Friday, August 28, 2015

Are we nearly there yet?

Cuzzie the dog relaxes in a hot tub

Ahh, that's better.

YouTube link.

Irish pub goers save stranded cat

After noticing it hanging precariously from an upstairs window at the The Sky And The Ground pub in Wexford.

Watch the video here.

Contains some NSFW language.

Man arrested following unprovoked potato salad attack on his mother

A 34-year-old Florida man is facing a domestic battery charge for allegedly pelting his mother with potato salad during a confrontation in their home on Saturday evening.

Jonathan Smith from Bradenton was arrested after his mother Jennifer told police officers that he attacked her as she sat down to eat dinner (potato salad and chicken) in the living room. “Jonathan grabbed a hand full of potato salad and threw it,” striking his mother in the face, reported officers, who noted that the woman had “food all over her and in her hair” when they arrived at the residence.

Although his mother yelled for him to stop, Smith “continued to throw food at his mother,” according to a probable cause affidavit. After pelting his mother with food, Smith allegedly pushed her to the ground, pulled her across the floor by her legs, and “spitted on her.” Smith, who works as a pallet builder, fled the home on his bicycle when his mother threatened to call 911.

He was subsequently arrested several blocks from the residence by an officer who noted that the suspect “appeared to be intoxicated.” In addition to the misdemeanor battery count, Smith, who is being held in the county jail, is also facing a probation violation charge stemming from a prior felony conviction. He is scheduled for a September 24 court appearance.

Buildings wrapped in tin foil to protect them from wildfires

Officials with the National Forest Service in Idaho are protecting lookouts and cabins across the Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest from wildfire activity in a rather unusual way.

Officials said they have been wrapped the structures in tin foil to protect them. Forest Service officials estimated that a roll of the multiple-ply foil costs $398.

They also used duct tape to seal the foil and a line of rocks at the bottom to hold the foil down. Forest Service crews began using the foil in the late 1980s to protect historic cabins and lookout towers that cannot be replaced.

They called the success rate of Shelterwrap "tremendous" in Idaho. One of the buildings being wrapped in foil is the Scurvy Mountain Lookout on the North Fork District.

Fish living in hole in road relocated to new homes

An unlikely fish pond in Detroit is no more. Crews from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department pumped water out of the hole on Hull Street near McNichols on Detroit's east side on Tuesday morning. The fish have been relocated. Sonia "Auntie Na" Brown, a Detroit resident who operates Auntie Na's Outreach Program, says the fish - carp, gold fish, cat fish and blue gill - were caught at Palmer Park by children in her youth program during field trips over the last two months. She said the kids were "so proud of their accomplishments they wanted to keep their fish."

The idea to relocate the fish to the hole on Hull - it's been there for years filling with water and often overflowing according to Brown - came from Auntie Na volunteer Isiah "Mr. Zeke" James, who lives with his wife in one of two occupied homes on Hull. Brown says James cleaned algae out of the 14-foot-long, foot-plus-deep rectangular hole cut out with heavy machinery, and the fish were transferred over last two months. The purpose was to beatify the blighted neighbourhood filled with burned-out homes, overgrown empty lots and dumped trash, TVs carpet and other furniture.

YouTube link.

James' wife, Yvette Pugh, said: "My husband put them out there just for him to watch. We didn't mean no harm to nobody, or trying to bash the city, because they did that. We didn't create that ... They just didn't close it back up so we turned it into a pond." A water worker at the scene on Tuesday said he's not sure how genuine the motive to beautify the neighbourhood really is and theorised there were ulterior motives to draw public criticism to the city and get the hole repaired. About 10 of the fish were relocated to a bath tub turned aquarium at Auntie Na's on Yellowstone in west Detroit.

Others, some had spawned and had babies, were taken to a local pond. The Detroit water workers said the hole was created by DTE Energy, potentially to reach a gas main below. DTE spokeswoman Erica Donerson said an investigation into who created the hole and who was responsible to repair it is on going. "While we are investigating ... we are working collaboratively with the city to make sure the hole is repaired," she said. "If our crew is not there now, they should be there shortly to fill the hole."

Man wins inaugural Good Bugger Award

Long-serving employee of Bellingham Quarries in Kaitaia, New Zealand, Keith Tahu, has received the Institute of Quarrying's inaugural Good Bugger Award.

Mr Tahu, who joined the firm on May 1, 1973, has worked at many quarry sites, from Cape Reinga to Panguru to Mangonui.

He became a B grade quarry manager in 1976, then progressed to an A grade unrestricted quarry manager in 1984. Mr Tahu is currently overseeing management of the company's three agricultural lime plants.

He is also responsible for designing and conducting annual preventative maintenance programmes, and has also been crucial in implementing the revised health and safety systems applying to those plants.

Controversy after 6,000-year-old tomb replaced with concrete picnic table

Builders in a village in north west Spain confused a neolithic tomb with a broken stone picnic table and replaced the 6,000-year-old artefact with a brand spanking new concrete bench. In what one archaeologist dubbed a "monumental error" the ancient tomb in Galicia, that had heritage status and was therefore meant to be protected, has been completely destroyed. Galicia’s Department of Culture, Education and Universities has launched an investigation after the picnic bench, which sits on a solid concrete slab in the town of Cristovo de Cea in the northwestern region of Galicia, was placed on top of an ancient tomb, classed as "of cultural interest" by Galicia’s regional government. Local environmental group Grupo Ecolozista Outeiro reported the incident.

"The rolled concrete and modern picnic bench have caused irreparable damage, replacing what was a prehistoric cemetery of the first inhabitants of Cea..." the group wrote in a report that it sent to Galicia’s public prosecutor, which has opened a file on the case. The environmental group said that it was proof that ancient ruins, such as tombs, petroglyphs, forts roads and mines are not being protected under the country’s Spanish Historical Heritage Law. But the mayor of Cristovo de Cea has spoken of his surprise at the investigation. Jos√© Luis Valladores claims to have had no knowledge of the ancient site before the picnic bench was constructed. "No one told me, neither Heritage nor the environmental group," he said.

"The site wasn’t even marked and the logical thing would have been for them to get in contact with the local council so that we could have taken measures to protect the site," he added. But a spokesman for Galicia’s Department of Culture, Education and Universities said that in 2008, the Galicia's Director General for Cultural Heritage "authorised archeological research to take place in San Cristovo de Cea", emphasizing that "the town council was well aware of its existence". In a statement released via the website of the town hall's website, Valladores said that the removed stones "were not part of the tomb" and the responsibility for protecting these sites rests with "the Autonomous Community", i.e the regional government of Galicia.

"I was horrified when I heard this news," Juan A Barceló, a professor of prehistory at the Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona, said. "It is a monumental error. In Spain, no-one is allowed to take the individual decision to rebuild an historical monument, specially when it is classified in the national register, as it was." But he said that luckily such huge errors were rare, even in a country so rich in historical monuments. "Probably because it was the summer holidays, the local authority was not available and someone with no knowledge of the local heritage decided to act on their own," he added. "This is not representative of Spain where monuments over 100 years old are all preserved by law," he insisted. "All authorities, national, state and local work effectively preserving our heritage. But sometimes accidents happen. I am sure that such disasters happen in many other countries, but have not been published."

Dog dirt proving to be a problem in Dirty Lane

Dog owners in West Sussex are being urged to clean up after their pets, after the issue was identified at an aptly-named location. Incidents of dog fouling have blighted parts of Ashurst Wood in recent years, with Dirty Lane proving to be a particular problem hotspot.

It has led the parish council to release a statement reminding residents of their responsibility in keeping the village safe and clean for the benefit of the community. It read: "Ashurst Wood Parish Council would like to remind residents to clean up after their dogs. Dog fouling is a particular issue in Dirty Lane.

"Dog bins are provided around the village, and there is one sited on School Lane, just at the top of Dirty Lane." The topic was reported by the Courier in April 2012, after concerned parents said they had spotted several piles of dog mess in the village. At the time, Councillor Pru Moore, cabinet member for leisure and sustainability at Mid Sussex District Council, said it was "an ongoing issue".

Despite this, the local authority admitted by that time it had issued just one fixed penalty notice for dog fouling since new dog control measures were introduced in November 2010. Offenders are liable to a £75 fixed penalty notice which, if not paid, could result in prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000. Ashurst Wood Parish Council's advice is to "stick it in a bin or take it home with you".

Donkey ride lady falsely accused of washing a horse in paddling pool says business is suffering

Tracy White, the owner of a donkey-riding business in Hull, says a photograph of a horse having a wash in a children's paddling pool in Bude Park has led to false accusations and a dip in trade. Ms White, who runs her attraction in East Park, says since photos emerged online of a couple washing their horse in the park pool in Bransholme, people have been staying away from her donkeys. She said: "It's happened ever since it went all over Facebook.

"Somebody was commenting saying it's me. People are now coming up to me and giving me grief. They've been saying I'm disgusting because of the photo, but it's nothing to do with me. They are not coming on the donkeys any more. They are saying silly stuff about the pool and me. It is out of order." The photo was shared more than 2,000 times when it emerged on Facebook. Hull City Council was forced to close the pool for more than 24 hours and was faced with a £1,000 bill for draining and cleaning it.

Ms White said the photo has seriously hit her business. "People who were stood in the queues were walking away because others were saying it was me washing the horse in the pool. I am losing money because of it and it has lost me a lot of business. It is not me and it is nothing I have done. It needs to stop." Ms White said she did not approve of the couple who were photographed washing their horse in the pool.

"I don't do that and don't think they should have done it at all," she said. "I have got a horse and I wouldn't have done that to wash it. There are other ways. It is a kids' pool and people really like that park. It is just annoying and not nice to be accused of something that I haven't done. I don't like people blaming me for something like that." The Bude Park paddling pool reopened after being closed for a day for a deep clean.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Here's a screaming marmot

Filmed on Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.

YouTube link. Additional instgram video.

And there was me thinking that marmots sounded like this.

Man started fire in apartment to 'get rid of the smoke' from wildfires

A man from Portland, Oregon, was arrested after police said he started a fire in his apartment, after seeing smoke from wildfires.

Michael Downey at first denied to police that he set paper and metal clothes hangers lying on his apartment floor ablaze on Saturday. But then he quickly admitted "actually, I did," court documents say.

The 29-year-old explained that he noticed smoke in the air from large wildfires from across the state and came up with a plan to try and get rid of the haze. So he "started (a) fire to get rid of the smoke," according to a probable cause affidavit. A neighbour smelled smoke coming from Downey's apartment, pushed Downey's door open and used water to put out the small fire.

The fire left a small black mark on Downey's carpet. Police found a pipe with meth that Downey admitted was his during a search, the affidavit said. Downey was taken to the Multnomah County Detention Center and has been charged with three counts of arson in the first degree, possession of meth, reckless burning and recklessly endangering another person.

Woman allegedly hired hitman to kill daughter's boyfriend after her grandchildren got head lice

A Florida woman wanted the homeless man her daughter was dating killed because the daughter's children came home with head lice, police said. Pamela Vanorsdale, 50, from New Smyrna Beach, was charged with criminal solicitation to commit murder after police said she tried to hire her former son-in-law to “pop” the proposed victim, Dylan Loveless, 22, “in the head and chest,” New Smyrna Beach police said.

Police learned of the murder-for-hire plot after the ex-son-in-law, Daniel Dionne, 33, of Daytona Beach, approached a Daytona Beach police detective. Dionne said Vanorsdale called him on Thursday at about 9:30pm and asked him to kill Loveless. Vanorsdale said she could provide Dionne with a .25-calibre handgun with two bullets, and that since Loveless is small, two bullets would do the job if Dionne were to “pop him (Loveless) in the head and chest,” investigators said.

In addition to the head lice issue, Vanorsdale said she also wanted Loveless dead because he messed with Dionne's children, choked one of the kids and chased another child with dogs while making sexual comments to the child, police said. The woman suggested Dionne dump Loveless' body in South Carolina. Vanorsdale said she would lure Loveless from the homeless camp by telling Loveless she had work for him.

She said she wanted her handgun back because she could clean it and make it look like it was never fired. Vanorsdale then called Dionne to postpone a scheduled meeting to give him the handgun after Vanorsdale learned Loveless had moved his homeless camp. She told Dionne she would call him back once she learned Loveless' new location. She admitted she asked Dionne to kill Loveless but said she was only joking. Vanorsdale's husband provided police the .25-calibre handgun discussed in the plot to murder Loveless. She is out of jail on $25,000 bail.

Penguin wandering through streets detained by Peruvian police

Police in Peru picked up a penguin after it was spotted running dazed and confused through the streets on a Saturday night.

Officers did face some difficulty as they tried to detain the Humboldt penguin, and the frightened little creature defended himself with a few pecks.

YouTube link.

The penguin was apparently left stranded after falling from a vehicle and as he wandered in the roads, he narrowly avoided being bitten by a dog and run over by a taxi.

As soon as the penguin was taken to the police station, he was fed fish and affectionately named "Pingui". Arrangements are now being made for Pingui to be taken to a local penguin habitat not too far from where he was found in the northern Peruvian region of Ancash.

Man loaded live bomb on truck for 'show and tell' before police confiscated and destroyed it

A mud crab fisherman in Australia's Northern Territory who stumbled upon a live World War II (WWII) bomb in bushland loaded it onto the back of his truck and toured it around town for "a bit of show and tell" before the device was confiscated by police and detonated.

Damien Lumsden said he discovered the unexploded ordnance under the wreckage of a WWII Australian plane at Milingimbi, 440 kilometres east of Darwin, in bushland shredded by cyclones Lam and Nathan which passed over in February and March respectively. "We were just doing a bit of a clean up after the cyclone," he said. "It's a mud crabbing track we've wanted to clear," he said. "We've come through and noticed something shiny and seen it sitting there." Mr Lumsden said the find was "pretty exciting".

He said the bomb was "put it in the back of the ute for a couple of days". "We drove around town ... doing a bit of show and tell." However, word of the discovery soon got around the small community. "A couple of people got the gist and starting ringing up," he said. "Ben and Paddy (police officers from Ramingining, about 20 kilometres away) came over and took it away from me." Mr Lumsden said he had hoped to keep the bomb as a souvenir. "It would have been good to keep on the mantlepiece," he said.

Mr Lumsden said the local council was unimpressed. "They weren't too happy," he said. On Tuesday, members of the Australian Army and RAAF bomb squad cleared a one kilometre radius at an uninhabited area to safely detonate the device, which had laid dormant for more than 70 years. NT Police warned explosives that appear inactive could be deadly and should not be touched or moved. Discoveries of bombs from the 1939-1945 conflict are common across the Top End which came under Japanese attack more than 60 times during WWII.

There's a short video of the bomb being destroyed here.

Coroner rules that drunk man who died after mooning traffic was author of his own misfortune

A drunk 25-year-old man was "mooning" traffic in Otago, New Zealand, when he was struck by a van and died, a coroner has found. Travis Jason Stephen Lane died in hospital just over a month after he was struck by a car in February last year. Coroner David Crerar released his findings on the death on Wednesday. He found Mr Lane was significantly affected by alcohol and drugs when he ran out into traffic to do a "brown eye" to passing cars.

"He has paid the ultimate price for his foolishness," Mr Crerar said. Mr Lane was at a party at his house on February 22, 2014 before the incident occurred. His friend, Corey Tuilaepa, said a group was drinking outside when Mr Lane started running to the road. "He was being cheeky and doing brown eyes to traffic. "He would run out from where we were down by the fire by the garage and run out to the road and face which way the traffic was going, pull his pants down and do a brown eye." Mr Tuilaepa heard a bang when Mr Lane was hit by a van - resulting in serious brain injuries and an arm fracture.

The driver of the van was found to be driving under the speed limit and police described the lighting as "sparse". Other friends Michael Cotton and Samantha Powick told police Mr Lane was starting to walk across the road - possibly still with his pants around his ankles - when the van hit him. "He stood in the lane and started to do full brown eyes, pants around his ankles, to the cars that were heading north. Whilst he was doing this, we were laughing at him," Mr Cotton said. Mr Lane was taken to hospital in a comatose state but never regained consciousness and his condition later changed to "vegetative".

He died on March 28, 2014. No blood samples were taken when Mr Lane was admitted to hospital but witness evidence suggested he was significantly affected by both alcohol and drugs at the time of the incident, said. "The actions of Travis Lane, affected as he was by alcohol and cannabis, were foolish in the extreme. He is the author of his own misfortune ... it is clear that the alcohol and cannabis consumed created a state of euphoria and disinhibition which helped to make him careless of the consequences of his actions," Mr Crerar added. There was no evidence to suggest Mr Lane ran out into traffic to end his own life, Mr Crerar found.

Cunning dog played dead in middle of road in order to hitch a lift with motorist

A dog in Bavaria, Germany, secured a lift in a car earlier this week when it played dead in order to hitch a ride with a local motorist.

The dog lay motionless in the road in Mainaschaff until it was spotted by a driver on her way to work, police said on Monday.

The animal appeared to be dead or seriously injured, prompting the woman to stop her car and get out to see if she could help. But apparently, this was the chance the mongrel had been waiting for.

Leaping to its feet, it swiftly jumped inside the car. Unable to coax the dog back out again, the woman drove him the four kilometres to her office. She then handed her four-legged hitch-hiker over to the police, who were able to reunite him with his owners.

Abandoned boat found in middle of road

Residents of a Dorset village were faced with the surreal sight of a boat left in the middle of a road after it was apparently abandoned by thieves. Villagers heard a crash at about 8:30pm in Spetisbury on Monday before they were greeted by the spectacle at the Tarrants crossroads.

Bernie Ward, who discovered the boat outside his home, said: "We heard scraping, like tyres turning on gravel, which is what we thought it was at first because, with the rain we've had, there's a lot of gravel on the corner. But then we thought it was a bit louder than that, so we had a look out the window and, of course, we could see this boat in the middle of the road.

"We expected to see people wandering around thinking how are they going to get it back on their trailer, but there was no trailer or anything there. My next thought was they must have realised it had fallen off the back. But one of my other neighbours went up the road and saw the trailer had been dumped as well."

Several residents retrieved the trailer, which was 200m (656ft) further down the road in the direction of Poole, and called the police. At first it was unclear how the vessel came to be there but police later confirmed it had been stolen. Dorset Police said the owner of the boat had been found. A police spokeswoman said: "The boat and trailer were in the middle of the road and have now been recovered."

Vandalism suspected after wheelbarrow tipped over

A decorative wheelbarrow full of plants on a street in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, was knocked over in a suspected vandal attack.

There are a pair of the makeshift planters in Upton Close to support the town’s entry into Britain in Bloom. Last Wednesday morning, one was found on its side with all the compost and plants tipped out.

Caroline Langler, a member of the Henley in Bloom committee, who had planted up the two barrows, said: “Obviously it’s annoying someone has knocked it over because I had enormous pleasure doing them both. When I was doing them people were stopping to ask about them and telling me how wonderful they were.

“People really appreciate them.” Mrs Langler said she was just thankful the barrow wasn’t pushed into the road. Mrs Langler has now righted and replanted the wheelbarrow. She said she would liaise with the town council’s park services staff about securing both wheelbarrows.