Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Giddy up

Panda performs sit-ups

A resident of China's Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base does its best to stay in shape.

YouTube link.

Dog visits penguins at aquarium

This was Bryn the dog's second visit to see the penguins. His first visit, two years previously, resulted in what is arguably a better video, but for reasons unknown is unembeddable.

YouTube link.

Suspected drunk driver arrested after crashing into fire truck and medical helicopter

McKinley County Sheriffs Office deputies responded to a crash early on Sunday morning after a suspected drunk driver crashed into a medical helicopter and a fire truck on Highway 566 near Gallup in New Mexico.

Deputies say a landing zone for a medical transport helicopter had been set up by the fire department for transport of a patient from a separate crash on Navajo route 1149, when the reported drunk driver went around the barricade on Highway 566 crashing into the helicopter and fire truck.

The helicopter was unoccupied, not running and rotors were not spinning, according to McKinely County Sheriff’s Office. McKinley County sheriff’s say the suspected drunk driver, identified as 26-year-old Glenn Livingston of Gallup, has been arrested.

YouTube link.

He faces several charges, including aggravated DWI, driving with an open container of alcohol inside his car and resisting, evading and or obstructing an officer. No injuries were reported at the time of the crash. The patient made it safely to the hospital. MCSO says all vehicles involved were rendered inoperable and towed from the crash scene.

Runaway emu visited Irish bar in Florida

An escaped emu wandered to an Irish bar in Florida.

The bird, named Taco, hopped over a 4-foot fence in Cape Canaveral and sauntered up to Hogan's Irish Bar.

The emu's owner, Paul Eaton, said the bird was spooked by a stray dog at around 8:30pm on Friday.

It took Brevard County Sheriff's deputies and an animal control officer more than an hour to capture the 8-year-old bird. Cpl. David Jacobs, a spokesman for the sheriff's office said it was like trying to catch a giant chicken.

With short video.

Snake appears to sport sunglasses and a moustache

A snake spotted in north Texas appears to look like it's wearing a pair of sunglasses and sport a moustache.

The unique scale pattern belongs to a Western rat snake, a nonvenomous species of snake found throughout North America.

The pictures, which were given to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by Karlie Gray, were posted on the agency's Twitter account.

The rodent-eating reptile is also known as the black rat snake and pilot black snake.

Church statue reunited with missing baby Jesus head - Update

The missing head belonging to a statue of baby Jesus has been returned, and the bright orange clay head that replaced it has been removed.

GĂ©rald Lajeunesse, the priest at ainte-Anne-des-Pins Catholic Church in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, says the head was returned to him on Friday.

The statue had recently been fitted with the temporary clay head, topped with a spiky orange crown, crafted by local artist Heather Wise. Father Lajeunesse said a woman returned the head. The woman said the person who took the head was suffering from personal problems, according to Lajeunesse.

The priest said that he would not file a complaint over the theft, and is simply happy that the head has been returned. Lajeunesse says that for now, the statue will remain headless. Before replacing it, the church needs to figure out how to secure it safely to the statue and prevent it from being stolen again.

Man arrested after stolen car mirrors were allegedly found down his pants

A 39-year-old man has been arrested in north Adelaide, Australia, after stealing two mirrors from a car and putting them "down his pants", police allege.

South Australian officers said the accused was arrested in Salisbury East at about 2:30am on Monday. "Police were conducting patrols when they stopped and spoke to a man walking along the road," a statement said.

"The man was searched with police locating two [Holden] Torana wing mirrors down his pants along with a screwdriver and allen-key set. A patrol searched the local area and discovered that the mirrors had been stolen from a nearby car."

The man from Salisbury East has been granted bail and will appear in Elizabeth Magistrates Court next month.

Giant spider spotted carrying a mouse

A man from central Queensland, Australia, has caught on film a huntsman spider clutching onto a small mouse and trying to drag it to the top of a fridge where it can eat in peace.

Coppabella man Jason Womal said his neighbour called him into his house to show him the huntsman struggling up the fridge with the seemingly dead mouse in the early hours of Sunday morning.

"So I am just about to leave for work about 12:30 and me neighbour says 'You want to see something cool' and I say 'hell yeah'," Mr Womal wrote on a Facebook post.

Mr Womal decided to name the spider Hermie. "We have adopted him and he is now running his own extermination business out of our town Coppabella," he said.

You can watch the video here.

Police sent to deal with 'suicidal' sheep on road

Police in West Devon were called to deal with a report of "suicidal sheep" disrupting traffic on a Dartmoor road.

Officers were sent to the A386 in Tavistock, close to the North Cornwall border, on Saturday night.

An official police record of the incident said sheep were on the road, causing a potential hazard for traffic, and were "suicidal."

Sergeant Harry Tangye from Devon and Cornwall Police said it was: "A unique problem we have in Devon."

Monday, October 24, 2016


Daniel the duck plays some music

YouTube link.

Hairless hamster given a new sweater as winter approaches

A tiny hairless hamster will keep warm this winter after getting a custom-made sweater. A staff member at the Oregon Humane Society (OHS), in Portland, where she is being cared for, knitted the sweater to help one-year-old Silky stay warm.

The hamster was born hairless due to a genetic mutation, except for short curly whiskers on her snout. "She does need to be kept in a heated environment," especially in winter, said Diana Gabaldon from the OHS.

"While she isn't fluffy like a normal hamster, she is just as cuddly and playful as any other hamster," Ms Gabaldon added. Silky's owners had left her with the Humane Society when they were moving house and realised they could no longer care for her.

The Oregon Human Society said that Silky spends majority of her time in a "warm, clean habitat, with fresh bedding, food and water, and a wheel to run on." She wears the sweater for special occasions, the society said. Silky is also being treated for an eye infection. She will be available for adoption soon.

Enraged man allegedly attacked his lady friend because she wouldn't watch porn films with him

A man has been charged with domestic violence and aggravated menacing after he broke a glass and threw a tantrum after the woman he was with wouldn't watch adult films with him.

Standford Tye was arrested in Sandusky, Ohio, after Pamela Davis told police Tye became enraged after she refused to watch "porno" with him, according to police reports.

Davis told police that after she refused, Tye began throwing things around the apartment and screaming that he was going to "kill her." Davis said she believed Tye would would harm her if he had the chance. Davis said Tye did not live with her in the apartment, although he said he kept a closet full of clothes at her place.

Police reported that both Davis and Tye admitted to being intoxicated at the time of the incident. Tye also told officers that Davis had pushed him during, but he wouldn't pursue charges. Tye is being held in Erie County Jail and will appear in Sandusky Municipal Court soon.

Man's defence that he bit off a chunk of fellow mourner's nose at wake to keep his balance fails

What started out as a wake mourning the loss of a loved one ended in a booze-filled brawl that saw one man have the tip of his nose bitten off, and another found guilty this week of aggravated assault. Randall Edwin MacLean was convicted of the assault, which happened two years ago in Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada. Nova Scotia provincial court Judge Del Atwood dismissed the defence's explanation of why MacLean bit the victim as "far fetched and fantastic," according to a court decision released on Wednesday.

The defence had argued during trial that MacLean, 49, was acting in self defence during a drunken fight on Oct. 14, 2014, and latched onto Paul Gaudet's nose in a desperate bid to balance himself and stay upright. "Apart from acrobats … nobody keeps his balance with his teeth," Atwood wrote in his decision. "People will use their arms, hands, legs or otherwise contort themselves when they need to maintain balance. People do not bite into other people to maintain posture." It all started at the home of the Miller family in Pictou. The Millers had just had a death in the family and were having friends over. A lot of drinking ensued, according to the court decision.

Later in the evening MacLean, a friend of the Miller family, stopped by. He too had been drinking. At some point Gaudet, also friend of the Miller family, became angry with something MacLean had said or done. "It might very well have been that Mr. MacLean had not done anything untoward or uncivil at all," Atwood said in his ruling. "It might merely have been Mr. Miller and Mr. Gaudet's alcohol-impaired overreaction to or misinterpretation of events that led to the ensuing melee." Whatever the cause, the two men ended up fighting. The homeowner asked MacLean to leave, at which point Gaudet and a few other men began pushing MacLean towards the door, even as he maintained he had done nothing wrong and demanded an explanation.

According to the court decision, MacLean was almost out the door when he lashed out and bit into Gaudet's nose. It was quite the bite too. An emergency room doctor testified the lacerations were deep enough to expose cartilage and there was "a partial amputation to the tip of the nose." Fortunately, doctors were able to reattach the chunk. During trial, MacLean's lawyer argued his client used Gaudet's nose as leverage to keep himself upright, and prevent himself from falling over and getting pummelled by the other men. He argued that meant MacLean was acting in self defence. Atwood didn't buy the explanation. He said as soon as MacLean was asked to leave by the homeowner he should have gone. "I do not believe Mr. MacLean's explanation why he bit Mr. Gaudet; it is far fetched and fantastic," Atwood said in his decision. MacLean will be back in court for sentencing on Jan. 3.

Australia Post apologises after postcard was delivered 50 years late

Fifty years after it was posted on a South Pacific island, a postcard from Tahiti has finally arrived at its intended destination in Australia. The slightly faded scene of stately colonial buildings in French Polynesia was beneath an SA Water bill when resident Tim Duffy checked his letterbox in Wattle Park, Adelaide, last Monday. “It took a while to realise it was an old one,” he said.

“I checked the post date and it’s 1966.” Mr Duffy, who bought the house about 18 months ago with wife Claire, said he understood it was built by an Italian man in 1963. “There’s no way it could have been stored in there (the home’s original letterbox) that long; I would say the postman has put it in there,” Mr Duffy said. It is addressed to “Robert Giorgio”, from “Chris”, who writes that he’s “enjoying myself greatly”; “The weather is very humid ... I’ll try and drop you a note in England.”

The stamp on the postcard cost 13 francs, or the equivalent of 15c. The discovery inspired Mr Duffy to turn amateur sleuth and speculate about the card’s origins and marathon five-decade journey. Sent from Papeete in French Polynesia, it is believed to be addressed to the property’s original owner. Mr Duffy believes the postcard might have been sent from someone travelling on a boat. “It’s fresh enough although it is a bit faded and it’s got some damage to the top left, which looks like a bit of water damage,” he said.

The delay has prompted Australia Post to apologise, although it’s not clear to whom, and acknowledge that something “went wrong”. An Australia Post spokesman said it was likely the postcard had been stuck overseas and he apologised for the late arrival. “It is clear something went wrong 50 years ago after the postcard was posted in French Polynesia, and we apologise for the inconvenience,” he said. “Australia Post takes great pride in the timely, safe and efficient delivery of mail and we are confident that the vast majority of mail and parcels arrive on time.”

Police called to hotel after reports that guests were throwing condoms out of the window

Police were called after guests were seen throwing condoms out of a hotel window in Manchester city centre. The disturbance occurred at an apartment hotel in the Piccadilly area of the city on Saturday morning.

GMP received several calls from nearby residents and businesses after items such as eggs, bottles, and condoms were seen being thrown out of upper floor windows which were landing on the street below.

Officers paid a visit to investigate shortly after 8:30am. After they arrived the group were ordered to leave the premises by hotel staff. Officers remained on the scene to prevent a potential breach of the peace. However it is understood they left without fuss and no arrests were made.

GMP City Centre tweeted saying: “Officers now dealing with report that guests in a hotel room are throwing eggs, bottles and condoms onto the street below. They later added: “Update - Officers attended and guests have now been kicked out by hotel staff.”

Elderly lady furious with Asda for attempting to charge her 5p for a bag to put her bananas in

An elderly lady says she is "furious" and "outraged" after she was asked to pay 5p for a smal plastic bag to hold her bananas in an Asda supermarket. The 86-year-old grandmother, who has only been identified as Jean, told the staff member that she would "rather shove the bunch up her top" than pay extra to hold the bananas. At the time of the incident, the feisty woman had been trying to buy a 78p bunch of bananas from Asda in Longwell Green near Bristol. It has been a legal requirement for large supermarkets to charge five pence per plastic bag since last October.

However government guidelines state that the tax should not be applied to small bags containing unpackaged foods. Jean said: "I may be 86, but that doesn't mean I will stand by and be conned. It is not about the five pence it is about the principal, and I don't think is right. They must sell thousands of those little bags each week so think about how much those five pence's add up to, and where does the money go?" The incident took place on Thursday when Jean deviated from her usual routine of buying her fresh fruit from a local greengrocer.

She said: "I went to Asda because I just needed a few bananas. I put them in one of the small bags and took it to the till. The woman then said that will be five pence for the bag and I just couldn't believe it. I said that's not right it isn't a proper shopping bag, and she said because it had handles it comes under the five pence rule. I just felt furious. I said I would rather shove the bunch up my top than pay the five pence. I mean just because it has handles it doesn't make it a full-size shopping bag, I couldn't fit my weekly shop in that could I?" After a short argument the checkout woman allowed Jean to leave without paying the charge.

On her way out she asked a second Asda worker about the rule and they confirmed that staff have been told to charge five pence for each 20cm fruit bag sold. The incident has put Jean off shopping at the supermarket giant, owned by Walmart, and she hopes her experience will prompt others to question the charge. She said: "I will never go to Asda Longwell Green for bananas again. I am all for the charge for large bags, but not the small ones." An Asda spokesperson said: “We would firstly like to apologise to the customer for the inconvenience caused. The carrier bag guidance states that retailers should charge 5p for a bag of this size, unless it is being used for exceptional items such as loose fruit and vegetables. In this case, a mistake was made and we are trying to contact the customer to apologise in person."

Woman bitten by snake on residential street thinks it was attracted to chicken in her bag

A snake has bitten a Worcester woman - lurking in the bushes before dashing out and sinking its teeth into her leg. People in the city are now being warned about a slippery serpent after the nasty incident which left the victim “totally shocked”. Patricia Bullock, 57, was walking down Lansdowne Crescent last Sunday from the city centre when it happened. The terrifying reptile appeared from nowhere and bit her on the calf, leaving her suffering from shock and flu like symptoms since.

Environmental health experts are warning that the snake may be an “exotic pet” which has escaped from someone’s house, and believe it to be still-at-large. The mother-of-two said: “It was around 3pm and I had just been into town, I was walking back past some hedgerows. It was brown coloured and very quick, I caught it from my side view and it just lashed out at me. It bit me on the side of the calf and it really hurt, I felt a burning sensation like my leg was on fire. It bit me and then it was gone - I was absolutely shocked.”

After getting advice from a pharmacy and seeing her doctor, who asked her to contact the RSPCA, she says she is better now but wants people to beware. At the time she was carrying a chicken back home after shopping for food, and believes the snake may have smelt it. “I’ve had flu-like symptoms but imagine if this was a child it had bit,” she said. “Along this path I see so many old people, so many pets being taken on walks, dogs are around here, it is very busy.” Nigel Hands, a snake expert, said he would not want people to start looking for it. “In the middle of a residential area it’s unlikely to have been an adder, it’s more likely an escaped ‘exotic pet’,” he said.

“In urban areas occasionally grass snakes turn up in gardens, but adders are very choosy about their locations. I think someone may well have lost a pet but snakes aren’t out to hurt people, it was most likely frightened.” There are three types of snake in the UK, the most common being adders, and the last person to die from a bite was back in 1975. They are extremely rare in urban areas but the Malvern Hills is thought to have anything between 50 and 100 of them, with the reptiles going out of their way to avoid humans. Mark Cox, from Worcestershire Regulatory Services, said: “We licence people who keep dangerous and wild animals and don’t know of anyone who was lost a pet, if they did, they would lose their licence.”

Man unhappy about neighbour's new fence has launched a Donald Trump protest

An unhappy man has launched a 'Donald Trump protest' against a neighbour who put up a garden fence dividing their two properties. Paul Spooner who lives in Marston, Oxford, said a fence which has gone up in place of a hedge is reminiscent of the campaigning of the US Presidential candidate, who has threatened to construct a wall between the US and Mexico.

Mr Spooner has erected a banner in protest on the first floor of his home, and in full view of his neighbour’s house, with the words 'Say no to Trump fencing here'. He said: “[Donald Trump] is all for exclusion rather than inclusion, that was a big part of his early campaign to exclude people from the country. It is the same sort of mentality here, rather than being the open plan inclusive estate it’s all about exclusion. It is an open plan estate here.

“There hasn’t been any sort of fencing before. The feeling is it creates a precedent for much more fencing to go up. As soon as I realised the fence was up I contacted the city council and they said they would look into it. They then contacted me to say it was a legal fence. We are still trying to dispute that. A number of people in the neighbourhood are opposed to this fence. There is a large number of people that have been here a number of years. It does affect the neighbourhood and the character completely. It is very different to everything that is around the neighbourhood.

“I have had little communication [with the neighbour]. They know there is a problem with it, they know that people disagree with it.” One neighbour, who did not want to be named, questioned the level of support stated by Mr Spooner, and said: "It's a bit over the top. His premise is that it's blocking all the other houses views down the street but they feel that because they have children they have somewhere to play that's safe. I think everybody would complain if they had started building at the front but they haven't; it's at the back." She added that the fence was discrete and away from the main road and she had no problem with it.