Shot in the head, not hurt
Rio de Janeiro:
A woman in Brazil had an amazing escape when she was shot in the head but was not seriously injured.
Florence Kanto, 60, was watching TV in Rio de Janeiro, when a stray bullet hit her in the head near her left ear. She did not even lose consciousness and arrived at the city’s Flamengo Hospital on foot.

A hospital spokesperson said: “The bullet entered her head at a very slow speed and the place it entered was responsible for her not suffering from anything. This was a real Christmas miracle!”

Do you take this panda?
 In accord with Thailand's cultural traditions and accompanied by much pomp and circumstance, officials married off Chuang Chuang and his gal Lin Lui, the country's only giant pandas (at the Chaing Mai Zoo in November), and Thong Kham and his gal Thong Khaow, a pair of dwarf Brahman cattle in Sa Kaew province in July (both ceremonies before thousands of spectators). And in Roseville, Mich., in November, Susan Laurer spent $1,200 to marry off a pair of pug dogs, Bobby and Gracie, dressed in formal wedding wear before 70 guests at the Evangel Christian Church. (The maid of honor was a Chihuahua.)

Wacky facts for kids
Polar bears swim faster than all other four-footed animals. They have been tracked at speeds up to 6 miles per hour, using their front paws to propel them through the water dog-paddle style. They have been known to swim more than 60 miles without stopping. Their thick layer of fat keeps them warm while they swim in cold water

Mayor wants to ban death
Rio de Janero:
The mayor of a Brazilian town is trying to bring in a law making it illegal for residents to die because the town's only cemetery is full.
He wants to bring in a law to see relatives of people dying before their time face fines or even jail.The law would make it an offence for the town's 28,000 citizens to not look after their health properly.

Wacky facts for kids
Polar bears swim faster than all other four-footed animals. They have been tracked at speeds up to 6 miles per hour, using their front paws to propel them through the water dog-paddle style. They have been known to swim more than 60 miles without stopping. Their thick layer of fat keeps them warm while they swim in cold water

Weird Nation: Woman bites cop's finger off over a cat
A police officer had part of a finger bitten off by a woman after he responded to a call about a dispute over a cat, authorities say. Lt. Robert Menzel said the 40-year-old woman who called police Sunday afternoon had argued with a man about the animal and wanted him removed from her home. The officer, a 10-year veteran, tried to restrain the woman, and she became belligerent and she bit off part of his right ring finger, Menzel said. Surgeons at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital were not able to reattach the finger, the lieutenant said.

A Turkish villager who ran away with his friend's wife has offered his own wife in exchange, newspapers said on Thursday.

Farm laborer Cengiz Esme said Gulhan, his wife of 18 years, disappeared a month ago after leaving their village to go shopping in the southern Turkish town of Tarsus.

The 36-year-old said his village friend Mehmet Yaksi had telephoned him the next day and said: "I've run off with your wife .... You take my wife," the Radikal daily reported.

Esme pleaded for Gulhan to return and said he was ready to forgive her and make a fresh start elsewhere. The reports said Yaksi's wife, a mother of three, declined to comment on the situation.

Pest control:
British store owners seeking to drive away obnoxious, congregating teenagers have turned to security consultant Howard Stapleton's recent invention, similar to a dog whistle, that emits a high-frequency sound audible to most teens but few older people. ''The Mosquito'' (it's ''small and annoying,'' Stapleton told a New York Times reporter, who vouched that she couldn't hear it, either) emits what one merchant called a pulsating chirp, not painful but surely irritating. A professor of neurophysiology verified that the ability to hear high frequency dissipates with age but that some people in their 20's and 30's could probably still hear it.

Police officers were stunned when a car crashed into their patrol car and they found a three-year-old boy was responsible.Oliver Willment-Coster was left strapped in the car by his father, Jeffrey who went into a shop to buy his son a Milky Bar.But the youngster managed to take the car out of gear, release the handbrake, then steer 15 yards down the road. He came to a sudden stop when the white Proton car smashed into the police vehicle, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Mr Coster became aware of the incident only when a police officer entered the shop and asked: "Does anyone have a white car?"
The 54-year-old lorry driver ran from the store in Bournemouth, Dorset, and found his son unharmed and sitting in the passenger seat with the belt still around him.
All the boy said was: "Have you got my Milky Bar?"

In October the federal Department of Homeland Security announced a $36,300 grant to the state of Kentucky, earmarked to prevent terrorists from using charity bingo and other games of chance to raise money.

One astonished bingo worker in Frankfort told The Associated Press that the need to protect bingo parlors from terrorists “would never even enter my mind.”


While Canadian "global warming" protesters express alarm at the dwindling outdoor hockey season (fewer months with ice, fewer days cold enough for hard ice), a growing number of "hockey" players are taking the game under water, according to a November Associated Press story. With six breath-holding players per team, passing a puck with sticks at the bottom of a pool, and players surfacing for air as seldom as possible, dozens of club teams worldwide play (nearly 50 in the United States), with a championship tournament scheduled next year for Sheffield, England. Said a Cincinnati high school player of the respiratory challenge, "When you're close to the goal, you're like, 'Do I want to score a goal or breathe?' Most of the time I say 'Score.' "

An elderly Japanese man was on Tuesday given a suspended jail term for threatening to blow up a hospital with dynamite unless he was given an injection to cure stomach-ache.

Miichiro Yamashita, 70, visited a hospital in Wakayama,   Japan, in July and asked a doctor to give him an injection, Kyodo News said. The doctor refused, saying the ailment did not call for one. Yamashita then returned with about 25 sticks of dynamite and demanded an injection. Yamashita reportedly had around 150 dynamite sticks in his home from construction sites where he had worked.

Berlin: Police in Berlin made their easiest arrest of the year at their annual Christmas party, after spotting a man rummaging through the pockets of their coats in the cloakroom. Officers of the Federal Police criminal investigations unit said the pickpocket did not know that the revellers in a Berlin brewery were law enforcers. Confronted with 35 officers, the 45-year-old Albanian, who held a forged passport and was wanted for other offences, offered no resistance.

Angry Chihuahuas attack officer

Fremont (California): A pack of angry Chihuahuas attacked a police officer who was escorting a teenager home after a traffic stop, authorities said.

The officer suffered minor injuries, including bites to his ankle, Detective Bill Veteran said. The five Chihuahuas escaped the 17-year-old boy’s home and rushed the officer in the doorway on Thursday, authorities said. The teenager had been detained after the traffic incident.  

Police follow thieves’ footprints
German police on Thursday captured two men suspected of stealing from 15 cars and two garden sheds by following their footprints in the snow for several miles.

Policemen were checking up on a car whose alarm had been set off just after midnight in the town of Hoentrop when they found a smashed window and two sets of footprints which they followed more than ten streets. “At one point the tracks disappeared because someone had cleared the pavement outside their home in the middle of the night,” police said in a statement. The footprints led them directly to the entrance of a flat where the burglars not only stored their booty but also left their shoes and gloves to dry.

Robbery suspect sings the blues
Anchorage (Alaska): Anchorage police said a man painted his face and tried to rob a hotel, but was arrested when officers spotted residual blue stains on his neck, ears and forehead. Anchorage police Lt Paul Honeman said a clerk at the Super 8 Motel said a man with a blue face had threatened him with a knife after he refused to hand over money on Saturday. When the clerk locked himself in a room, the suspect fled. Two officers were investigating another case at Chelsea Inn when Clark appeared with blue stains on his ears, neck, throat and fingers. Police believe Clark ran from the Super 8, washed his face and walked to the Chelsea, where he was checked in.
A search of his room revealed a knife sheath and an ink blotter. Police photographed Clark with the blue stains in place.

Cardiff: Passengers on a jet returning to Britain were told they could not land because an air traffic controller was having a tea break.

The Thomson flight was forced to circle the airport, finally landing 25 minutes late, reports the Daily Mirror.

Ken Jones, 70, said he and fellow passengers though the captain was pulling their legs when he made the announcement as they approached Cardiff Airport.

Ken, coming home from a break in Tenerife, added: "He said sorry for not being able to land but explained that the duty controller at the airport wasn't authorised to land us and we’d have to wait until the other one came off his break.

“The captain added ‘In all my time flying, I have never come across anything like it before’. Because it was April 1, I thought at first it might have been a practical joke.”

Yorkshire: Visitors to the Yorkshire Dales are being sent up a dangerous track by their cars’ satellite navigation systems.
They are being directed on to a steep unclassified road, impassable to normal road vehicles and with a 100ft drop on one side, reports the Telegraph.
Many ignore a no through road sign and open a five-bar gate before trying to continue along a gravel track linking Swaledale and Wensleydale.
It has led to farmers having to rescue them with tractors as the vehicles become stuck on an S-bend then try to reverse out of trouble.
Steven Porter, 41, whose Summer Lodge Farm stands at the start of the track, has noticed a marked increase in traffic.
“I wondered what was happening, then one fellow who was stuck told me his satellite navigation system had brought him there,” he said.
“They must have all got sat-navs for Christmas.”
Previously, the road, close to the hamlet of Crackpot, was used only by local people, gamekeepers and the occasional mountain biker.

Croatia: A British luxury yacht manufacturer has sacked two girls for posing topless in a rubber dinghy.

But they were sacked after stripping off for Croatian weekly Globus to promote the event inside a rubber dinghy for £60 each.

Managers in Croatia were concerned the photos would cause buyers to associate their high end yachts with semi-naked models and cheap rubber boats..)

Sydney: An Australian federal police officer has been suspended for consulting a clairvoyant as part of an investigation into a death threat made to the country's prime minister, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

The officer, whose identity has not been released, reportedly consulted clairvoyant Elizabeth Walker after inquiries into the threat to Prime Minister John Howard hit a dead end, The Sunday Age reported.

In a statement to the newspaper, an Australian Federal Police spokesman confirmed an officer was being investigated. “I can confirm we are currently investigating the matter. A member of the AFP has been suspended,” the statement said. “The AFP takes seriously all allegations of misconduct by officers, and does not condone the use of psychics in security matters.”

Holy matrimony #2: After Ms. Sohela Ansari told friends in their village in West Bengal state in India that her husband had mumbled ''talaq, talaq, talaq'' in his sleep, word got to local Muslim authorities, who declared the couple divorced. (A Muslim husband may obtain a divorce merely by the utterance, and the West Bengal clerics ruled that he need not be awake at the time.)  

Holy matrimony #1:  In February in Pattaya, Thailand, the woman who was the former Guinness Book record holder for living in a cage with scorpions was married to the man who holds the equivalent record for time spent with centipedes, with consummation immediately afterward in a coffin. (Kanchana Ketkaew had stayed 32 days with 3,400 scorpions and Bunthawee Siengwong 28 days with 1,000 centipedes.)

Can’t Possibly Be True
Teachers at several nursery schools in Oxfordshire, England, have been encouraging kids to learn the verse "Baa, baa, black sheep/Have you any wool?" without the word "black," but in its place a variety of emotions (e.g., "Baa, baa, sad sheep") or colors (including "Baa, baa, rainbow sheep") because they believe that kids with black skin might feel disrespected. According to a March Cox News Service dispatch from London, the campaign seems of a piece with a UK media flurry in 2003 suggesting changing the ending to Humpty Dumpty so that he receives merely a mild bump instead of shattering.

Two Bank robbers aged 13 and 14
Vancouver: Two 13-year-olds and a 14-year-old have been arrested on suspicion of a string of bank robberies in Canada.

Police in Vancouver arrested the three teenagers following the robberies, reports CBC News. “Within the last month and a half we’re looking at seven robberies all over the Lower Mainland,” said RCMP Cpl Roger Morrow.

Morrow says he has never seen such young boys involved in such brazen robberies. “At our meeting this morning where this series of events came up, we sat around the table and were speechless at having kids of this age involved in this type of crime.”

Boy, 6, wants to go to university
The family of a gifted six-year-old boy are trying to get a court order to allow him to attend university.
Child prodigy Maximiliano Arellano, from Mexico City, has been studying medicine on his own, reports UOL Noticias Populares.
He has reportedly become an expert in the fields of osteoporosis, diabetes and anaemia and has been invited to speak in congresses all over Mexico.
However Roberty Camacho, the director of Mexico Medical State University, says he thinks the boy is too young for university.
The boy’s mother, Alejandra de Noe, who believes Maximiliano could be a qualified doctor by the age of 13, is challenging his decision. And Maximiliano said: “I want to become a doctor so I can cure people!”
Mr Camacho is now said to be considering testing the boy’s ability because of his growing fame in the country.

Cabbie mistaken for IT expert
A London cabbie was mistaken for an IT expert he was set to pick up at the BBC and ended up appearing live on TV.
The taxi driver was holding a badge for Guy Kewney in reception when the confusion took place. A producer called out for “Guy Kewney” and the cabbie was ushered on to a News 24 studio set.
Instead of telling show bosses he was not Mr Kewney, he tried to bluff his way through the interview about the court battle between Apple iTunes and Apple Corps.
During the interview his answers included: “I’m very surprised to see this verdict because I was not expecting that.”
The real Mr Kewney, editor of, watched the interview in disbelief.
After several confused answers interviewer Karen Bowerman cut to a reporter at the High Court reports the Mirror.

Least competent criminals 
Whoever tried to burglarize the Cell Comm/Nextel store in Victorville, Calif., in March escaped after bungling the job. The store owner told the local Daily Press that the would-be burglar tried to shoot open the door's lock but that the bullet ricocheted and hit the man in the chest, knocking him down. The bullet probably did not break the skin but was probably startling and painful, in that the man vomited at the scene before he fled.

Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell last week named her daughter Bluebell Madonna.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes called their girl Suri.

And Gwyneth Paltrow and pop star Chris Martin have a daughter Apple and a son Moses.

Weird place names II
The title of Australia's longest single name for a town goes to this nondescript place in Victoria with 15 letters. That's two more letters than in Woolloomooloo. Aboriginal for "big water" - referring to a nearby swamp - Boomahnoomoonah is a lot smaller than its name, sporting just an Anglican church (still operating but locals don't know for how much longer) and a school (closed). It's between Yarrawonga and Wangaratta in north-eastern Victoria.

Weird place names I
This town with a politically incorrect name is in a valley below the Victorian Alps near Bright. It gained its name in the 1850s because gold seekers regularly stopped here for a smoke and a rest on their way to and from the goldfields. While tiny, Smoko is still a fun place to take a namesake break, but there's only one place to do it - Smoko's Big Shed Cafe. And would you believe it, the main revenue earner in and around Smoko today is tobacco growing!

Conman posing as Brad Pitt busted
A salesman tried to fleece a money exchanger in the United Arab Emirates by using an identity card bearing the picture of Hollywood heart-throb Brad Pitt, a local newspaper reported.
 The Gulf News said the 29-year-old Jordanian had been told by his brother, who worked at the Dubai money exchange, that more than $23,000 in cash had been transferred to the bureau for a client who had not picked it up for more than three months.
 The Jordanian then forged an ID using the client’s name and a picture of Pitt. He hoped his brother would then be able to hand over the cash and keep a photocopy of the fake ID as record of the transfer.  The man, who was arrested on a tip from an informant, told police when he was caught that he did not know whose picture he had downloaded from the Internet.

Woman auctions self with Ferrari
A woman living in Germany is auctioning off her red Ferrari Enzo sports car and including a little extra in the package — herself. The 26-year-old has invited bids on Internet auction site ebay starting at 1.25 million euros. She said she was rich herself, liked her car and was looking for a man who could foot the bill for such a luxury.

“Only a millionaire could afford such a car,” said the woman, who gave her name as Leila and said she once worked as a singer in Syria. “I want a man who doesn’t like me just for my money.” No bids have been made yet in the auction which ends in a week.

Bigamy costs Malaysian a buffalo and a pig 
Malaysia - An indigenous man in Malaysia's Sabah state on Borneo Island was fined a buffalo and a pig for breaking a tribal custom by secretly marrying a second wife, a tribal court official said Wednesday.

The 39-year-old man was asked to compensate his first wife and children with a buffalo and a pig even though he agreed to dissolve the second marriage and return to his first wife and family, Kota Kinabalu Native Court chief William Majimbun told The Associated Press.

The court handles cases only relating to laws of the native indigenous people in Sabah.

Majimbun said the man, whose identity has been withheld, performed the second marriage secretly in a remote village in 2003.

Bear voluntarily returns to enclosure 
British Columbia - Boo the runaway grizzly bear has returned on his own to his enclosure at a resort, apparently because of the ease of getting food and the end to the mating season, officials said.

After nearly three weeks on the lam after busting out of confinement, the 4-year-old bear ambled back into the 22-acre artificial enclosure Saturday, said Michael Dalzell, sales and marketing director at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort outside this town on the western slope of the Canadian Rockies.

"We believe he came back because he recognizes this as his comfort area and a reliable source of food," Dalzell said Monday.

Criminally incompetent #2
Richard Costello, 29, was arrested in Clearwater, Fla., in May and charged with stealing motorcycle parts after police recovered photos of the parts, which they suspect were snapped by Costello. At the bottom of each photo, the photographer's bare toes are visible and display the tattoos "white" and "trash," matching Costello's own tattooed toes.

Criminally incompetent #1
Richard and Stephanie North were arrested in April on suspicion of being the ones who had earlier taken a big-screen TV from an appliance store in Middletown, N.Y. Police had stopped their car on suspicion because a rear door was propped open to accommodate the huge TV set sticking out of the back seat.

Mole Man banned from own home
An eccentric called ‘The Mole Man’ has been banned from his home after digging a 60-ft network of tunnels beneath it.

William Lyttle, 75, spent 40 years burrowing under his 20-room house, removing 100 cubic metres of earth with a spade and pulleys. Philip Wilman, a surveyor for Hackney Council, said, “It’s a catastrophe in the making.”

Ex-electrical engineer Lyttle has been staying in a £25-a-night hotel, paid for by the council, after an injunction under the London Building Act which allows the £100,000 repairs to be done. Work at the house in De Beauvoir, East London, could include flooding the tunnels — big enough to stand up in and dropping to a depth of eight metres — with cement.

Waitress gets own ID while carding patron
A barmaid checking to see if a woman was legally old enough to drink was handed her own stolen driver’s license, which was reported missing weeks earlier, the police said.

“The odds of this waitress recovering her own license defy calculation,” Police Captain Guy Turner said on Monday.

Maria Bergan, 23, of Lakewood, was charged on Sunday with identity theft and receiving stolen property. She was arrested at her home in Cleveland.

The waitress said she had lost her wallet on July 9 at a bar in Lakewood. Her credit card was also stolen and purchases worth $1,000 (Rs 46,614) made, Turner said.

Incompetent criminal
Lawrence C. Lawson, 60, was charged with robbing the Lasalle Bank in Troy, Mich., in July, which was an easy collar because, as he emerged from the bank with his loot, he spotted a passing police car and promptly fainted. (Oakland (Mich.) Press, July 15, 2006)

Play staged in bathroom
Sao Paulo: A new play set and staged in a bathroom is a surprise hit in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo.

The play, titled Thorough Search, is staged in a bathroom at the Renaissance Theatre, reports a local daily.

Only 30 people can fit inside the bathroom and they have to remain standing during the 30-minute performance.

A spokesperson for the producers said, “We are a huge success. We have to perform extra shows every week!”

Incompetent criminal
Lawrence C. Lawson, 60, was charged with robbing the Lasalle Bank in Troy, Mich., in July, which was an easy collar because, as he emerged from the bank with his loot, he spotted a passing police car and promptly fainted. (Oakland (Mich.) Press, July 15, 2006)

By the slice
Pierre Barton, 20, was arrested in Cleveland following the robbery of Georgio's Pizza, shortly after he had accidentally dropped his two "cheat sheet" cards containing his robbery speech (reading "Give me the money" and "Tell I'll kill your family (sic)"). (In fact, Barton apparently was a poor ad-libber: Although his makeshift "gun" had come apart and was lying on the floor, he still threatened to shoot the manager as he was fleeing.) (Plain Dealer, July 11, 2006)

Granddad gets top martial arts honor
A pensioner has been awarded a top martial arts honour. Judo and jujitsu expert Raymond Wood is just one of six people in the country to be given a 10th Dan black belt.

According to The Sun he said: “I feel really chuffed. I have waited 11 years since being awarded my ninth Dan for this to happen, so it is an achievement.”

Raymond was crowned all-England Jujitsu Champion at the age of 63. He took up martial arts in 1948 when he was 15.

The dad of five, from Hull, East Yorks, was given the 10th Dan top honour as a reward for 58 years as a devotee.

Mindless/Weird People Or Things In The News

Squirrel in spokes... floors cycling singer
Helsinki: A squirrel scampered into the bicycle wheel of an unlucky Finnish opera singer, causing him to fall, knock himself out and break his nose just ahead of the world premiere of a new opera.

Esa Ruuttunen was pedalling his way to the Helsinki Opera House last month when the squirrel ran into his spokes.

The singer ended up concussed and in a local hospital, rather than at his rehearsals for the Finnish opera Kaarmeen hetki (Hour of the Serpent), which opens on September 15. “He is not yet singing in rehearsals, but thinks he will be able to perform at the world premiere,” Finnish National Opera spokeswoman Heidi Almi told Reuters.The squirrel died in the accident


"An Intelligent Organization For The Mindless"

The White Rock Marathon turned into a wedding for two Dallas-area runners. Ken Ashby, 53, and Linda Kelley, 54, were in their running gear when they tied the knot just past Mile 19. Minister and runner Tim Epting officiated. Ashby ran the first part of the marathon, stopped to get married, then he was joined in the final 7.2 miles by his veil-wearing bride

Another reason to buckle up:

Robbin Doolin, 31, accidentally fell from her car while driving on U.S. 71 in Kansas City, Mo., in July when she opened the door to spit and leaned too far.


New York
Police scuba divers searched yesterday for a cab driver who drove his car into the Hudson River on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Police said a parks officer had asked the unidentified man to move his livery cab from an area near West 69th Street and the Henry Hudson Parkway at about noon before he drove it off a pier and into the water.


A 19-year-old German girl has sued her mother after she confiscated her two guinea pigs, a dog and a litter of puppies and donated them to an animal home 

The girl had taken to locking the creatures in her room after the recent birth of the puppies angered the mother, but she returned at the weekend to find them gone.

Man chained up in kennel by wife
A 75-year-old Polish man was chained up by his wife in a dog kennel because she was fed up with him coming home drunk. Zdzislawa Bukarowicza was chained up by his wife Helena and fed on dog food and water because she was sick of him spending all their money on vodka. He survived almost three weeks living on an old blanket in the dog kennel and being fed from the dog bowl despite temperatures of minus 20 degrees at his home in Scinawa. He was eventually freed when friends, who had not seen him at their local bar for several days, called the police.


Cedar Rapids (Iowa): A burglar who kicked in the back door of a restaurant must have worked up an appetite. Police said the person who broke into the Garden Place overnight Monday baked themselves a sausage and beef pizza before they left. “I got to work, and I noticed my pizza oven was on,” said Darryl Rundell, the restaurant’s owner. “My back door was busted. I came back to the kitchen, and I saw dirty dishes in my sink. We had cleaned up the night before, and there were no dishes in the sink.” On the dirty pizza pans he found sausage and beef. He found that buns, pizza crusts and sauce, hot dogs, beef and Italian sausage had been taken.

Kuala Lumpur: Two burglars were arrested after they fell asleep in the house they had broken into after raiding the fridge.

Police found the men fast asleep on a settee of the home in Malaysia’s southern Johor state, reports Berita Harian newspaper.

The burglars had broken into the house and stolen jewellery and other valuables before deciding they were hungry.

After their meal, they fell asleep on a couch in the hall where they were found by the woman who owns the house.

She alerted the police who arrived in time to wake up and arrest the two men, both said to be in their 20s.

Polly want a burglar? 
A pet parrot attacked a man who broke into its owner’s apartment, and the bite and blood marks helped police identify a suspect.

The blue and gold macaw hybrid named Sunshine attacked Michael L. Deeter, 44, after he broke into the apartment, police said. Sunshine had blood on its beak and Deeter had marks on his hand consistent with those made by a parrot.
Deeter told police the bird bit him very hard after he entered James Erb’s apartment and he still had the marks to prove it when he was arrested, authorities said. He allegedly got away with about $100 and a camcorder.
The crime-fighting bird also helped pinpoint the time of the break-in at 3 p.m. Saturday, when a neighbor heard it making a commotion.
Deeter became a suspect when police learned he had called Erb around 1 p.m. Saturday and learned he would be leaving for work. Deeter confessed to breaking the glass in the door to get into the apartment, but said he was too drunk to remember anything else but his encounter with the bird, police

Speed camera clocks tractor at 85mph
United Kingdom:
Speed camera bosses have apologised to a farmer after they tried to fine him for doing 85mph in a tractor.

Steve Crossman, who farms in Wiltshire, was puzzled when he received a ticket saying he had been snapped by a camera and was being fined for speeding in his tractor, which has a top speed of 26mph.

The Mid and South Wales Safety Camera Partnership quickly admitted that they had misread one letter in the registration plate and immediately retracted the ticket.

Mr Crossman told the BBC: "It's a good tractor, but not that good."

Brazil: A Brazilian hotel company that rents rooms for just four hours (hmm. ) has opened a similar establishment for dogs.

The Pet Love Motel in Sao Paolo features a heart-shaped mirror on the ceiling, a headboard resembling a doggy bone, paw-print-motif decor, and thick curtains for discretion.  

Sydney: David Cox had just checked his luggage at Sydney airport when he saw a baggage handler driving across the tarmac wearing a camel suit. It was his camel suit. He had packed it in a large bag. The container, which was labeled "animal costumes," also held a crocodile suit. "I obviously was flabbergasted," Cox said, not explaining why he dresses up as a camel. Qantas apologized and promised an investigation.  

More facilities, please: In Lunar New Year celebrations in January in China, 120 million rural peasants traveled to and from cities via jam-packed trains, despite meager restroom facilities. As a result, according to a Reuters dispatch, there was a massive holiday run on adult diapers.


Good news for students: In January, history professor David Weale of Canada's University of Prince Edward Island offered B-minus grades to any students in his overcrowded class if they would just go away, and 20 of the 95 accepted. (However, the administration found out, and Professor Weale, who had retired last year but returned to teach that one course, re-retired.)   

Unusual obsessions: (1) orchids (When collector Sian Tiong Lim, 32, was recently jailed for four months in England for orchid-smuggling, orchid expert Eric Hansen told United Press International, ''There is a lunatic fringe to the orchid world, and a fine line between the average grower and the horticulturally insane.'') 2) rare bird eggs (Collector Gregory Wheal, 42, also was jailed recently for four months in England after a 30-year history of stealing from hundreds of nests. His lawyer told the judge that Wheal needs professional help.)  

School daze: The head of the Jo Richardson comprehensive school in Dagenham, England, prohibits students from raising their hands in class, according to a January Daily Telegraph report, to keep those not called on from feeling ''victimi[zed].'' 


Teen Says Friend Asked to Be Hit With Car
A 17-year-old boy who police said asked a friend to hit him with a car “for fun” was still hospitalised on Tuesday with a broken leg.

Michael Morris was in fair condition at Porter hospital, spokeswoman Robin Carlascio said. His friend, Stephen D. Domonkos, 18, told police that Morris asked him to hit him with his car, something they had done before. He told police that Morris was “an adrenaline junkie.” Domonkos was driving about 25 mph when the car hit Morris, shattering the windshield, in the parking lot of a Chesterton restaurant.

Extreme Jewelry
Salt Lake City fashion designer Jared Gold recently began offering jeweled brooches featuring brightly colored Swarovski crystals affixed to a live, 3-inch-long Madagascar hissing cockroach that a woman can allow to roam a short distance around her dress or jacket via a silver chain affixed to the roach’s back. The brooch sells for $80 at Gold’s Web site. An April New York Post story quoted an animal-rights spokesman as calling the bauble "just the gift" for the "person who doesn’t mind a small animal excreting on them throughout the day."