Friday, July 01, 2016

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Harley the cockatoo uses a spoon to drink water

YouTube link.

World record for balloon bursting broken by Twinkie the Jack Russell

Twinkie the Jack Russell from California has burst into the record books after breaking the record for the fastest time to pop 100 balloons by a dog in an incredible time of 39.08 seconds.

Twinkie, who is owned by experienced dog trainer Doree Sitterly, beat the record of 41.67 seconds which was achieved by Cally the Wonderdog and Mitch Jenkins from the UK back in May 2015.

YouTube link.

Residents baffled by mystery appearance of googly-eyed rocks

Some small, wide-eyed visitors have recently appeared in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Small rocks with glued-on googly eyes have been spotted around the city in the last few weeks. The mystery rocks are located around the downtown area. They’ve been noticed by residents and are the source of much intrigue, probably because no one seems to know who made them or left them around the city.

“I’m not sure how they got there. I’ve been wondering myself,” said Mary Weaver. “We’ve been seeing them around the parks and they’re not always in full view, sometimes they’re hiding.” Some of the rocks are sitting in large groups in plain sight, but some are by themselves or in pairs, perched on business window sills or partially hidden by plants. Brian Baier noticed a pair of googly-eyed rocks sitting on a stone pillar outside the Chester Fritz Library. Baier has run into the mysterious rocks downtown as well, much to the delight of his young daughters.

“Most recently, I had my two girls, we were walking around downtown and we went to the Arbor Park where there’s a whole gaggle? I don’t know, what do you call a group of bug-eyed rocks?” he asked. “There’s a lot of them there. We kept finding them everywhere we looked.” Baier said even his daughters wanted to know the origin of the rocks. “Yeah, my girls were quite excited about it, and of course they asked why they were there, and I said, ‘I think someone’s just enjoying making people ask why they’re here,’” Baier said.

Will Martin was also excited by the rocks’ appearance. “They’re cool,” he said. “It’s a nifty little thing. Who is responsible for the googly rocks? One of the great mysteries of Grand Forks.” Wherever they came from, the presence of the googly-eyed rocks in unexpected locations has charmed people, like Kathy Holle of New Salem. “Yes, they did brighten our day,” she said. “We were in Grand Forks to visit our son and his wife last weekend and stopped at a pocket park downtown when we started noticing them. It certainly made us smile. And look around for more. We, too, are curious.”

Cackling chickens credited with saving man's life

Tony Wells’ chickens usually don’t cackle and squawk at 3:30 in the morning, so when he heard them raising a ruckus at that time on Wednesday, he went outside to investigate.

What he found was his father’s home across the street engulfed in flames. The 27-year-old ran into the house in Rayne, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, and led David Wells Jr., 49, to safety.

“Who would’ve thought chickens would make good smoke detectors?” said Peter Yacovone, chief of the Creekside Volunteer Fire Co. “If the son hadn’t come and got him, we would’ve been fishing a body out of there.”

He continued, “[Mr. Wells] is broken-hearted, but he’s good. He got out in the nick of freakin’ time.” The fire, believed to have been electrical in nature, started in the garage and spread to the second storey and attic of the home, leaving it standing but heavily damaged, the chief said.

Car totalled after skidding on snail slime

A vintage East German Trabant car was written off after its driver hit a snail trail on the Autobahn.

The incident took place shorty before 7am on Wednesday morning when a young motorist took his wheels out for a spin on the A33 near Paderborn in western Germany.

But when he drove over what the police described as a “whole caravan” of snails, he lost control of the car in the snail slime. The Trabant then smacked into the side railings of the Autobahn, leaving it totalled.

The driver escaped unharmed. The snail trail has now been dried out by the sun and no longer poses a risk to drivers, police say.

Burglar caught after returning to repair letterbox he had broken

A man who burgled his neighbour's house was caught after returning to repair a damaged letterbox.

Jonathan Heaven, 26, of Portmead, Swansea, Wales, broke in through a front door and stole £400 cash, televisions and DVD players.

But police found his fingerprints on superglue he had used to repair the letterbox following his raid.

He was jailed for two years at the city's crown court after admitting burglary. Heaven told police: "I was off my face at the time."

6ft 7inch man has pleaded not guilty to standing up while driving a small car

A tall man has denied driving a small car while standing up. Adam Elliott, who is 6ft 7in, is accused of getting to his feet while behind the wheel of a convertible Ford Ka.

It is alleged he drove dangerously on the A184 Felling bypass, in Gateshead and on the A167 over the Tyne Bridge, in Newcastle. During an appearance at Newcastle Crown Court, he pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving on January 26 this year.

Nick Cartmell, defending, told the court: “He is adamant he was not standing. The allegation is he was standing while driving. He is a few inches off 7ft. He accepts he was high in the seat but he was not standing and was in control of the vehicle. It’s a very small car.

“It would have been like the Big Friendly Giant in Noddy’s car.” The Ford Ka had its roof down at the time of the alleged offence. A trial date was set for January 23 next year and was given a time estimate of at least one day. Elliott, 25, of Scotswood, Newcastle, was further released on unconditional bail until his trial.

Dead cat taken to animal shelter found to be a muddy hand puppet

A distraught animal lover took what he thought was a dead cat to a rescue shelter on Monday evening, only to find it was a cuddly dog puppet.

The finder was 'very upset' when he arrived at the Guernsey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA) and was greeted by the shelter's manager Steve Byrne.

Steve said a "closer look" revealed the deceased pet was in fact "a very muddy, wet, insect-covered" dog puppet. "An air of sadness soon turned to laughter," he said.

The pair were soon rolling round with laughter and the GSPCA say that after a good wash, despite a nose injury, the hand puppet has now taken pride of place in Steve's office.

Suspected crocodile in London's Docklands revealed to be something much less dangerous

A London city worker took a photo of what appeared to be a crocodile on Tuesday. The monstrous reptile was snapped by a man named Ben, who took a break from his Canary Wharf office job for a lunchtime stroll with a colleague.

While wandering around the Isle of Dogs, Ben and his friend made the disturbing discovery. Ben said: "I was out for a stroll on my lunch break today with a colleague and taking our usual route around the docks enjoying the sun.

"While circumnavigating Millwall Outer Dock we passed the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre, when to our horror we spotted what appears to be some sort of large reptile.

"My colleague thought it might be a dinosaur but I corrected him that it looked more like a crocodile." However the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre later revealed that the potentially deadly brute was merely a pile of old rope.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Delighted to make your acquaintance

Little puppy is excited to meet her new friends

Lila the Golden Retriever puppy was delighted to meet her three new virtual friends.

YouTube link. Original Instagram video.

Street magician arrested after allegedly trying to make woman's bikini bottoms disappear

A street magician in Clearwater, Florida, is accused of trying to pull down a woman’s bikini bottoms. Clearwater police said Richard Cook, 51, performed his dirty trick at Pier 60 on Sunday evening. According to the Pinellas County arrest report, Cook was performing at around 8pm when the incident occurred.

The report states Cook was doing a trick in which he was trying to make a scarf disappear from his hand when he asked for a volunteer and the victim came forward. That is when, officials say, he told the victim to keep both hands out in front of her, as he reached down and pulled her bikini bottoms out from her side. The woman was able to grab her bottoms to not expose herself and told Cook she did not feel comfortable doing the trick.

According to the arrest report, Cook responded “you will feel comfortable” and immediately did it again. Sunset festival officials said Cook is not part of their nightly show “The guy wasn’t part of us,” said Dallas Saupe, street performer coordinator. “He wasn’t vetted at all. It would be like stopping this guy right here and saying hey, let me show you a trick to these people that just walked by and something happening, you know.” He said all performers are screened.

YouTube link.

“So they’re all vetted. The city requires us to do back ground checks on all the participants, not just the performers, all the vendors. Everybody that works out here for the festival,” he said. “We can be as vigilant as we can. I will step up probably my walking around my perimeter and I already do it several times a night.” Cook has an extensive criminal history and has served six stints in the state prison system for convictions out of Alachua, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties. This time, he’s been charged with felony battery and is being held at the Pinellas County Jail on a $2,500 bond.

Motorist accused of crashing into marijuana dispensary while high on marijuana

An 18-year-old man was arrested early on Sunday on suspicion of driving while high on marijuana after he crashed into a marijuana dispensary in Happy Valley, Oregon.

Alan Alcantara hit an empty parked car near Stumptown Cannabis at around 1:05am and then crashed into the back wall of the business, according to a probable cause affidavit.

He caused more than $1,000 in damage to the other car and the building, court papers said. Alcantara's passenger was taken to a hospital with a concussion, and Alcantara admitted to a Clackamas County sheriff's deputy to using marijuana before the crash, the affidavit said.

He was booked into the Clackamas County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, reckless endangering, criminal mischief and fourth-degree assault. A worker at Stumptown Cannabis said that the business was closed at the time of the crash.

Man accused of breaking into his grandmother’s house in attempt to steal her frozen dinners

A grandson caught raiding his grandmother’s freezer is accused of hurting a deputy while trying to get away.

According to a criminal complaint, Jonathan Saiz, 34, broke into his grandmother’s house near Carnuel, New Mexico.

He was reportedly attempting to steal her frozen TV dinners. While a deputy tried to arrest him, investigators say Saiz stuck his thumb in his eye.

YouTube link.

That deputy says he later found a gun in Saiz’s pocket and several glass pipes with drug residue. In court on Sunday, a judge increased his bond because of his past. Saiz remains in jail.

Woman allegedly wielded a hatchet after man repeatedly refused to have sex with her

After her repeated demands to have sex were rebuffed, a Florida woman grabbed a hatchet and began beating on the locked door of the bathroom where her intended beau had sought refuge, police report. According to police, Leslie Mills, 26, returned home early Thursday after a drinking binge and began badgering the victim to “engage in sexual activity with her.”

The man, who said he was awoken by the persistent Mills, told officers that he moved from the Ocala home’s bedroom to the couch in a bid to escape her. However, Mills followed him to the living room, where she climbed on top of the victim, “still asking for him to have sex with her,” according to an Ocala Police Department report.

After again declining to have sex, the man went into the bathroom and locked the door. Mills responded, police report, by pounding on the door, which she then successfully pushed open. Upon Mills entering the bathroom, the victim noticed that she was carrying a hatchet that had been removed from a living room wall. The man said that he wrestled the hatchet from Mills’s hands after she raised the weapon and "appeared to be preparing to strike him."

The victim, whose relationship with Mills is unknown, then fled the residence and called 911. Responding officers noted that Mills, who appeared drunk, was “dressed in just a bathrobe” when they encountered her outside the home. Mills was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a felony, and misdemeanor domestic battery. Free on $5500 bond, Mills is scheduled for a July 26 court hearing.

Man claiming to be a shapeshifter entered home to ‘find a lady to heal’

A resident of Belfield, North Dakota, called Stark County Sheriff’s deputies on Sunday afternoon.

She reported that a tall, 250-pound Native American man had knocked on her door. He then entered her home and began speaking to her children.

The man told the children he was a shapeshifter and a healer from Mandaree who was looking for a lady to heal.

The man then left in a white Pontiac sedan and then called at the house again 30 minutes after leaving. His whereabouts are unknown.

Missing Viking axe row ended with bloodshed

The mystery of a missing Viking axe ended in bloodshed on the streets of Lampeter, south west Wales, a court has heard. Aidan Paul Devlin, aged 21, a student living at John Richards Hall, Lampeter University, appeared before magistrates. He pleaded guilty to assaulting Alexander Childs by beating, and herbal cannabis possession. Ellie Morgan, prosecuting, told the court Mr Childs was approached while walking to the town square at 10.30pm on May 27.

The defendant asked Mr Childs if he knew who he was before stating: "I'm Aidan Devlin, and I'm a member of the Viking Society. I have it on good authority that you know where Scott Jackson's axe is." The court heard that the Viking Society took part in reenactments, and the axe in question had been left to the college armoury. Miss Morgan added that Mr Childs was exasperated at being asked about the axe's whereabouts, and turned to walk away. Devlin said if he found that Mr Childs knew where the axe was he would break his nose.

Miss Morgan said: "There was a brief pause and the defendant head butted him on the nose. He was in a lot of pain." Mr Childs suffered bleeding and a scratch during the assault, and was left in shock. Miss Morgan added: "He is still very shaken, and says he will be very wary about going out on his own for some time." Police noticed a smell of cannabis when they went to Devlin's room to arrest him, and he handed over cannabis with an estimated street value of £2.60. Devlin told officers that Mr Childs had 'smirked' at him when confronted about the axe, causing him to lose his temper.

Janan Jones, defending, told the bench her client was previously of 'absolutely clean character' and was in the second year of studying anthropology and archaeology. She added that he was 'mortified' to tell his parents about the incident. Miss Jones said: "This axe that was the bone of contention was from a well respected society in Lampeter. He is extremely sorry for what happened and has got himself some counselling for anger management, to keep calm if he finds himself in this situation again. This is something he will never, ever do again." Magistrates fined Devlin £120 and ordered him to pay £100 compensation to Mr Childs, plus £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Man and his aptly-named yacht rescued by lifeboat

The skipper of a small yacht that lacked vital equipment had to be rescued off the Yorkshire coast early on Tuesday morning. The vessel, named Don't Panic, had no lights, no VHF radio, no GPS, no flares and a broken-down engine, said Scarborough RNLI.

Spokesman Dave Barry said the skipper of Don't Panic managed to get a signal on his mobile phone and rang the coastguard on 999, then used the light on his mobile phone to attract the attention of the lifeboat crew. Mr Barry said that had the skipper not got a phone signal, he could have been blown him into the shipping lane, putting himself in grave danger.

He told the 999 operator he thought he was a quarter of a mile offshore when he got into difficulties, and the boat’s engine had a mechanical failure. The lifeboat launched at 1.02am, found the yacht by radar a mile and a half east of the harbour, and homed in on it with the help of the light on the skipper’s phone. The yacht was towed back to Scarborough.

John Senior, lifeboat operations manager, said: “It is imperative that any leisure craft putting out to sea should have a fully functional VHF marine radio and flares as a bare minimum. There is no legal requirement for leisure craft but we would strongly advise that such vessels always have a means of sending out a distress call other than a mobile phone, which should be used only as a back-up. We also recommend that if you are going at night or dusk, you have lights and have informed someone ashore of your intentions.”

Kite surfer rescued by Batman and Robin

A kite surfer who got into trouble in the sea off a Sussex beach had two superheroes come to his rescue. Two friends dressed as Batman and Robin paddled out to rescue the man on Sunday.

David Schneider, 40, from Lancing and Derren Guile, 40, from Worthing, were in kayaks taking part in the Superhero Paddle at Shoreham Beach at the time. David, aka Robin, said: “We were out in the water having a bit of fun and I noticed this kite surfer had got into a bit of trouble. His kite was in the water and he was being dragged across the beach.

“I probably watched him for about ten minutes and thought ‘he’s not getting that back up’. So I paddled over, obviously dressed as Robin and called my comrade to help me. He was gobsmacked when we turned up. He just looked round and said ‘oh no’. “I said ‘it’s not every day Batman and Robin come to save you is it?’.” The superhero friends then helped the relieved man back to shore, before returning to collect his surfboard.

“He wasn’t drowning but he was in trouble,” David said. “Unless he got his kite back up he was going to struggle, and the southwesterly wind was dragging him across. I would have thought another kite surfer might have helped him because they normally do, but it became obvious no one was coming.” David added: “After we returned his board to him he very quickly disappeared, I think he was a bit embarrassed.”