Deadliest U.S. Fraternity: Sig Ep!
According to a new report from Bloomberg, the honor of "Deadliest American Fraternity" goes to Sigma Alpha Epsilon! Since 2006, no less than ten people have died since amid hazing, booze, and drug incidents at the hands of the SAE's. In light of the story, the fraternity has made what it calls a "historic decision": It's barring the practice of pledging, effective immediately. In a statement the fraternity said, "New-member (pledge) programming will be eliminated completely from our operations. We have experienced a number of incidents and deaths, events with consequences that have never been consistent with our membership experience." Around 75 other national fraternities have already instituted such a program but the SAE's may be the best-known of them all. Chapters will continue to offer "bids" tapping potential members. If those young men accept, they'll have 96 hours to take an alcohol-safety program named for 2008 hazing victim Carson Starkey, whose parents are reportedly "speechless" at the change.
Never Too Late To Return Your Library Book
It's been over 21 years since somebody checked out a copy of "The Versatile Grain and the Elegant Bean: A Celebration of the World's Most Healthful Foods" from the Lawrence Public Library in Kansas. It was last checked out on Sept. 24, 1992 but just now did somebody finally return it, placing it in a book return box. Library official Kristin Soper speculates the borrower misplaced the volume and came across it just recently. The maximum late fee in 1992 was $3; it's now $4.50. The Versatile Grain and the Elegant Bean contains more than 300 recipes from around the world. Reviewers noted in 1992 that its publication coincided with growing US interest in healthy cooking.
Is It Too Loud in Your Theater?
Think the movies are too loud these days? Well if you live in Connecticut you might be in luck. That state could become the first state to curb loud movies. The legislature's Public Safety and Security Committee is considering a bill, which would prevent theaters from showing a film or preview that exceeded 85 decibels. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends noise should be kept below 85 decibels for workers for eight hours to minimize hearing loss. To give you an idea of what we're talking about here, 85 decibels is the sound of average traffic, 80 decibels is the sound of an alarm clock 2 feet away, and 100 decibels is the sound of a blow dryer. William Young, a Stamford resident with a doctorate in chemistry who has pushed the measure said, "Hopefully this will be a wakeup call to the theater owners and the MPAA to get their act together and do something that's good for the public and still will satisfy their needs." Meanwhile, an executive with the Motion Picture Association of America told the committee that the legislation is unnecessary and undermines voluntary standards adopted by companies and theaters.
Hey -- You Don't Ink Your Dog!
A New York tattoo artist is getting slammed by dog lovers after he gave his own dog a tattoo of a heart and his wife's name. The dog was still under anesthetic following surgery when the tattoo was done. Mistah Metro posted an image on Instagram of his pet lying still sedated right after he finished the tattoo. Alongside the picture he wrote: "One of the many reasons my dog is cooler than yours!" The tattoo was inked on the right shoulder of brown and white pit-bull mix, whose name is Zion. As you can expect, Metro got a ferocious backlash online. Although it is not illegal to tattoo a dog, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) also condemned the move. An ASPCA spokesperson said, "Tattooing an animal for the vain sake of joy and entertainment of the owner without any regard for the well-being of the animal is not something the ASPCA supports." The vet who allowed the tattoo has not been identified. Many Twitter users were appalled by the tattoo, calling for the dog to be taken away from his owner.
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Although a college graduate, 23-year-old Joseph Garrett has quit his job at a British pub and is now earning a fortune posting videos of himself playing the video game Minecraft in his bedroom! No kidding. Garrett's YouTube channel - under the name "Stampylonghead" - gets five million hits a day -- way more than One Direction and Justin Bieber combined. That makes it one of the top 10 most viewed worldwide. When the channel reached 10,000 subscribers Garrett quit his job to manage the channel full time. He gets an average of 3,000 messages a day from gamers asking for tips and makes money by pocketing a share of the advertising revenue from his videos. He currently uploads at least one 20-minute video a day and says, "When I was at university I switched over to doing what I do now, called a 'let's play'. You are essentially just playing and commentating while you play, just as a fun hobby."
Just An Average Doll
In Pittsburgh, 25-year-old Nickolay Lamm made headlines last year with his computer renditions of a doll based on the average measurements of a 19-year-old US woman. Now, he is trying to bring his creation to life by raising $95,000 through Kickstarter to sell the Lammily doll, which carries the tagline "Average is beautiful". With a month still to go, he's already raised nearly $84,000 towards his $95,000 goal. He hopes to produce 5,000 Lammily dolls ready to ship out this November. Scaled up to human size, the Lammily doll model has a 31-inch waist, 33-inch hips and a 32-inch bust whereas Barbie dolls in real life would have an 18-inch waist, 33-inch hips and a 36-inch bust. The Lammily doll also comes with brown hair and minimal make-up. Lamm says he was bombarded with requests from parents and kids to create the doll after they saw his "Real Barbie" project last year."
What the What?
NYPD officers thought they were responding to a routine noise complaint, but it turned into a significant drug bust. Uniformed officers knocked on the door of a third floor Queens apartment that was blasting music. Frank Giardina opened the door, and officers immediately noticed he was holding a marijuana pipe so they asked him for identification. That's when they say Giardina invited them inside where officers quickly noticed about five pounds of heroin on the kitchen table. So they arrested him and obtained a court-issued warrant to search the rest of the premises where they found an additional 1,948 small bags of heroin as well as packing materials and equipment. Needless to say, Giardina's been charged with multiple counts of drug possession.
World End is Near: Sarah Palin Was Right
Surely the end of the world is near. Sarah Palin was right! Yep! Alaska's most famous export is happily gloating over a quote she made back during the 2008 McCain campaign which was mocked by critics. The quote came from a speech she gave in Reno when she said: "After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence -- the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next." Well, turns out that's exactly what's happening.
Palin took to Facebook to gloat a little and posted: "Yes, I could see this one from Alaska," recalling the Tina Fey "I can see Russia from my house!" spoof. Her post continues: "I'm usually not one to Told-Ya-So, but I did." Back in 2008 Foreign Policy magazine called Palin's comments "strange" at the time and dismissed the idea as "an extremely far-fetched scenario."
If At First You Don't Succeed at Stowing Away to Hawaii...
What's the old saying? If at first you don't succeed at stowing away to Hawaii, try, try again! That's exactly what 62-year-old Marilyn Jean Hartman of San Francisco did. She wanted to get to Hawaii so badly that she amazingly managed to slip through airport security and actually get aboard a plane on Feb. 15. She only ran into trouble when the person who actually paid for the seat showed up. Authorities escorted Hartman off the plane and told her to leave the airport. She did, but returned three days later to try again, only to be foiled at security. Yet again, authorities let her go, and thus again she returned, two days later, armed with a bogus boarding pass. This time however, she got arrested and spent eight days in jail on commercial burglary charges. According to the local D.A., Hartman "indicated she has cancer and simply wanted to go somewhere warm." However, it's unclear if that too was a lie.
Now We're Shooting Each Other Over Tax Refunds
What does it say about our society when we're shooting each other over tax refunds? Four people were shot at a tax-preparation office in Detroit, reportedly because one woman got upset her refund check wasn't ready. The office's co-owner said that when the woman and two others were asked to leave for being disruptive, one of them pulled out a gun and started firing. The alleged gunman is in custody, while the four victims remain hospitalized in either critical or serious condition.
Might Want to Do Some Spring Cleaning!
Spring cleaning is not only good for the soul, it might be good for your wallet. Just ask 26-year-old Gregory Jarrett of Georgia who was cleaning his room when he came across a month-old Powerball ticket he had forgotten about. No -- it didn't win the jackpot, but it did have five matching numbers which was enough to make Gregory a million bucks richer! He said, "I called for my mom, and I walked toward her, shaking. She verified it, and at that point, we hugged." Gregory had used his siblings' birthdays to pick his numbers.
It Actually Makes Sense to Buy the Bigger Pizza!
Here's good news pizza lovers -- it actually makes economic sense to buy the bigger pizza. Think of it like this: "A pizza is a circle, and the area of a circle increases with the square of the radius." These helpful tips are pointed out by Quoctrung Bui at NPR's Planet Money blog, whose post on the comparative values of pizzas is getting quite a lot of attention. With geometry and impressive graphics on his side, Bui points out that a 16-inch pizza is four times larger than an 8-inch pizza, even though the price difference certainly isn't four times more. So he argues, always go big or you're wasting money.
What If There Was a Donut Shop That Didn't Sell Donuts?
Imagine a famous donut shop that no longer sells donuts! It's happening in Quincy, Massachusetts where the licensing board just approved a plan for Honey Dew Donuts to open a shop inside the city's new $30 million YMCA. However, because of the Y's emphasis on physical fitness, no donuts will be sold. The shop will sell coffee, low-fat muffins, salads, sandwiches, yogurt, fruit cups and smoothies -- but no donuts! All menu items have to be approved by the Y. Ironically, according to Honey Dew's website, its low-fat muffins actually contain more calories and sugar than many of its doughnuts.
Here's a kid who will always have an interesting story to tell. A New York City woman ended up giving birth in the middle of a crosswalk on Manhattan's Upper East Side. It seems the woman left her building to go to the hospital and her doorman tried to hail a taxi for her. But the baby couldn't wait, and the woman lowered herself onto the ground in the crosswalk. Several people stopped to help until police and medics arrived. Women offered scarves to wrap the baby. An ambulance took the mother and baby to nearby Lenox Hill Hospital and we're happy to report that both are doing just fine and resting comfortably at home now.
What the What?
How's this for irony. In Chicago, 21-year-old Daniel Kowalski was arrested and is now accused of operating a methamphetamine lab. The interesting part is that in his mug shot, he's actually wearing a T-shirt from the television show "Breaking Bad!" The T-shirt is for the fictional Los Pollos Hermanos chicken restaurant depicted in the hit AMC show. The Cook County Sheriff's Office says deputies acting on a tip checked Kowalski's home where they found beakers, burners, chemicals and instructions for making meth. Kowalski has been charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine manufacturing materials and precursors. Probably won't go well for him as this is the second time. He was arrested in July 2013 on similar charges.
Smartest Girl Scout Eva!
It may be the most brilliant display of entrepreneurial spirit in modern history. A California Girl Scout has been selling cookies outside of a San Francisco marijuana dispensary. Danielle Lei, 13, set up shop in front of The Green Cross on Monday, selling a whopping 117 boxes in just two hours -- about one box per minute. Her mother did call and ask for permission from the dispensary and the owners welcomed the girl with open arms and reportedly bought several boxes.
When asked for their take, a representative for the Girl Scouts of America said that the decision of where to sell cookies is ultimately up to the parents and added, "Our number one concern is the safety of girls. As long as they're following our safety guidelines, we trust our parents to make decisions for their daughters based on the communities that they live in."
First Man Ever Runs Loop the Loop!
Stunt man and gymnast Damien Walters has become the first person in the world to run a complete 360 degrees loop-the-loop! Walters and scientists from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT in Boston spent four months planning and working on the gravity-defying feat. They built a 10-foot high Loop the Loop and calculated that it should be possible to complete the stunt if he ran at a constant velocity of 8.65mph around the 360 degrees track. After many practice runs, made less painful with the use of strategically placed mats, he eventually completed the loop. A nice video of the process and the eventual run is online... sponsored by Pepsi
Now That's a Prank!
A video of a very brave and very funny 16-year-old boy has racked up well over a million views on YouTube. In the video entitled "Pranking My African Dad," Emmanuel Kellam calls his father into the living room and then tells him he managed to get his girlfriend pregnant. As expected the Dad goes ballistic and screams at his son that he will end up at McDonald's! At one point he also tells the boy he can no longer live in the house. But for the grand finale dad storms out of the room and then comes back armed with a broom with which he apparently plans to beat the boy with saying, "By the time I am done with you the police will take us both." At this point, Emmanuel wisely comes clean and admits it was all a joke and points to the camera recording the whole scene. Gotta give dad some credit. When he realizes what's going on he immediately breaks out in hysterics and says to his son, "You are a joker!"
Star Wars Will Never Die!
It seems that Star Wars will never die and people will continue to come up with new and unique ways to tell the Star Wars story. A London artist and sci-fi fan has hand-stitched the entire Star Wars saga onto a 30-foot long tapestry. Aled Lewis's Coruscant Tapestry depicts the Star Wars story from Episode 1 through to Episode 6 and features quotes from each film written in Aurebesh - the fictional system of writing within the Star Wars universe - on the surrounding border. There is even a separate wooden translation plate for viewers to translate the symbols in the border of the tapestry. It's currently on display at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles where it's on sale for the surprisingly low price of $20,000. Lewis said he watched and rewatched the films and read up on what were considered to be the major plot points and the key players in the main story during the saga. The whole process took him six months. $20K??
Time For a New Dog Sitter
And the award for the "World's Laziest Dog Sitter" goes to 23-year-old Tyler Smith who was recently charged with violating Greenville, South Carolina's animal care ordinance after a photograph was posted on Facebook of his father's dog being lowered by rope from the second-story balcony of an apartment. It seems the dog needed to go out but it was raining and young Tyler simply didn't want to go out in the rain. So he quickly came up with the make-shift dog elevator.
Greediest Drug Company in the World?
Whatever became of looking out for your fellow man? If you don't know, three million Americans are currently infected with hepatitis C along with millions more around the world. Miraculously, a very recent drug, Sovaldi, has been found to completely cure the disease with 84 daily doses. However, its manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, has somehow determined that a fair U.S. price for the drug should be $1,000 per pill or $84,000 for the entire treatment. According to reports, Gilead didn't so much develop the drug as they much as they simply bought out the actual developer for $11 billion. At their suggested price, they would recoup their $11B after the first 150,000 customers. But when asked if after that, shouldn't they reduce the price, Gilead's Gregg Alton said, "That's very unlikely we would do that but I appreciate the thought." Incidentally, if all three million Americans with hepatitis C paid the $84,000 price tag, Gilead would make $239 billion!
What the What?
Our British friends have introduced a product called Poo-Pourri -- an aerosol spray that one sprays into the toilet bowl prior to use. It claims to greatly reduce any unpleasant odors. Our guess is that any good can of air freshener might yield the same results but what is really turning heads is the series of television ads the manufacturer is airing to promote the product. A woman with a thick British accent is seen sitting on the toilet and her opening line is: "You would not believe the mother lode I just dropped." Awesome.
Now That's True Love!
No matter how great your Valentine's Day was, it's doubtful your Valentine made as grand a gesture as Joseph Andrew Dekenipp did for his true love. Unfortunately it was also an incredibly stupid gesture. Dekenipp was an inmate in the Pinal County Jail in Arizona where he was being held on suspicion of vehicle theft, trafficking in stolen property, unlawful flight, and driving on a suspended license.
Somehow he managed to climb two walls and crawl through razor wire to escape and meet his sweetheart on Valentine's Day. Alas, it didn't work out so well. He was arrested just a few hours later at a saloon and grill in Coolidge where he was supposed to meet his girlfriend. So now he's also facing an escape charge.
With the Snow Comes Giant Runaway Snowballs!
In Portland, Oregon, a couple of math majors at Reed College lost control of a massive snowball that rolled into a dorm and knocked out part of a bedroom wall! Fortunately there were no injuries but college spokesman Kevin Myers said it will cost upwards of $3,000 to repair the building. The incident happened following a rare trio of snowstorms in Portland. Students started building the giant snowball on a campus quad near the dorm. Egged on by a crowd, they tried to make the snowball as big as possible by rolling it down the sidewalk that goes past the dorm when the monstrosity just got away from them. Nobody weighed the snowball, but a maintenance worker who sliced it up for removal estimated it to weigh 800 pounds or more. The students responsible reported the incident and won't be disciplined as school officials determined they didn't intend to cause damage and feel awful about what happened
Camel Attack... in California!
Okay maybe camel attacks aren't all that uncommon... but they are in Southern California! In Palmdale a camel escaped from an enclosure and stomped a 72-year-old man who tried to capture it! It then chased other people and even a few cars before it finally calmed down and was corralled. The injured man was hospitalized and needed stitches for a gash to his head. The crazy camel was ultimately seized by animal control officials because the owner does not have a permit and because of the injury. The owner could be cited for endangering residents. A police spokesperson said the camel and other animals, including a buffalo and an ostrich, previously escaped from the owner's property, which she described as a zoo. There have been as many as five escapes this year, she said.
Very Bad News: Crocodiles Can Climb Trees!
Got some really bad news for you. While most people entering crocodile territory keep a wary eye out on water and land, new research suggests you better look up too! Though lacking obvious physical features to suggest it's possible, crocodiles can in fact climb trees all the way to the crowns, according to University of Tennessee researcher Vladimir Dinets. The amazing feat was observed while studying crocodiles in Australia, Africa and North America. The study documented crocodiles climbing as high as six feet off the ground. But Dinets said he received anecdotal reports from people who spend time around crocodiles of the reptiles climbing almost 30 feet. Smaller and juvenile crocodiles in particular were observed climbing vertically while larger ones tended to climb angled trunks and branches, all of which is a measure of the reptiles' spectacular agility. Dinets said, "They just go slowly [but] eventually they get there." People who spend time around crocodiles have known about the climbing ability for decades, Dinets said, but this study is the first to thoroughly examine the climbing behavior.
Hope Your Valentine's Day Was Better Than Shanghai!
At least one jilted lover decided to direct his broken-hearted anger at all couples in love in Shanghai -- at least those going to the movies on Valentine's Day. The unnamed bachelor, who apparently got dumped by his girlfriend last year, bought up all the odd-numbered seats at a movie theater in Shanghai's fashionable Xintiandi district so that couples going to see Beijing Love Story weren't able to sit together. And it seems the idea is catching as others have now joined his online campaign to book every other seat for the main showing of the movie. In an online message, the man who only used the moniker "UP" wrote: "Want to see a movie on Valentine's Day? Sorry, you'll have to sit separately. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Give us singles a chance."
Longest Hug Record Attempted!
Several couples in Thailand spent Valentine's Day trying to set a new world record for non-stop hugging. Thirty-one couples gathered in Pattaya to try and break the Guinness World Record currently held by British pair Sanderson Jones and Mikey Lear who hugged it out for 25 hours, 22 minutes and 36 seconds last year. According to the official rules, no breaks are permitted and you must hug continuously while standing with both arms wrapped around each other at all times. As incentive, any couple who officially set a new record in Thailand will be rewarded with two diamond rings and a cash prize.
What the What?
Talk about a late fee! In Pickens, South Carolina, 27-year-old Kayla Michelle Finley went to the county sheriff's office to report a crime and instead got arrested herself. Much to her surprise there was an outstanding warrant for arrest -- FOR NOT RETURNING A MOVIE! It seems in 2005 Finley failed to return a video cassette of the Jennifer Lopez movie "Monster-In-Law." And even though the video store where she rented the movie is no longer in business, Finley still got to spend the night in jail. She later wrote on Facebook, "It's obvious that Pickens County has nothing better to do. I fully intend on fighting this. It's ridiculous that I had this happen to me." In their defense, police said letters ordering Finley to return the video were sent to her almost nine years ago and a certified warrant was sent to her on Sept. 21, 2005. Finley claims she never got any of them.
Giant Jellyfish Do Exist!
Scientists are working to classify a new species of super giant jellyfish that was found on an Australian beach. The amazing specimen measures just under five feet across! While similar jellyfish have been seen before, nobody has seen one this large or washed up on the shore.
Lisa Gershwin, a scientist with the government's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization said, "We know about this specimen but it hasn't been classified yet, it hasn't been named. It is so big it took our breath away. It's a whopper of an animal but it's not life-threatening, although it does sting."
Your Move Burger King America!
Burger King has once again raised the bar in the world of fast food by introducing two new burger creations: the NY Whopper and BK Ringo. Rather than tomatoes, both whoppers offer slices of grilled apples. The BK Ringo also includes cinnamon-infused mayonnaise while the NY Whopper swaps the spiced-up mayo for Hollandaise sauce and adds in bacon slices. Only problem is these new sandwiches are only available in Japan -- where apparently you can also get beer and cocktails in plastic cups! Your move Burger King America.
I Got Dem Ol' Penguin Blues Again!
At the Scarborough Sea Life Center in Britain, scientists say their penguins have been suffering from the winter blues! The South American seabirds are so fed up with the British weather that the staff has had to resort to basically giving the penguins anti-depressants to try and ward off any more serious symptoms. Curator Lyndsey Crawford said, "Humboldts in the wild on the coast of Peru and Chile can be subjected to some pretty wild extremes of weather, but what they don't get is weeks of almost daily downpours and high winds. After the first week our birds were just a bit subdued, but after over a month now they are thoroughly fed up and miserable, much like the rest of us." She added that the drugs seem to be doing the trick so far and all are hoping for at least a few successive days of sunshine.
"Fred is a classic example of good talent gone to waste!"
Sadly, Fred is no longer an employee of the Gulfport, Mississippi Police Department. Fred is a police dog and had the talent for sniffing out contraband, but -- like so many human workers -- he was basically too lazy and too easily distracted, so they had to let him go. Fred was sent back to his previous owners at K-9 unlimited in Louisiana. While on duty, Fred could often be found playing with a soda can instead of doing the police work he was trained to do. But as failed police dogs go, it could have been worse. Three years ago, the Braidwood Police Department in Illinois had to retire Atom, after the K-9 cop attacked a suspect who was already in custody.
The Absolute Last Place You Want to Pee!
Not that I sit around thinking of this stuff, but if I had to rank all the worst possible places in the world to pee, I would probably put on a police officer's head very near the top! Unfortunately that's exactly what 19-year-old Noah McCall allegedly did. Noah's a college student in Albany, N.Y., and was arrested while officers were breaking up a wild party at Pi Kappa Phi. Officers showed up at the scene at about 3:20 a.m. and observed several people inside and outside of the residence consuming alcohol and making a racket. While the officers were shutting down the party, McCall allegedly "urinated off the rear staircase directly onto a uniformed police officer." McCall's urine allegedly dribbled on the cop's head and face. The officer was taken to a local hospital to be treated for "bodily fluid exposure." Meanwhile, young Mr. McCall was taken to jail where he probably had the opportunity to receive some bodily fluid exposure. He was charged with third-degree reckless assault and possession of a phony Florida driver's license. Incidentally, while at the scene, police noticed unsafe conditions in the home and a subsequent inspection deemed the building unsafe and uninhabitable.
Birds of a Feather?
Looks like it's time for 34-year-old Carmen Reategui of Readington Township, New Jersey to get some new friends. Carmen was recently arrested for DUI and, being too impaired to drive home, she called her friend Nina Petracca, 23. Unfortuantely, Nina arrived at the police station also impaired -- leading to a DUI arrest for her as well. So both women then called Ryan Hogan, 33, to take them home, but... wait for it... YES! He too arrived at the police station impaired and so was also arrested!
What the What?
A big thumbs down to city officials in Plymouth, England. Thanks to them, 65-year-old Bob Slade -- a wonderful school crossing guard at Manadon Vale Primary School -- recently resigned from his position -- a job he said he loved. He did so because the city council reprimanded him and threatened to suspend him for four weeks if he didn't stop playfully "high-fiving" students as he helped them across the street. The officials insisted that their crossing guards need both arms free to hold signs and make proper signals. While Bob got plenty of support from outraged parents who loved him, he said he was going to retire anyway and the whole thing just made him sick
Anybody Want a 36-pound Cat?
A Phoenix, Arizona animal shelter has one big cat on its hands. The Maricopa County Animal Care and Control recently received a 36-pound cat -- appropriately named "Meatball." The giant kitty is temporarily staying in an office at the shelter because he's just too big to fit into a standard kennel.
But nobody will be allowed to adopt Meatball. Instead, the shelter is trying to place him with a rescue organization that helps overweight cats. The shelter says Meatball is extremely friendly and says he can comfortably walk despite being grossly overweight.
Who's Signing Up For Beyonce 101?
Want to know more about Beyonce? Go to Rutgers! The Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University is offering a class called Politicizing Beyonce. The class includes analysis of Beyonce's videos and lyrics as well as readings from black feminists. Course instructor Kevin Allred said he will use the singer's career to explore American race, gender and sexual politics. He also said he hopes to help students think more critically about media consumption. Allred added, "This isn't a course about Beyonce's political engagement or how many times she performed during President Obama's inauguration weekend." But if you're more of a rocker, Rutgers also offers a class about the theology of Bruce Springsteen's lyrics.
Worst Suspect Sketch Ever Still Leads to Arrest!
Even though the police sketch of the suspect was dubbed the "worst ever" it still led officers to their man! In Texas, the Lamar County Sheriff's Department released the picture last week in the hope of tracking down a mugging suspect. The truly horrible picture went viral, sparking hilarity among social media users and online news sites with many claiming it was the worst police sketch ever. But ironically, it was good enough for an officer from the local sheriff's department in Paris, Texas, to recognize the suspect. Meanwhile, police had defended the image which they said was a composite from two descriptions sketched by an experienced police artist. And of course they got the last laugh when it helped catch the guy! The suspect has now been charged with aggravated robbery and other crimes including indecent exposure, burglary, criminal mischief and evading arrest.
Dang It! No More Drone Beer Delivery!
Sorry beer and technology lovers. Aviation officials have grounded a drone beer delivery service for thirsty fishermen in the frozen northern lakes of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Lakemaid Beer, which calls itself the fishermen's lager, had hoped the delivery service would be a big hit with area beer and bait shops. The company even posted a YouTube video showing the drone delivering a 12 pack to fishermen and women in their cabin. The idea was for customers to call or text the closet bait shop and give their GPS co-ordinates. A six propeller drone would then deliver the beer across the frozen lake! Sadly, the Federal Aviation Administration has yet to approve the use of drones for commercial use and stepped in to shoot down the idea. Lakemaid president Jack Supple said he was "a little surprised at the FAA interest in this since we thought we were operating under the 400-foot limit."
Apparently Legos and Porn Don't Mix!
In England, adult film star Christy Mack was threatened with a huge lawsuit after she offered a sexual favor to the winner of a Lego competition. But the idea was quickly scrapped after Lego lawyers told her they did not want to be associated with the contest. The 22-year-old had tweeted: "Whoever builds me the best Lego creation to put in my house gets a... well, we'll let you use your imagination. The response to her proposal was massive, with lots of Lego enthusiasts quickly getting in touch with her. But Ms. Mack then tweeted again to say that lawyers for Lego had contacted her in protest of her usage of the brand's name. Either way she got what she was after... tons of press!
Hand Stuck in a Truck: FOR 18 HOURS!
In Portland, Oregon, a woman in her 70s is recovering in a hospital after she got her hand stuck underneath the hood of her pickup truck, forcing her to stand in horrible weather overnight and for a grueling 18 hours! The poor woman was hooking up a charger to her truck battery in the afternoon when the hood slammed down on her hand and clicked the latch making it impossible for her to get free. The poor woman, whose name was not released, was unable to sit down and spent 18 hours exposed to rain and snow. At one point, she jogged in place just to stay warm. She screamed for help all night long, but no one her heard cries until the next day when some neighbors rode through the area on horseback. Fortunately for her she had been dressed very warmly in several layers of clothing and heavy pants. Doctors say otherwise the hypothermia would have surely killed her.
What the What?
It may just be the weirdest funeral ever. In San Juan, Puerto Rico, boxer Christopher Rivera Amaro's body looked almost ready to fight once again even though he was dead and at his own funeral. His family had propped up his body against the corner of a simulated boxing ring. Mourners who came to his wake found him posed with a yellow hood on his head, sunglasses glasses over his eyes and blue boxing gloves on his hands. Elsie Rodriguez, vice president of the Marin Funeral Home, said Rivera's family wanted to honor his boxing so the funeral home suggested posing him in a ring. The 23-year-old Rivera had a 5-15 record in the 130-pound weight class. He was tragically shot last Sunday. Police are still looking for a suspect.
We'll Get You on Twitter You Bad Parkers!
You may not know it but apparently Italians are notoriously bad parkers. They're known to park their cars and scooters on traffic islands, the pavement or simply in the middle of the street if it suits them. So police in Rome are turning to Twitter to help get a handle on illegal parking. Citizens who spot illegally parked cars can now alert a dedicated police Twitter account.
The police then reply to say when they have taken action - typically in a matter of hours. The new head of the urban police force, Raffaele Clemente said, "Sharing, such as on social networks, is needed to fight certain patterns of illegality and rule-breaking, and also of crime!" Initial skepticism among Twitter users turned into messages of thanks once penalty notices were issued.
Aliens, Nazis and the U.S. Government!
There are many stories circulating about exactly what the infamous Edward Snowden did or didn't actually leak. But perhaps the craziest story to emerge from the fiasco is one posted by Iran's Fars News Agency. They claim that the U.S. government has been under the control of a shadow government overseen by extraterrestrials who helped Nazi Germany's rise in the 1930s -- and they say the proof is in documents leaked by Snowden. Specifically the story says that documents revealed by Snowden are part of a Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) report which states the information provides "incontrovertible proof that an alien/extraterrestrial intelligence agenda is driving U.S. domestic and international policy, and has been doing so since 1945." Adding insult to injury, former Canadian defense minister Paul Hellyer allegedly confirmed the Fars story was totally accurate. But that claim too turned out to be completely false.
Why Is This Hard? Teaching and Nude Modeling Don't Mix!
Hey get a clue young teachers! You can't teach kids and be a nude model in America. It just doesn't' work! But once again we have someone smart enough to earn a teaching certificate but dumb enough to miss this important concept. An assistant special ed teacher named Kaitlin Pearson has been put on administrative leave in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, after it was discovered she likes to make money on the side posing as a nude model. Friends say she is a great woman who cared endlessly for her students and many claim her side job never negatively impacted her work. But come on -- do you really think it's going to be okay to have naked pics of yourself all over the internet when you're teaching kids in a public school!
American Justice At It's Worst!
Hard to believe but 70-year-old Franklin H. Frye has spent more than 40 years locked away in a Washington D.C. hospital for the criminally insane. His crime: stealing a necklace worth $20 in 1971. Frye was sent to the psychiatric wing of St. Elizabeth's Hospital after he was found not guilty by reason of insanity for stealing the necklace. Six years ago, a public defender filed a motion asking a federal court to grant Mr. Frye an unconditional release however his case has yet to be heard by a judge. In an expose, the Washington Times described the situation as "a serious judicial breakdown." According to the paper, the original judge assigned to Mr. Frye's case died in 2007 - when the motion for Mr. Frye's release was first filed. The case was never transferred to a judge who is still breathing. In his latest motion, Mr. Frye's attorneys reiterate the claims made in the original motion that was never heard by a judge -- that "Mr. Frye has recovered his sanity and no longer suffers from a mental illness as defined by law." Just one day after filing that motion, the case was finally transferred to a living judge, but it's unclear when - or if - the judge will rule on the motion for Mr. Frye's release.
World's Laziest Criminal?
We may have found the world's laziest criminal -- in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. While most criminals prefer to leave their homes to commit crimes, 20-year-old Michael Antonio Long was arrested for allegedly ordering a pizza delivery, so he could rob the delivery guy when he arrived. Long reportedly ordered the pizza by phone and had it delivered to his home in a mobile home park. When the driver arrived, Long and several other men allegedly armed with handguns robbed the man of all the money he had on him, his wallet and the two pizzas he was carrying. Of course the driver got a good look at all the suspects and described them to police. Investigators then talked with people in the trailer park who were able to identify the men based on the descriptions. Tuscaloosa Police Sgt. Brent Blankley said, "We don't typically see a suspect call a delivery driver to their actual address to commit a robbery." Long was charged with first-degree robbery and remained in the Tuscaloosa County Jail over the weekend with bail set at $60,000.
What the What?
In what has to be one of the weirdest stories in a while, in Tunstall England, 51-year-old David Sherratt allegedly walked into the White Hart bar completely naked from the waist down. He was also carrying a bag of sex toys and turned the customers and said, "If anyone has a problem with me they can take it outside!" Fortunately Mr. Sherratt was arrested before he could fight anyone but even more amazing, the bartender didn't even call the police until Sherratt walked out and allegedly approached a group of kids. Sherratt later admitted he "may have taken too much" amphetamine. Officers reported finding the illegal amphetamines, clothing and sex toys in the bag Sherratt was holding.
What? Like You Don't Argue About Hog Stomachs?
In Greenwood, South Carolina, 19-year-old Johnnette Lachelle Brown is accused of stabbing a co-worker in the neck after an argument about a hog stomach. Brown is an employee of the Carolina Pride pork processing plant and got into an argument with a female co-worker in what is called the "kill room." Brown accused the other woman of striking her with a hog stomach, which the co-worker denied doing. When the co-worker told Brown there weren't even any hog stomachs in the room, Brown allegedly responded by stabbing her in the neck with a nearby pair of scissors. Police found the victim with a deep, 1-square-inch neck wound. The victim also admitted to punching Brown to avoid being stabbed again. While doctors were able to stabilize her, they fear she may have permanent nerve damage due to the attack. Brown was charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon.
OK, Yes It's Haunted... But Only Slightly!
Ever wanted to live in a haunted house? How about one that's just slightly haunted? In Dunmore, Pennsylvania, Gregory and Sandi Leeson put their 113-year-old Victorian on the market and advertised it as "slightly haunted." Between the mysteriously banging doors, the odd noises coming from the basement, and the persistent feeling that someone is standing behind them, they really believe something is going on in the home. While they got plenty of calls from ghost hunters and an open house attracted lots of curiosity seekers, there were no legitimate buyers.
All the Cool Carjackers Can Drive a Stick
In Springfield, Massachusetts, a pathetic trio of would-be carjackers had to put the brakes on their plans because none of them knew how to drive a stick. Police say the men pulled a knife on a food delivery driver at night and demanded his food and the keys to the car. But then they noticed the car had a manual transmission and reportedly began arguing among themselves about who could drive it. Ultimately they fled the scene on foot with their ill-gotten dinner. The driver was not seriously hurt and police are still looking for the trio of unqualified carjackers.
Another Sickening Mom Fail
Kayla Shavers, of New Port Richey, Florida won't be winning any mom-of-the-year contests anytime soon. Shavers was charged with child neglect after police say she left her two young children -- a 9-year-old and an 8-month-old -- in a freezing car at night so she could go hog hunting! The 31-year-old said she went after the hogs because they had been tearing up her property. The temperature was 38 degrees at the time and the 9-year-old did not have a coat. The 9-year-old eventually called 911, saying he was cold and "a police car would be warmer." About 40 minutes after police arrived at the scene Shavers emerged from the woods, clad in camo. Sheriff Chris Nocco said, "Kudos to that little 9-year-old boy. He may have saved the baby's life." Authorities say Shavers claimed she was close enough to the car to respond if her children needed help. She also allegedly said she left the keys in the car for the 9-year-old to turn it on if needed, but he apparently wasn't able to do so.
Your Kid's Fat? Don't Blame McDonalds!
We all know too much fast food isn't good for you but chains like McDonald's may be getting a bad rap when it comes to America's obesity problem. According to a new study published in the Los Angeles Times, it's not really fast food that's making your kids fat -- it's the sodas, frozen pizzas, and cookies consumed at home and school! The study says the typical "Western diet" is high in saturated fats and added sugars. Researchers looked at the eating habits of 4,466 American kids, aged 2 to 18, and grouped them based on what they ate when they weren't eating fast food. What they found: Those with the highest rates of being overweight or obese ate a Western diet -- even if they ate no fast food; on the flip side, those who were high fast-food consumers but otherwise ate a "prudent" diet were much less likely to be overweight or obese. However, the more often a child ate at fast food joints, the more likely he or she was to follow a similar diet at home.
Anyone Up For a Little Naked Sledding?
Britain is looking for two brave athletes who want to represent their country at the Naked Sledding World Championship in Germany next month. Competitors must ride a toboggan over an 89-meter course wearing only footwear, helmet and underwear. The annual event will be taking place on Saturday, February 15, in the spa town of Braunlage in the Harz Mountains. This will be the first time in the history of the championship that the UK will be represented. Ten finalists will be selected and the public will then vote for the two individuals to represent the UK at the championship. The winning pair will have their flights and accommodation paid for. No previous sledding experience is required and all fitness levels can apply.
World's Most Famous Butt?
Her face might not be familiar but with more than 1.7 million fans on Instagram, Jen Selter may have the world's most famous butt! The 20-year-old New Yorker amassed the huge following since she began posting pictures of herself working out on the photo-sharing site in 2012. She regularly notches up 80,000 likes per post with pics of her sculpting her body in yoga pants and sports bra. Even global megastar Rihanna is a follower. Miss Selter said: "I find it incredible how many followers I have gotten from my posts and it keeps getting bigger. I'm a huge Rihanna fan, and I take it as a huge honor that she follows me. Her music pumps me up in the gym - she's never messaged me but that would be awesome." Her daily workout routine of around two hours includes cardio, squats and bodyweight exercises to sculpt her famous behind. In fact, she's so popular she's been able to quit her job and make an income from her online popularity.
Man Catches Baby In Home Depot
A quick reacting Home Depot worker can be seen impressively catching a baby falling out of a shopping cart in Alaska in a video posted on YouTube. More than 220,000 people have watched the clip of Christopher Strickland's quick reactions at a Home Depot store in South Anchorage. As the little girl began to tip out of the child seat and fall towards the ground, Strickland rushed and impressively catches the baby in mid-air. He then handed the baby back to its grateful father who had reportedly been distracted at the cash register. Surveillance footage from the shop caught the incident on camera and was posted on YouTube by Strickland's brother, Dale.
My Mom Can Out Eat Your Mom!
She may only weigh 119 pounds, but 34-year-old Molly Schuyler has set a new world record by gobbling down a mammoth 72-ounce steak in just 2 minutes and 44 seconds! The previous Guinness World Record was 6 minutes, 48 seconds. Schuyler, who hails from Nebraska, says she has no explanation for her unusual talent -- although she does have fond memories of "battling it out" with her siblings at the buffet when they were kids. She added, "It's an unexplained phenomenon; I was just born that way. I guess it's like a stupid human trick." The steak eating challenge was started in 1948 by the owners of the Sayler's Old Country Kitchen in Portland, Oregon. Participants don't pay a dime if they eat the entire 72 ounce steak and sides in under an hour. So far 1,903 people have undertaken the challenge and only 579 people have succeeded.
Step Away From the Beverage Cart!
Warning: A little gross and graphic! Andrew Davidson of Scotland does not handle his liquor well. He was sentenced to 100 hours of community service in Perth after making a disgusting fool of himself on a passenger train. First he approached the railway employee and tried to kiss her. After the employee broke free and ran from the train Davidson turned his affections to a beverage cart and started grinding up against it. Witnesses said he also started shouting things at the cart including, "I want to kiss you," and other more obscene phrases. The 25-year-old Davidson later said he had no memory of the incident but wrote the court a letter expressing remorse for his actions.
Sorry For the Lack of Dragon Research!
Scientists in Australia have apologized to a 7-year-old girl for failing to make her a pet dragon -- and promised to step up their dragon research. Sophie Lester, who lives in Queensland, wrote to the Australian national science agency asking for a pet dragon. The letter read: "Hello lovely scientist. Would it be possible if you can make a dragon for me? I would like it if you could but if you can't that's fine. I would keep it in my special green grass area where there are lots of space. I would feed it raw fish and I would put a collar on it." Staff at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization were quick to respond and posted on their website: "We've been doing science since 1926 and we're quite proud of what we have achieved. But we've missed something. There are no dragons. Over the past 87 odd years we have not been able to create a dragon or dragon eggs and for this, Australia, we are sorry." CSIRO has promised to make Sophie a 3D printed titanium dragon by way of an apology.
Police Looking For Bad Driver/Banana Thief
Police in Newington, Connecticut are looking for the guy who smashed his vehicle into a gas station, then swiped a banana from a shelf and ate it before leaving! Nothing else was taken. The store's surveillance video shows a Ford Freestyle with Connecticut license plates backing repeatedly into the store and breaking the glass doors, which set off the burglar alarm at about 2 a.m. The banana bandit was gone before police arrived. Police say the station wagon has damage to the driver's side taillight and rear bumper.
Bath in a Pothole!
A British teacher has taken a stand against the state of the roads in South Africa - by taking a public bath in a giant pothole. Pictures of Rosie Morrison bathing in the pothole went viral in South Africa after she posted them on Facebook. She says, "The reaction has been huge. I have been interviewed on all the major radio stations over here and the pictures were in most of the national papers." Morrison calls the road between Machadodorp and Mashishing a "death trap" due to the number of deep potholes and says, "If you hit one of these potholes at any speed you will at best get a flat tire, and at worst have a serious crash." A spokesperson from the local transportation department says the large number of heavy trucks from various mines that use the road have contributed to the deterioration of the road which is now so bad, patching is no longer a feasible option.
Bigfoot Ate My Pizza!
It seems like a simple case of burglary. Anthony Padilla of Breckenridge, Michigan claims his estate was vandalized and his pizza stolen and he wants help from the police. The only unusual thing is that the accused in the case is Bigfoot! No kidding. Padilla went to the Midland law enforcement center armed with evidence, including photo albums, empty food containers and alleged Bigfoot poop, to ask for help verifying the existence of the mythical creature. He told a Sheriff's deputy that he accidentally "awoke" the Bigfoot spirit by knocking branches against trees to break them into smaller pieces. This began when he moved onto his 17-acre property in 1997, according to the incident report. For years, Padilla has seen what he believes is evidence of Bigfoot and wants the evidence he provided tested for DNA. Unfortunately he was told that DNA processing is only used for serious crimes and that Bigfoot is not currently a suspect in any criminal activity.
How Not to Handle a Traffic Stop!
Here's how not to handle yourself at a traffic stop. In Houston, an outraged driver actually snatched a police officer's ticketbook from his hand and then locked herself inside her stopped SUV on the East Freeway. After she was pulled over, police say she admitted she had a gun in the car. According to the Houston Police Department, the woman apparently didn't like the way the officer spoke to her, so she grabbed his ticket book and locked her car doors. Freeway cameras from Houston TranStar showed several police cars on the scene. Tow trucks were called in as the standoff continued but the DA's office ultimately refused to accept charges against the woman, so they wrote her a ticket and let her go.
I'm Sorry, Is This a Bank or Bodega? Police in New York City were finally able to catch and arrest 55-year-old William Footman who allegedly was the person who somehow managed to swipe inside-front-door mats from at least 37 area banks between March and May 2013. No money was ever taken, and many of the banks were slow to realize the thefts, not realizing that they even had front-door mats in the first place. "Footman later told police, "I sell them to bodegas. Their floors get wet."
What Are You Using For Brains?
A man who allegedly stole human brain samples from a medical history museum was arrested after selling them on eBay. Police nabbed 21-year-old David Charles after investigators were tipped off by a San Diego man who became suspicious about six jars of brain tissue he'd bought on eBay for $600. Charles now faces theft and other charges. He allegedly broke into the Indiana Medical History Museum several times over the past year and stole jars of preserved human tissues, including brain samples, from long-dead psychiatric patients. The museum is on the grounds of a former state psychiatric hospital, Central State Hospital, which closed in 1994. Charles was arrested during a police sting after the eBay middleman arranged a meeting in a parking lot.
Why Trekkies Should Never Be in Congress
David Waddell, a town councilman in Indian Trail, North Carolina quit his position as councilman by submitting a resignation letter written in Klingon, the language of a fictional extraterrestrial warrior species from "Star Trek." Waddell said he used Klingon to resign because the fierce-looking science fiction characters valued integrity, honor and duty. The letter indicated that Waddell, whose four-year term is up in December 2015, plans to resign at the end of this month. Wait there's more good news! Waddell, often a minority voice on the council, said he plans a Congressional run for U.S. Democratic Senator Kay Hagan's seat. The city's mayor, Michael Alvarez, who also claims to be a "Trekkie" and avid Star Trek fan, admitted he did not immediately understand the letter and only realized Waddell was quitting after he started getting phone calls about it.
Would You Pay $2,500 For a Puppy?
A Miami man returned from a New Year's Eve party to find his prize French bulldog and two litters of puppies, valued at $80,000, stolen from his home! The missing dogs include El Che, who is named after Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara and won awards at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 2010 and the French Bulldog Club of America National Specialty Show in 2009, according to owner Marcelo Cicuta. While Cicuta was ringing in the new year at a friend's kennel, thieves broke into his house and likely used a pillowcase to carry the dogs away, police said. The 15 stolen puppies are 16 and 27 days. A third litter of five puppies and two older female dogs were left behind. French bulldogs - the third-most commonly stolen breed in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club - can fetch up to $2,500 each. The police report valued El Che at $50,000 and his offspring puppies at $30,000. But the dogs' value is far less without papers proving their pedigree.
World's Worst Wax Figures Sold!
While it's been operating for 58 years, the Louis Tussauds House of Wax Musem in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England has been dubbed "the world's worst wax museum ever." Jane Hayes, 83, and her husband Peter, 86, had been running the museum since 1956 but it closed in 2013 after it was ridiculed because the celebrity statues looked nothing like the real thing! However Hayes may be getting the last laugh as she just sold all 150 of her wax replicas to a single anonymous buyer from the Czech Republic. She wouldn't reveal the final sales price but the building that housed the museum is also on the market and it's listed for $615,000.
An Interesting Way to Find Work
After Dutch multimedia designer Niek Gooren created a website showing himself lying on a sofa drinking beer and eating chips in his underpants, he was flooded with job offers! Gooren said he created the website to highlight his plight after five months of being out of work. Along with his resume and a list of projects he's worked on, his website also claimed that he'd be cheaper to employ because he doesn't take milk or sugar in his coffee. Also there was a graph showing how a company's creativity and sex appeal would be transformed by bringing him on board. The unusual tactic has now landed Gooren a job with a PR firm. He told reporters he received "about 50 offers" and could take his pick. A new version of the website shows him lounging on an office chair with a bottle of champagne!
Best Basketball Shot Ever?
A team of basketball trick shot artists have successfully hit a moving basketball hoop from a height of more than 560 feet! Tyler Toney, Cody Jones and Garrett Hilbert managed to complete the incredible shot in Dallas, Texas, from the top of the Reunion Tower. Toney throws the ball from the top of the tower, with Jones and Hilbert managing to catch it in a net they were holding in a parking lot below. Of course the boys immediately uploaded a video of the stunt on YouTube where it's already seen over a half-million hits. They also invited suggestions from YouTube users as to where they should attempt their next trick shot.
Bigfoot Killed and Going on Tour!
From the story that will just never go away, hunter Rick Dyer is claiming that he shot and killed Bigfoot and is now preparing to take its body on a tour of America. Dyer, who has previous Bigfoot-related credibility problems, has released an image of a beast he claimed to kill near San Antonio, Texas, in September 2012. The only prior evidence Dyer has ever released until now about this incident was a short, grainy video that he claims shows a Bigfoot standing right outside of his tent near a wooded area on the outskirts of San Antonio. After filming the mythical beast, Dyer claims he shot it and then transported it to an undisclosed location where he had scientific tests performed including DNA tests to 3D optical scans to body scans. Dyer says, "It is the real deal. It's Bigfoot and Bigfoot's here, and I shot it and now I'm proving it to the world." He added that he'll hold a news conference shortly to reveal the full Bigfoot body and test results.
Ringing in the New Year With Stupidity!
Perhaps the dumbest video going viral in the New Year is one of another young pioneer looking for Internet fame by purposely injuring himself. In this case it's a video posted on Reddit of a very daring and very stupid young man lightning firecrackers he taped to his lips. While he doesn't appear to be seriously injured by the blast, the last line of the video pretty much sums up the whole situation: "Ohhh! That was a bad idea."
Heroin is Covered Under Obamacare?
In North Hampton, Massachusetts, state police stopped a car carrying 1,250 packets of heroin-- all stamped with the words "Obamacare" and "Kurt Cobain." All four people inside the car were arrested. Police say a trooper was making a traffic stop when another car passed and he noticed several violations. He stopped that car a short time later and found the driver wasn't licensed. A police dog found the bags of heroin. The four people arrested have been charged with heroin trafficking. State police Lt. Daniel Richard says it's not unusual for heroin to be stamped with numbers, words or symbols to identify who's selling it but noted the "Obamacare" stamp is one he hadn't heard of.
France: Always Having To Do Things Differently
There's no more sexting in France. If you want to send sexually explicit photos or text messages to your French lover it's now officially called "text-o-pornography." That's the term recently chosen by the Academie Francaise, the respected institution that watches over the French language and regularly invents French terms for English or other expressions that have gone global. The academy's Sophie Tonolo, a dictionary editor, says it was approached by the Justice Ministry for a proper term for sexting because the phenomenon often comes up in legal cases. It was one of many words published this month in a government legal database. It may not end up in the dictionary however, Tonolo said, if the phenomenon fades.
Striking Fear in the Hearts of Teachers and Kids -- It's Santa!
Police in Hollis, New Hampshire say a man dressed as Santa Claus was only trying to spread some holiday cheer but ended up panicking officials when he knocked on school windows and entered the building. Administrators at Hollis Primary School called police after they saw the man running around the school, tapping on windows and waving at students. He had been properly buzzed into the building but turned and fled when he saw the look of shock on a staffer's face. Other schools and parents were notified and kids were kept inside for recess. The man has since contacted police to say he was only trying to spread "holiday cheer" and didn't mean to cause any trouble. As he is not being charged police are not releasing his identify.
Tolkien Fans Getting Out of Hand
It was almost a scene straight out of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Fellowship of The Ring:" Gandalf stands in the way of Balrog and tells him to "go back to the shadow" to buy time for fleeing Frodo Baggins and his companions. But this scene was Warsaw, Poland where a prankster dressed as Gandalf stopped a city tram and recreated the scene with several others dressed as Middle-earth characters. And while Tolkien's Gandalf almost died during the confrontation in the book, the Warsaw practical joker only irritated the tram driver. A YouTube video of the prank posted last week has gone viral with nearly 3 million views as of Sunday -- only days before Poland's premiere of the "The Hobbit" film sequel. (myway.com)
Marriage Proposal That's Tough To Beat! Here's a marriage proposal that's tough to top -- not that you'd exactly want to. In Elk City, Oklahoma, police spotted Justin Harrel who had outstanding warrants from two counties for obtaining cash or merchandise by bogus check, according to court documents. Harrel resisted at first, according to police, and the told the arresting officer that he was just about to propose to his girlfriend. He then asked if he could go ahead with the proposal. The officer said okay and so the marriage proposal went forward and Harrel's girlfriend eventually said yes. Harrel then asked the officer to get the engagement ring from his coat pocket and give it to her which the officer did. Given the circumstances, the officer had a heart and Harrel was not cited for resisting arrest.
Tough To Beat Proposals Part II
In another amazing marriage proposal, Robert Fink, a web developer from Oregon, spent five months with the help of two friends developing a video game called "Knight Man, A Quest For Love" before asking his girlfriend, Angel White, to test the software. After the knight collects a gold ring and then rescues his princess, it becomes clear what is about to happen. Miss White's tearful reaction was filmed as a message pops up with the words: "I have searched far and wide and braved many dangers searching for my one and only. I believe with all my heart that I have found you... Angel White, will you do me the honor of sharing your life with me?" She is then asked to click either yes or no. Luckily for Mr. Fink, it's not game over as she agreed to take their relationship to the next level.
A life-sized car built from 500,000 pieces of Lego and powered by air has hit the roads in Melbourne, Australia. The amazing car was created by an Australian entrepreneur and a Romanian engineer and can reach a top speed of around 12mph. It has four air-powered engines and 256 pistons, with everything except for the wheels made from actual Lego parts. Co-creator Steve Sammartino said, "I am a technology enthusiast and I wanted to show what is possible when you crowd-fund an idea and use young talented people." He added, "I met this crazy Romanian teenager on the web and we came up with the idea but I knew that I couldn't afford to fund it." They then tweeted: "Anyone interested in investing $500 - $1,000 in a project which is awesome and a world first tweet me. Need about 20 participants." He was offered money by 40 people and it took 18 months - and a lot more cash - to complete the project. Sammartino added, "We drove it in a suburb of Melbourne. The engine is fragile and the biggest fear was a giant Lego explosion impaling passers-by."
Indiana Dude Has 86 Christmas Trees!
You might say that Brandon Smith has been possessed by the Ghost of Christmas Awesome! What else could explain the 86 Christmas trees he has inside his Greenwood, Indiana, home? There are red trees, blue trees, green trees, themed trees and more than 52,000 lights. As a result, his house currently stays at a toasty about 85 degrees. During an appearance on Good Morning AmericaSmith said, "My parents always put up a pretty good display and I just have grown and expanded on it over the years." He added that many of the trees come from donations. There are so many trees that Smith has been forced to cram some in his bedroom. In addition, getting his holiday display ready is an arduous job that takes a month of hard work. But it's not all just for him. Each evening in December he opens his home to visitors to view his Christmas tree collection. Some years as many as 1,000 people trudge through.
Here Comes Santa Claus -- Actually 6,000 of Him!
It's Spain's great Santa Run and this year around 6,000 people dressed as Santa Claus and his elves ran a "mini-marathon" through the streets of Madrid to promote holiday cheer as the country tries to emerge from a two-year recession. While grown-ups dressed in traditional red Santa suits and beards, children donned green elf outfits to run the 5.5K course. The race was organized Saturday by one of Spain's leading department stores and it contributed 1 euro ($1.34) for each entrant to a charity that buys Christmas presents for needy children around the world.
Zombie Lemonade Out of Lemons!
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. In this case, zombie lemonade. In New Jersey, Nick Santonastasso suffers from a very rare condition called Hanhart Syndrome. As a result he was born with only one arm and no legs. But he's turned his situation into a hilarious series of zombie prank videos. He first applies zombie make-up and then hides out on the floor of grocery shoppers until he suddenly charges towards shoppers creating hysteria and panic! In his videos, one man throws a bulk pack of toilet rolls at him in fear while a woman attacks him with what looks like a mop handle. Santonastasso's friends have now launched an online petition for him to be featured in the show The Walking Dead. It reads: "Nick has made the best out of his physical situation and it would great if he could work as a zombie on an upcoming Walking Dead episode."
No Naughty Christmas Trees
City officials in Milan have pulled the plug on a provocative Christmas tree they felt was just too naughty. Decked out in racy red sex toys the city passed an order stating that for the Christmas season, "qualifying as a holiday for children and families, requires sobriety in urban decorations," in particular when using "traditional symbols that distinguish Christmas." Norma Rossetti, who launched an Italian sex toy website this year and was responsible for the tree, complied immediately with the order. But she defended the so-called "Tree of Pleasure," saying the objects chosen were elegant and not obviously X-rated. She said her goal is to break down taboos by making sex toys "completely normal everyday objects."
The British Take on Russian Homophobia
British designers are protesting against Russian homophobia by creating a range of Russian dolls made out of caricatures of gay icons. Creative agency Mother and The Kaleidoscope Trust have created seven limited edition, hand-painted sets of Russian nesting dolls featuring gay British icons Elton John, George Michael, Stephen Fry, Graham Norton and Tom Daley. Mother communications director Liam Fay-Fright says: "The Russian LGBT community is facing increasingly harsh treatment at the hands of authorities. "Attacks on gay people are rising, in a country where homosexuality has been classified as a mental illness since 1999. So, this Christmas, Mother is sending something To Russia With Love." Over Christmas, Mother will deliver a set of dolls to the Russian Embassy in London and The Kremlin as an act of solidarity with the gay community in Russia.
Are You Going to the 107-Year-Olds-Only Party?
Hard to believe but there are two 107-year-old World War II veterans in Texas that had never met. That changed last week when Elmer Hill met Richard Overton for the very first time. The pair, who both fought in the war's Pacific theater, met at an Austin senior center where they shook hands warmly, had lunch and were honored by Mayor Lee Leffingwell. "As far as we know," Leffingwell said, the men are the oldest and second-oldest living veterans in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does not have a complete list of all Americans who have served in the armed forces, making it difficult to verify that Overton and Hill are the nation's oldest veterans. Still, Overton went to Washington for Veterans Day this year and was personally recognized by President Barack Obama. Hill, meanwhile, is set to visit Washington on Saturday.
How Many Brussels Sprouts?
A British grocer thought it'd be fun to find out exactly how many Brussels sprouts it takes to fill a Mini -- the iconic small economy car made by the British Motor Corporation (BMC). Lawrence Jones put a festive twist on the classic challenge of how many people can be squeezed into a Mini. Turns out it's 38,182! Jones said, "I was so surprised at how many sprouts actually fitted in the car, it was much more than I had originally guessed." Afterward, the sprouts were painstakingly picked out of the car by hand and taken to a local soup kitchen to be put to good use over the Christmas period.
Guy Makes Fortune Selling Fresh Air!
A French college student has made a small fortune selling cans of fresh air. Antoine Deblay, 22, decided to offer 250 cans of air from his hometown of Montcuq in south-western France. After setting up a website and offering the "100% bio" product for sale at $6 plus another $6 for postage and handling, the orders soon came rolling in and he received 1,000 orders in three weeks. But non-French speakers may not quite get the humorous reason why the product is so popular. In France, Montcuq is often mispronounced as "mon cul," which translates to English as "my backside". So most folks buying the product are doing so as a novelty product as its name, Air de Montcuq, can be translated as "the air of my backside."
Don't Sleep On the Plane!
When Tom Wagner fell asleep flying from Louisiana, he woke up at his layover in Houston, inside a dark, empty and locked plane. Wagner says that the United Express crew left him in the plane, even after he alerted authorities through calls to his girlfriend, for more than 30 minutes. Wagner fell asleep in a window seat near the back of the airplane. When everyone deplaned at the layover, nobody woke Wagner up. He woke up in a pitch-black and cold cabin, and the aircraft doors were locked. Luckily, his cell phone wasn't dead and he called his girlfriend so she could alert authorities. Half an hour later, workers boarded the aircraft and rescued him. He said they wanted him to keep the incident quiet, and put him up in a nearby hotel and gave him a $250 flight voucher to make the ordeal go away. United Express maintained that its crew did a post-flight walkthrough.