Posts belonging to Category News and Notes

News and Notes – 6/14/2010

Vote Early and Often. The city of Port Chester, New York, is trying out a new system of cumulative voting, in which each voter gets six votes to cast any way he likes (for example, one vote each for six candidates or six votes for only one candidate). The system is designed to give Port Chester’s large Latino population a better chance of electing one of its own to the village’s Board of Trustees.

Ouch. A hen in Eastwood, UK lay this record-breaking egg with a diameter of 9.1 inches. The hen is only six months old and only just started laying eggs.

Big Egg

Volume Conversions. Have trouble remembering how to convert gallons, quarts, pints and cups? Print out this neat conversion graphic and put it on your refrigerator. (Click here to download a Word document with the graphic.)

News and Notes – 6/17/2009


Ejected. Umpire Don Briggs ejected the entire crowd at a high school baseball game. He said he had no problem with the players but ejected the crowd of over 100 for being unruly, yelling and arguing.

Charming. Would you send your child to this school?

Snake  Charming School

Children in this Indian village attend snake charming school as early as age two.

Vacation Delay. Officials at Dickson Elementary School in California announced that students would have to attend an additional 34 days of school this summer due to a clerical error. Thursday, June 17, was supposed to be the last day of school. Now the students will have to wait until July 31. The error? Their early release days were five minutes too short to count as official school days.

News and Notes – 6/11/2009

Twin Loophole. Identical twins Harold and Michael Lengen have found a way not to pay their parking tickets. They keep telling the courts that the other one was driving. (Maybe they should just double their fine.)

Graduate. A 96-year-old Taiwanese man who will receive his master’s degree in philosophy this weekend said he was able to compete with younger students by pulling all-nighters before exams. “Grandpa Chao” began graduate school after being told he was too old to continue as a volunteer at a local hospital.

Safer Than the Bank? An Israeli woman mistakenly threw out a mattress with $1 million inside, setting off a frantic search through tons of garbage at a number of landfill sites. The woman said that she bought her elderly mother a new mattress as a surprise on Monday and threw out the old one, only to discover that her mother had hidden her life savings inside.

News and Notes – 5/20/2009


Hungry. An Indiana man was arrested following a 90-mph car chase when he suddenly stopped at a Taco Bell restaurant. The 36-year-old man told police he “knew he was going to jail for a while” and wanted to get one last burrito.

Deathbed Confession. A man who thought he was dying confessed to a murder he committed 38 years ago. Then he got better. He has now been arrested and charged with the murder.

Hungry 2. A 17-year-old attempted to rob a store while holding a banana under his shirt like a gun. Overpowered by the store owner, he ate the banana before the police could arrive. However, he didn’t eat all the evidence, and the deputies took pictures of the peel.

News and Notes – 3/4/2009


Forgot something. Go figure. A Florida man ran out of gas after robbing a gas station. The police picked him up down the road from the station.

Facebook addict. A 19-year-old man snatched a Starbucks customer’s laptop after being told he could not use it to check his Facebook account. He was caught in the parking lot and charged with felony robbery by sudden snatching.

Burgling the burglars. Patrick Rosario was in his basement when he heard a pair of burglars upstairs. He snuck outside where he found the burglars’ van with the motor running and the keys in the ignition, so he got in and drove away. When the burglars came out and found their van gone, they left Rosario’s belongings at the door and escaped on foot.

News and Notes – 1/13/2009


STUPID. A Chicago bank robber wrote his bank robbery note on his pay stub, which of course had his own name and address on it. Police later arrested him at his home.

SMART (or not). 28-year-old Anthony Curcio wins the Lex Luthor Award for the Best Caper of 2008. Disguised as a gardener, Cursio “pepper-sprayed an armored car driver and ran off with a bag stuffed with $400,000 in cash. When police arrived seconds later, they found the sidewalk crowded with dozens of men decked out in the same attire as the perp: blue shirt, Day-Glo vest, safety mask and glasses. While the cops hacked through a forest of suspects, the real perp fled to a nearby creek and escaped in a waiting inner tube. Turns out the unwitting decoys had been lured to the crime scene by a Craigslist ad that promised construction work to those showing up in a ‘yellow vest, safety goggles, a respirator mask … and, if possible, a blue shirt.'” Of course, even the smartest criminals are stupid for committing the crime. Anthony was caught and arrested a month later. (HT: Althouse)

News and Notes – 12/5/2008


An Exercise in Honesty. When is a Richard Simmons videotape worth $1,000? When you find $1,000 stuffed inside the box. When is an 11-year-old girl a great example of honesty? When she returns the money to the Salvation Army so they can help more people in need.

Ring for the Ringer. A volunteer ringing the bell at a Salvation Army kettle in south-central Pennsylvania got an unusual donation: a diamond ring. The ring was handed to August Memmi, who volunteered for the Salvation Army in Harrisburg during his lunch hour Tuesday. The young man told Memmi that he’d bought the ring for his mother using money he’d earned mowing lawns, but she died this year and he wanted to put it to good use.

Keep Your Money in Your Shoe. It was her first day as an employee at the Goodwill store in Glen Carbon, IL. Teodora Petrova, a recent immigrant from Bulgaria, discovered a shoebox stuffed with $7,500 in cash mistakenly donated with old shoes. She promptly turned the money over to management who were able to locate the donor. Goodwill gave Petrova a $500 reward for her honesty. She also got two checks — one for $100 and another for $75 — from private donors.

News and Notes – 11/21/2008


World’s largest piñata.
World's Largest Pinata
The world’s largest piñata was recently constructed in Philadelphia. It was 94 feet long, 24 feet wide, 60 feet high, and was stuffed with 8,000 pounds of candy. They used a wrecking ball to crack it open.

Floating guitar.
Floating Guitar
Water music anyone? Singer-songwriter Josh Pyke’s unusual vessel was designed by Australian guitar manufacturer Maton. The SS Maton is a giant-sized replica of Josh’s actual guitar.

Portable bench.
Portable Bench
This portable bench was designed by Dutch artist Rogier Martens. You can find instructions for making your own here. This idea seems a little more practical than either the piñata or the guitar.

News and Notes – 10/28/2008


A House Divided. The divorce settlement for a Cambodian couple entailed sawing their house in two. “Very strange, but this is what my husband wanted,” said the wife. “He brought his relatives and used saws to cut the house in half,” she said, adding that she now owns the other half that is still standing.

House Split in Two | Cambodian Divorce Settlement

Walking House. This 10-foot high home is solar and wind powered and can stroll at walking pace across all terrains. It has a living room, kitchen, toilet, bed, wood stove and mainframe computer which controls the legs. Designers say it provides a solution to the problem of rising water levels as the house can simply walk away from floods (or annoying neighbors).

Walking House

Downsizing. Bill and Sharon Kastrinos moved from their 1,800-square-foot home into this 154-square-foot home on their daughter’s property. The home has wheels and can be pulled behind their vehicle and plugged into any RV park in the nation. The downstairs has a sitting area, tiny kitchen and bathroom in a space that’s 98 square feet. The upstairs loft has a bed in 56 square feet of space. They keep extra clothes in their car.

What do you think? Could you live in a small house like this, or would that just be too much downsizing for you? (Or do you already live in a small house?)

News and Notes – 8/13/2008

Flying low. Pilots complain that airlines are forcing them to fly uncomfortably low on fuel. Less fuel means less weight, which reduces costs for the airlines but may increase safety risks for passengers and flight crew.

iPhone scam. German software developer Armin Heinrich created a program for the iPhone called “I Am Rich” which does nothing except display a large ruby on your iPhone’s screen. The product description reads: “The red icon on your iPhone always reminds you (and others when you show it to them) that you were able to afford this. It’s a work of art with no hidden function at all.” The program cost $999.99, and eight people actually purchased it before Apple removed it from their site. Now Heinrich can say, “I am rich.”

Lip synching at the Olympics. Remember the pretty Chinese girl in the red dress who sang so beautifully during the opening ceremony of the Olympics? Turns out it wasn’t her voice after all. “Miaoke, a third grader, was judged cute and appealing but ‘not suitable’ as a singer. Another girl, Yang Peiyi, 7, was judged the best singer but not as cute. So when Miaoke opened her mouth to sing, the voice that was actually heard was a recording of Peiyi. And it is unclear if Miaoke even knew.”

News and Notes – 8/6/2008

Newsflash! The reason people are getting fatter is because they are eating more! “In 1970, the average American ate about 16.4 pounds of food a week, or 2.3 pounds daily. By 2006, the average intake grew by an additional 1.8 pounds a week.”

Justice Chick-fil-A style. Chick-fil-A restaurant founder S. Truett Cathy has decided not to press charges against two girls who caused $30,000 worth of damage to his home. Instead, Cathy has worked out a deal with the girls’ parents: the youngsters are banned from watching TV and playing video games. They also must read a good book and write “I will not vandalize other people’s property” 1,000 times. (HT: By Farther Steps)

Make me a Christian. A new reality show follows the three-week journey of 13 non-Christians who volunteered to give up their normal lives and attempt to live like Christians. The participants engage in Bible studies and mentoring from a team of church leaders. The show airs in the U.K. for three weeks starting August 10.

News and Notes – 7/30/2008

Olive Riley World

Oldest blogger dies. Olive Riley, the world’s oldest blogger, died earlier this month at the age of 108. Olive lived in Australia and began blogging in February 2007. I blogged about her last fall here:  News and Notes – 9/6/2007

Clean snake. Mara Ranger of Gorham, Maine found an 8-foot long python in her washing machine. She was reaching into the machine when she felt something move. “I jumped back and all of sudden its head starts coming out of the washing machine and it looked huge,” Ranger said. She closed the lid on the snake and called animal control. The snake got into her washing machine by crawling through the pipes from outside.

I shot my mower. A Milwaukee man was charged last week with shooting his lawn mower with a sawed-off shotgun. He was frustrated with the mower because it wouldn’t start. “It’s my lawn mower and my yard, so I can shoot it if I want,” he told police. Apparently not. He is charged with a felony count of possessing a short-barreled shotgun and a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct while armed.