Saturday, May 30, 2015

It's the weekend

Leopard cub relaxes on a swing

At Cheetah Experience in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

YouTube link.

Student fights punishment after being given detention for giving 'ghost pepper' to classmates

A student at Centereach High School on Long Island, New York, is fighting his punishment, after being disciplined for taking hot peppers to school. Nick Lien, 16, and his mother have spoken about the incident involving bhut jolokia, or ghost peppers, which are among the hottest chili peppers on the planet. Ghost peppers pack 400 times the mouth-numbing heat of Tabasco, and Lien orders them online – three peppers for $12. “My friends saw that I had the new ghost pepper with me, and they all wanted to see how spicy it really was, because everybody thought that basically they could handle it and it was nothing,” Lien said.

“So they all tried a piece.” But two of Lien’s classmates left gym class, and landed in the nurse’s office with red faces, stomach pains, and burning tongues. And the next thing he knew, Lien was called to the carpet. “I was shocked, because I didn’t realise that giving someone a pepper could get me into as much trouble as I was in,” Lien said. Lien said he was told he was to serve after-school detention for two days, or else in-school suspension for a day. Nick Lien’s mother, Sharon Lien, also received a call. “I ran to the school to wonder why. I didn’t know what it was,” she said.

“I asked if it was pepper spray, peppers on sandwiches, and she said it was my son brought a pepper to school – which I happen to have. We eat hot peppers, so it’s, like, no big deal. I eat hot food. My family eats hot food,” she said. “It’s just in our blood.” And the Liens were shocked and mystified when they said the school likened the peppers to psychedelic drugs. “I was told that it’s equivalent to giving someone LSD,” Nick Lien said. The Liens do not believe passing out peppers warrants suspension or detention. “Students’ rights cannot be violated by dictating to them what they can and can’t bring in for lunch, so it’s an outage,” said attorney Ken Mollins.

YouTube link.

School is out in three weeks, and Nick Lien said being suspended would be detrimental. “All the work that we have now is all getting bunched together, and if I lose two days of school, then it’s really going to affect my grades,” he said. But the superintendent of the Middle Country School District said she does not tolerate any action that compromises the health of their students, and said she has determined that the hot peppers do pose such a threat. She said she stands by the detention. There are no New York state regulations yet on ghost peppers in schools.

Woman charged with driving under the influence of whipped cream

Police in Franklin, Tennessee, say a woman who used aerosol whipped cream cans to get high was charged with driving under the influence after crashing her car into a man’s mailbox. Anna Thomas, 28, was hospitalised after crashing into the mailbox.

“I was putting dishes in the dishwasher getting ready to go to go to work when all of a sudden I heard this extremely loud boom,” said Craig Lynch, owner of the destroyed mailbox. “I actually thought a transformer had exploded,” he called police. “They started pulling out bottles of whip cream and they started sitting them on the car and they essentially ran out of room,” said Lynch.

He ran outside and saw Thomas in his neighbour’s yard and discovered the damage to his mailbox. Officers on the scene said that Thomas was disoriented at the time. They also found 13 nearly-empty cans of whipped cream scattered inside the vehicle. Police also charged her with failure to report a crash for running her car into a ditch at another location prior to the incident.

“I’m thankful she hit the mailbox cause being this is two wrecks within two blocks the next thing she hit was going to be a person and somebody was going to get hurt,” said Lynch. According to records with the Williamson County Jail, this is Thomas’ 6th DUI. She is due in court on June 4th.

With news video.

82-year-old man slashed 88-year-old woman's tyres because she sat in his favourite bingo seat

Police arrested an 82-year-old Florida man for slashing a woman's tyres because he claims she was sitting in his favourite bingo seat. Fred Smith was charged with criminal mischief to a vehicle last week when, police say, he took an ice pick to Ethel Britt's van. She celebrated her 88th birthday on Friday and has since been questioning why Smith targeted her car.

"I didn't think anyone would be low enough to do that to my car because I didn't know I had any enemies in my life,” she said. “I thought everybody was my friend, but undoubtedly I have one enemy.” Police say Smith stormed out of a weekly bingo game at the Lake Ashton Club House and punctured two of Britt's tyres because she was sitting in a chair he usually sits in.

"I didn't know it meant that much to him to do that to my tyres," Britt continued. "It's quite frankly a childish-type crime," offered Lake Wales Deputy Chief Troy Schulze. "The man admitted to it when the officer told him what he was there to investigate. He was apologetic. He said he was embarrassed.

YouTube link.

"He regretted doing it, but he took ownership of it and said that even in the embarrassment he had to face consequences." Those consequences could include about $500 in tyre damage and restitution back to Britt. She said she has no hard feelings, but she's still a bit puzzled. "I'm not mad, no. I would like to have my tyres paid for because that took every dime I had in the bank," she added.

Pakistani spy pigeon arrested in India

A pigeon has been arrested by police in India on suspicion of being a spy from Pakistan. The bird was seized on Thursday after being spotted carrying a "stamped message" on its body. The message was written partly in Urdu, the official language of Pakistan.

It also contained a Pakistani phone number, according to reports. The bird was discovered by a 14-year-old boy in the village of Manwal, around 4km from the Pakistani border. He took it to the nearest police station where the bird was X-rayed.

Although police confirmed nothing unusual was found they "have kept the bird in our custody", according to one senior local officer. The bird has been logged as a "suspected spy" in the area's official police diary. "This is a rare instance of a bird from Pakistan being spotted here. We have caught a few spies here.

YouTube link.

"The area is sensitive, given its proximity to Jammu, where infiltration is quite common," local police superintendent Rakesh Kaushal said. The area where the bird was found sits close to Jammu and Kashmir, an area which is claimed by both India and Pakistan, and is the scene of regular military exchanges.

Animal hoarder found with hundreds of pigeons living inside his home

A man in Schwechat, near Vienna, Austria, was found hoarding between 150 and 200 pigeons in his house, in appalling conditions. His windows were so dirty hardly any light came through, leaving the house in constant darkness, the Vienna Tierschutzverein animal welfare group have said.

His furniture, and the walls and floors of the house were covered with pigeon faeces, feathers and dirt. A Tierschutzverein team had to carry out three rescue operations, wearing face masks and protective suits to protect them from germs and dirt. They saved 73 pigeons but around 30 birds, along with 66 eggs, did not survive.

"The stench was unbearable and there was the risk of being poisoned by breathing in the excrement,” the Tierschutzverein said. Tierschutzverein experts believe that the birds had been kept for several years. All the pigeons were examined by veterinarians. "Some of them were severely malnourished, had parasites and eye damage.

"In addition, they were severely dehydrated and had probably had no water for days,” they said in a statement. The Tierschutzverein is now looking for a pigeon fancier who can keep the birds in proper conditions. The case only came to light after the occupant of the house fell over and called an ambulance. Paramedics and police were then shocked to discover the birds and the horrific living conditions.

Court orders vegetarian mother to feed her son meat

An Italian court has ordered a vegetarian mother to cook meat for her son at least once a week after the boy's father complained that his son wasn't being given a proper diet.

The mother in Bergamo, northern Italy, started her son on a macrobiotic diet, which is typically a vegetarian diet consisting of whole grains, cereals and vegetables, in 2006.

But the father, who is divorced from the mother, complained that she had made the decision without consulting him and that the diet put his son’s health at risk. Despite the mother’s dietary regime, the father took his son out for meals at McDonalds and prepared desserts, meat and dairy dishes on weekends, when he had custody of the child.

The father’s mother, the boy’s grandmother, also fed him foods which broke the diet, including gorgonzola and sausages. According to the child's mother, the boy would come home after the weekend with a stomach ache. The father eventually took the matter to court so that the boy’s diet could be decided once and for all.

Fox cub with head stuck in jar freed

A fox cub has been freed after getting its head stuck in a plastic jar. The animal, thought to be about seven weeks old, was spotted on waste ground with the tub covering its head by residents in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

A team from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) trapped the cub on Tuesday evening and cut the jar off using surgical scissors. WRAS founder Trevor Weeks said the fox was potentially hours away from dying.

YouTube link.

It is now being treated by the WRAS. "We didn't want to give up, as we were worried the cub might develop breathing problems and was probably already becoming dehydrated and hungry too. We knew the longer we left the fox the worse condition the cub would be in.

"There was a chance the fox could be dead by the morning," he said. The cub also received anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics at the service's casualty care centre where it is recovering. "Luckily the wounds were not too serious and we hope that he will be a quick turn-around and back to mum," said Mr Weeks.

Cheeky badger broke into home through cat flap before stealing Bakewell tart from fridge

A badger sneaked into a home through a cat flap before opening a fridge and helping itself to a Bakewell tart. Geoff Taylor captured the footage after his was woken by the nocturnal animal in the middle of the night at his rural home in West Middlesex.

And the bold badger burglar is a repeat offender, as the night before it was caught red pawed raiding the same fridge, on that occasion it had managed to eat its way through six eggs, including their shells.

On its first visit it shuffled in under the cloak of darkness, waking Mr Taylor from his slumber when he heard the sound of someone or something in the kitchen. Upon seeing Mr Taylor, the badger ran back out through the cat flap.

YouTube link.

Then, when Mr Taylor was woken up at about 3.30am the next night, he reached for his camera. Even with the light on, the badger did not stop eating the Bakewell tart - and only ten seconds later did it finally spot that it had been caught. Undeterred, even after being scared off it tried to come back moments later, but found the cat flap locked.

Friday, May 29, 2015


Happy birthday dear JD

Happy birthday to you. *blows out candles on cake*

YouTube link.

30 people ejected from hotel after squabble over waffle maker

Two women fighting over the waffle maker at a hotel in Mason County, Michigan, apparently ignited a major disruption inside the hotel's buffet-style breakfast area, police say. A Mason County Sheriff's Office deputy stood by as 30 people were ordered by the property manager to pack their bags and leave the America's Best Value Inn in Pere Marquette Township.

Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole said it allegedly all started over the hotel's waffle maker at around 9am on Sunday. "It sounded like one lady walked up and asked the other lady if she was in line for the waffle maker. She didn't answer, so this lady started to make her waffle.

The other confronted her and said, 'That was my waffle' and the other lady said, 'No, it's mine' and then it went down hill from there," Cole said. Deputies were dispatched to the hotel and found "a large group of people arguing over the waffle maker," he said. "The property manager asked that everyone be kicked out of the hotel.

"All parties involved were ordered to collect their items and they left," Cole said. No one was injured and no one was arrested for the commotion. The 30 or so people who were ordered to leave are from Chicago and Canton, Mich., Cole said. "There was just a lot of yelling and screaming, but no one was assaulted," he said. "They were all asked to leave and the deputy stood by while they did that."

Dispute over last rib at barbecue led to woman being stabbed in eye with fork

An Indiana woman has been jailed on a felony charge after allegedly stabbing another woman in the eye with a fork during a dispute over the last remaining rib at a family barbecue. Sabrina Davis, 45, was arrested on Sunday night by officers responding to a stabbing call at the Muncie residence of Florence Gill, who was hosting family and friends (like Davis, who lives down the road).

As detailed in a probable cause affidavit, Gill’s daughter, Angela Watkins, was “upset that Davis was taking the last rib from the kitchen,” and confronted the guest “about taking all the food.” Watkins told police that Davis “had a fork in her hand that she was using to take meat from a pan,” adding that Davis stabbed her in the left eye with the utensil.

Lanika Marshall, Watkins’s sister, told officers that her sibling and Davis “were arguing over the last rib,” and that Watkins was “frustrated that Davis was taking so much food from the house.” Marshall added that she witnessed Davis stab Watkins with the fork. During police questioning, Davis confirmed that “the dispute was over the last rib in the pan,” and that Watkins “was telling her she couldn’t take the last rib and moved the pan away from her.”

Davis claimed that she stabbed Watkins in self defence when “Watkins grabbed a knife from a dish drainer.” Watkins suffered “two small lacerations on her left eye,” which was swollen and bloodshot, police reported. She subsequently “went to IU Ball Hospital for treatment.” Davis is being held in the Delaware County jail in lieu of $5,000 bond on a criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon charge.

Man celebrating 21st birthday drowned while trying to swim across pond with 10 lb rock

A celebration on the water turned tragic in Butte County, California, on Monday.

A young man drowned on his 21st birthday after reportedly trying to swim across a pond while carrying a ten pound rock.

According to the Oroville CHP,  Austin Harr of Gridley drowned while swimming at the Gridley Plunge, in the Oroville Wildlife Area. Witnesses told officials Harr was holding the large rock while trying to swim across the pond.

He disappeared in the water and did not emerge. His body was found about 40 minutes later, at around 5:50pm. According to the CHP, alcohol may have played a role in the drowning. The incident remains under investigation.

1,037 pet mice seized from inside home

An investigation into distressed animals has resulted in the largest animal seizure in the history of Calgary, Canada.

On Tuesday, members of the Calgary Humane Society’s protection and investigations team responded to a home and seized 1,037 domesticated mice, 80 fish, three cats and three dogs.

Members of the Calgary Police Service, Animal Services, and the Calgary Fire Department assisted with the investigation. “By volume, this is the largest animal seizure in Calgary history,” said Brad Nichols, senior manager of cruelty investigation with the Calgary Humane Society.

“275 animals had to be euthanized on intake due to injuries.” Nichols says the investigation into the matter continues as the animals undergo veterinary assessment and treatment but charges are pending against the owner of the animals. The health inspector has deemed the home uninhabitable.

With news video. There's a short raw video filmed inside the house here.

Attempted carjacking broadcast as victim talked about her hair pin collection on live radio show

An attempted carjacking has been broadcast live on ABC radio in Australia after a woman phoning in for a discussion on collections was held up in Brisbane's south.

The woman had phoned in to David Curnow's Evenings programme on 612 ABC Brisbane at about 9:40pm on Monday to discuss her hair pin collection when she was abruptly cut off by yelling and swearing between two males in the background.

The woman, who was in the car with her husband waiting for their son to finish a training session, was interrupted on air by a man trying to get into their car. He was eventually scared off. "We were worried for her but also not sure what had happened.

"We chased her up. I didn't really know what was going on," Curnow said. "It just came out of nowhere ... it just suddenly cut in, she stopped talking ... I thought I was getting a crossed line. I put it on hold and told the producer to check to see if she was okay. She said she was shaken up and that she'd called police."

You can here a censored audio of the live broadcast here.

Motorised seesaws take over former church

One hundred and fifty motorised seesaws have been installed in a former church in Austria, in a work of art by Swiss artist Zimoun. Zimoun’s latest installation is aptly called ‘150 prepared dc-motors, 270kg wood, 210m string wire’.

The seesaws are made from long batons that pivot vertically on short upright lengths - making a discordant, rhythmic sound that echoes around the church as they strike the floor.

Each seesaw has a motor that powers a thin metal arm. They are scattered around the nave and transepts of Klangraum Krems - a Gothic church which has been converted into an arts space in the town of Krems an der Donau.

Vimeo link.

"The sum of all those individual systems is generating rich textures in sound and motion, while the architecture of the church is reflecting and amplifying all the tiny sounds all over the space," Zimoun said. The installation is open until July 26th.

Woman devastated after visitor to her home snorted ashes of her dead mother

A woman from Dundee has told of her disgust after a visitor to her home snorted her dead mother’s ashes. The invcident took place as a group of people sat drinking in Jacqui Tierney’s house in the Hilltown area. It was witnessed by a family friend, who said today he couldn’t believe what the female visitor had done. The friend said: “I was shocked and disgusted. We had all been drinking and she just seemed to think it was fun and was showing off about it. This is the lowest of the low.

“It’s worse than jumping on somebody’s grave. It’s so disrespectful to the memory of someone’s mum and gran and I can’t believe it happened.” The ashes of Hilda Tierney had been contained in an urn on a unit in the living room. The family friend told Jacqui, 51, what had happened to her mum’s ashes, leaving her horrified. She said: “How could someone do something like this? It is beyond belief that this happened in my own home. Seemingly, she just took the ashes from the top of my unit and started snorting them.

“My friend witnessed the whole thing and decided I should be told. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. What would make someone do something like that? My mum meant the world to me and apart from anything else, how could someone do something so disrespectful?” Jacqui said her disbelief quickly turned to rage when she gave more thought to what happened. She said: “I decided to challenge this person about what they had done but she ran away out of my house and I haven’t seen her since.

“She has tried to contact me by phone but I am still too angry to take her call. I don’t know what I would say to her but I know she will never set foot in this house again.” Jacqui lost her mother Hilda four years ago. She said: “After mum was cremated I scattered some of her ashes in a favourite spot but kept a small amount back to make into jewellery. I thought it would be nice to put some of her ashes into a ring or necklace but now there is nothing left now for me to do that with.”

Village to hold funeral and wake for dead duck

A duck that has lived on a pond in Compton Martin, Somerset, for the past twenty five years will be given a special send off by villagers. Desmond Drake, who was killed by a fox earlier this week, will be given official wake and the church will fly its flag at half-mast to mourn his death.

Andrew Griffiths, 68, who owns the mill pond where Desmond was a resident, said the longstanding feathered resident had a special place in the hearts of many local people. He added: "He will be sadly missed, both for his propensity to consume stale bread and cake, along with his ability to toss upstart young moorhens all over the place.

"He has been a permanent fixture of the pond, for in excess of 25 years, outliving all his contemporaries. He has brought much joy and happiness to people of all ages. He will be sadly missed and so can never be replaced. We said we would have a wake for the duck. When we decide to do it we will drop the flag to half-mast on the church.

"We will all have a drink in the pub. He was a very long serving duck and member of the community. He became family, he became a village icon. There was even a little society, the blood of the duck, and we would drink whisky with a duck egg in. Lots of people have been giving their condolences since his death." A wake, which does not yet have a date, will be held at the village pub, The Ring O'Bells.