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Old 06-22-2007, 07:20 AM   #151
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Old 07-08-2007, 04:16 PM   #152
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Woman jailed for 'neglected' lawn

A 70-year-old US woman has been left bruised and bloody after an unexpected clash with police who came to arrest her because her lawn was dry and brown.
Trouble flared when Utah pensioner Betty Perry, 70, refused to give her name to an officer trying to caution her for not watering her lawn.

She says the officer hit her with handcuffs, cutting her nose, although police insist she slipped and fell.

Ms Perry said she was "distraught" after the incident.

She denied that she was resisting arrest, maintaining that she turned to go inside to call her son to fix the confusing dispute.

"I tried to sit down and get away from him," she told Utah newspaper the Daily Herald.

"I don't know what he's doing. I said: 'What are you doing?' And he hit me with those handcuffs in my face," she said.

"He's just trying to cover his tracks, as far as I'm concerned."

Set free

The officer had judged that Ms Perry's "sadly neglected and dying landscape" breached an Orem city guideline and was attempting to issue a formal caution when the 70-year-old was injured.

She was treated in a local hospital for the cut to her nose and for other bruises before being taken to jail.

But she was let go when police realised there were "other ways" of finding out her identity without taking her to jail, a police spokesman said.

The arresting officer has not been named but has been placed on administrative leave, he added.

Ms Perry, who says she has never had a run-in with police in the past, has been offered help by local church leaders to clean up her garden.

"I'm very distraught over all this," she said.

"I can't believe this happened. Do you ever just wish you could start your day over and it would all be different?"
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Old 07-09-2007, 11:15 PM   #153
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Residents of Oregon town say shape of traffic posts is offensive
By Melica Johnson and KATU Web Staff
KEIZER, Ore. - The City of Keizer is taking heat for installing a group of cement posts designed to protect pedestrians from cars, but which some say is a phallic symbol.

A total of 52 of the posts were installed at a busy intersection in Keizer and they are getting a lot of second glances.

A number of residents have complained to the city that the posts resemble male genitalia.

"I can't disagree with that," said City Manager Chris Eppley. "They certainly did not turn out the way we anticipated."

According to Eppley, the posts were ordered from a catalog and looked much different on paper.

"They're a standard style," Eppley said. "I think in the right context they look fine. They just happened not to (look fine) here."

The city is looking into retrofitting the posts with metal collars and chains that run between them, which they hope will change the look. If not, they said the posts will have to go.

"If that fix doesn't work and I still think they look inappropriate, we'll have wasted $20,000 and we'll have to do something different," Eppley said.

Of course, the city could always keep them up and use them for sex education, at least according to one woman we spoke to. "My son said he wanted to hang a sign on it that says 'always use protection,'" she said.
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Old 07-12-2007, 02:53 PM   #154
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Tasty.

BEIJING - Chopped cardboard, softened with an industrial chemical and flavored with fatty pork and powdered seasoning, is a main ingredient in batches of steamed buns sold in one Beijing neighborhood, state television said.

The report, aired late Wednesday on China Central Television, highlights the country's problems with food safety despite government efforts to improve the situation.

Countless small, often illegally run operations exist across China and make money cutting corners by using inexpensive ingredients or unsavory substitutes. They are almost impossible to regulate.

State TV's undercover investigation features the shirtless, shorts-clad maker of the buns, called baozi, explaining the contents of the product sold in Beijing's sprawling Chaoyang district.

Baozi are a common snack in China, with an outer skin made from wheat or rice flour and and a filling of sliced pork. Cooked by steaming in immense bamboo baskets, they are similar to but usually much bigger than the dumplings found on dim sum menus familiar to many Americans.

The hidden camera follows the man, whose face is not shown, into a ramshackle building where steamers are filled with the fluffy white buns, traditionally stuffed with minced pork.

The surroundings are filthy, with water puddles and piles of old furniture and cardboard on the ground.

"What's in the recipe?" the reporter asks. "Six to four," the man says.

"You mean 60 percent cardboard? What is the other 40 percent?" asks the reporter. "Fatty meat," the man replies.

The bun maker and his assistants then give a demonstration on how the product is made.

Squares of cardboard picked from the ground are first soaked to a pulp in a plastic basin of caustic soda — a chemical base commonly used in manufacturing paper and soap — then chopped into tiny morsels with a cleaver. Fatty pork and powdered seasoning are stirred in.

Soon, steaming servings of the buns appear on the screen. The reporter takes a bite.

"This baozi filling is kind of tough. Not much taste," he says. "Can other people taste the difference?"

"Most people can't. It fools the average person," the maker says. "I don't eat them myself."

The police eventually showed up and shut down the operation.
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Old 07-12-2007, 06:26 PM   #155
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^ at least they are recycling their cardboard
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:07 PM   #156
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^sunny disposition thread
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:16 AM   #157
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Romanian Convict Sues God For Breaking Baptismal Contract

A Romanian convict doing time for murder tried to sue God for breaking the contract they allegedly concluded at his baptism and not doing enough to protect him from Satan. The public prosecutor turned down the case -- because God does not have a home address.

Many people have felt let down by God at one time or another while suffering from life's slings and arrows, including among others Jesus, who famously asked his divine father "Why have you forsaken me?" while suffering on the cross.

However few have sought retribution in the law courts -- and perhaps with good reason, as one Romanian man has found out. The convict tried to sue God but had his case turned down -- because God does not have a legal address and so cannot be taken to court.

Pavel Mircea, who is serving a 20-year sentence for murder, filed a lawsuit in the western Romanian town of Timisoara against God for not protecting him from the Devil. He claimed that he had concluded a contract with God at baptism but God had not kept his side of the bargain. "He was supposed to protect me from all evils and instead he gave me to Satan who encouraged me to kill," he claimed.

In the written lawsuit, the convict had put "God, resident in heaven, represented in Romania by the Orthodox church" as the defendant, reported the Romanian daily Evenimentul Zilei.

The plaintiff cited five paragraphs from the Romanian criminal code describing the crimes which God had allegedly committed, including fraud, breach of trust, abuse of a position of authority and misappropriation of goods. God had not fulfilled his side of the contract, Mircea claimed, because he had accepted prayers and sacrificial offerings without providing any kind of services in exchange.

The public prosecutor's office in Timisoara turned down the case, arguing that God is not a person in the eyes of the law and does not have a legal residence.

Constantin Stoica, the spokeswoman for the Romanian Orthodox patriarch in Bucharest, told reporters Thursday that the prison chaplain will be given the difficult task of explaining to the man "that God does not act without our will and that people have the freedom to choose between good and evil."

dgs/dpa

http://www.spiegel.de/international/...494225,00.html
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:57 AM   #158
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Maybe that judge should sue God about his pants...
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:00 AM   #159
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A gate-crasher’s change of heart: Gunman bursts into party, tastes cheese and wine, gets hug, then leaves

Ricky Carioti / The Washington Post
Updated: 5:47 a.m. ET July 13, 2007


WASHINGTON - Police on Capitol Hill are baffled by an attempted robbery that began with a handgun put to the head of a teenager and ended in a group hug.

It started about midnight on June 16 when a group of friends was finishing a dinner of marinated steaks and jumbo shrimp on the back patio of a District of Columbia home. That's when a hooded man slid through an open gate and pointed a handgun at the head of a 14-year-old girl.

"Give me your money, or I'll start shooting," he said, according to D.C. police and witnesses.

Everyone froze, including the girl's parents. Then one guest spoke.

"We were just finishing dinner," Cristina "Cha Cha" Rowan, 43, told the man. "Why don't you have a glass of wine with us?"

The intruder had a sip of their Chateau Malescot St-Exupery and said, "Damn, that's good wine."

The girl's father, Michael Rabdau, 51, told the intruder to take the whole glass, and Rowan offered him the whole bottle.

The robber, with his hood down, took another sip and a bite of Camembert cheese. He put the gun in his sweatpants.

The story then turns even more bizarre.

"I think I may have come to the wrong house," he said before apologizing. "Can I get a hug?"

Rowan, who works at her children's school and lives in Falls Church, Va., stood up and wrapped her arms around the armed man. The four other guests followed.

"Can we have a group hug?" the man asked. The five adults complied.

The man walked away a few moments later with the crystal wine glass in hand. Nothing was stolen, and no one was hurt.

Once he was gone, the group walked into the house, locked the door and stared at each other _ speechless. Rabdau called 911, and police came to take a report and dust for fingerprints.

Police classified the case as strange but true. Investigators have not located a suspect. The witnesses thought he might have been high on drugs.

"We've had robbers that apologize and stuff but nothing where they sit down and drink wine. It definitely is strange," said Cmdr. Diane Groomes, adding that the hugs were especially unusual. "The only good thing is they would be able to identify him because they hugged him."
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:18 AM   #160
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'Too sexy for my bus', German woman told

A German bus driver threatened to throw a 20-year-old sales clerk off his bus in the southern town of Lindau because he said she was too sexy.

"Suddenly he stopped the bus," the woman named Debora C told Bild newspaper.

"He opened the door and shouted at me 'Your cleavage is distracting me every time I look into my mirror and I can't concentrate on the traffic. If you don't sit somewhere else, I'm going to have to throw you off the bus.'"

The woman, pictured in Bild wearing her snug-fitting summer outfit with the plunging neckline, said she moved to another seat but was humiliated by the bus driver.

A spokesman for the bus company defended the driver.

"The bus driver is allowed to do that and he did the right thing," the spokesman said.

"A bus driver cannot be distracted because it's a danger to the safety of all the passengers."
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:59 AM   #161
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did the driver look like bill clinton?
was the girl russian?
it's all starting to make sense....
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:29 PM   #162
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Thai cops punished by Hello Kitty


Hello Kitty, in handbag form

Police chiefs in the Thai capital, Bangkok, have come up with a new way of punishing officers who break the rules - an eye-catching Hello Kitty armband.

The armband is large, bright pink and has a Hello Kitty motif with two hearts embroidered on it.

From today, officers who are late, park in the wrong place or commit other minor transgressions will have to wear it for several days.

The armband is designed to shame the wearer, police officials said.

"This is to help build discipline. We should not let small offences go unnoticed," Police Colonel Pongpat Chayapan told Reuters news agency.

"Guilty officers will be made to wear the armbands in the office for a few days, with instructions not to disclose their offences. Let people guess what they have done," he said.

Further offences would be dealt with using a more traditional disciplinary panel, he said.

The cartoon character Hello Kitty was first introduced by Japanese company Sanrio in 1974.

The cute round-faced cat has become an Asia-wide marketing phenomenon, with Hello Kitty products such as stationery, hair accessories and kitchen appliances available across the region.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:23 PM   #163
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Armless Man Gets 5 Years for Driving

Aug 3, 5:06 PM (ET)


NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (AP) - A man with no arms and one leg who wouldn't stop driving despite a long list of traffic violations was sentenced to five years in prison Friday on felony driving and drug charges.

Michael Francis Wiley, 40, also was sentenced to 15 years of drug offender probation. He pleaded no contest in June to the charges.

"I'd just like to say I know what I did was wrong," Wiley said in court Friday. "I am truly sorry your honor. I am."

Wiley taught himself to drive after losing both arms and a leg in an electrical accident when he was 13. He has already spent more than three years in prison for habitually driving without a license, kicking a state trooper and other charges.

He once had a valid license, but it has been suspended several times since 1985, according to his attorney. He starts the car with his toes, shifts with his knee and steers with the stump of his left arm. He turns on the lights with his teeth.

In his most recent brush with the law last May, Wiley sped off in a Ford Explorer when police approached him at a convenience store, officials said. Officers pursued, but called off the chase after eight minutes because they did not want to put others in danger, police said.

Defense attorney John Hooker pleaded for leniency and a minimum sentence of 2 1/2 years. He cited his client's need for treatment for his many physical and mental health problems, including anxiety, panic attacks, depression and a pain disorder related to his amputations.

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Wiley said he's done driving.

"I'm beat. The white flag is up," he said. "You can only bang your head against the wall so long before it hurts."
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Old 08-08-2007, 07:44 AM   #164
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The time of the giant baby is nigh. Repent.

And I can't prove it, but I'm pretty sure this has something to do with Frieda.

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A giant, smiling Lego man was fished out of the sea in the Dutch resort of Zandvoort on Tuesday.

Workers at a drinks stall rescued the 2.5-metre (8-foot) tall model with a yellow head and blue torso.

"We saw something bobbing about in the sea and we decided to take it out of the water," said a stall worker. "It was a life-sized Lego toy."

A woman nearby added: "I saw the Lego toy floating towards the beach from the direction of England."

The toy was later placed in front of the drinks stall.
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Old 08-26-2007, 09:22 PM   #165
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just the image alone is priceless...

Like Ducks and Penguins, With Nervous Stomachs



By ELLEN BARRY and JAMES ESTRIN
Published: August 22, 2007


The smell of Swinburne Island is the smell of the birds: layers of guano, decaying fish, salt water. It is a smell both tangy and rotten, and it intensifies as you fight your way through shoulder-high brush toward the bare branches where cormorants are nesting.

Cormorants flee their nests when a predator approaches. Called devil birds by some, they are accused of depleting fish stocks.
Colin Grubel, a graduate student in biology at Queens College, is delighted when he spies something on the ground — on close inspection, the mummified, half-digested body of a fish, poached in stomach acid. Mr. Grubel gets down on his hands and knees and slips it into a baggy. This is what he came for.

“It’s not necessarily glamorous, you know,” said Mr. Grubel, 30. “I pick up cormorant vomit. I’m not sure very many people would want that on their résumé. But I love it.”

The double-crested cormorant, threatened across the country during the 1960s by the use of the insecticide DDT, is a relatively new arrival to New York Harbor. The first documented sighting in New York City was in 1985. A census this year by a wildlife group counted 1,046 breeding pairs. On harbor islands like Swinburne — where hospitals were built long ago to quarantine contagious immigrants with yellow fever and cholera — they have built boisterous colonies, claiming once-human spaces for their own.

Their arrival has drawn mixed reactions. Cormorants are big and black, with sharp curved bills and a habit of vomiting when threatened. When they stretch their wings out to dry, they seem to be wearing the black cloaks associated with vampires. They are also mercilessly efficient marine predators, with the ability to fly like ducks and dive like penguins, which has not endeared them to fishermen (or, for that matter, anchovies).

Susan Elbin, an ornithologist, said that the cormorant’s recovery has tracked almost perfectly with the bald eagle’s. But a typical audience hearing about the eagle will “go, ‘Yay,’ ” while “when you say, ‘cormorant,’ they say, ‘Oh.’ ”

“I’ve heard them called ‘devil birds,’ ” said Ms. Elbin, a senior scientist at the Wildlife Trust, a group dedicated to protecting biodiversity that conducted the cormorant census. “They sit with their wings out like Dracula. They sit really low in the water — they’re built for diving. Maybe they look snakelike. There’s a lot of them. And they smell.”

This dynamic, referred to by biologists as “human-cormorant conflict,” has played out in one region after another as the cormorant population has recovered, thanks in large part to the Clean Water Act and a federal ban on DDT. Cormorants are expanding into new territory. In the Great Lakes region, fishermen have pressed for a mass killing of the birds, which they believe are depleting fish populations. Similar rumblings are coming from Long Island Sound, where fishermen are worried about the supply of winter flounder.

That is one reason Mr. Grubel is collecting vomit samples, an activity he cheerfully compares to “a treasure hunt.” Back in his laboratory, spending long days over “balls of flesh,” he is making a painstaking catalog of what cormorants are eating.

(more here)
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