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Offbeat news thread

Guest Low Roller

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Guest Low Roller

In this thread post some of the weirdest or unconventional actual news you come across while perusing the internet. The Onion need not apply.

Sprechen Sie 'cuddle?'

Publisher to offer 'german/woman' dictionary

BERLIN, Germany (Reuters) -- A leading German dictionary publisher plans to launch a guide it says will help men translate the subtext of female conversation.

The Langenscheidt publishing group, best known for its well-respected yellow foreign language dictionaries, will launch sales of a 128-page book to translate such baffling female banter as: "Let's just cuddle" into "No sex tonight please!."

"Each themed chapter offers men behavioral tips and exposes hidden messages transmitted by women in everyday situations, such as on holiday or during shopping trips," said Silke Exius, chief editor at Langenscheidt.

Other examples in the "German-Woman/Woman-German" edition due out in October include explaining why a woman asks a man to take interest in the pair of shoes she may be trying on.

She wants him to look because he's about to pay for them.

[credit: CNN.com]

(Editorial: It's about freaking time... I got a bunch of things I need to look up, conditional on my brushing up on my German. Achtung baby, soon I'll know what you're talking about.)

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Woman moves in with 6,000 scorpions

Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A Malaysian woman is trying to reclaim the world record for the longest stay in a room full of scorpions, news reports said Sunday.

Nur Malena Hassan, 27, moved Saturday into a locked glass box where she plans to live for 36 consecutive days with more than 6,000 of the poisonous arachnids in a shopping mall, the Malay-language Mingguan Malaysia newspaper reported.

Scores of people watched as Nur Malena stood fearlessly in a red sweater and jeans with scorpions crawling up her head, chest and legs in Kuantan, a city about 160 miles east of Kuala Lumpur, a photograph published by the newspaper showed.

Nur Malena set a world record in 2001 by living for 30 days with 2,700 scorpions. She was stung seven times, fell unconscious and almost gave up the attempt.

Her record was shattered a year later by Kanchana Ketkeaw, a woman in neighboring Thailand who lived in a similar glass room for 32 days with 3,400 scorpions.

Under self-imposed rules, Nur Malena is expected to leave the glass room just once a day for 15 minutes at a time. She will sleep, eat and perform Muslim prayers in the room.

In recent years, Malaysians have displayed a growing penchant for offbeat records - like the highest backward climb up a staircase, the largest number of old people at a circus and the greatest number of heads shampooed in one day at a shopping mall.

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Man lay dead in bed for two years

Condo fees and bills were still being paid

Body finally found in mummified state

WINNIPEG—His telephone number was still listed in the telephone directory and his condominium fees and bills were automatically being withdrawn from his bank account.

No one knew Jim Sulkers had died in his bed almost two years ago.

Neighbour Sam Shuster said residents in the complex often wondered where the man they knew only as Jim had gone, but were told his condominium fees were still being paid.

"How can that happen, for God's sake. Two years!" Shuster said yesterday of the man who had been a resident in the building since the mid-1980s.

"I used to ask the president of the board of directors where in the hell is he? She said all she knew was the bank gets the monthly money so we don't worry about it."

Sulkers' remains were discovered Wednesday. Manitoba's chief medical examiner, Dr. Thambirajah Balachandra, determined he had died of natural causes.

Sulkers, believed to be in his 50s, had multiple sclerosis. Balachandra said there were no signs of trauma and he was able to quickly rule out homicide, suicide or accident as a cause of death. But because the body was in a mummified state, he could not determine an exact cause.

He said a newspaper dated Nov. 21, 2002, was found in the man's apartment and a wall calendar was opened to November 2002 — evidence the man died nearly two years ago.

A cousin, Kim Dyck of Winnipeg, said she lost contact with the man after his mother died about 10 years ago, but relatives had attempted to make contact with Sulkers last summer when they were in the city for a wedding.

"They knocked on his door and he didn't answer," she said. "You assume he isn't home. You certainly don't assume he's dead."

She said the man's bills must have been covered by a pension cheque automatically deposited into his bank account.

Neighbours said Sulkers' mailbox had become full several times and was always emptied by a letter carrier.

Canada Post spokesman Brian Garagan said letter carriers are required to clear full mailboxes and inform a supervisor, who calls the condo owner. He said the corporation was trying to determine if that policy was followed.

He said Sulkers' mail delivery was halted at some point but he wasn't sure when. He said he would be talking to the letter carrier on the route.

Marcel Baril, executive director of the Family Centre in Winnipeg, called the situation bizarre and sad. "It's odd that we live in a society where technology can take care of our affairs like that, even if we passed away two years ago, and nobody's noticed."

A spokeswoman for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada said the disease itself was not fatal but complications could be.

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Guest Low Roller

New jaw grown on patient's back

A German man has been able to eat his first proper meal in nine years after surgeons rebuilt his face using a pioneering jaw-bone graft.

The 56-year-old man - who tucked into bread and sausages - had only been able to eat soft food and soup since part of his jaw-bone was removed due to cancer.

University of Kiel researchers "grew" a replacement jaw-bone in a muscle in the patient's back and grafted it in place.

The procedure, previously only tried on animals, was detailed in The Lancet.

The operation took place nine weeks ago, and the patient can now eat steak - if it is cut up for him. The patient says he now wants teeth fitted, so he can eat his steak before it gets cold. Doctors say he could get them next year.

3D scans

In cases such as his, surgeons usually take a piece of bone from elsewhere in the body, often the thigh, to repair the jaw. But this damages the bone in that part of the body, which can itself lead to serious illness. In this case, the patient's jaw had been bridged with a 7cm titanium reconstruction plate since his initial operation. He was also taking the blood-thinning drug warfarin for an aortic aneurysm, which meant the traditional bone graft method carried a risk of post-operative bleeding. So it was decided to attempt the new technique.

After taking a 3D computer tomography (CT) scan of the patient's head, they used computer aided design to recreate the missing portion of the jaw-bone (mandible). The design was used to construct a teflon model, which was then covered with a titanium cage. The teflon was then removed, and the cage filled with bone mineral blocks, coated with bone marrow and a protein which accelerates bone growth. The transplant was then implanted into the latissimus dorsai muscle, below the right shoulder blade. Doctors monitored its development, and CT scans showed new bone was forming.

After seven weeks of growth, the graft was removed, along with a flap of muscle containing blood vessels. It was then attached to the stumps of the patient's original lower jaw. The transplant enabled the patient to chew again, and within four weeks he was able to eat solid foods.

'Quality of life'

The researchers, led by Dr Patrick Warnke of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Kiel, say there is a need for greater understanding about the long-term effects of the procedure.

Writing in The Lancet, they said: "The exciting nature of the result achieved in this patient to date has prompted our group to extend this trial. For us to draw firm conclusions, an extended period of follow-up is necessary."

But Dr Warnke told BBC News Online he hoped the procedure could help many other patients, adding: "In addition to helping patients such as this man, we hope it could be used in orthopaedic surgery."

He said implanting the cage into the patient's muscle meant his own tissue developed around it. "Because it was his own tissue, we don't expect any problems of rejection."

He added: "It was a very successful operation, because when we fitted it to his existing jaw, it was a very good fit, We didn't have to make a lot of changes."

Dr Stan Gronthos, of the division of haematology at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science in Adelaide, Australia, said the German research proved this technique could help patients with damaged jaw-bones.

He wrote in The Lancet: "Meanwhile, as the debate continues, a patient who had previously lost his mandible through the result of a destructive tumour can now sit down to chew his first solid meals in nine years, courtesy of a new mandible-like structured implant, resulting in an improved quality of life for that individual."

[credit: BBC.com]

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African man who shot his pregnant fiance dead before killing himself will be posthumously married to her at the weekend.

Police Captain Mohale Ramatseba said David Masenta shot 25-year-old Mgwanini Molomo after a quarrel before turning the gun on himself. But Johannesburg's Sowetan newspaper said family and friends wanted to remember them as a happy couple destined for a happy life together.

The groom's corpse would be dressed in a cream suit and his bride's in a gown for the ceremony, at which a priest in the rural village of Ceres in Limpopo will bless the union before the two are buried, the Sowetan said.

"In African culture, there is no death -- there is merely the separation of body and soul," said cultural expert Mathole Motshekga. "It is also important because the families are married together."

"This does not mean the relationship has irretrievably broken down."

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Pet dog averts gun massacre

From correspondents in Toronto

June 25, 2004

A WANDERING dog may have saved the lives of countless people, after leading a heavily armed gunman to abort a planned shooting spree in Toronto and turn himself in to police.

The man, in his 40s, from eastern New Brunswick province, drove to Toronto in a car packed with a shotgun, bolt action rifle, a semi-automatic weapon a machete and more than 6000 rounds of ammunition.

"He is in custody and told investigating officers that he was in Toronto intending to shoot at people," said Police Constable Kristine Bacharach.

After visiting a park in the west end of the city however, the man changed his mind and drove around until he found a police officer, she said Thursday.

The Toronto Star newspaper reported that it was a chance encounter with a dog that averted a potential massacre.

"He happens to be a pet lover and decided that if there was such a nice dog in the area the people were too nice and he wasn't going to carry out his plan, the paper quoted Detective Nick Ashley as saying.

"This could have been a very dangerous situation had his plan unfolded," said Ashley.

"It's scary how close it could have been. We have a dog to thank somewhere."

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Dropped Cig Blows Up Portable Potty

- Associated Press

Thursday, July 15, 2004

BLACKSVILLE, W.Va. -- Warning: smoking in the toilet can be dangerous. A portable toilet exploded Tuesday after a man who was inside it lit a cigarette.

Emergency workers said the man was not severely injured and drove himself to Clay-Battelle Community Health Center. He was later transferred to Ruby Memorial Hospital. His name and condition were not available Wednesday.

The explosion, which occurred in Blacksville, resulted from a buildup of methane gas inside the portable toilet. The methane did not "take too kindly" to the lit cigarette, said a spokeswoman for Monongalia Emergency Medical Services.

lots more wierd news here...


Entire 13-Metre Bridge Stolen In Southern Bosnia, Police Say

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) - In what could qualify for Ripley's Believe It or Not, seven thieves stole an entire 13-metre bridge near the southern Bosnian town of Mostar, police said Friday.

Over several days, the group dismantled the metal bridge built during the Austro-Hungarian empire 150 years ago, transported the parts to a local junk yard and sold them, a police statement said.

While it all happened in a remote mountainous region, local villagers saw the thieves loading parts of the bridge into vans and alerted police last Friday. The seven men were arrested and are being held pending a decision by a prosecutor.

Without disclosing their names, police said the Gypsies, or Roma, sold the metal parts for 280 Konvertible Marks ($220 Cdn).

and here...

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Town Hosts 'Wack the Iraq' Game

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New Jersey game called "Wack the Iraq (news - web sites)," where players fire paintballs at people dressed as Arabs, has drawn ire from Arab groups after the city failed to convince the operator to change its name this summer.

The City of Wildwood, a seaside resort in southern New Jersey popular with summer vacationers, said the game would continue to operate until the end of this summer holiday season, but would change its name when it returns next year, according to Fred Wager, commissioner of public affairs and public safety for Wildwood.

"We didn't like it because we were getting a lot of complaints about it," Wager said in an interview.

The game is being run by a private company under a license granted by the city.

Arab groups have voiced outrage at the name and the notion of killing Iraqis for fun, and had asked that the city shut the game down immediately. Instead, a compromise was reached to change the game's name for next summer.

The game targets teenagers, said Aref Assaf, President of the New Jersey chapter of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. "(The game) tells them to kill Arabs and that it is legal, and you can have fun doing it," he told Reuters.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks by al Qaeda, which killed almost 3,000 people, Arab and Muslim Americans have suffered a spike in discriminatory acts.


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BEIJING, Aug. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Australia has launched a vehicle powered by compressed air, which the inventor claims is commercially viable.

The designer, Angelo Di Pietro from the Melbourne company Engineair, says the garden buggy runs on compressed air from a cylinder and can reach a speed of up to 50 kilometers per hour. China Radio International reported Saturday.

The vehicle uses an environment-friendly engine of compressed air to take in heat from the atmosphere as well as air.

The atmospheric air is then compressed to generate more heat, which in turn is used to drive the engine.

Since the motor has very low friction, it is more efficient to run than other air-powered motors.


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Frustrated chimp takes up smoking


Feili has begun imitating her spectators

Sexual frustration has driven a mild-mannered chimpanzee to take up smoking and spitting, according to China's Xinhua news agency.

Feili, 13, has turned from a "gentle girl" into a "shrew", said Liu Bing, the director of her zoo in Zhengzhou, central Henan province.

Mr Liu said Feili's partner at the zoo was 28 years her senior, and was unable "to meet her sexual demands".

Feili was not addicted to nicotine, he said, but was just imitating tourists.

However, she does appear to be quite keen on smoking - and has been known to resort to desperate measures to get what she wants.

Xinhua reported that Feili became excited when she saw a visitor light up a cigarette, and grew impatient when they showed no sign of giving it to her.

It quoted one boy visiting the zoo as saying: "Just now a tourist threw a cigarette butt to just outside the cage - she tried to get the butt with a stick."


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U.S.Nov.2004(Fox)- After lying to the American people and the rest of the world, Presidente Bush was re-selected to the position of Supreme Leader. John Kerry was unavailable for comment.

In other troubling news, Fox has learned that the people of Vermont have been sheltering Osama bin Whoever for many years and refuse to submit proof that they have not been sheltering the pedophile rapist of all who are good and true God-fearing, Republican, American patriots.

Stay tuned to Fox for breaking news on this and anything else we can come up with.

Fox- you better fu©king tow the line or you are so gonna be squooshed like a little bug. You here me punk?

We report, you obey.

good dog!

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Guest Low Roller

Berlin bear's break-out bid fails

A bold amphibious escape bid by a bear at Berlin zoo has been foiled in a dramatic shoot-out. Juan the Andean spectacled bear first paddled across a moat using a log for a raft, then scaled a wall.

Finally he appeared to commandeer a bicycle, before zookeepers with brooms cornered him, and a colleague picked him off with a tranquiliser gun.

"Just think what could have happened," said a mother who saw the bear escape and head for the children's carousel. "It went straight for the playground", said Liane Hertrampf to the Berliner Kurier newspaper.

Parents grabbed their children and fled as they realised what was happening.

But the zoo's deputy director Heiner Kloes was not so concerned. "Spectacled bears eat both vegetables and meat but children tend not to be on their menu," he said. "I'd have been a lot more worried if one of our polar bears had escaped," he added. He did say, however, that he was "alarmed at how some fathers were too busy filming the bear to check where their children were".

Amateur photographers captured the bear investigating a bicycle and roaming around the playground. The incident was the second breakout since June, when a gorilla climbed over a fence.

After being stopped with darts from a tranquiliser gun, 110kg (294lb) Juan was carried back to his enclosure.

Mr Kloes told the Berliner Kurier newspaper zoo staff would make sure there were no further logs in the moat to prevent Juan's future bids for freedom.

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