Friday, September 7, 2012

Warwick woman accused of training pet bird to swear at ex-husband's new girlfriend

By Mike McKinney
 Lynne Taylor (center) with her lawyer, Stephen Peltier, of Cranston (left) and prosecutor Kerry Rafanelli.

(Providence Journal) WARWICK, R.I. -- A year-long dispute has landed two neighbors in court.

At issue: Willy's the cockatoo's salty language.

In court documents, Kathleen Melker of 55 Harris Ave. asserts she was within earshot of Willy, her neighbor's pet, when he repeatedly called her "whore." The incident, she says, punctuated an acrimonious relationship with Lynne Taylor of 51 Harris Ave. that she says included Taylor pelting rocks over the fence and threats to capture Melker's cat and "drown it in the Bay." No charges have been filed.

Taylor -- and Willy -- are now being accused in Municipal Court of violating the city's animal-noise ordinance. Taylor's lawyer Thursday argued the ordinance is vague and unconstitutional; the judge denied Taylor's request to dismiss the case.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

British Boy Stumbles Upon Extremely Valuable Whale Vomit

By Robbie Levin

(ThePostGame) One whale's trash is an 8-year-old boy's treasure.

Charlie Naysmith was walking along the beach at Hengistbury Head in southern Britain when he picked up a large object that looked and felt like a stone.

As it turned out, that object was actually a piece of ambergris, a substance which is regurgitated by sperm whales. Ambergris is used to prolong the scent of perfume, and therefore is extremely valuable.

The vomit, which weighs a little more than one pound, could be worth as much as $63,000.

"He is into nature and is really interested in it," said Charlie's father, Alex. "We have discovered it is quite rare and are waiting for some more information from marine biology experts."

Charlie is still unsure what he will do with the profits, but according to the Daily Echo, he may build a house for animals.

It is rare that the ambergris gets to shore, but when it does, it is worth its weight in gold. In 2006 a man found a 32.5-pound piece of ambergris on a beach in South Australia that was estimated to be worth nearly $300,000.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Filmmaker wreaks girlie revenge on Facebook-hacking little brother

(MSN) When filmmaker Tobias Mathijsen learned his punk kid brother had altered (or “fraped”) his Facebook page, he didn’t get mad. Instead, he invited a bunch of his friends over and they got to work transforming his younger sibling’s room into a little girl’s room. They painted the walls pink, hung Justin Bieber posters, painted flowers on the walls and set up a dresser complete with makeup and accessories. The younger brother’s reaction to his new estrogen-soaked abode is about what you’d expect. The video above is a handy lesson in how to say “No!” over and over in Dutch.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Scottish Sailor Claims To Have Best Picture Yet Of Loch Ness Monster

Legend has it that the Loch Ness Monster was first sighted in the sixth century by an Irish monk while preaching by the lake. Now, a Scottish sailor who has spent the last 26 years of his life searching for the elusive creature, says he has the best picture yet of “Nessie.”

George Edwards takes his boat, “Nessie Hunter,” out onto Loch Ness nearly every day, often with tourists who hope to see the creature for themselves. Early one morning in November of last year, Edwards was turning his ship back to shore after spending the morning searching for an old steam engine on the lake floor, when he saw something else.

“I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and immediately grabbed my camera,” Edwards told ABC News. “I happened to get a good picture of one of them.”

The typical “media Nessie,” as Edwards calls it in his thick Scottish accent, depicts the creature with three humps sticking out of the water and a long neck with a head like a horse, but Edwards says that’s probably not what Nessie looks like.

The picture Edwards took shows what he says is the back of one of the Loch Ness monsters.

“In my opinion, it probably looks kind of like a manatee, but not a mammal,” Edwards told ABC. “When people see three humps, they’re probably just seeing three separate monsters.”

While many people think of the Loch Ness monster as a single creature, Edwards maintains that can’t be true.

“It was first seen in 565 AD,” Edwards said. “Nothing can live that long. It’s more likely that there are a number of monsters, offspring of the original...” (continued)

Bill Gates kicks off search for toilet of the future

  Microsoft co-founder turned global philanthropist Bill Gates

(AFP) Microsoft co-founder turned global philanthropist Bill Gates on Tuesday launched a search for a new toilet better suited to developing countries.

The charitable foundation founded by Gates and his wife kicked off a "Reinvent the Toilet Fair" in Seattle and awarded prizes for promising innovations.

"Toilets are extremely important for public health and, when you think of it, even human dignity," Gates said in a statement at

"The flush toilets we use in the wealthy world are irrelevant, impractical and impossible for 40 percent of the global population, because they often don't have access to water, and sewers, electricity, and sewage treatment systems."

The Toilet Fair was described as a swirl of about 200 inventors, designers, investors, partners and others passionate about creating safe, effective, and inexpensive waste management systems.

Universities from Britain, Canada, and the United States were awarded prizes in a competition launched a year ago challenging inventors to come up with a better toilet.

First place went to the California Institute of Technology for designing a solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen gas and electricity.

Loughborough University came in second for a toilet that transforms waste into biological charcoal, minerals, and clean water.

Third place went to the University of Toronto for a toilet that sanitizes human waste and recovers minerals and water.

"Four in 10 people worldwide don't have a safe way to poop," the Gates Foundation said in a message beneath a Reinvent the Toilet video at its website.

Approximately 2.5 billion people worldwide don't have access to safe sanitation systems for handling the basic and vital need to dispose of bodily waste, according to Gates.

"Beyond a question of human dignity, this lack of access also endangers people's lives, creates an economic and a health burden for poor communities, and hurts the environment," Gates said.

Food or water tainted with fecal matter causes intestinal diseases that kill 1.5 million children annually -- a figure higher than deaths from AIDS and malaria combined, according to Gates.

"Inventing new toilets is one of the most important things we can do to reduce child deaths and disease and improve people's lives," Gates said.

"It is also something that can help wealthier countries conserve fresh water for other important purposes besides flushing."


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thai MP Boonsong Kowawisarat 'accidentally kills secretary'

(BBC) Police in Thailand say that they will charge a member of the Thai parliament with causing death by negligence for accidentally shooting his secretary dead with a submachine gun.

They say that the accident happened in a restaurant on Sunday night.

Senator Boonsong Kowawisarat took out a 9mm Uzi submachine gun while waiting for food, the Bangkok Post reported.

He told police the gun accidentally discharged and his secretary was shot in the stomach.

Police say that the shooting happened in Phrae province, northern Thailand.

Police say that because Mr Boonsong was in shock after the incident, the restaurant owner rushed the secretary to hospital where she succumbed to gunshot wounds.

Correspondents say that it is not clear whether Mr Boonsong knew the gun was loaded before the shooting.

"From our initial inquiry, the secretary's family will not sue because they were relatives and it was an accident - he did not mean to do it," a local police officer told AFP by telephone.

Officials said it was also unclear why the senator was armed at the meal.

Police have yet to arrest the senator - a member of the upper house of the Thai parliament - as he is protected by parliamentary privilege, the Bangkok Post reported.

Mr Boonsong faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a 20,000 baht ($636;£405) fine if convicted.


Friday, August 10, 2012

"A very courageous little dog saved all her babies during a fire in Temuco, Chile, by bringing them one by one from a burning house to the steps of the firefighters' truck. Bravo little one!"

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Italy rules 'no balls' insult for men is a crime

(AFP) Italy's highest court ruled that telling a man he has "no balls" as an insult is a crime punishable with a fine because it hurts male pride in a ruling on a curious row between two cousins.

The case was brought to the supreme court by a lawyer named only as Vittorio against his cousin Alberto, a justice of the peace, for the phrase uttered during a heated courtroom exchange in the southern Italian city of Potenza.

"Apart from the vulgarity of the term used, the expression definitely also has an injurious quality," the male judge, Maurizio Fumo, said in his ruling as quoted by Italian news agency ANSA.

"It refers not only to the target's lack of virility but also to his weakness of character, lack of determination, competence and coherence -- virtues that, rightly or wrongly, are still identified as pertaining to the male gender."

The court also found that because the insult was uttered at the workplace with third parties present it could be seen as damaging Vittorio's reputation.

Vittorio's lawyer had argued that the expression implied that his client was "worth less than other men because he did not have the attributes."

A judge will now rule on the fine that Alberto should pay to Vittorio.

The ruling, which comes after years of legal dispute, did not specify whether any insults against women should now also be considered crimes.



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Zombie Head Popcorn Buckets

(BuzzFeed) The New York office of ad agency Y&R came up with this idea for Motor City Nightmares, a horror film convention in Detroit. Eventually, they will offer customizable buckets for bulk orders online at (site not active yet). Just a nice simple idea.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Uncomfortable Moments With Putin

Top MMA fighter Fedor Emelianenko is not merely cowering from Putin’s tirade of withering criticism, he is also hoping the Russian prime minister will release his testicles from his vice-like grip. (A move Putin learned from his trusted adviser Jean-Claude Van Damme, seen here looking on approvingly.)


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Obiwan Kenobi arrested on charge of hit-and-run

By Eric Pfeiffer | The Sideshow

Obi-Wan Kenobi was always a bit of a rogue Jedi, even lamenting his own former lack of patience during a dramatic exchange with Yoda in "The Empire Strikes Back."

But a California man who legally changed his name to match that of the fictional "Star Wars" hero may have given in to the temptations of the dark side of the Force, as he was charged with a hit-and-run.

According to the Auburn Press Tribune, Obiwan Kenobi was allegedly responsible for a five-car accident and is charged with leaving the scene after the wreck occurred.

And as Yoda warned the fictional Kenobi, "Told you I did. Reckless is he. Now, matters are worse."

In fact, things are far worse for the 37-year-old, who has been charged with a felony in the case by Roseville police. According to the paper, Kenobi was already wanted on an outstanding misdemeanor petty theft charge.

Born Benjamin Cale Feit, Kenobi changed his name to that of the "Star Wars" character as part of a 1999 radio station contest. At least up until the hit-and-run charge, formally associating himself with "The Phantom Menace" may have been the biggest accident in Kenobi's life.

After spending five days in jail, Kenobi was released from custody on Thursday without bail and is scheduled to appear in court on April 30.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Meth Lab Explodes In Man’s Pants

OKMULGEE, Okla. (AP) -  The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a portable methamphetamine lab exploded in a man’s pants as he tried to run away from a state trooper during a traffic stop.

Tulsa television station KOTV reports the incident happened shortly after midnight Friday in Okmulgee County. Authorities say the man tried to run away when the trooper asked him about a chemical smell.

Trooper Shiloh Hall says the man had an active meth lab in his pants that burst during a struggle with the trooper. The man was checked out by emergency personnel and booked in the Okmulgee County jail on a drug charge.

A portable meth lab is also known as a one-pot lab, where a smaller batch of the drug is manufactured.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Armored catfish wreaking havoc in South Florida lakes

By Eric Pfeiffer | The Sideshow

A species of "armored catfish" are damaging South Florida's lakes, causing coastal erosion and even burrowing holes that trip up humans walking along the water's edge.

Catfish are usually one of the more popular breeds of aquatic life, with their smooth skin and flavorful meat. There's even a highly unconventional form of fishing known as "noodling," in which people use their bare hands to capture catfish.

But the Sun-Sentinel reports that the Loricariidae (armored catfish) are far less welcome. The non-native and invasive species have rugged scales along their backs and spiky fins. Catching the South American natives can be difficult, as the armored catfish reportedly are not baited by fishing hooks and must instead be caught by nets or even spears.

"There are some people who get totally upset, and I can understand why," Ralph LaPrairie, a fisheries biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told the Sun-Sentinel.

The Loricariids are a popular aquarium fish, as they use their suckered mouths to clean algae from tanks. But that same behavior that is helpful in fish tanks actually erodes local shorelines up to 10 feet as the fish devastate aquatic plant life. They have also been wreaking havoc in Texas waterways for a number of years.
"One, it's a safety issue. Two, it's a curb-appeal issue," Chip Sollins, owner of Lake Erosion Restoration, a contractor in Boca Raton, Fla., told the paper.

Invasive fish are a growing problem across the U.S. with wildlife officials in Maryland offering a $200 gift certificate raffle to residents who capture and kill snakehead fish, which have been devastating local wildlife in tributaries along the Potomac River.

However, any potential solution for the pests would be an expensive one for local residents. The Sun-Sentinel says hiring a contractor to eradicate any local armored catfish populations can cost as much as $100,000. And there are reportedly millions of the small armored fish currently living in South Florida, with no known natural predators.

"If we do nothing, I think eventually we're going to end up with a sinkhole," said Susanne Ury, president of the Royal Lakes Homeowners Association.

In addition to contributing to erosion, the armored catfish lay their eggs in 18-inch-deep holes along the water's edge, creating potentially dangerous foot traps for people walking in the water.


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Three monkeys on the loose in Florida

BRONSON, Fla., March 29 (UPI) -- Sheriff's deputies in Florida are searching for three monkeys who've been spotted roaming near Williston, Fla.

The Levy County Sheriff's Office said residents in the area of County Road 318/335 reported seeing three monkeys Thursday and deputies searched the area but were unable to locate the animals.

Deputies, however, did discover a fence post with scratches believed to have been left by the monkeys and some hair that seems to have been shed by the animals.

Residents said the monkeys had discovered pet food in their carports and left huge messes.

The sheriff's office said Florida Fish & Wildlife officers have been informed of the situation and are expected to place traps for the monkeys.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Warrant: Wife brings out shotgun after man dumps dinner

By Claire Osborn

(The Statesman) Police have charged a Leander woman after they said she threatened her husband with a loaded shotgun for pouring the meal she made down the drain, according to an arrest warrant.

Melissa Leigh Migliore, 38, seen at right, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to an arrest warrant. Her husband, William Migliore, told police that he had been arguing with her while she was making dinner Tuesday at their house on Tablerock Circle in Leander, the warrant said.

He said he entered the bedroom where she was lying down and told her that he had poured the meal down the sink and that she owed him an apology, the warrant said.

A short time later, Melissa Migliore stepped out of the bedroom carrying a shotgun, walked down the hallway, loaded the gun and pointed it at him, according to the warrant. She told him he had 30 seconds to leave the house or she would shoot him, the warrant said...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pet Monkey Being Monitored After Biting Incident

(WYTV) A pet monkey accused of biting a clerk at Pet Supplies Plus store in Niles last week is in quarantine at its home and being monitored by city health officials.

Warren Deputy Health Commissioner Bob Pinti said the animal must remain in quarantine for 25 days and cannot leave the home unless it's to a licensed veterinarian.
Pinti said the clerk had to undergo treatment, and health officials want to make sure the monkey has no serious diseases.

"Very unusual," said Pinti. "As I say, it is the first time we have come across something like this. I don't know if any other health district that encountered any action like this, and I am sure there will be some precautions put in place so this never happens again."

Warren Law Director Greg Hicks said right now monkeys are not prohibited from being kept in the city. He said he is talking with state Rep. Sean O'Brien about looking at possible restrictions on housing monkeys as pets.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Giving sausage a face

Photo: DPA

A Berlin initiative is on a mission to revolutionise meat consumption. At Meine Kleine Farm, consumers can see a picture of the pig they're eating on the packaging. They can even choose which pig will be slaughtered to make their sausages. 

(The Local) “Pig 3” has become an online star. The sow was the winner of the latest Meine Kleine Farm Facebook competition. The prize? Slaughter.

Pig 3 met its fate on Friday in Brandenburg at farmer Bernd Schulz’s pig farm - its memory will live on in the form of pork products. The pig’s face will appear on the packaging of 250 glasses of Leberwurst, 50 cotechino or Schlackwurst (a type of boiled Italian sausage) and 25 Mettringe sausages, already promised to buyers over the online shop.

Meine Kleine Farm is the brainchild of Berlin student Denni Buchmann, who is on a mission to change the way consumers think about meat. He thinks people should eat less meat and show more respect to the animals.

Buchmann regularly selects and buys pigs from Schulz’s farm, photographs them and posts the photos online. Users can then vote on which pig looks most tasty. The winner is slaughtered and its photo appears on the products.

Germans get through an astonishing amount of pork, and consumption is rising. 60 million pigs were slaughtered in Germany last year and 5.6 million tons of pork products were manufactured, 100,000 tons more than in 2010.

Buchmann doesn’t want to make consumers feel bad about eating meat, but raise awareness about the lives of the animals. The pigs have a happy life on Schulz’s farm, running around in the open air, rooting around in mud and playing with the other pigs, Buchmann told the Tagesspiegel newspaper on Sunday.

Schulz, who owns around 300 pigs, gives his animals organic feed and raises them according to the principle of "animal welfare in harmony with nature," the motto printed on a sign hanging in Schulz's farmyard.

The concept is proving popular among consumers, who increasingly want to know where their meat has come from. Meine Kleine Farm now has over 800 fans on Facebook and business is picking up – products from "pig 4" and "pig 5", due to be slaughtered next month, have already sold out.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Man Robs Bank With McDonald’s Apple Pies!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/image.jpg

By Nancy Dillon
(New York Daily News) Somewhere the Hamburglar is shaking his head. California man is behind bars after trying to rob a pile of dough from a Sacramento bank using two apple pies wrapped in a McDonald's bag, cops said.

Daniel Hegwood, 33, entered a downtown Wells Fargo over the weekend, told a teller he had a dangerous bomb inside the fast food bag and demanded money, police said.

He then fled on foot with a “substantial” amount of cash, leaving the bag behind, police said.

"When he left, bank security followed him and gave us updates, so we were able to find him as he entered a nearby parking garage, take him into custody and ultimately determine that his paper bag contained apple pies and not a bomb," Officer Laura Peck of the Sacramento Police Department told the Daily News.
Police said Hegwood tried to resist his arrest, saying he had another bomb in his backpack.

Bomb technicians were called and determined neither the backpack nor the bag contained explosives, police said.

"Certainly in this day and age you have to take every threat seriously, but with hindsight, knowing the bag contained apple pies, it gives us insight into the lack of sophistication in his methods. Clearly he's not that good at bank robbery," Peck said.

Hegwood was arrested for robbery, resisting arrest and other charges and is being held without bail because he also violated his parole for a previous unspecified crime.