I don't know about you but I've been looking for a new job lately and have not had much luck. But I got excited when I saw this article today - a company in Britain is going to start streaming video feeds from surveillance cameras in the hopes that "armchair cops" can help catch thieves in the act. Participants can earn up to $1,000 pounds when offenders are caught. Of course there has been some criticism about the scheme. You can read more about it here.
In December of 2007, Craig Taylor took shelter under an awning during a storm. The awning collapsed and killed the unfortunate Mr. Taylor. Tragic, sure. But weird? Well death by awning probably isn't common, but what makes this instance unique is what made the awning collapse in the first place... pigeon poo. Australian authorities have opened an inquest to determine what exactly caused Mr. Taylor to be crushed and are focusing on the amount of pigeon's droppings that had built up on the awning. And you thought pigeons only liked statues!
Spontaneous combustion is a type of combustion which occurs without an external ignition source. It's also fairly uncommon. But this summer, in Little Rock, Arkansas, an insurance claims adjuster concluded that the fire that caused $20,000 worth of damage to the Duncan's home was a classic case. Brian Duncan said a flowerpot on the porch was the culprit. You can read the full article here.
I don't keep up with fashion trends. If I can't go somewhere wearing elastic-waist pants and a baggy T-shirt, then I don't want to go. But I think I'm in the minority. Or maybe it has something to do with age. Younger folks often seem to be obsessed with their appearance and are even willing to put their lives at risk just to look "good". For example, the government of Thailand has issued a health warning that proclaims black leggings put people at risk of catching Dengue Fever. I realize that might sound a bit paranoid, but they have a compelling reason behind the warning: the mosquitoes that transmit the disease are attracted to black and can easily bite through the thin fabric used to make the leggings. You can read more here.
Beer drinkers in Canada were calling it alcohol abuse when almost 8,500 gallons of beer and foam exploded out of a fermentation tank. Apparently a small crack had formed in the vat at the Okanagan Springs Brewery in Vernon, British Columbia. The pressurized metal silo was blown apart, causing structural damage and tearing an aluminum door off its hinges. Thousands of litres of beer foam poured across the parking lot and onto the road. Thankfully, no one was injured in the explosion, and rain has since washed most of the beer into the sewers.
Just when you thought the anti-smoking campaign might be working, along comes a news story that proves otherwise. Ardi Rizal, aged two years, has a 40-per-day smoking habit. His mother has tried to get him to stop, especially since the government has offered to buy the family a new car once the child quits, but she says he is entirely too addicted. His father, on the other hand, doesn't see any problem - "He looks pretty healthy to me..." In the meantime, Ardi's health is such that he can't run around and play with the other kids. Instead he rides around on a plastic toy truck while puffing away, looking like a parody of a middle-aged truck driver.
Chuck might get an entire week's worth of material from this. Mischief makers, thefts, bear costumes, calling 911 because she was hungry, disturbances, one animal complaint after another, suspicious situations and more! I just want to say that after reading this police blotter from Cleveland, Ohio's Sun Star Courier, I feel much better about myself, and the small town in which I live.
(The image is from the July, 1946 issue of Popular Science.)
I live by the code of the parking chair. Someone (the writer didn't even know that the magnificent parking chair had a name, let alone all that it stands for) fired off a letter to my local paper today vilifying the practice, and it had me outraged. I've since submitted a rebuttal. In the course of research for the letter, I found the following recent story from The Morning Call in Allentown, PA detailing what can happen when you don't respect the parking chair. The police may have assured the man he did nothing wrong by moving the chair, but I bet he doesn't do it again. And if you believe in the chair like I do, you can always show it!
It's amazing what food sellers will put into a can these days. What's even more amazing is that people will buy it. I am reminded of a quotation from a children's movie, where one of the kids asks another, "What wouldn't you eat for a million dollars?" I think just about everything in this article from the Food Network would make that list. (And what's with the Russian Herring? Do they really have teeth like that? Were these grown in a body of water near Chernobyl?)