Saturday, October 22, 2016

It's the weekend

Eric the cockatoo has a drinking problem

YouTube link.

Honey badger joins campers for apple crumble

This bold honey badger strolled into a campsite in the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana on the hunt for an easy meal.

Unperturbed by the group of onlookers, the thieving badger climbed onto a table and helped itself to a sizeable serving of apple crumble.

Safari guide Kenny Tshoganyetso then used a shovel to see off the growling visitor.

YouTube link.

The badger was not harmed in any way, the shovel was only used to create a noise that scared off the dessert thief.

Police issue sketch of would-be child kidnapper

An 11-year-old girl was riding her scooter in Imperial Beach, San Diego, on Wednesday when two men in a royal blue Ford F250 pulled over and tried to get her in the vehicle.

While she wasn't able to recall the license plate of the vehicle, she was able to provide a detailed description of the suspect who exited the vehicle. In that description are two distinctly visible tattoos. The first is an eye in the middle of the man's forehead. The second is a skull in the middle of his throat.

The San Diego Sheriff's Department said the attempted kidnapping happened at around 5:15pm. The girl told police that the man in the sketch was the passenger. She described him as a white man with slicked back salt and pepper hair and a large salt and pepper mustache. He is around 5'11" and approximately 180 pounds.

YouTube link.

She said he exited the truck and attempted to grab the child but she was able to escape to a nearby relative's home, uninjured. There is no description of the driver available at this time. Sheriff's are unsure of where the suspect's fled to after the attempted kidnapping. The suspect in the sketch is not known to the child. If you recognise the man in this sketch, call the Sheriff's Department.

Road sign thief was looking to add excitement to his life

A 21-year-old man from Warren County, New Jersey, was allegedly looking for a thrill when he took a road sign from a construction site.

Manuel J. Leon, of Hardwick Township, is accused of snatching a "men working" sign on Oct. 11, putting it in his vehicle and driving off.

"While being questioned," the complaint says: "Manuel admitted to taking the sign to add excitement to his life."

Leon was charged by New Jersey State Police with theft by unlawful taking. He was later released after posting 10 percent of $2,500 bail.

Man caught in police sting had arranged to pay prostitute with cheeseburger and fries

Police in Casper, Wyoming, arrested four women suspected of prostitution and one man suspected of soliciting prostitutes in an undercover operation on Thursday evening.

Police arrested Bailey Bruce, of Evansville; Cassandra Combs, of St. Paul, Minnesota; Canisha Martinez, of Casper; and Alexandra Tyler, who was homeless, on suspicion of prostitution. Officers also arrested 22-year-old David Mangus, of Casper, on suspicion of soliciting prostitution.

Undercover police officers contacted the women through online advertisements and the women agreed to perform sex acts in exchange for payment ranging from $150 to $350, according to arrest affidavits. Police arrested the women when they arrived at the location where they previously agreed to meet.

Mangus responded to an online ad posted by officers and agreed to pay an undercover officer posing as a prostitute a quarter-pound cheeseburger and medium fries from McDonald’s for sex, according to an arrest affidavit. Officers arrested Mangus when he arrived at the predetermined location with the bag of food. “Hookin’ for cheeseburgers isn’t normal,” Detective Dan Dundas said. Mangus was booked into the Natrona County jail and later released.

Man arrested for shoplifting was trying to raise money to pay his wife's bail for shoplifting

A man charged with shoplifting in Florida told police he was trying to raise money to pay his wife’s bond.

Brian Crume, 48, of Wisconsin is accused of stealing from Walmart in Winter Haven on Wednesday, according to officials.

Police say he took three packs of electronic wire. Crume told an officer that he was hoping to sell the wire on the street.

The Winter Have Police Department said: “He needed to raise money to bond his wife out who was arrested earlier in the day in Lake Wales for, you guessed it, shoplifting.”

Police remind residents to lock their doors after man entered home, stripped and cooked eggs

Police are reminding residents of Vancouver, Canada, to lock their doors and windows after a man was arrested in connection with an unusual home invasion.

Investigators said a 35-year-old walked into a home on Tuesday night, through a closed but unlocked door. He removed all of his clothing, took eggs out of the fridge and began making a meal in the kitchen, police said.

He managed to damage the stove and microwave during his meal preparation. A resident of the home was in another room watching TV, but when he heard the intruder he assumed it was his roommate.

He decided to investigate anyway, and found a naked stranger in his kitchen. The resident chased the man out of the house and then called police, who arrested a suspect a few blocks away. Police have recommended that the Crown lay charges of mischief and break-and-enter.

Inquest heard that eccentric elderly man died in unusual accident after 'swaddling himself'

An eccentric pensioner was found dead in his home in Dawlish, Devon, ’swaddled’ in bed linen and numerous home-made dresses with his face covered in a number of stockings with eye holes, an inquest heard. Retired shop worker Nigel Hobbs, 71, also had his face wrapped in polythene and his mouth taped over. Cotton wool was stuffed in his ears and possibly his mouth, the hearing in Torquay was told. South Devon coroner Ian Arrow, recording that the unsuspicious death by asphyxiation was accidental, said there was no evidence that Mr Hobbs was trying to hurt himself.

The inquest heard that two women neighbours found a lifeless and bizarrely wrapped up Mr Hobbs in the back bedroom of his Stonelands Terrace on April 15. They had wanted to invite him around for a cup of tea, as they had done on previous occasions. They popped into his home after failing to make contact with him. One of them, Heather Ellor, revealed in a statement that she’d heard a loud bang in Mr Hobbs’ next door property at 10pm two days before the curious discovery. She assumed the noise was made by her neighbour during a session of yoga which he enjoyed.

Alan Mould, a neighbour for more than 20 years, said in his statement that Mr Hobbs was ’a little eccentric.’ He revealed that Mr Hobbs had lived with his mother until her death at the turn of the century. He had last seen Mr Hobbs in the late afternoon of April 14, the day after Heather Ellor heard the suspected yoga noise. Mr Mould revealed that Mr Hobbs had osteoporosis and liked to move around a lot, otherwise he feared he would ’seize up.’ He described his neighbour as a happy-go-lucky character who was ’very friendly’ and often with a smile on his face.

’He was a very pleasant man,’ he observed, adding that he was always willing to help his neighbours. Det Sgt Andy Turner, of Newton Abbot CID, said Mr Hobbs had been wrapped in bedding material and numerous layers of home-made dresses. His face was covered in a number of stockings with eye-holes. Underneath these was polythene together with tape over his mouth. He added that cotton wool was found in his ears and, it was suspected, in his mouth as well. DS Turner said Mr Hobbs still had room to breathe through his nose. He said there was no evidence of any third party involvement in his death. It appeared to be accidental, a finding endorsed by the coroner.

Hedgehog with no prickles is treated to daily massages to help combat his dry skin

Nelson the hedgehog is unusual in the fact that he is more or less spineless, with only a few on the lower half of his body.

He is a resident at Foxy Lodge Wildlife Rescue in Hemsby, Norfolk, where each day a volunteer gives him a massage with lotion to help combat his dry skin.

Nelson is just one of the needy animals at the rescue centre which also homes a blind fox, deer and kittens. It is run by Tonia and John Garner.

YouTube link.

They met 10 years ago and soon discovered they shared the same dream - to set up a wildlife sanctuary. Since then, they have rescued and rehabilitated hundreds of animals and birds each year, and expect the figure for 2016 alone to exceed 1,000.

Friday, October 21, 2016


Lucy the labrador wants to be let into the house

Where there's a will there's a way.

YouTube link.

Police thank wanted woman who contacted them after accidentally handcuffing herself

Police in Sacramento, California, had help from a wanted woman on Wednesday morning who handcuffed herself and called police for help.

Cana Greer, 29, called the Sacramento Police Department for help after she and a friend, who used to be a security guard, were messing around with an old pair of handcuffs.

Greer accidentally handcuffed herself and discovered that there was no key to unlock the cuffs. Responding officers conducted a records check before arriving to help Greer, and found that she had a felony burglary warrant out of El Dorado County.

"When officers arrived, they thanked the woman for arresting herself and transported her to a nearby fire station to have the old cuffs removed," the police department said. Greer was taken to the Sacramento County Jail and booked on her outstanding warrant.

Deer crashed through window of computer repair shop before leaving the way it came in

A deer crashed through an eight-inch window at a computer repair shop in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, over the weekend. The deer leapt through the window at Expert PC just after noon on Sunday, smashing it to bits.

Due to the small size of the deer, the motion detectors in the store did not trigger, however police contacted one of the owners when they saw the broken window. Steve Baker, one of the owners of the PC repair shop, says that the deer was able to escape through the same window.

But not before tearing into the equipment they had in the back of the store, and ruining some of the carpet. Baker says that deer have never been a problem before. "That [deer] is the first one I have ever seen in town," said Baker. "They usually stay out but we are right across the street from a wooded area with fields."

YouTube link.

Thankfully the equipment that was damaged in the incident was not owned by any of their customers. Instead it was repaired merchandise that the store was hoping to resell. The damages are estimated to cost the shop around $5,000, but Baker is hopeful that insurance will cover it. Baker is just happy that the little bit of damage is all that occurred. "At least the deer didn't rob us."

With additional news video.

Chubby raccoon indelicately rescued after getting stuck in bin lid

Three men attempting to free a well fed raccoon stuck in the open centre of a bin lid used a wheelie bin lid to free the creature.

The video, recorded in Toronto, Canada, earlier this month shows the raccoon in the back of a pick-up truck while stuck in the middle opening of the lid.

The men placed the lid over the top of a wheelie bin and use that receptacle's lid to push down on the raccoon and free it from the narrow opening. The men then opened the wheelie bin near some bushes to release the raccoon.

YouTube link.

The uploader said the rescue was a much longer operation than it would appear from the video. "This video begins after 2 hours of getting him into the truck after getting stuck in the bushes as well," they said.

Hurt, surprise, and disappointment expressed by some parishioners about baby Jesus' new head

A new head on a baby Jesus statue is causing some to look twice in a churchyard in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. The head, which went missing from the pearly white statue a year ago, has been replaced by a handmade terracotta sculpture created by a local artist. "It really is shocking to the eyes because of the big contrast in colour," the church's priest Gérard Lajeunesse.

The statue head, which Lajeunesse believes was stolen, went missing during the night last October. It wasn't the first time that part of the sculpture disappeared. "The statue had been vandalised before, at least once, maybe twice," he said. "It's always Jesus' head that goes missing. Probably because it's smaller and easier to break off." In the past, parishioners always found the head nearby and were able to reattach it. "This time we looked high and low. No head. No Jesus."

Lajeunesse went to several businesses to see if a replacement head could be built. "It has to be custom made. And nobody even wanted to consider it," he said. Replacing the entire statue would cost between $6,000 and $10,000. "You wonder, if we do replace it with a new one, will we be up against the same situation?" Lajeunesse said, noting the head's reputation for going missing. That's when local artist Heather Wise knocked on Lajeunesse's door, asking about the statue. "She was quite upset about it and she offered to do something if she could," Lajeunesse said.

Lajeunesse said Ms Wise spent several hours sculpting the new Jesus head onto the body out of clay."The difficulty is the artist had to lift the chin so that the head would stay on because it would keep falling off," he said. The clay head has begun to erode from the rain after less than a week. "I don't expect it to last long. She plans on sculpting in stone sometime next year," he said. Lajeunesse said many parishioners have expressed hurt, surprise, and disappointment with the new head. "It's a first try. It's a first go. And hopefully what is done at the end will please everyone," he said.

Man who shared 10-hour trip with deadly snake 'tried to be environmentally friendly'

A man who was forced to share a ride for 10 hours to to Alice Springs in Australia with a deadly mulga snake has said the incident occurred after he and a co-worker tried to be "environmentally friendly" and usher the large reptile off the road, before it shot towards their car. Road engineer Glen Auricht spoke about his experience, after it was revealed that he and another engineer travelled 500 kilometres (310 miles) with a mulga snake in the engine of their car. The mulga snake, also known as a king brown, has been named Australia's sixth-most dangerous snake species.

Mr Auricht said he was travelling with another engineer on the Plenty Highway, inspecting roads at about 8:30am on Tuesday when they saw the large mulga sunning itself on the road. "So being environmentally friendly we tried to push it off the road with a long stick, so it wouldn't get run over by other vehicles," he said. He said he was aware it was highly venomous but attempted to get it out of harm's way despite that. "We were trying to save the silly bugger," he said. But the snake then shot straight towards his car, despite it being parked quite a distance away, and managed to find refuge, Mr Auricht said.

"It looked like shelter to it I suppose," he said. Mr Auricht said at that point he and his colleague were "rather horrified". "We thought to ourselves, 'holy mackerel we've got a snake in our car'," he said. Mr Auricht said the pair then drove to Hart's Range and stopped for "a cuppa" and looked for their slippery sidekick. "We looked through the grille but couldn't see it … then we popped the bonnet and it was lying across the battery … across the air cleaner at the side of the engine," he said. "It looked quite happy, not too hot." Mr Auricht said he got a long piece of fencing wire and tried to lift it out of the engine bay. "It was upset that I was disturbing it, and it slithered out of the wire hook and back into the engine somewhere and we couldn't find it anymore," he said.

YouTube link. Alternative Facebook video.

The pair then drove more than 200 kilometres to Jervois because "they had to finish their jobs" and thought the snake was too big to wiggle its way into the cabin of the car. "He was a pretty big fella, thick as your arm, and we didn't think it could get through the vent," he said. "We checked out the other side of Jervois and saw it behind the headlight, it was happily sitting on the mudguard there before the air cleaner." The pair, then having finished their work for the day, made the 350-kilometre trek back to Alice Springs and pulled straight into the driveway of Alice Springs snake catcher Rex Neindorf's house. "I didn't want to take it home to the wife, she wouldn't have appreciated it," he said. "I might get into trouble with work for picking up hitch-hikers because we're not allowed to."

Woman who found giant mushroom shared it between 15 hungry colleagues

A giant puffball mushroom with a 1.5-metre (59in) circumference and weight of more than 10kg has been found, and quickly eaten, by a Scottish countryside ranger and her colleagues. Fiona Wishart, a ranger with Falkirk Council, said the 10.6kg (23lbs) fungus was so heavy she had to get help from a colleague to carry it back to their office.

After taking photos, they shared it out between 15 people, who took it home to cook. She said: "It was really exciting as it's probably the biggest puffball I've ever found in my life. It tasted lovely. When you cut it up it has a texture like marshmallow. The best way to cook it is to dip it in egg and fry it up , but some people dipped it in Parmesan.

"It was lucky we found it when we did as it was in perfect condition." The mushroom was found at a site near Polmont. Giant puffballs occur in late summer and autumn and can be found in nutrient-rich grassy areas. They often grow to about the size of a football, though there have been reports of larger specimens weighing about 20kg (42lbs).

The largest British specimen ever measured was 1.62 metres (64ins) in circumference, according to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew website, which says 4kg (8lbs) is about the average weight. It says the mushroom is an "excellent edible fungus" which has been "long sought after for its culinary value" and that it was well-known to the Greeks and Romans.

The 'queen has died' notice explains vanished ant colony

In the words of one observer, it is “possibly the saddest, most heartbreaking ‘This exhibit is currently out of order’ sign ever” – the ant colony at London’s Natural History Museum has a sign on it that reads: “The queen ant has died.” The sign goes on to explain that: “When this happens the colony fails to survive.

The worker ants are in the process of dismantling the fungus garden nests, then they will also die.” All that is now left of the Trinidad Leaf-Cutter ant colony is a pile of discarded leaves, some shredded paper, and the remains of several dead ants that have yet to be cleaned out. The whole scene is being played out in front of the museum’s thousands of daily visitors in the Creepy Crawlies gallery, where an ant colony has been one of the main attractions for some time.

The museum even used to have a webcam trained on the ants so you could keep an eye on them remotely. Leaf-cutter ants feed by deliberately growing fungus in their nest on the leaves that they drag there, and ants are one of only four groups of animal on Earth believed to have discovered agriculture. Myrmecologists think that ants first began farming fungus about 50m years ago, and in order to be able to stock their colony, they can carry 5,000 times their own body weight.

But there is no fungus being farmed in the Natural History Museum any more, as a succession of visitors pressed their faces to the empty display, looking for any signs of life behind the glass. Insiders at the museum say the queen died some time ago, and that this happens every few years. The good news is that he museum’s sign ends optimistically, by saying the exhibit is waiting for a new queen to arrive.

Man accused of wilfully mistreating a child by deliberately farting in his face

A man has gone on trial accused of mistreating a child by breaking wind in his face. Gary McKenzie, of Beaumont Hill, Darlington, denies the prank but says he once broke wind in front of the boy's face accidentally, which he said was funny. Prosecutor Paul Abrahams told Teesside Crown Court that if the incident had taken place in a rugby club after the victim had drunk ten pints it may have been dismissed as horseplay, but in McKenzie's case it amounted to cruelty.

The charge McKenzie faces states: "At Darlington in the County of Durham, being a person who had attained the age of 16 years, you wilfully ill-treated the child, namely by breaking wind in his face, in a manner likely to cause him unnecessary suffering or injury to health Contrary to section 1(1) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933." Mr Abrahams told the jury on Wednesday the acts of 22-year-old McKenzie were "cruel and bullying." Describing the alleged prank, he said the boy, who is under 16 and cannot be identified, had been lying down when McKenzie approached him.

He said: "The boy said that the defendant pumped in his face. It might be at a rugby club done to someone who had drunk ten pints and fallen asleep that one might think of this as horseplay. But this was a child at the time and was highly inappropriate." Mr Abrahams said the boy had been upset by the incident and asked McKenzie why he had done it, and was told: "I just wanted to be nasty." In police interview McKenzie denied the incident, saying he had once broken wind while climbing a flight of steps when the boy had been behind him with his face near his backside. Mr Abrahams said: "He said this had been funny but denied the incident described."

The alleged victim relived his ordeal in a recorded police interview played to the court. The boy said: "He pumped. He was right next to me and bending down, he was wearing shorts, his shorts were right next to my face. I said 'why did you do that?' and he said he did it because he wanted to be nasty." He said he had seen McKenzie do a similar thing to another child, and told a detective: "He pulled his pants down and pumped right on their face. I knew he had pumped because I heard the noise." McKenzie denied to police he had carried out the act, describing the action as "disgusting and disgraceful" and something he would not do. He faces a trial which is expected to last for the rest of the week.