterparts from Iran has been canceled because the beer-loving Belgian could not stomach a ban on alcohol.
"Even for the tolerant Herman De Croo, that was a bridge too far," De Croo, a Dutch-speaking Liberal, told De Standaard daily Thursday.
De Croo, president of parliament's lower house, had been due to entertain the speaker and members of the Iranian parliament Friday during their visit to Belgium -- famous for its diversity of beer brands.
But he said lunch had been canceled because the Iranians, who as Muslims do not drink alcohol, wanted their hosts to do the same.
"I did not receive such demands in writing. But ... I was indirectly asked not to serve alcohol," said De Croo.
The visit ran into further trouble after Iran's parliament speaker Gholamali Haddadadel insisted he would not shake hands with the female president of Belgium's Senate.
Anne-Marie Lizin, a Socialist, then canceled their meeting. She said in a statement that Iranians should respect local customs in Belgium, just as Belgians should in Iran.
A Hooters at Souter's
Reply #75 on:
June 30, 2005, 02:25:22 PM »
In the wake of the Supreme Court's Takings ruling the following has been making the rounds:
Urge A Hooters at Souters!
Just sent to hooters via email
I understand that a developer, Mr. Logan Clements, has started the process with the Weare, New Hampshire Selectmen to discuss taking the property on 34 Cilley Hill Road in order to build a theme hotel there. I have been talking about taking a vacation to New Hampshire for years and I would certainly be interested in staying in such an interesting and pertinent theme hotel as Mr. Clements proposes. I hope Hooters would give due consideration to his plan and consider opening a Hooters there, perhaps calling it Hooters at Souters. I'm sure it would be an asset to the area and a great way for Hooters to get a myraid of FREE international attention by enjoining this endeavor.
Reply #76 on:
July 03, 2005, 09:40:14 AM »
Talk of brainstorming 'may offend epileptics'
By Liz Lightfoot
The term "brainstorming" has become the latest target of political correctness, according to a charity.
Trainee teachers are being told to avoid the word for fear of offending pupils with epilepsy. Instead they are being advised to use "word storm" or "thought shower".
However, charities working with epilepsy say "brainstorming" is not offensive. "We had several inquiries from teachers about it so we did a survey of our residential home," said Gemma Baxter from the National Society for Epilepsy.
"We also contacted people with epilepsy in the community and the overwhelming response was that 'brainstorming' implies no offence to people with epilepsy, and that any implication that the word is offensive to people with the condition is taking political correctness too far."
People found it more offensive that the question was being asked of them, she said.
The Teacher Training Agency said it was not responsible for the suggestion that students avoid the word.
"We are responsible for overseeing the general quality of the courses provided by universities and colleges and we don't get involved in the minutiae of what they teach."
Out of the Frying Pan. . . .
Reply #77 on:
July 21, 2005, 08:56:46 AM »
YANKTON, S.D. (AP) - A man led officers on a highway chase that ended when he ditched the car and ran into the Clay County Courthouse - where he was already scheduled to appear.
An officer Wednesday was pursuing a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run when the suspect stopped the truck in the middle of the street and backed into the courthouse retaining wall, said Clay County Sheriff Andy Howe.
Then he ran into the courthouse and headed upstairs to the courtroom. The judge in his case had just dismissed the jury as suspect Jada Coover burst in, Howe said.
"It seemed to just get more and more strange," Howe said. "Typically the pursuits don't come right to us as this one did. Officers actually left the sheriff's office and the police department to go assist with the pursuit, only to find themselves right back here."
Officers cleared the hallways and asked people to leave the building.
"He attempted to barricade himself in by holding the door shut, but officers were able to get in and take him into custody," Howe said.
Coover was arrested on charges including failure to appear, felony eluding, driving under the influence and disorderly conduct. He also was wanted on outstanding warrants for possession of meth and burglary tools.
Reply #78 on:
July 26, 2005, 12:36:25 PM »
Census taker accused of badgering
Man alleges he was called at 10:19 p.m., hit by worker's car
By Karen Abbott, Rocky Mountain News
July 26, 2005
The people who take surveys for the Census Bureau say they're trained to be "pleasantly persistent" in getting citizens to answer their questions.
Thomas Martinez says one of them went way beyond that.
Now, he's working with prosecutors, hoping a court will find that a Census Bureau field representative relentlessly hounded him.
The case, outlined during a hearing in federal court Monday, raises questions about how far the government should go in its pursuit for accurate and consistent information.
"Doesn't a citizen at some point have a right to say 'Get off my back?' " Colorado U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham asked. "If a citizen chooses not to cooperate for whatever reason, isn't that the end of it?"
Martinez alleges that Census Bureau field representative Susan Dyck chased him around his rental duplex in Wheat Ridge, copied his cell phone number from his "For Rent" sign, telephoned him at 10:19 p.m. when he was at home in bed, visited his property a second time and finally hit him with her car as she drove away after he told her he was calling the police.
"She kind of gave off this air of being that of police authority, you know, like, 'You're going to answer these questions,' " Martinez testified Monday.
"I didn't like that."
Dyck, 53, has been charged in Jefferson County Court with misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor harassment and two traffic offenses - careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident involving an injury.
Before those issues can be resolved, Nottingham will have to decide whether the case should be handled in state or federal court. Dyck was a federal employee, on the job, when the incidents allegedly occurred.
Martinez said his encounters with Dyck started in November 2004 when she and a colleague walked into the living room of his rental house as he was standing on a ladder, painting.
Dyck was a field representative, contacting people at randomly assigned addresses to ask a series of questions known as the Current Population Survey.
Census Bureau Regional Coordinator Paul McAllister testified that the Current Population Survey involves contacting people at the same addresses once a month for four months. The most important information gathered in the survey is the unemployment rate, he said.
McAllister said survey takers must speak with people at the assigned addresses face-to-face the first month, but can telephone them for subsequent contact. Survey takers are expected to get answers from 88 to 90 percent of the people.
When people won't cooperate, he said, survey takers are supposed to explain the survey, send a letter with more information, contact the residents again and, as a last resort, try to get the information from someone else - a rental agent or building manager, for instance.
Martinez said he agreed, after some coaxing, to spend five or 10 minutes answering questions.
"I had to get back to work," Martinez said. "I said I didn't have time for this right now, just send me something . . ."
McAllister said survey takers aren't allowed to send the questions to people in the mail.
Martinez said he received a phone call from someone with the Census Bureau a few months later, and again said he was too busy.
Then, on the night of Feb. 13, he said Dyck phoned him at 10:19 p.m.
"I just came unglued," Martinez said. "I advised her that I will be notifying the authorities. She says . . . 'Oh, well, it's not that late.' "
A Denver police officer came to Martinez's home and stood by while he left a phone message for Dyck, telling her not to call him or return to his property.
But Dyck, who has said she didn't get the message before visiting Martinez's duplex again, returned the next afternoon. She did not have her Census Bureau credentials and said later that she had stopped by after a medical appointment.
Martinez, furious, went to the end of his driveway to flag down a Wheat Ridge police officer. He said he told Dyck to stay where she was, but she got in her car and backed down the driveway.
McAllister testified that survey takers are told to leave if they feel endangered.
Martinez, turning and seeing that Dyck's car was backing toward him, put out his left hand to stop her.
"She hit me," he testified.
He banged on her car with his fist to let her know he was there, he said.
"She kind of stopped, then pushed me out in the middle of 29th (Avenue). I almost got hit by (an oncoming) car," Martinez testified. "She wanted out of there."
Dyck's lawyer, Barrett Weisz, accused Martinez on Monday of seeking a criminal conviction to bolster a future lawsuit. Martinez has hired a personal injury lawyer.
Weisz said Dyck was conducting herself as the Census Bureau had trained her to do. He acknowledged that telephoning Martinez at 10:19 p.m. was a mistake, and that going to his property without her Census Bureau credentials was a mistake.
But, he said, the law requires a decision on whether Dyck's conduct as a federal employee was "necessary and proper," not whether it was right or wrong.
Nottingham plans to issue a written ruling about where the case should proceed.
Weird and/or silly
Reply #79 on:
August 09, 2005, 01:16:54 AM »
Man forgets wife at gas station
Monday, August 8, 2005; Posted: 10:36 a.m. EDT (14:36 GMT)
Italy ROME, Italy (Reuters) -- A Macedonian man left his wife at an Italian service station and only realized he had driven off without her six hours later, news agency Ansa said.
The couple, who were travelling with their 4-year-old daughter, pulled over for petrol in the coastal city of Pesaro as they were heading back to their home to Germany.
After filling the tank, the husband drove away -- without noticing that his 30-year-old wife, originally from Georgia, had got out of the car to go to the toilet.
The woman, who had no money or documents with her, contacted the police who eventually traced her husband to Milan, some 340 km (210 miles) north of Pesaro, Ansa said.
The husband told police he had not missed his wife because she always sat in the back of the car with their daughter.
Copyright 2005 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
A F**king Place to Live
Reply #80 on:
August 15, 2005, 02:28:44 PM »
Brits steal carloads of F**king Austrian roadsigns
By Lester Haines
Published Monday 15th August 2005 13:06 GMT
An Austrian village called F**king will not change its name despite sniggering Brits making off with its roadsigns.
Mayor Siegfried Hauppl has asked visitors to lay off the signs which began to attract outside attention after British and US soldiers passing through in 1945 illuminated the locals as to the English meaning of F**king, Ananova reports.
Hauppl explained: "We had a vote last year on whether to rename the town, but decided to keep it as it is. After all, F**king has existed for 800 years, probably when a Mr F**k or the F**k family moved into the area. The 'ing' was added as a word for settlement."
We reckon that F**king has been around a lot longer than 800 years, otherwise there wouldn't have been any F**ks to lend their name to the village in the first place, would there?
Be that as it may, the disappointing news is that the residents of F**king are - according to Franz Duernsteiner, an expert on preposterous Austrian village names - very "conservative" people. He said: "Most of them can speak English, and when someone asks them where they come from they are a little ashamed to say it."
A Firm Grip on Things
Reply #81 on:
August 17, 2005, 12:46:43 PM »
93-year-old Lithuanian woman floors robber with killer grip
Wed Aug 17, 8:33 AM ET
VILNIUS (AFP) - Two thieves who tried to rob two elderly women in the Lithuanian city of Klaipeda, thinking they were easy prey, got more than they bargained for when the older of the two victims, aged 93, valiantly defended herself.
The two would-be thieves rang the doorbell where Zoja Popova, 93, lives with an 85-year-old woman, and attacked the two elderly women as soon as they opened the door.
But Popova showed courage and great presence of mind, and brought one of the robbers to his knees.
"I did what I could," Popova told Lithuanian daily Lietuvos Rytas.
'What she could' involved grabbing the thief -- who at 25 was almost one-quarter her age -- by the family jewels and squeezing as hard as she could.
"I pressed as hard as I could and he squealed like an animal," said Popova, who in her younger years worked as a washer-up in the canteen of a military hospital.
The other robber abandoned his attempt to tie up Popova's friend and rushed to help his accomplice, but was confronted by Popova's neighbours who came to find out what all the shouting was about.
Both robbers tried to escape through a window but were caught by private security guards and handed over to the police.
Don't Bring a Fork to a Stick Fight
Reply #82 on:
August 26, 2005, 05:06:36 PM »
Article published Aug 25, 2005
Man armed with fork subdued by clerk with baseball bat
The Associated Press
A man armed with a fork found out the hard way it's not a good instrument for a robbery.
The man approached a clerk at a convenience store after spending 40 minutes in their bathroom.
"He stuck his hand under his shirt and said, `This is a robbery. I got a gun,'" Shreveport police Detective Russell Ross said.
The clerk told the man she knew it wasn't a gun, sparking a brief argument before the man went around the counter, Ross said.
"They scuffled. And during the scuffle, she felt something sharp poke her," he said. "She reached over and grabbed a baseball bat she had behind the counter and started waling on him when she realized what he had under his shirt was a fork ... which was no match for a baseball bat."
The clerk chased him out of the store and continued to hit him with the bat.
"A customer saw what was going on, took a pistol from his vehicle, came over and fired his pistol into the ground," Ross said.
Then, both the fork and the bat were dropped, Ross said.
Derrick Dwayne Franklin, 24, address unknown, was booked at Shreveport City Jail on one count of attempted armed robbery.
Weird and/or silly
Reply #83 on:
August 26, 2005, 05:12:27 PM »
Looking at these weapons as different range tools it would be hard to pick between a bat and a fork. Personally, closing the distance on the bat yielding person might lead to a domination by the person with a fork.
Ryan “Guard Dog” Gruhn
Guro / DBMAA Business Director
Dog Brothers Martial Arts Association
"Smuggling Concepts Across the Frontiers of Style”
Don't Check Fuel Levels with a Lighter
Reply #84 on:
August 29, 2005, 11:32:20 AM »
'Bright spark' thieves destroy car
From correspondents in Wellington
THREE men trying to steal fuel from a New Zealand farm today ended up setting fire to their own car.
Police said the trio had siphoned diesel into a petrol-driven vehicle. When their car would not start, they examined the fuel pipe using a cigarette lighter.
One click, a boom and the car burst into flames.
"It wasn't a major whodunit," senior sergeant Ross Gilbert told Reuters, from the small North Island town of Waipukurau, about 230km northeast of Wellington.
"Fortunately for them, there is no criminal charge for stupidity."
The men, aged 18 to 19, escaped injury but were charged with theft.
$1,100 Partial Pedicure
Reply #85 on:
September 09, 2005, 09:07:32 PM »
Huge toenail bill prompts lawsuit
Patient challenges $1,133 hospital charge to check for fungus
Updated: 3:38 p.m. ET Sept. 9, 2005
SEATTLE - A lawsuit challenging a hospital?s $1,133 bill to clip a toenail and run tests has been certified as a class action that could include other patients charged similar fees by the hospital.
Lori Mill is challenging a $418 fee included in the bill for ?miscellaneous hospital charges? because she had her toenail clipped to check for fungus at Virginia Mason Medical Center?s downtown complex rather than at one of its other clinics.
The hospital has not yet provided how many patients were assessed such a fee, Mill?s lawyer, John Phillips said Friday.
Story continues below ?
Virginia Mason Medical Center says its downtown complex is authorized by Medicare to charge higher fees because it is licensed as a hospital. It maintains that such charges are standard practice elsewhere.
Judge Gregory P. Canova said the main question is whether those charges were properly disclosed, or were unfair or deceptive.
If Virginia Mason loses, the state Consumer Protection Act allows triple damages of up to $10,000 per patient who provides documentation of such a billing.
Phillips has obtained internal e-mails showing Virginia Mason doctors and staff have complained about the charges, court filings show.
One unidentified doctor who had a procedure on his own toe at the downtown complex e-mailed Virginia Mason chief executive Dr. Gary Kaplan last year after being billed $1,200, including a facilities charge of $1,138.
?I call it obscene,? the doctor fumed. ?There has to be some sense of appropriateness/fairness/reasonableness to our charges.?
Union Pays Non-Union Picketers $6/hr in Living Wage Protest
Reply #86 on:
September 17, 2005, 09:28:58 PM »
I hear the group "hookers for chastity" will next be joining this picket line.
The strange business of protesting jobs that may be better than yours
By Stacy J. Willis
The shade from the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market sign is minimal around noon; still, six picketers squeeze their thermoses and Dasani bottles onto the dirt below, trying to keep their water cool. They're walking five-hour shifts on this corner at Stephanie Street and American Pacific Drive in Henderson?anti-Wal-Mart signs propped lazily on their shoulders, deep suntans on their faces and arms?with two 15-minute breaks to run across the street and use the washroom at a gas station.
Periodically one of them will sit down in a slightly larger slice of shade under a giant electricity pole in the intersection. Four lanes of traffic rush by, some drivers honk in support, more than once someone has yelled, "assholes!" but mostly, they're ignored.
They're not union members; they're temp workers employed through Allied Forces/Labor Express by the union?United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). They're making $6 an hour, with no benefits; it's 104 F, and they're protesting the working conditions inside the new Wal-Mart grocery store.
"It don't make no sense, does it?" says James Greer, the line foreman and the only one who pulls down $8 an hour, as he ambles down the sidewalk, picket sign on shoulder, sweaty hat over sweaty gray hair, spitting sunflower seeds. "We're sacrificing for the people who work in there, and they don't even know it."
The union accuses Wal-Mart of dragging down wages and working conditions for other grocery-store workers across the nation. "Whether you work or shop at Wal-Mart, the giant retailer's employment practices affect your wages. Wal-Mart leads the race to the bottom in wages and health-care," says the UFCW's website. "As the largest corporation in the world, Wal-Mart has a responsibility to the people who built it. Wal-Mart jobs offer low pay, inadequate and unaffordable healthcare, and off the clock work."
But standing with a union-supplied sign on his shoulder that reads, Don't Shop WalMart: Below Area Standards, picketer and former Wal-Mart employee Sal Rivera says about the notorious working conditions of his former big-box employer: "I can't complain. It wasn't bad. They started paying me at $6.75, and after three months I was already getting $7, then I got Employee of the Month, and by the time I left (in less than one year), I was making $8.63 an hour." Rivera worked in maintenance and quit four years ago for personal reasons, he says. He would consider reapplying.
Rivera is one of few picketers here who have ever worked for Wal-Mart?it's strictly coincidental that he was once in their employ. Most of the picketers were just looking for work through the temp agency.
While Rivera's words for Wal-Mart seem less than harsh, he does add, "I did not want to get insurance from them because it was too expensive."
That, says UCFW organizer Bill Hornbrook, who drove workers to the site one morning last week, is one of the reasons the union wants these protestors here.
"Wal-Mart has no benefits at an affordable rate. The (Wal-Mart) workers can't afford the insurance with the wage they're making. We'd like to see them improve their working conditions," Hornbrook said. "The Neighborhood Markets are the same as a supermarket like Albertson's or Safeway. Some supermarkets start (pay) at $7 an hour, but they do get benefits. These people (employees at Wal-Mart) have to pay for theirs," Hornbrook said. So the UCFW is protesting each of the five new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets in the Vegas area; this one in Henderson opened June 29.
Wal-Mart is infamous for its labor and consumer battles?more than 40 cases alleging the company prevented workers from receiving adequate wage and overtime pay are being considered by courts for class-action status. Additionally, six current and former female employees are pursuing a class-action lawsuit charging that Wal-Mart discriminates against women in its promotion practices.
"We're just trying to help the women that get discriminated against in Wal-Mart," says Greer. "We're out here suffering a lot for these people." He pauses, moves his sign so that it blocks the scorching sun on his leathery face, and considers the working conditions of his colleagues out here working for the union.
"We had one gal out here in her 40s, and she had a heat stroke. I kept making her sit down, I noticed she was stepping (staggering), and I made her sit in the shade," Greer said. She went home sick after her shift and didn't ever return to work.
Another woman, Greer said, had huge blisters on her feet and he took her inside to the Wal-Mart pharmacy. The pharmacist recommended some balm, and Greer bought it for her. Since then, he said, other picketers have purchased the balm for their blisters inside the Wal-Mart they are protesting.
The group has no transportation to go elsewhere?they are dropped off by a union van and picked up later. On weekends, they have to find their own transportation, Greer said.
Inside, the store manager at the Stephanie Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market says he's perfectly happy with his job, and that his insurance is fine.
"The average rate of pay for Nevada Wal-Mart workers is $10.17 an hour. We have a good insurance program, and every associate?even part-timers?are eligible for the 401k," says Mark Dyson. "There's actually different levels of insurance, dental and medical?I have a $500 deductible, but there's no cap on it. Some other companies' plans have a $1 million cap, but here there's no cap. For example, not long ago we had an associate whose husband needed a liver transplant, and that alone was $600,000; but they didn't have to worry about a cap."
For the least comprehensive medical coverage, Wal-Mart workers pay from $17.50 for individual coverage and $70.50 for family coverage biweekly, according to the company website.
"And we are actively promoting and developing women in the workforce," Dyson says. "I think every company has gone through an issue like this, but you should hire the best workers regardless of gender or race or anything else."
In Dyson's market, the air-conditioning is cool, business on this day seems brisk, and the employees seem not so miserable; two checkers chat it up as they ring up customers.
This is not lost on the picketers outside.
Rivera removes his watch to show the dark tan his arm has gotten working in the sun; he talks about how he takes three buses to get to this work site on weekends; it takes two hours to get there and two hours to get home?a nine-hour day including that transportation for a gross pay of $35.
"I asked him (union organizer Hornbrook), I said, 'How come we're working here for $6 an hour? I need you to help us find a better job. I want information on the union,'" Rivera said.
He was told, he says, to secure his own job with a grocery store, and then the union would help him to be sure the store paid him appropriate wages.
"This is an informational picket line only," Hornbrook said. "We're paying these people. They were out of work before (joining their picket lines). This is an in-between-jobs stop. Picketing isn't a career. But we did hire one of the picketers, she's now working for us for $11 an hour (as a driver) and we pay for gasoline."
The UFCW's website concludes, "Every person working hard for a living earns the right to a decent wage, affordable health care and a voice on the job. But Wal-Mart's greed provides other companies a license to chip away at the rights of working America, influencing everything from wages to working conditions."
When walking in Newport Beach...
Reply #87 on:
September 19, 2005, 11:45:50 AM »
... be sure to bring your sea lion...
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif (Reuters) - They have broken windows, sunk a boat and their barking keeps Newport Beach harbor residents awake all night.
But the more than 40 sea lions that have made southern California's ritzy Newport Beach their home have the law on their side. As a protected species under a 1972 U.S. federal law, they cannot be killed, harmed, or even harassed.
In an effort to find the ultimate place to sun themselves, the sea lions have taken up residence in yachts, sailboats and fishing vessels in the small harbor that boasts multimillion dollar houses on one side and quaint beach shops on the other.
"Last week, so many of them piled on a sailboat that it sank. The Harbor Patrol was out here trying to use water to get them off, but it didn't work," said Doug Turin, owner of Newport Harbor Boat Rentals.
"During this time of year they congregate more than other months but I've never seen them in these large numbers," Turin said.
Residents say their barking reaches such a crescendo that it can be heard blocks away. Boat owners have laid down carpet tacks and strung up chairs across the swim steps in a vain efforts to deter them.
Dozens of residents complaining of sleepless nights and commandeered vessels attended a Harbor Commission meeting on Wednesday when it was suggested hiring someone to walk around the docks all day banging a stick to scare off the sea lions.
The Newport Beach Harbor Commission decided the best course of action was to ask the City Council to pass a law forbidding anyone from feeding the creatures or disposing of fish waste in the harbor -- and just hope that hunger will eventually drive the sea lions elsewhere.
A Rubber President
Reply #88 on:
September 20, 2005, 11:35:01 AM »
China Names Condom for Bill Clinton
A Chinese company is honoring ex-president Bill Clinton by naming a new line of condoms after him - along with a companion line of condoms that will be named after his ex-girlfriend, Monica Lewinsky.
Reports Britain's Sky News: The Guangzhou Haokian Bio-science company has registered their names as trademarks for the contraceptives.
The condoms will display Chinese spellings: Kelitun and Laiwensiji.
A 12-pack of Clintons is expected to cost $5.00, with Lewinskys selling at a discounted price of just over $3.00.
The manufacturer's general manager, Liu Wenhua, told Sky News that naming his condoms for Clinton was perfectly legal, explaining that "trademarks of two foreign surnames and can't be seen as a violation of rights."
Clinton is the only U.S. president to be honored with his own condom brand line.
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton was unavailable to comment on her husband's latest achievement.
Don't Check Fuel Levels with a Lighter, Take Two
Reply #89 on:
September 27, 2005, 01:42:46 PM »
Man burned while checking fuel tank
September 24, 2005
An East Patchogue man accidentally lit himself on fire while using a cigarette lighter to peek inside the fuel tank of his dump truck in Lynbrook, Nassau police said Friday.
Scott Allen, 38, suffered second-degree burns to his face, chest and right arm when he and his 2001 Volvo dump truck caught fire Thursday shortly before 1 a.m. at the intersection of Peninsula Boulevard and Merrick Road, police said.
He was in critical but stable condition Friday at Nassau University Medical Center's burn unit, a hospital official said.
The truck, owned by Hawkeye Construction of Hauppauge, had a fuel gauge problem that made it difficult to know how much fuel was in the truck, police said.
Allen tried to check the fuel level by using his lighter to look into the tank, but the lighter ignited the fumes, police said.
"For whatever reason he couldn't find a flashlight so he used a cigarette lighter," said Det. Raymond Thomas of the Arson/Bomb Squad. "The vapors caught fire and lit him on fire."
"We are investigating what happened, but we cannot further discuss the incident," said Jim Foley, a spokesman for the construction company.
Foley declined to comment about Allen, citing company policy. But he did say, "Our prayers are with him and his family."
Allen's relatives could not be reached Friday for comment.
Don't Fall Asleep while Stealing Gas
Reply #90 on:
September 29, 2005, 03:57:37 PM »
An editorial note: the perp was using a pump, not a siphon. You can't siphon from a low tank into a high container. Annoys me when reporters can't get the simple stuff right.
Ind. Man Falls Asleep While Siphoning Gas
MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) -- A man was charged with theft after authorities said he fell asleep while siphoning gasoline into a 55-gallon tank.
The gas station manager called police after noticing the man's white van Tuesday.
Officers found him asleep inside the van next to a 55-gallon tank and a battery-operated pump. A hose from the pump led to the gas station's underground tank.
"That's a lot of gas," Police Chief Joe Winkle said. "I'm sure he felt like this would be a pretty good heist for himself."
Winkle said investigators were working to confirm the man's identity.
With regular unleaded at the station selling for $2.67, the tank would have held nearly $150 worth of fuel.
Crazy for Ungulates
Reply #91 on:
September 29, 2005, 04:01:01 PM »
Man Found Driving Ambulance With Dead Deer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A man reported missing from a Florida hospital was found in North Carolina dressed like a doctor and driving a stolen ambulance with a dead deer wedged in the back, authorities said.
Leon Holliman Jr., 37, was reported missing from a River Region Human Services facility in Jacksonville last month.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol found him driving the ambulance with the deer on Sunday.
"I don't know how the man got it up in there," said Sgt. Robert Pearson. "It was a six point buck."
It wasn't known where Holliman got the deer, which had been dead for some time, Pearson said.
Holliman was admitted to a North Carolina hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. Police said they would decide whether to charge Holliman after that evaluation is complete.
UK Underwrites Lotto Winning Rapist's Expenses
Reply #92 on:
September 30, 2005, 12:41:29 PM »
I about started a "Cogitive Dissonance" thread after reading this. It left me at a loss for words.
The Times September 30, 2005
Lotto-win rapist goes into hiding as cover is blown
By Lewis Smith
A ?7 MILLION lottery-winning rapist was taken to a new bolthole last night after his publicly-funded hiding place was identified by a newspaper.
Iorworth Hoare was moved to a new home yesterday when The Sun newspaper discovered that he was living in a ?150,000 rented home in Sunderland.
Mr Hoare, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1989, was released on licence in March and was given Home Office protection. The operation to house him and provide a team of police, probation officers and psychiatrists to protect him and to keep him from reoffending, costs up to ?10,000 a month.
The cost provoked anger among MPs and the public who were mystified that Mr Hoare had not had to pay a penny towards his care despite earning several thousand pounds of interest each week despite winning ?7 million in the National Lottery in August last year. Neighbours of the ?100-a-week property in Sunderland where he was living until yesterday were astonished to discover that he was a convicted rapist.
He had been living there under the assumed name Edward Thomas, according to The Sun, and had recently spent more than ?9,000 on an artwork featuring a human figure with a bloody crotch.
Mr Hoare was sentenced to life for the attempted rape of a 59-year-old former teacher. He had previously been convicted of one rape, a second attempted rape and two indecent assaults. The judge who jailed him for life told him: ?For every second you are at liberty a woman is at risk.?
He won the lottery jackpot last year while being held in Shepton Mallet open prison, having bought a ticket during weekend leave at a hostel in Middlesbrough.
The win by a convicted rapist serving a life sentence caused a national outcry which was compounded when the Government revealed that he would not have to pay any of his new-found wealth to his victims.
Since his release the cost to the public purse of protecting Mr Hoare is about ?10,000 a month. In an editorial in today?s newspaper The Sun justified its publication of Mr Hoare?s new identity and a picture of his home, and called upon Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, to force Mr Hoare to pay for his own protection.
The editorial said: ?Hoare is an evil and disgusting serial predator who has destroyed the lives of many women. Why should we all pay for him to live in cosy anonymity??
The Home Office refused to answer questions last night about the public money that is spent in caring for Mr Hoare since his release. Instead, it issued a statement in which a spokeswoman said: ?We don?t comment on individual cases or discuss the whereabouts of those being managed in the community. Offenders who are life licensed in the community are managed robustly by the multi-agency protection arrangements.?
Mr Hoare, 52, married Irene Harrison in prison. He has since begun divorce proceedings and is said to have offered his wife ?250,000 as a settlement. Mr Hoare, who has spent 33 years in prison with sex offence convictions dating back to 1973, was said to have carried out ?ferocious and terrifying? attacks on women.
He was sentenced to life at Leeds Crown Court. His victims are unable to sue him because a six-year deadline for beginning legal action has passed. One victim who was attacked in 1982 was left disabled. Another victim, who was attacked in 1982 and is now in her sixties, received ?3,000 for her trauma and injuries, which left her disabled.
The Government had promised to put a clause into the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill that would enable victims to get compensation, should their attackers receive a windfall, at a later date. When the Bill went through Parliament the clause was omitted.
Reply #93 on:
October 01, 2005, 12:41:01 PM »
Muslims win toy pigs ban
NOVELTY pig calendars and toys have been banned from a council office ? in case they offend Muslim staff.
Workers in the benefits department at Dudley Council, West Midlands, were told to remove or cover up all pig-related items, including toys, porcelain figures, calendars and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.
Bosses acted after a Muslim complained about pig-shaped stress relievers delivered to the council in the run-up to the Islamic festival of Ramadan.
Muslims are barred from eating pork in the Koran and consider pigs unclean.
Councillor Mahbubur Rahman, a practising Muslim, backed the ban. He said: ?It?s a tolerance of people?s beliefs.
But do they Play the Dead Kennedys?
Reply #94 on:
October 02, 2005, 12:40:55 PM »
Welcome to the killing fields cafe...
Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:03 PM ET
By Ek Madra
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - A new Cambodian cafe is offering diners a slice of life under the Khmer Rouge, with a menu featuring rice-water and leaves, and waitresses dressed in the black fatigues worn by Pol Pot's ultra-Maoist guerrillas.
Newly opened across the road from Phnom Penh's notorious Tuol Sleng "S-21" Khmer Rouge interrogation and torture center, the cafe is meant to remind Cambodians of the 1975-1979 genocide in which an estimated 1.7 million people died.
But the set "theme menu" of salted rice-water, followed by corn mixed with water and leaves, and dove eggs and tea at $6 a time is proving too much to swallow for many visitors.
"Our grandfather and other relatives lost their lives under Pol Pot's regime," said 17-year-old manager Hakpry Agnchealy, whose brother owns the business. "This is more than just a restaurant. It is to remind us of those who died."
"We opened two weeks ago, but have only had two Europeans coming here to eat. We don't know how much longer we can go," she said.
Faithful to the Khmer Rouge era, when many victims starved to death after a disastrous attempt to transform the country into a peasant utopia, the waitresses are barefoot and clad in the black pajamas and red-white scarves of the guerrillas.
Speakers blare out tunes celebrating the 1975 toppling of U.S.-backed president General Lon Nol and the walls are adorned with the baskets, hoes and spades Pol Pot hoped would power his jungle-clad south-east Asian homeland to communist prosperity.
Recognizing that many tourists might not be able to stomach such a close brush with the Killing Fields, the "Khmer Rouge Experience Cafe" is also promoting itself to those wishing to shed a few pounds.
"It's good for me to slim down," said Tan, a 40-year-old Malaysian visitor.
For some who survived Pol Pot's rule, the cafe served up too many chilling reminders of one of 20th century history's darkest chapters.
"My mother visited me here once, saw the Khmer Rouge style and has never come back again," Hakpry Agnchealy said.
Reply #95 on:
October 03, 2005, 06:04:55 PM »
Robber Leaves Car Near Police Dog Compound
POSTED: 6:16 am EDT September 29, 2005
STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- A pack of police dogs in training passed a vital test when they tracked down a bank robber in southwestern Sweden who had unwittingly dumped his car next to their canine compound.
Police said the 42-year-old man, who was not identified, had robbed a bank Tuesday and made off with a small amount of cash. He abandoned the car in the nearby town of Jonsered and took off running, apparently unaware that he had parked near the police dog compound.
As soon as police found the stolen car, they released a canine unit that quickly tracked down the suspect.
"He definitely picked the wrong place" to leave the car, police spokesman Jan Strannegard said.
There were about 70 dogs in the training ground at the time, police said. It was not known how many of them were used in the hunt.
Crack Addicted Attack Squirrels
Reply #96 on:
October 08, 2005, 11:18:16 PM »
Squirrels go nuts on crack
Squirrels ... digging up stashes
By VIRGINIA WHEELER
SQUIRRELS are getting hooked on crack cocaine ? hidden by addicts in gardens.
They are digging up the stashes and eating the mega-addictive drug, which comes in small chunks.
Several have been spotted behaving bizarrely in Brixton, South London, since a police blitz against pushers and users.
One resident said: ?My neighbour said dealers had used my garden to hide crack.
?Just an hour earlier I?d seen a squirrel digging in the flower-beds.
?It was ill-looking and its eyes looked bloodshot, but it kept on desperately digging. It seems a strange thing to say, but it seemed to know what it was looking for.?
Other residents have seen squirrels become unusually aggressive.
The RSPCA said: ?These animals are big foragers. They are attracted by smell and will dig up what they fancy.
?If a squirrel did open a bag of crack and start consuming it there is no doubt it would die pretty quickly.?
Crack squirrels are a recognised problem in America. They are common in parks used by addicts in New York and Washington DC.
They have been known to attack park visitors in their search for a fix.
Substantial Penalty for Sperm Bank Early Withdrawal
Reply #97 on:
October 13, 2005, 11:17:31 AM »
Sperm donor to pay child support
From: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Stockholm, Sweden
October 13, 2005
A SWEDISH man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple must pay child support for the three children he fathered, Sweden's Supreme Court ruled today.
The man, now 39, donated his sperm to the couple in the early 1990s. Three sons were born during the years 1992-1996, according to Swedish news agency TT which reported the ruling.
The man told the court that he and the women had agreed that he would play no role in the boys' child rearing and that the two women would be their parents.
Nonetheless, the man signed a document confirming that he was the biological father of the children.
Shortly after he signed the document, the two women separated and the biological mother demanded that the man pay child support.
The man took the case to court, but lost in the district and appeals courts.
The Supreme Court upheld those rulings today, saying that as the biological father he is required to pay for the children's upbringing.
Ewe Always Hurt the One you Love
Reply #98 on:
October 20, 2005, 03:07:21 PM »
Trespassing charged in horse-sex case
By Jennifer Sullivan
Seattle Times staff reporter
An Enumclaw-area man who authorities say helped run a farm where people had sex with animals ? and where a Seattle man died doing so with a horse ? was charged with a misdemeanor yesterday.
Police began investigating James Tait, 54, and another man who lived at the rural Southeast King County farm after the Seattle man died of injuries suffered during intercourse with a horse in the summer, Enumclaw police said.
The criminal-trespassing charge stems from a July 2 bestiality session involving Tait, the 45-year-old Seattle man and a horse in a neighbor's barn, charging papers say. According to the King County Medical Examiner's Office, the Seattle man died of acute peritonitis due to perforation of the colon.
Attempts to contact Tait yesterday were unsuccessful.
King County prosecutors say it's the most-severe charge they could file; Washington is one of more than a dozen states that does not outlaw bestiality.
"There is no evidence of injury to the animal to support animal-cruelty charges," said Dan Satterberg, the county prosecutor's chief of staff. "This is the only crime we can charge."
When interviewed by The Seattle Times July 15, the horse's owners said they had known their neighbors for years. The couple, who asked to have their names withheld to protect their privacy, said they were shocked when police showed them a home video of the July 2 incident that investigators seized from their neighbor's home. The couple identified their barn and their horse.
According to the King County Sheriff's Office, which also investigated, the farm was known in Internet chat rooms as a destination for people who want to have sex with livestock. Authorities didn't learn about the farm until July 2, when a man drove to Enumclaw Community Hospital seeking medical assistance for a companion. Medics wheeled the Seattle man into an examination room and realized he was dead. When hospital workers looked for the man who had dropped him off, he was gone, Enumclaw police said.
Using the dead man's driver's license to track down relatives and acquaintances, investigators were led to the Enumclaw farm.
Because the other man who lived at the farm wasn't there the night the Seattle man died, he wasn't charged with trespassing, Satterberg said. Tait will be arraigned Oct. 27; he faces up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted.
The Seattle man isn't being identified because his family asked that his name not be released.
The man's brother said he understands that prosecutors can't file a felony charge but remains disappointed that Tait wouldn't face more than a year behind bars.
In the wake of the man's death, State Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, has said she plans to draft legislation making bestiality illegal in Washington.
Weird and/or silly
Reply #99 on:
October 21, 2005, 11:38:14 AM »
Article published Oct 21, 2005
Police: Rapist arrested after he has victim write him a check
The Associated Press
A rapist who attacked a woman at gunpoint was captured when he forced his victim to write him a check in his own name and then tried to cash it, police said.
Officers said they arrested Anthony R. Roberts, 25, of Hialeah, on Wednesday night, minutes after he left the woman's apartment as he tried to cash the $1,400 check. He had told the victim to write in the memo line that the check was for electrical work.
"I don't know what the guy was thinking," said Davie police spokesman Lt. Bill Bamford. "I don't know if he thought that he put her in that much fear, ... (but) to walk into a check-cashing store like nothing happened, like she paid him for a job. That's one of the lowest forms of life."
Police said Roberts had stolen a BMW earlier in the evening in North Miami and driven to Davie, where he followed the victim to her third-floor apartment, pointed a gun at her head and forced her inside.
He pushed the victim to her knees, bound her with tape and asked if she had a checkbook or credit cards, police said. He then ordered her to write him a check, retaped her, covered her head with a pillowcase and raped her, police said.
He told the victim not to call police or he would come back and rape her again, police said.
When the victim freed herself, she called 911. Officers rushed to her apartment and as they talked to her, a suspicious clerk at a nearby check cashing store called the woman to ask about the check.
Police surrounded the store and arrested Roberts after a short foot chase.
Roberts confessed to robbing the woman, but denied raping her, police said.
He was being held without bail Friday on numerous charges, including sexual battery with a weapon, kidnapping, home invasion and aggravated assault.
The name of Roberts' private attorney could not immediately be learned Friday.
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