Weird, offbeat and bizarre news from around the world. Funny, strange & odd news stories that make you wince, laugh and fear for humanity.
Betway looked at the star signs of winners of the world’s most prestigious awards in TV and film, music and sports, theatre and literature. Can a trend be found? Are Leos as successful as they think they are? Or are we living in the age of the crab?
The normally staid – even respectable – town of Cheltenham is apparently in uproar over the lack of aubergines for sale in the town’s Tesco supermarket. To the point of, whisper it softly, actual complaints out loud and even tweets. Thus, to follow the Orange Revolution in Ukraine which overthrew the corrupt oligarchs we have the Aubergine one to demand their return to the fruitnveg racks.
The things is, it’s true:
Those stewing over their loss have launched an online protest and even told the police of their upset.
The furore started when an aubergine fan tweeted Tesco to ask where the veg — which cost 70p each — had gone in the town’s superstore.
A customer services rep said they’d been discontinued, adding: “I wouldn’t be too happy about this myself.”
Shocked shoppers vented their rage on the Twitter page “Bring Back Our Aubergines”.
We could make a comment or two about this. I’ve lived in the place myself and I’m just absolutely certain that it had more than one food shop. Meaning that those essential Moussaka supplies are undoubtedly available somewhere. But there’s something else, too:
SHOPPERS in a posh English town say they are outraged after its Tesco pulled AUBERGINES from the shelves.
Customers at the branch in Cheltenham were told the superstore would only restock the velvety-soft vegetable on request from customers.
Well, why would a supermarket stop stocking something? They are in the business of trying to make a profit by selling things, aren’t they? The answer – obviously enough – being that people weren’t buying them. Or not enough of them to make it worthwhile stocking them.
At which point, those complaining. Why are you complaining, given that people weren’t buying them?
The combination of the general availability of guns and ‘ornery old women hasn’t worked out well for one man in Arizona. He suggested that perhaps, at the age of 92, she might want to think about, well, to, umm:
A 92-year-old woman has been charged with the murder of her son after allegedly telling him “you took my life, so I’m taking yours” over his decision to place her in a care home.
That escalated quickly then, didn’t it?
Anna Mae Blessing allegedly told the 72 year-old ‘You took my life, so I’m taking yours’ before blasting him to death Monday morning. She allegedly hid two pistols in the pocket of her robe, and fired one at her son – whose name has not been released – as he lay sleeping at his apartment in Phoenix, Az.
Perhaps trying to put her away wasn’t the wisest of decisions or attempts.
Anna Mae Blessing, of Fountain Hills, Arizona, appeared in court, in a wheelchair and orange jumpsuit, to face charges of first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.
OK, so, lesson learnt – even if a little late for him – that annoying old women is one of those things to avoid. But the interesting thing here is that there certainly seems to be some premeditation. She’s charged with first degree, which is what we here would call murder too. And assuming she’s convicted then she’s going to end up being put away, isn’t she? Even if she’s let off on grounds of incompetence by senility or age or something, it’s still going to be a care home at least, isn’t it? The only question left being how secure it is, somewhere on that spectrum from assisted living to prison.
So, despite dying, he’s just won.
It was “shocking” says ABC News. You wonder how easily shocked ABC News is. Is it shocked by finding meat in a beefburger, spotting that the Pope wears a funny shaped hat and how Kim Kardashian can find her arse with her hands? This shock involves a woman getting her hand bitten – while hand feeding sharks.
To Estella, Spain, where a local expert is undertaking the “restoration” of the five centuries old painted wooden effigy of St. George at the Church of St Michael.
“The parish decided on its own to take action to restore the statue and gave the job to a local handicrafts teacher,” Mayor Koldo Leoz tells The Guardian. “The council wasn’t told and neither was the regional government of Navarre… It’s not been the kind of restoration that it should have been for this 16th-century statue. They’ve used plaster and the wrong kind of paint and it’s possible that the original layers of paint have been lost.”
You an blame the tools, but leave the artisan out of it:
Spanish restorers have a rich history of this sort of thing.
To Queens, New York, where a man marking Father’s Day at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden with his daughter and granddaughter is chewing on his grub. Yum. That mayo and onions on his burger a scrumptious. And it’s juicy too, what with the added ingredient: spit.
Curtis Mays noticed that his bill included the direction: “PLEASE SPIT IN IT TOO.” Mays complained. He’s no picky eater asking for this and that. Just serve the dead cow as it comes.
The manager was called. The waitress was fired. Mays got a free meal. If you don’t want spit in your meal, please ask:
It’s quite clear – snigger – that we shouldn’t – gurgle, snort – laugh at this – tee hee – but a bloke in Indonesia – guffaw – has just been killed by his own mother’s coffin falling upon him at her funeral.
Err, yes, we really shouldn’t laugh at this:
An Indonesian man has died after his mother’s coffin fell from a funeral tower and crushed him during a service on the island of Sulawesi, police said on Sunday.
Funeral rites do change as we move around the world. We tend to fire the corpse or stick it in a hole in the ground. Parsis have been known to practice sky burial – chop the body up and feed it, quite literally, to the birds. Vikings stuck the body on a boat and burnt both.
So, sticking the coffin on a tower isn’t all that odd:
Samen Kondorura, 40, died when pallbearers lost their footing carrying the coffin up a bamboo ladder in the Parinding valley in North Toraja district.
The casket fell as the group hoisted it onto a lakkian – an ornately carved tower where the dead are placed before elaborate traditional funeral rites.
That lakkian is performing the function of a bier for us. A nice position where we can all see the coffin while we sing the hymns and lament the departed. Theirs is just a little higher up than our:
Mobile phone footage showed the team of men laboriously carrying the coffin to the platform at the top. When it was all but secure the ladder slipped, dropping the bearers to the ground and the coffin on top of them, to screams of horror from the mourners. Mr Samen suffered severe head injuries and died on the way to hospital.
And no, really, we should not, must not, laugh about this. Certainly not. But we do have to try and work out why every damn paper in the country is carrying this story. After all, random Indonesian man dies isn’t something that normally comes to the attention of The Times, Daily Mail and Guardian. They don’t even print most such reports that do reach them.
They reason they have all printed the story? Because they know we’ll laugh about it.
To Wales, where a man was filmed on CCTV pooing into a hole on the children’s pitch-and-putt golf course, Parc Coed Helen in Caernarfon. The Cambrian News says Philip Blakemore, 22, “a plant machine operator”, was summoned to appear at a court hearing in Llandudno, where he admitted disorderly behaviour and shoplifting. Furthermore, Blakemore was in breach of a criminal behaviour order and suspended sentence.
For the defence, solicitor Dafydd Roberts said Blakemore behaved in a foolish manner when he had too much to drink.
Mr Blackmore was jailed for 28 weeks.
The one great finding of all the social sciences is that there’s a truth in a stereotype. There has to be, for no one would believe it, or even make it up, if there weren’t something there to note in the first place. So, that idea that all Russians get wildly drunk on vodka all the time – no, it’s not true of all Russians and not of all the time. But there’s a truth there all the same:
A vandal has seriously damaged “Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan,” one of the best-known paintings exhibited in Tretyakov Gallery’s main building on Lavrushinsky lane in Moscow, the press service of Tretyakov Gallery told Sputnik on Saturday.
Well, yes, a vandal. Seems that the bloke didn’t go to the gallery with this in mind, but the idea occurred to him while there:
In the interior ministry’s video, the man says he recognised the seriousness of his crime. “I came to look at the painting,” the man reportedly told police. “I wanted to leave, but then dropped into the[gallery’s]
buffet and drank 100g of vodka. I don’t drink vodka and became overwhelmed by something.”
That’s about 4 ounces of vodka, call it 5 UK shots from a standard optic. And yes, that 100 grammes of vodka is an entirely normal, even a small, measure in Russia. So, there’s that part of the stereotype proven then.
The painting — titled “Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581,” depicts Russia’s first czar cradling his dying son after striking him in a fit of rage.
That’s what makes the story so wondrous. Man gets into a (drunken) rage and attacks painting. A painting of a man who has just been in a (non-drunken, so the story goes) rage.
Pretty good, no?
Teeth nails exist. Russian salon Nail Sunny has created fingers that can bite and scratch at the same time.
Sir – and Madam – I read with interest the letter penned by Johnny Cameron, Fyfield, Wiltshire. It appeared in The Spectator (April , 2018). It might be the most quintessentially British story of the year:
Sir: Following Toby Young’s article on funerals and the letter last week, I thought you might like to hear another example of British phlegm. My stepson, who is now a successful theatre director, was an assistant at Chichester Theatre. The audience tends to be predominantly pensioners. A few years ago when he was closing up the theatre, he noticed two people still in their seats. When he approached them the lady was very apologetic. ‘I think my husband died in the first act,’ she said, ‘but we didn’t want to cause a fuss.’ He was indeed declared dead on arrival at the hospital, and my stepson could not but admire her stoicism. I particularly admired the fact that she thought ‘we’ didn’t want to cause a fuss.
Johnny Cameron Fyfield, Wiltshire
Great letter. But is it true? In the 2016 book Stop the World, I Want to Get Off…: Unpublished Letters to the Telegraph, we read another letter from Johnny Cameron Fyfield:
Sir – I read with interest [in your review of Dan Jones’ book about King John] the views of Richard of Devizes following a visit to London in the 12th century. Apparently it was full of “actors, jesters, smooth-skinned lads, Moors, flatterers, pretty boys, effeminates, singing and dancing girls, quacks, beggars and buffoons”. I visited London last week …..
Johnny Cameron, Fyfield, Wilts.
You out there, Mr Cameron?
On the brilliant Flashbak site a search is underway for the girl in the photo from a May Day parade in Lviv, Ukraine in 1968, when it was part of Soviet Union.
If you know more, do tell them…
The Eurovision Song Contest is the trashsy, tacky music show that the UK never wins. Organisers of this year’s show in Portugal have produced a list of forbidden items.
Now take it away, Cliff Richard:
Tally ho! When a woman deliberately tripped a 4-year-old boy who’d accidentally flicked her with a plastic door shield as he tore into a restaurant in China to fetch some chopsticks for his parents, people licked their lips and tucked in. The story got better when they learnt that the tripper was pregnant, the boy had an injury with a name (mild concussion) and the incident has been captured on film. Joyous!
Fair-minded people on the Internet have called for the woman to be stripped of her baby, raped, beaten, imprisoned and for her unborn child to be made motherless. Little has been said about the dangers of plastics so close to pregnant women and children running about in a place where hot food is served, but surely that will come. Later we can all turn on the lad’s parents for not instilling discipline in their unruly bairn, and debate the child’s lack of self-awareness and mental capacity. And what of the eatery, and its disregard for the health and safety of its clientele – the restaurant is owned by the child’s parents? They’ll keep for now. We know where they are.
Eventually, the hunt identified the woman with the trigger foot. She went to the law, which gave her a 10-day prison sentence and a fine of 1000 yuan ($160). Locking up a woman for a stupid trip was later viewed as being not all the great for mother and baby, so the authorities let her off.
Luckily the boy who got tripped up – just as we all have at play and at school many times – is okay. The rest of us are satisfied by a chance to display our moral superiority.
Spotter: The South China Morning Post
No worries if you didn’t book a seat on your budget airline and don’t fancy the scramble to get one. This is the Skyrider 2.0 saddle seat, positioned by Italy’s Aviointeriors at “the new frontier of low-cost tickets”. The new frontier looks a lot like standing.
On the plus side, travellers sat on something that looks like those plastic mantlepieces you get to ‘rest’ on at bus stops need not worry about deep-vein thrombosis, biting their knees and asking other people to move. The Boston Globe says the Skyrider 2.0 (an upgrade on the Skyrider 0.0 (cross-legged on the floor) and the Skyrider 1.0 (tied by the wrists to the roof)) “makes perfect sense… the design allows a 20 percent increase in passengers per flight. It also weighs 50 percent less than a standard economy seat, lowering the fuel cost per passenger.”
Seats are now just 23 inches away from the row in front. More people can get on the same-sized plane.Smell that? That’s progress – and you stuck in an overstuffed flying tube like a flaying carcass.
“Family friend went camping 30 years ago and heard a noise. She stuck her camera outside her tent and snapped this picture.”
Did Joe Strummer run the London Marathon in 1983 and the Paris Marathon a year earlier?
As a boarding school lad, The Clash front man was a talented and enthusiastic runner. So maybe he did…
In the documentary Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten, we get to see and hear Joe talking about athletic pursuits in Paris before the release of The Clash’s Combat Rock (1982). Legend has it that Bernie Rhodes, the band’s manager, wanted to create intrigue to boost interest and thus ticket sales by having Strummer vanish for a while. The plan was for Strummer to get lost in Austin, Texas. Strummer was warm to the idea but instead of Austin went to Paris, without telling anyone. And whilst there he ran the Paris Marathon in just under three and a half hours. His keep-fit regime for success: “Drink 10 pints of beer the night before the race. Ya got that? And don’t run a single step at least four weeks before the race.”
The Paris story remains unsubstantiated. But Strummer did run the London Marathon, completing the course in 4hours 13minutes.
Chris Salewicz (Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer) quotes Gaby Salter revealing: “He hadn’t trained. He just bought some shorts and said, ‘Let’s run a marathon.”‘.Antony Genn, who worked with Strummer in the Mescaleros, recalls the runner telling him: “I didn’t fuckin’ train. Not once. Just turned up and did it.”
What do 10,068 live radiated turtles in a two-floor home smell like? It was the stench that alerted the authorities to the home in Toliara, Madagascar. Soary Randrianjafizanaka, of the country’s environmental protection agency, the home was stuffed with the critters.The smell was “overwhelming”. But not in a lip-licking way – unless you enjoy the stink of urine and worse.
National Geographic has more:
Randrianjafizanaka helped count them as rescuers loaded them onto six trucks that made several trips to Le Village Des Tortues (Turtle Village in French), a private wildlife rehabilitation facility in Ifaty, 18 miles north of Toliara. It took until early the following morning to transfer all the tortoises to the rescue center.
The majority of the turtles taken to the rehabilitation facility are doing well, now that they’ve been cleaned up, moved into more suitable quarters, and provided with veterinary care. Unfortunately, close to 600 of the turtles have died since being removed from the house, due to dehydration or infection – the result of their long neglect.
Trading in rare turtles is outlawed in 182 countries.
“The rate of hunting of radiated tortoises is similar to the hunting pressure on American bison during the early 19th century, where they were nearly hunted to extinction when they once numbered in the tens of millions,” said Brian D. Horne, turtle conservation coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Species Program.
Of course, once upon a time, Westerners loved eating turtle. And if it was a local source of meat, surely many of us would eat them now. This story illustrates how something illegal creates a risky black market.
It wasn’t ever so:
During the Great Depression, gopher tortoises became such an important source of meat for rural Southerners that they earned a new nickname, “Hoover chicken” that honored, so to speak, our president at the time, Herbert Hoover. That species is now federally threatenedin Louisiana, Mississippi, and western Alabama, and is under protection everywhere it occurs. Diamondback terrapins, the beautifully patterned turtles inhabiting brackish waters along the East Coast, were harvested so heavily for food that the U.S. government started to get concerned about their vastly depleted populations more than 100 years ago.
Turtle is food for the masses:
For centuries, the flavor was legendary, and, really, nothing said American democracy like turtle. The poor man could often find a few slow-moving specimens hanging out at the backyard well, even as the privileged man sought out its refined flavor. Two days after voting for independence in Philadelphia, on July 4, 1776, John Adams celebrated with a bowl of turtle soup; when the war was over, George Washington met with his officers at Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan for a farewell frolic; and Lincoln celebrated his second inaugural with terrapin stew. Before Aaron Burr murdered Alexander Hamilton, both were members of the elite Hoboken Turtle Club.
More turtles is desirable, then. Let’s get farming…
To Cincinnati, where police are looking for a perp caught on video nicking a Menelaus blue morpho butterfly from an exhibit at Krohn Conservatory. WCPO notes:
(University of Cincinnati biologist Stephen) Matter and colleague Patrick Guerra said the butterfly was likely dead by Wednesday, given its biological need for a warmer climate than the one Cincinnati has experienced since Sunday.
Round up the usual suspects:
To Royal Palm Beach, where a driver, one Xavier Inocencio Moran, is asking police to review the footage from his dashcam. He’s been involved in an accident and hopes the video will prove it was the other driver’s fault. The police see the video. And they see earlier footage of the 25-year-old drive using a baseball bat to cave in the window of a beauty store and hitting the store’s safe. Moran is arrested.
Two days later, Moran “allegedly threatened to shoot his brother with an assault rifle and pistol”. The Palm Beach Post. adds: “Moran and his brother live with their parents in Royal Palm Beach. During the incident, Moran allegedly pointed the gun at his father and threatened to harm his parents as well as his brother.” Moran then tried to leg it. Clapped in handcuffs, our hero ran. He jumped a fence and hid behind some bushes.
Moran has been charged with “two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count each of battery, resisting an officer without violence and escape”. Last Sunday, Moran was released “under court-ordered supervision.” Which seems fair.
To Japan, where Kyoto Mayor Ryozo Tatami is addressing a crowd from the sumo ring. Lumme! He’s only gone and keeled over. It looks a lot like a subarachnoid hemorrhage. People dash to help. A woman administers CPR. But hold on. The sumo announcer has hold of the mic. “Ladies, please leave the dojo,” he orders. Better that the man die than some female sully the sacred canvas.
The Asahi Shimbun explains:
At least two women climbed into the dohyo and administered cardiac massage to Tatami. During the emergency, the women were ordered to leave at least three times in announcements made over the public address system.
The gyoji also said, “Gentlemen, please climb up (to the dohyo),” according to municipal government sources and others.
The Japan Sumo Association chairman says the referee failed to understand the rule about human life being more sacred than a roped-off mat, offering: We would like to offer a profound apology. This instruction was inappropriate under such life-and-death circumstances. The gyoji did it because he was upset.” Yeah, by the presence of a woman.
The mayor is now “conscious and talking”. The rest of us are speechless.
To Florida, where the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office claims Derrick Irving and John Silva, who was dressed as a bull, broke into their ex-boyfriend’s house and tried to burn the place down with spaghetti sauce. It’s alleged that Irving and Silva nicked several items and left pasta sauce boiling on the stove with a cloth close enough to catch light and start a fire. The alleged plot failed because the victim’s security system alerted him.
Police arrived at the peoperty in time to find Irving and Silva driving away. Silva was behind the wheel. Irving was in the passenger seat dressed as a bull. Police also noted in the car: a marijuana grinder, a vacuum, a window air conditioning unit, a flat-screen television, a heater in the back seat, and an empty jar of Ragu sauce.
Says the alleged victim: “He was trying to make it look like I left the stove on but who gets up 2am and fixes skett. It started out as a relationship, that lasted about a week. I’ve let him use my car for four months, maybe he’s angry about that. Or maybe he’s angry because I gave him $150 to fix his teeth.”
Both men have been charged with unarmed burglary, grand theft and arson.
When Mr. Ye and Ms. Xue met in Chengdu, China, they fell in love, and in 2011 married. Fast forward to 2018, and Mr. Ye is flicking through old photo albums. He notices a 2000 photograph of his wife in Qingdao. And then he notice a teenager in the background. It’s him. “When I saw the photo, I was taken by surprised and I got goosebumps all over my body,” he says, “that was my pose for taking photos. I also took a photo, it was the same posture, just from a different angle.”
Petapixel has more:
Ms. Xue had visited Qingdao to help her mother relax after undergoing an operation a few months earlier. Mr. Ye had been visiting May Fourth Square in Qingdao because his mother had taken ill after booking herself the trip and asked her son to go in her place.
Qingdao and Chengdu, cities of 9 and 14 million people (respectively), are separated by over 1,100 miles and it takes over 20 hours to drive between the two cities.
Spotter: Boing Boing
YouTubers Monalisa Perez and her lover Pedro Ruiz III had a plan for fame and fortune. Perez would fire a bullet at Ruiz, who would cheat death by holding a hardcover book (an encyclopaedia) across his chest. They found the weapon: a .50 caliber, semi-automatic Desert Eagle, a powerful handgun. It features the largest legal caliber allowed for a handgun in the U.S. Would the book stop a bullet that could piece armour?
Perez and Ruiz thought so. Stood just a foot apart. Two cameras rolled. Around 30 people, including the couple’s 3-year-old daughter looked on. Perez fired once. The book failed. Ruiz was shot dead. Ruiz called 911 and told the operator what had happened. Last December, Perez admitted second-degree manslaughter. The Star Tribune surveys her punishment:
Monalisa Perez’s punishment, as outlined in an agreement to plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter, is a 180-day jail term, and lifetime bans on possessing a firearm or receiving payment for telling the story of the June shooting of 22-year-old Pedro Ruiz III outside their home in the northwestern Minnesota town of Halstad.
The sentence falls below state sentencing guidelines that would have sent her to prison. Norman County Attorney James Brue said that was proper under the circumstances for the 20-year-old mother of two.
She keeps custody of her two children – and can serve the sentence in 10-day slices.
Is that a tough punishment? Hasn’t she suffered enough?