Sunday, November 29, 2015


Lady teaches baby goat how to hoppity hop

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Police say baseball bats chained to poles are very strange

Police are investigating why baseball bats were chained to telephone poles around San Francisco, which a spokesman said was "very strange."

As many as 27 of these bats, some of which had nails protruding from them, were found in a number of locations around the city, Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.

The bats were discovered throughout Thursday, beginning in the morning. The last one was found at around 4:45pm, Andraychak said. He added that there are no indications currently of who placed the bats or why.

Police are investigating various aspects of what Andraychak described as a "very strange" episode. Police said possession could be considered a probhibited deadly weapon with a felony charge.

With news video.

Woman surprised when bank 'glitch' caused $1.4 trillion error not in her favour

A bank in Hawaii is blaming a computer glitch for giving a customer quite a surprise with their bank statement. Honolulu resident Angela Kwong said she was checking her account online when she was shocked to find that she had an outstanding debt of more than $1.4 trillion dollars.

When asked if she was surprised that the bank had charged her $710 billion not once, but twice, she said: “I was shocked, and I couldn’t believe it. The first time I saw it, I had to go to my bathroom and get my glasses on to make sure it wasn’t just because of my bad eyes,” Kwong said.

Making the situation all the more frustrating, her bank initially told her their hands were tied. “I called the customer service line and they said their system was down and my number was down and surprisingly, they said they couldn’t take the number down and was unable to return my phone call. They said there was nothing they could do,” Kwong said.

YouTube link.

“It’s kind of funny when you look at it, but it’s also kind of scary, because if the number was a little bit more normal, then I may have sort of overlooked it,” Kwong said. “I’ll definitely keep my eye on my phone and my computer and my bank statements.” Kwong’s case was apparently due to a technical glitch that the bank cleared up later.

Cat rescued after getting head stuck in dumpster

Grease and sedatives were key ingredients in the rescue of a cat that got its head stuck in the drain hole of a dumpster in Town of Mead, Colorado. The animal had apparently got its head stuck in the dumpster at least two days before someone noticed it on Monday. Mead Code Enforcement and Animal Control Officer Ismael Aldana said: "It looked like this cat had been there a minimum of 48 hours.

"It was pretty dehydrated and exhausted. It was trying to get its head out." Aldana said the cat stuck her head in a drain hole on the commercial-sized dumpster to get at the food inside, probably pizza and fries, and couldn't get her head back out. He added that the man at the scene who reported the cat had placed a box under the cat's feet, because she was basically hanging out of the hole. Aldana contacted Longmont Friends of Feral and Abandoned Cats, who agreed to take the cat.

He also called the Town of Mead Public Works Department, so they could come up with a solution. "We put our brains together to see what we were going to do," he said. Eventually, electrical grease supplied by the town's Public Works Department and sedatives from Mead Veterinary Medical Center were the keys to freeing the cat. Aldana said once the cat was sedated, he rubbed grease onto her neck and was able to get her head out of the drain.

Tonni Loutzenhiser, Executive Director of Longmont Friends of Feral and Abandoned Cats, said the cat appears to be healthy. She said the animal is feral, but her organisation is going to try to tame her. Loutzenhiser said if they can't tame the cat, they will try to find her a barn home, but she believes they will be able to tame her because she is still young. Aldana said Mead is a small town, so the cat's rescue was a big deal for Town of Mead animal control department. "I don't think that cat would have made it if he stayed there for the rest of the day," he added.

Smoothie criminal hunted following armed robbery

New Orleans Police have released photos of a man suspected in an armed robbery at a Smoothie King on Friday morning.

Police said the suspect held up the store at about 10:50am. Upon entering the store, authorities say the gunman demanded money from the store clerk before fleeing the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash.

A store manager said that a pregnant employee who was working at the time of the robbery jumped the counter to escape when she saw the gunman. The woman ran to a nearby Walgreens where she called the police.

YouTube link. LiveLeak link.

The 'smoothie criminal' is a black male attired in a white long sleeved shirt, dark coloured pants, and a black "bucket" hat. The man also had his face covered with a white hair net.

Women who carried giant plastic vagina face charges of crimes against religious sentiments

Three women are facing charges for "crimes against religious sentiments" after mimicking Spain's Easter processions and replacing the Virgin Mary with a giant plastic vagina. The women, who have not been named, allegedly mimicked Spain’s famous Holy Week processions that take place in the run up to Easter.

They "carried a plastic vagina a couple of metres high in the style of the Virgin Mary," said a Seville-based judge. Many Spanish religious festivals feature processions during which locals carry a statue of the Virgin Mary above their shoulders. The prosecution argue that the women made a mockery of this religious practice by lifting the plastic vagina onto their shoulders and parading it during a march organised by the Spanish union the General Workers’ Confeneration (CGT) on May 1st.

Some of the women also wore mantillas, the black lace veils commonly worn by devout Catholic women during religious celebrations in Spain while others sported the conical hoods commonly worn by the members of religious brotherhoods over Easter. The women have been ordered to appear in court in February 2016 for a crime against religious sentiments. Miguel Sevillano, head of the CGT in Seville said that the women were part of a feminist group who had "nothing to do" with the CGT.

Sevillano did argue however that he did not see any similarity between the giant plastic vagina carried by the women and Spain’s usual Holy Week processions, but he stressed he had "nothing to do with its creation." Sevillano stressed that the march was in honour of Workers' Day, a public holiday in Spain. The union "carries out no activities that allude to religious symbols" and "does not insult the Catholic Church", he said, adding that the CGT was concerned with workers’ rights alone.

Son lived with his dead dad for four months until neighbour saw pyjama-clad skeleton in armchair

A man lived alongside his dead father in their home up to four months until a neighbour made the discovery, spotting a skeleton wearing pyjamas sitting in a living room chair, an inquest heard. Kenneth Brown was placed in an armchair by his son Timothy after suffering a fall during a fire in his bedroom in Stafford, Cannock Coroners Court heard. But a day later, 94-year-old Kenneth was found dead in the chair by his son, who then, instead of calling 999, left his father to decompose while continuing to live in the home.

The court was then told how a neighbour then called round on October 18, entering the hall and looking into the living room where Timothy was sat with Kenneth. Timothy, 59, had been his father’s sole carer for more than 10 years after his mother had passed away in 2004. The pair were described as ‘recluse with hardly any visitors’. A post mortem was unable to ascertain a cause of death because of the decomposition of the body, but it did reveal a number of fractures to Mr Brown’s ribs, which were put down to a fall out of bed during the fire by investigators.

DC Andrew Weatherley from Staffordshire Police told the court how Timothy, who was not at the hearing, had said he had woken in the night and seen smoke coming from his father’s room. He had dragged him into the lounge and sat him in the armchair, DC Weatherley said. However, Timothy said he woke the following day to find his father had died. He told police he did not call 999 as he could not come to terms with it. A statement from the neighbour said: “The back door was open, from the kitchen I could hear the TV was on loudly in the living room. Tim was in there watching TV. I spoke to Tim for a few minutes from the hall, before I opened the door fully. As I looked at the chair I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. I could see a skull, I was very shocked.”

Timothy was arrested, but after the fire service found evidence of the blaze and an investigation judged the fractures were caused by a fall, Staffordshire Police decided it was not in the public interest to prosecute him. DC Weatherley said: “There was no obvious motive for him to cause the death of his father and it was decided he should not face criminal charges.” Senior Assistant Coroner Mrs Margaret Jones said: “It is a very sad case indeed. His son failed to deal with his father’s death appropriately. The pair were very reclusive until the alarm was raised by a neighbour.” She added: “It is not possible for me to conclude that this was an accident as there is one piece of the jigsaw missing. Kenneth was last seen alive in April and his body was found in October but because of the decomposition of the body a cause of death cannot be ascertained.” She concluded an open verdict over his death.

Record thief returned music he stole from shop ten years ago after finding God

A regretful thief who stole vinyl albums and singles from a shop in Camden Town, London, has returned the records 10 years after stealing them. The anonymous shoplifter sent the records by post to Out On The Floor Records shop with a note of apology.

The thief suffered a crisis of conscience after finding religion and feeling the need to hand back what had been stolen to the store. Shop boss Jake Travis said: “A package came with the shop’s name and address on it last week and I was slightly surprised, as I thought: ‘That’s weird. I haven’t ordered anything that hasn’t arrived.’ One of my colleagues opened it up and said: ‘Come and have a look at this’.”

Inside was a hand­written note explaining that the records in the parcel were being returned by someone trying to right some of the wrongs of youth. The note read: “Dear – when I was a teenager, I pinched a few records from you, about 10 years ago. I became a Christian not too long ago and wanted you to have these records – I hope you can put them to good use. Sorry, with regards.”

Mr Travis said: “The person who sent in the parcel had shoplifted from our ground floor and in the shop we have in the basement. We looked at the letter and looked through the tunes and they didn’t nick any old rubbish. It was a nice surprise to see some good vinyl returned.” Among the singles was one by The Cure, worth around £20 today, and others by The Stone Roses and The Smiths.

Dog stuck inside tyre rescued from canal by firefighters

Firefighters rescued a little dog from a canal after he found himself stuck inside a tyre in the water. Scruffy the terrier had a lucky escape after falling in a canal in Tameside, Greater Manchester, at around noon on Thursday.

Ashton’s White Watch crew donned life jackets and used a ladder to get to Scruffy and carry him to safety. He was given some water and wrapped up warm in a blanket before being whisked away in the back of a fire engine.

Scruffy was then handed over to the RSPCA while his owners are traced. Watch Manager Trevor Smallwood said: “We were called to the incident by the police and when we got there we found a little dog stuck inside a tyre that was partially submerged in the water.

“We used a ladder to climb over a locked gate and wall to get to the dog then we scooped him up, gave him some fresh water, wrapped him in a blanket and put him on the back of the fire engine. He was shivering and we think he was in shock, but he seemed okay after some TLC.”

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Can we go home now?

How to train your dog to catch a live lobster

Just in case you've ever wondered.

YouTube link.

Squirrel causes bunny to boing

YouTube link.

Mother in trouble for allegedly hosting beer and weed party for group of 12 to 14-year-olds

A mother-of-three from Texas charged with hosting a marijuana and beer party for a group of middle school students told police that she “thought for minute that it was a bad idea” to provide alcohol and drugs to the minors, but “did it anyway,” according to court records. Mandy Wells, 32, is facing a felony and a misdemeanor charge in connection with a weekend house party she hosted earlier this month for about 10 students, aged 12 to 14.

As alleged in a probable cause affidavit, Wells provided the children with cans of Coors Light beer and pot, which she packed into a glass “Hello Kitty” pipe. The underage partygoers are friends with one of Wells’s children. Police learned of the party from a woman who allowed her 13-year-old daughter to spend the night at Wells’s residence in Springtown, a city about 25 miles northwest of Fort Worth. The teen told police that Wells first gave the juveniles beer and then asked “if they wanted to smoke marijuana.” Two other Springtown Middle School students told investigators that they drank beer and got high smoking pot provided by Wells.

During a subsequent search of Well’s home, police seized assorted drug paraphernalia. In an interview with officers, Wells reportedly confessed to providing the minors with pot and beer, but said that she “kept them under control.” Wells, officers noted, “advised that the children did get ‘high,’ but did not require any special attention.” While acknowledging that she “thought for a minute” that it was a “bad idea” to give her underage guests pot and beer, Wells said she “did it anyway.” Wells also admitted to allowing her 14-year-old daughter to smoke marijuana, saying that it helps with the girl’s depression.

YouTube link.

Wells, police reported, said that she is “self medicating” her child with pot because the medication her daughter has been prescribed “does not work.” When asked to name the person who sold her the pot, Wells clammed up, prompting police to conclude that she was “more concerned with protecting the identity of her marijuana supplier than the welfare of the children that had been left in her care.” According to a police spokesperson, Wells’s children were removed from her home as police searched the residence. The minors remain in the custody of the state’s child protective services division. Wells is being held in the Parker County jail in lieu of $20,000 bond.

Man accused of assaulting police officers with eggs, potatoes and some type of fruit

A Florida man faces felony charges after police officers said he threw raw eggs and potatoes at them as they were investigating a suspicious incident on Tuesday night. Four deputies were investigating a loud banging noise coming from outside someone's window in Palm Coast at around 10:30pm.

The deputies said they didn't find any signs of forced entry but met Anthony Fennick, 20, who asked why they were there. Investigators said they explained and Fennick thanked them and went into his home. They said a short time later a deputy noticed a potato cut in half landed in the road behind another deputy's cruiser. Deputies searched to see who may have thrown the potato at them.

As they were talking, an egg struck the front passenger side door of a deputy's cruiser, nearly striking him and another deputy. Investigators noticed three more broken eggs, along with a potato and some type of fruit. Two deputies spoke with Fennick and arrested him. Deputies said Fennick had an egg in his front pocket. Deputies took Fennick back to his home where they interviewed his mother and stepfather and asked whether they’d recently purchased eggs.

Five eggs were missing from a carton of eggs purchased earlier that day. Deputies also found two bags of potatoes on the kitchen counter, along with a serrated knife that had been recently used. Fennick’s mother said she had cleaned her kitchen before she went to bed and the knife wasn’t on the counter then. Fennick was charged with four counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, criminal mischief and loitering/prowling. He is being held on $7,000 bail.

Jail for ex-Apple employee who stored urine and excrement in bottles, bags and boxes

A former Apple employee has been jailed for 12 months for causing €15,000 worth of damage to a luxury flat in Cork, Ireland, by storing his urine and excrement in bottles, bags and boxes around the property over a three-month period. The storage by Robert Kummer, 37, of hundreds of bags of his own faeces and bottles of urine resulted in a major public health scare. Gardai were so concerned by what they discovered in the flat in Cork city centre that they alerted the fire brigade.

The smell in the flat was so noxious that brigade officials had to use breathing apparatus to conduct a flat inspection. The excrement had seeped through the floor-boards and officials were worried it may have entered other parts of the complex. Gardai were first notified when a neighbour became very concerned about a foul smell. The scene inside Kummer's flat was so graphic, with excrement smeared on walls, floors and the ceiling, that gardai initially feared "something untoward had happened".

But an investigation revealed that Kummer, originally from Germany, who had lived in Ireland since 2009, had been storing his faeces in the flat for over three months. Kummer pleaded guilty to criminal damage on dates leading up to September 24, 2013. Judge Sean O'Donnabhain in Cork Circuit Criminal Court was told that the excrement had caused enormous damage. All the floor-boards had to be ripped up and replaced. The entire flat had to be cleaned and fully redecorated involving all ceilings, walls and floors.

Kummer had been remanded on bail following his plea to allow him raise compensation. However, the court was told that, despite lengthy adjournments, he had raised only €800 despite being in good employment. Psychiatrist Dr John Dennehy said that Kummer might have suffered from "depressive episodes". However, he was still "at a loss to explain his behaviour". Judge O'Donnabhain acknowledged it was a very strange case. "This is a most unusual case. It is bizarre. There was very extensive damage to the property. The accused had every opportunity to pay (significant) compensation. But he did not do so," he added. Judge O'Donnabhain jailed Kummer for 12 months.

Ban for man who allowed dog's fur to become so matted it was hard to tell one end from the other

A neglected shih tzu was discovered matted with so much fur that it was “difficult to tell one end of him from the other”. Four-year-old dog Lotso was found soaked in urine, with almost a kilo of excess matted fur making up 90 percent of his body.

His owner, Neil Tiernan, 40, from Belle Vale, Liverpool, was banned from keeping animals for three years after being prosecuted by the RSPCA. He pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to protect his pet from pain at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. RSPCA officers were called to help Lotso in January this year. When they found him his eyes were covered by tangled fur and he “smelled strongly of urine where it had soaked into his coat”.

Inspector Claire Fisher said: “At first glance it was difficult to tell one end of Lotso from the other because he was so matted. It was the worst matting I had seen in 12 years.” Lotso was sedated and almost a kilo of fur was clipped off. He was examined again and the vet ruled he was underweight either because he wasn’t getting enough food or because his matted coat restricted him from bending down to eat his food.

Tiernan was also given a six month community order, a six month supervision and a curfew for three weeks, as well as being asked to pay £500 court costs. Inspector Fisher added: “Poor Lotso’s case is a very graphic reminder that anyone thinking of getting a dog or a puppy with a long coat must take into consideration that it will need to be regularly groomed. They have to be committed to taking the time to groom their pet or pay someone to do it professionally, it’s not something that can be ignored or the dog can suffer terribly.”

Family heartbroken after RSPCA took their beloved pet fox away

A family who run an exotic animal rescue centre from their home are heartbroken after the RSPCA ordered them to hand over their pet fox. Animal lover Dave Robinson took in 18-month-old Scarlett three months ago after he answered a post from a woman on a Facebook page who needed to give her up. Scarlett was born in captivity and has never lived in the wild. Scarlett’s parents were also captive. Kind-hearted Dave took Scarlett into his home in Failsworth, Oldham, Greater Manchester, where she lived in a 12ft by 12ft enclosure which is 6ft in height. And Dave, his partner Paula and their son Harry all grew attached to Scarlett.

However that turned to anguish when the RSPCA turned up at the property and ordered the family to surrender Scarlett. Dave understands a neighbour is likely to have complained to the RSPCA and that Scarlett is now living at a sanctuary with other foxes. Dave said: “I volunteered to take Scarlett in because I knew we had the room and I really wanted to help. She is a hand-reared fox who has never lived in the wild so she needed to be in the right environment. Over the last few months we grew really fond of her, she became like a family pet more than an animal we have rescued. “She was so comfortable around me and even took food from my hand.”

The family have an arrray of animals living with them, including 28 giant African land snails, two red-eyed tree frogs, eight stick insects, two chipmunks, two barn owls, five tortoises, 11 turtles, eight lizards, three snakes, five tarantulas, five rats, hundreds of hissing cockroaches, two chickens, three dogs, four cats, a rabbit and a number of fish. Dave said: “I built a bond with Scarlett for her own good. She’s never been in the wild so I wanted her to get used to being around humans and now she really is. Upset would be an understatement, we’re absolutely heartbroken. It all feels very unjust, a vet never actually came out to look at Scarlett, the RSPCA just took her away.

“I love animals, they’re an enormous part of my life so this is very upsetting. Foxes are not pack animals, when you see a fox they’re on their own. I’m worried what impact suddenly being around so many other foxes will have on Scarlett.” An RSPCA spokesperson said: “The fox was voluntarily given over to the RSPCA and has now been placed at a specialist fox sanctuary, where she is being cared for by a team of experts. Discussions are ongoing with an individual who was previously responsible for the fox. Foxes are wild animals, they are not domestic pets, and where possible the RSPCA believes they should be where they belong, in the wild. Where that absolutely isn’t possible, because they have been orphaned and hand-reared for example, they must have their needs met including their need to exhibit normal behaviour.”

Dog recovering after unfortunate accident left him with a stick stuck in his urethra

An unusual accident while enjoying his walkies left a dog with a rather peculiar injury. Basil the elderly Jack Russell was enjoying a run along the river bank in Chapel Hill, Lincolnshire, on Wednesaday when the freak incident took place and he got a ridged plant stalk stuck up his urethra.

“He was walking like John Wayne when he ran back to us so I knew something was wrong,” said owner Jill Larcombe, who rescued Basil as a stray 10 years ago. “So I checked him and when I saw it I did a double take. I thought ‘oh my goodness, it can’t be’ - there was this stick-like shaft sticking three inches out of him. I tried to give it a little pull but he went ballistic.”

Jill then spoke to another couple walking their dog who recommended she take Basil to Pilgrim Vets in Boston. “We rushed him in and he was seen without an appointment,” Jill said, “They were absolutely fantastic.” The vets realised they would need to sedate poor Basil to get the offending object out - and the sensitive job was done quickly with a little lubrication. Vet Sharon Crockett who performed the task said: “I’m baffled as to how he managed to do it.

“It’s obviously not a particularly big hole, so to get something as precise as that is quite astonishing. It was a good two-and-a-half inches up there and fully wedged, but Basil took it all remarkably well. It’s certainly the most eye-watering case I’ve ever dealt with.” Feeling rather sorry for himself, the pooch was back home and tucked up in bed back that night to get over the ordeal. Jill added: “He was in pain that night but the next morning he was completely back to normal - running around the garden and cocking his leg as normal.”

Government spy agency could face fines for reverse graffiti job adverts on London streets

Hackney Council says GCHQ could be fined after it marked out job adverts on pavements in the London borough. The authority says it didn't give permission for the spy agency to create the words on streets around Shoreditch. The adverts said "GCH-WHO? Technical opportunities" and include a website address.

"If we get evidence that any of these adverts are definitely in Hackney we will take enforcement action," Hackney Council said in a statement. "[That] can include forcing the company to clean it up and fining them. This is something we have done in the past and will continue to do." Intelligence service GCHQ used reverse graffiti for the adverts, which means the words were created by cleaning the pavement using a stencil and pressure washer - not using spray paint.

Hackney Council's graffiti policy says organisations have to ask for permission first. "The council does not consent to any painting, writing, soiling, marking or other defacement on its property including footways without its prior express permission being obtained." They were also spotted in Manchester, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Leeds. GCHQ says it was led to believe that it could put adverts on pavements in Hackney.

"GCHQ uses innovative methods to reach its target audience," a spokesperson said. "It employs a contractor to approach councils for permission to carry out recruitment methods such as clean graffiti. In this instance, Hackney Borough Council were approached for permission to use non-chemical clean graffiti in their area. GCHQ understands that Hackney Borough Council's reply contained limitations on using clean graffiti on street furniture, not pavements."