Friday, April 17, 2015

Smile for the camera

A day in the life of a bored cat

Some much time, so little to do.

YouTube link.

Brian the Lar Gibbon seen impersonating person running naked from the shower without a towel

Fifty-year-old Brian, who lives at The Lake District Wildlife Park, is thought to be the oldest Lar Gibbon in Europe.

He joined the park in 2000 and likes to spend his time swinging through the trees, sunbathing and impersonating someone running naked from the shower without a towel.

YouTube link. Facebook video.

Naked man claiming to be God and Thor had sex with tree before attacking police officer

A Florida man believed to be high on flakka, a drug that authorities say is sweeping the state, attacked a Brevard police officer after twice being shocked with a Taser while repeatedly saying he was God, according to officials. Kenneth Crowder, 41, of Melbourne, was arrested on Friday on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting with violence and assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer.

According to a Melbourne police report, Crowder was spotted by witnesses running naked through a Melbourne neighbourhood, yelling that he was a god before committing a sexual act on a tree. A Melbourne police officer went to the area and confronted Crowder, who was wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt, officials said. Crowder walked toward the officer in an aggressive manner and identified himself as God, according to police. The officer used a Taser on Crowder, but he pulled the probes out of his body and continued to fight, police said.

Crowder was shocked a second time, but he again pulled out the probes and went at the officer with clenched fists, according to police. The officer punched Crowder in the face and a scrum ensued, with Crowder saying that he was Thor and trying to stab the officer with the officer's badge, police said. Other officers arrived and helped subdue Crowder, who was handcuffed and shackled, police said. Flakka is the a variation of synthetic substances known as bath salts and delivers a cheap, powerful high while acting as an amphetamine, according to officials.

The drug can be snorted, smoked or taken by mouth and can cause violent behaviour, officials said. "We have spoken to some medical professionals here and they are starting to see an increase in its use (in Brevard County)," Melbourne police spokesman Dan Lynch said. "It's already in South Florida, and we think it's coming here." Crowder was booked into the Brevard County Jail Complex. He later posted bond and was released.

With news video.

Cham Payne jailed over wild drunken rampage

A man from West Albury in New South Wales, Australia, involved in a wild drunken rampage earlier this year was sentenced to a 14-month jail term on Tuesday. Magistrate Tony Murray imposed a minimum term of seven months backdated to January 8 when Cham Payne, 18, appeared in Albury Local Court for sentencing on charges of affray, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence.

“This is a bad example of these type of matters,” Mr Murray said. Solicitor Kate Bleasel represented Payne and said it was a tumultuous evening, with Payne involved in quite serious offending. The court was told in tendered police documents there were several minor incidents between two Aboriginal families on the evening of January 7 involving an assault and bottles being thrown through a window. A fight broke out at about 12.45am on January 8 with about 10 people in the front yard of a home.

It continued inside the house and two people received serious injuries with knives, wooden weapons, bottles and a carving fork used. Police attempted to separate the intoxicated participants, including Payne. He had no shirt on, was yelling threats to others, and eventually walked off. He was carrying a back pack with stubbies of heavy beer inside it when he was abused by one of the residents in the street. Payne took out a stubby and struck the man to the side of the head, causing the glass to break.

The blow had no real effect so Payne took out another stubby, hit the victim again to the head and knocked him unconscious. A number of people started chasing Payne down the street, but he obtained a large knife from an unknown source. Police were trying to control the pursuing group when Payne came back with the knife. One officer drew his pistol, demanded Payne drop the knife and another officer prepared to hit him with a baton. Payne dropped the knife and was arrested. Mr Murray said thankfully for everyone Payne had dropped the knife.

There's an audio report about an earlier court appearance by Cham Payne on this page

Missing puppy found on neighbour's roof

A man's frantic search for his lost puppy ended a little closer to home after she was found sitting on the neighbour's roof. Matt Grant from Nelson, New Zealand, had been searching far and wide for Polly, a six-month-old Jack Russell, who had gone missing earlier on Monday. Polly, who was a Christmas present for his father, was noticed missing by someone who lived in the house, sparking a desperate 90-minute search.

"We go out driving around the neighbourhood, knocking on a few doors and whistling around and then I came back and got to the point where I'm like 'I'm going to have to call the pound' or something because either she's been snatched or she's just gone complete walkabout," he said. He'd gone to a quiet place upstairs to call the SPCA when he looked out the window and saw something he didn't expect. Polly was sitting nonchalantly in a triangular patch of shade on the neighbouring roof.

"She doesn't usually go out and about like that so it was a bit worrying," he said. But his mood suddenly changed once he spotted her and the worry turned into laughter. "When I saw her she was just sitting there looking like a right dickhead," he said. Mr Grant believes Polly would have had to get inside the neighbour's house and through a window to get to the roof but hasn't figured out how. "I don't know how they hell she got into the house. I can't find a cat door or anything so I've got no clue."

He didn't know if the neighbours were home at the time, but thinks Polly could have snuck in the door as the neighbours left. Mr Grant stood on the fence between the properties and "just reached up" to get Polly, who didn't take much coaxing to come back down to earth. "I think she was pretty happy to get back down. She looked nervous because I don't think she likes the heights – she's just a small little girl – but once she was in our arms she was fine." To prevent further escapades, Mr Grant will be checking the fenced in property for a hole where Polly might have got out. But it doesn't mean he'll necessarily be keeping a closer eye on where Polly gets to. "I like her adventurous nature."

Earthworms rain from the sky over Norway

Earthworms have been raining down over large areas of southern Norway, leaving biologists and meteorologists scratching their heads. Biology teacher Karstein Erstad was out for a ski in the mountains outside Bergen on Sunday when he came across the unusual phenomenon. “I saw thousands of earthworms on the surface of the snow,” he said.

“When I found them on the snow they seemed to be dead, but when I put them in my hand I found that they were alive.” At first he thought that they had perhaps crawled though the snow from the ground beneath, but on reflection, he rejected this idea. “In many places, the snow thickness was between half a metre and a metre and I think they would have problems crawling through the cold snow.”

Since Erstad’s discovery reports have flooded in from across southern Norway, with sightings of worm rainfall in Lindås and Suldal near Bergen, and as far away as Femunden on the Swedish border. “People have now observed the same phenomenon in many places in Norway,” Erstad said. “It’s very peculiar, I don’t know why so many people have discovered it.

“I don’t know if there have been some special weather conditions lately.” Erstad has found reports of the worm rainfall phenomenon taking place in Sweden in the 1920s. It is though that the worms are lifted by the wind before falling with the rain. “It’s a very rare phenomenon,” he said. “It’s difficult to say how many times it happens, but it has only been reported a very few times.”

Irish tractor driver banned from driving for 12 months after causing a 7km, 100-car tailback

A tractor driver in Co Mayo, Ireland, who caused a 7km tailback on a national primary road, involving 80-100 vehicles, has been fined €300 and banned from driving for a year.

Judge Mary Devins was told by Garda John Boyle at Castlebar District Court that on June 20th last he came across “a convoy” of vehicles travelling eastwards on the N5 outside Westport, which were being held up by a tractor towing a trailer which contained a mechanical digger.

Mr Boyle gave evidence that after overtaking between 80 and 100 vehicles he got to the tractor which was keeping traffic at about 20 km/h. The garda said that when he spoke to the tractor driver, Brian McGuinness, of The Grove, Castlebar, Co Mayo, the defendant told him he thought he had pulled in earlier to let traffic go by.

Mr Boyle said that he had issued a fixed charge penalty notice to McGuinness but this had not been paid. McGuinness did not appear in court to answer the charge. After commenting that everybody has to exercise a little consideration on the road, the judge fined McGuinness €300 in his absence and disqualified him from driving for 12 months.

Four staff lose jobs as bats force café to close an hour before sunset

Four staff have lost their jobs after a decision to ban evening events at a Devon café in case they disturb rare bats. The decision, to protect the greater horseshoe bats, is 'catastrophic' according to the owners of the café on Brixham's Berry Head. Four of the 19 staff at the Guardhouse Café, who were only recruited in February or early March, have been made redundant and the café is losing more than 20 per cent of its planned revenue. Alex and Lucy Foley took over the café last May, seeing 'a lot of potential' in the business. Last September, they started to run regular themed restaurant evenings such as Greek and Thai, which were attended by up to 40 people. Alex said: "When we saw how popular they were, we decided to do more from April 1. Rather than one every week or two, we planned two per week, and four per week in August.

"We planned to grow the evening events to form 20 to 30 per cent of our revenue and do around 10 private bookings a year, for weddings and birthday parties, which would account for two per cent of our turnover." But when they sought permission from Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, which owns and manages Berry Head, they had a 'complete shock' to be told everyone, including staff, had to be out of the premises one hour before sunset. Alex said: "I felt terrible having to let staff go and tell people who had booked parties we would no longer be able to host their events but we fully support the conservation efforts on Berry Head. It's a beautiful place. It's one of the reasons we wanted to come here."

TCCT director Damian Offer said: "Berry Head is a unique and special place with a diverse array of rare and threatened flora and fauna. It is the trust's duty to protect that wildlife. Natural England is the statutory advisor to the trust.Further research into the behaviour of bats at Berry Head will be necessary before NE can properly determine the likely impact of evening events. Unfortunately there is a significant cost involved in such work. We have approached NE for funding and we will explore other funding options.” A spokesman for Natural England said the legally-protected greater horseshoe bat is a species of 'principal importance' and the area is thought to contain the UK's largest population of them.She said: “The route between the Guardhouse Café and the car park crosses a known flight path and the surrounding grassland offers foraging potential for the bats.

“We would be minded to refuse consent on the basis of light pollution, noise pollution, and physical disturbance of the flight path.” It is understood there are 92 bats living in the caves 75 metres from the café. They leave the caves to hunt 20 to 30 minutes after sunset. Trevor Spratt, who volunteers for TCCT and is a member of the Friends of Berry Head, said he was 'disappointed'. He said: "I've been to half a dozen themed evenings at the café and I was intending to go on as many future ones as possible. I enjoyed the food, ambience and camaraderie. It's a very pleasant place to spend an evening. I was surprised because the bats and previous café owners, who also held evening events, have co-existed for many years, and the moat is the only way of getting on to the headland whether you're a member of the public going for a jog or walking your dog as you can at any time, or you're going to a function at the café. I have also been on the Bat Walks which TCCT organises, where 30-odd people stand at the top of the cliff as the bats emerge. I hope this isn't the thin edge of the wedge."

Pet owners warned to be aware after dog had hallucinogenic episode from drugs at bus stop

Twiglet the Lurcher went on a trip of an altogether different kind when he was taken for a walk near his home in Leintwardine, Shropshire. His vet owner Nick Fisher said his Bedlington Lurcher had a 'serious hallucinogenic episode' after eating something he found on a quiet village green. He and his wife Karen are warning other dog owners to beware after Twiglet fell seriously ill. The family dog is believed to have eaten drugs that were left lying near a bus stop close to their home.

Karen, 33, said it led to a 45 minute episode in which the seven-year-old dog showed symptoms of being under the influence of narcotics. Fortunately Nick, 31, was able to deal with the problem swiftly she said, but others may not be so lucky. "Symptoms include hallucinating, partial seizures, tremors, hyper salivating, in-coordination and collapsing," she said. "We wanted to make other owners aware to be vigilant when walking their dogs in the area."

Nick said: "We had been taking our dogs out for a walk as we normally do, and we went past the bus stop which is just like a seat around an oak tree. A few people often hang out there and drop things like food and so on, so the dogs like to go scavenging around that area. He came back in the house and lay down, tired as you might expect. .But then he got up and started running around, doing laps of the room as if he was being chased. When I got hold of him he started shaking uncontrollably and producing huge quantities of saliva, and panting excessively.

"He then lost his balance on the laminate flooring and fell onto his side." He said he phoned the nurse at his surgery to come and take a blood sample and made Twiglet vomit. The blood test did not show any obvious medical cause. "The following day he was much more his normal self. I've got a friend who is a neurologist so I asked them what they thought it was and because of the circumstances and symptoms they suggested it sounded like he'd ingested something hallucinogenic," said Nick. He said anyone who notices their pet displaying such symptoms should contact their vet immediately.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

King of the swingers

Little dog enthusiastically emulates TV canine

Jump Minny, jump.

YouTube link.

Man burned after trying to kill bedbugs in car with alcohol before lighting a cigarette

A man was burned inside his rental car after he tried to kill the bedbugs populating it with alcohol, then lit a cigarette, setting the vehicle ablaze on Tuesday afternoon outside a supermarket in Eastport, New York. Scott Kemery, 44, of Bridgehampton, was airlifted from the King Kullen shopping centre to Stony Brook University Hospital with first and second-degree burns.

"He said he had bedbugs in the car, and someone told him if he saturated them with alcohol, it would kill them," said arson Det. Sgt. Edward Fitzgerald. "So he went and bought some alcohol, he poured it all in there and he sat in his car and lit a cigarette." The intense heat from the fire heavily damaged two other cars.

Kemery was able to escape his burning car on his own. He remains in the emergency room. He told detectives that it was a rental car from Florida, but the vehicle was so burned that the licence plates are gone. Detectives want to get the VIN, or vehicle identification number, to confirm Kemery's full story.

YouTube link.

"Everything's burned up," Fitzgerald said, "so we're going to wait until the vehicle theft section gets us a confidential VIN number. Then we'll know for sure." Fitzgerald said the fire does not appear to be criminal in nature at this point, but for now, the cause will be marked "undetermined" until all the evidence from Kemery and detectives is in. So far, he said, "those facts seem to line up."

Coffee-loving parrot distracted driver before crash

A woman says before she drove her car off a road in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, her coffee-loving pet parrot distracted her.

Angel Holyfield, 35, of Uniontown, was driving in South Union Township when she says she looked down at her parrot, which was inside the vehicle.

According to Holyfield, her parrot, which likes to drink coffee, was pecking at the lid of the coffee cup and distracted her. She then drove her car off the road and into a guard rail.

Holyfield was transported to Uniontown Hospital and treated for a broken forearm and facial lacerations from the airbags. Police say there was bird feed in the cup holder next to the coffee cup. The parrot was safely removed from the vehicle at the scene. Police say charges are pending.

Firefighters helped 5-year-old boy who climbed 30-foot tree in attempt to see squirrel's nest

First responders in Centre County, Pennsylvania, made an unusual rescue on Monday after reports of a child stuck 30 feet up in a tree. The curious 5-year-old had climbed a tree in Orchard Park and once he got up there, he couldn’t get down.

Mercedes Jones watched nervously as emergency crews from Alpha Fire Company and the State College Police Department talked to her son Landon as he was stuck up in the pine tree. “He saw a squirrel nest and wanted to see inside of it,” Jones said.

Jones said it only took her son a few minutes to reach nearly the top of the tree, and once he got there, she said he looked down and decided he wasn’t going anywhere. Alpha Fire Chief Jeff Martin was one of the first on scene. He climbed up to keep Landon company while waiting for a ladder truck. “I told him I used to climb trees a lot when I was a kid,” Martin said.

YouTube link.

But the ladder wasn’t needed. After a few minutes of talking and realising that Landon wasn’t upset, Martin and two State College police officers worked the little boy down, one limb at a time. “He’s going to have a good time telling his dad this story tonight,” Jones said. Although he was stuck in the tree for nearly an hour, Landon was fine.

Man who refused to leave hospital after being denied an enema arrested

A 35-year-old Florida man was arrested after police say he refused to leave a hospital where he was denied an enema.

Fort Pierce police took Joseph Williams to the St. Lucie County jail following the April 5 incident at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce, according to records.

At about 10:05pm police went to the hospital after a report of a person who wouldn’t leave the emergency room. Officers found Williams lying on the ground outside. “His nurse explained that he came into the ER requesting an enema,” an affidavit states.

Meanwhile, doctors had evaluated Williams and discharged him, determining he didn’t need an enema. He was told to leave but refused. Police arrested Williams, of Fort Pierce, on outstanding warrants related to failing to appear in court.

Woman apologises for squirting police officer with breast milk

A woman from Perth in Australia has apologised for squirting breast milk at a female police officer during a strip search. Erica Leeder, 26, from Calista in Perth's south, was arrested on a warrant last week and taken to Rockingham police station.

It is alleged that while she was being strip-searched at the police station the 26-year-old grabbed her breast and squirted milk onto a female officer's forehead, arms and clothing. "I just wanted to say I'm sorry (to the officer) and there's not much that I can say besides the fact that I wasn't really myself at the time," Ms Leeder said outside the court.

Ms Leeder was charged with assaulting a public officer, but denies she intended to hurt the policewoman. "It wasn't really something that I went in with thoughts of malice about," she said. The mother of two said she was not feeling mentally stable at the time.

On Tuesday at Perth Magistrates Court a judge told Ms Leeder could face jail time if found guilty as she already has a conviction for assaulting a police officer in 2012. She was released on bail on the condition that she stay at her mother's home and to undergo regular mental health assessments. She faces a maximum penalty of 18 months in jail or an $18,000 fine if convicted.

With news video.

Police hunt balding man following theft of hair growth products

Police in Bridport, Dorset, are appealing for help in identifying a balding suspect after a high value theft at the Holland and Barret in the town.

The incident happened between 12pm and 1pm on Saturday 4 April at the health shop. The offender, who has grey, thinning hair, entered the store and took a large amount of hair growth products from the shelf.

He made no attempt to pay for them before leaving. Police Constable Brian Puttock, of Bridport police, said: "I am releasing a CCTV image of the suspect in hope that someone will recognise him.

"Anyone who may be able to identify the individual or has more information about the theft should contact me."

Gnome collector to be cremated in his outfit

A man who collected more than 1,800 gnomes is set to be cremated in the gnome outfit he regularly wore. Ron Broomfield, from Lincolnshire, who collected gnomes for more than 50 years, died at the weekend, aged 80. The retired window cleaner, known as Ron The Gnome, raised thousands of pounds for charities, including the NSPCC.

Part of his collection of pointy-hat clad figurines will be auctioned off in aid of his favourite good causes, his family said. His niece, Patricia Hammond, said Mr Broomfield was "remarkable", "well-loved" and "brought happiness into the lives of many people". He started collecting gnomes after a divorce, she said.

"He was very sad, obviously. He saw a gnome in a shop and thought, 'Oh, he looks happy' so he bought one. Then he bought two, then three, and now he's got a lot - 1,800," she said. Soon, his home in Alford, named Gnome Cottage, became a shrine to the ornaments, and they filled every corner.

"He had a 'gnome-mobile' - it was a trolley and he used to have a little box on the back for the NSPCC and people used to put their change in it," said another niece Maureen Edwards. "Birthdays, Christmas, people that called - you had to buy him a gnome," said Ms Hammond. "One Christmas I thought I won't buy him a gnome, I'll buy him some bird seed. He was so upset, I had to go out and buy a gnome."

There's an interview recorded with the late Mr Broomfield in 2013 here.

Misunderstanding led to paramedic rushing to emergency call about injured pigeon

A London Ambulance Service paramedic rushed to the aid of a collapsed woman at around 5.50pm on Sunday only to find it was a pigeon that needed treatment.

Senior paramedic Rachel Lack arrived at the Broadway in Southall, west London, only to discover that the 'bird' she had been called to help was of the feathered variety. She said: "When I arrived I saw three men and a woman standing around a pigeon.

"I asked if they had called an ambulance for the pigeon and they said they had. They were surprised to learn that the ambulance service is for humans not animals." Two cycle responders from St John Ambulance, who were providing medical cover at a nearby event, were also called to the scene.

A language barrier meant the call handler in the control room believed the patient was a woman, not a pigeon, in need of help. Director of Operations Jason said: "Fortunately incidents like this are very rare but we'd still like to remind people to use us wisely and contact our colleagues in the RSPCA for advice on animal welfare."