# Saturday, 19 April 2008
A drugs raid went a little wrong for some policemen in Greater Manchester. They had it all planned, they would surprise the gang at 6.30 in the morning. Armed with sledgehammers a dozen policeman smashed the window of the terrace house and piled through to catch the criminals. Unfortunately all they found was school dinner lady, Kathleen Oldham who was sitting in her dressing down drinking a cup of tea. The embarrassed police said “sorry, love, wrong house” and left. Miss Oldham was later given a bouquet of flowers and workmen were sent to repair her front window.

posted on Saturday, 19 April 2008 12:03:50 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 18 April 2008
A Russian man who had been out drinking failed to notice that he had a knife embedded in his back. Mr Lyalin had gone out after work and had been drinking large amounts of vodka. On waking up the following morning he made his way home, had a snack and went to bed to sleep off his hangover. It was only later that his wife noticed a knife handle sticking out of his back and called an ambulance. The knife had gone through soft tissue without piecing any organs and the man now feels fine. It later emerged that his drinking partner has stabbed him when they had an argument. Mr Lyalin holds no grudges he is quoted as saying "We were drinking and what doesn't happen when you're drunk?".

posted on Friday, 18 April 2008 19:24:19 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
A rather obscure story here about a man who has been dubbed the “mole man” because of his tunnelling habit. William Little spent 40 years digging a network of tunnels underneath his house before he was evicted in 2006. His excavation was so extensive that it has almost caused his house to collapse and he has now been ordered to pay £300,000 in costs to stabilise the structure.

posted on Friday, 18 April 2008 17:14:53 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
Apparently the latest fashion trend is for really high heels and when I say really high I mean at least 5 or 6 inches. This article charts one reporters day as she tests out a nice looking pair 6 inch stilettos. Although she loves the shoes she ends with the conclusion that they are definitely not comfortable and not at all practical. I think I would have trouble walking in most of the pairs highlighted in the article, but they are nice shoes and I must admit I am tempted; after all you can never have too many pairs of shoes.

The shoes pictured below have a 5 inch heel.

posted on Friday, 18 April 2008 17:09:36 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 17 April 2008
Pearson the company that owns Penguin will soon start releasing e-book versions of all Penguin, Dorling Kindersley and Travel titles. The e-books will be available from September of this year and will also include Penguin’s back catalogue of over 5,000 titles. The electronic books will cost the same of the printed equivalent which I think is a mistake. Personally I prefer to have a printed copy of a book that I can carry around in my bag to read on the train of when I get a spare five minutes. Probably the only thing that would entice me to purchase an electronic version would be if it cost significantly less than the printed copy, and even then I would probably stick with a real book. Still, it’s a good idea and I can see it would appeal to a lot of people, but not me.

posted on Thursday, 17 April 2008 14:45:11 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
76 years of driving without having an accident is a pretty impressive record. After all that time I guess if you are going to have one it might as well be memorable. Jack Higgs managed to cause £60,000 worth of damage when he lost control of his Fiesta outside a Porsche showroom despite not having an accident for 76 years. Two Porsches were written off in the accident. Jack was found hanging upside down by his seatbelt in the overturned car and luckily was unharmed. Not surprisingly he has now decided to give up driving.

posted on Thursday, 17 April 2008 13:59:17 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 16 April 2008
We have all had that sinking feeling when you get off the train and realise that you have a bag or an umbrella onboard and you know it is likely to be gone for good. It must be slightly worse, however, if the item you have forgotten happens to be a valuable family heirloom. Robert Napier from Wiltshire had just taken his 1698 Venice made Goffriller violin to London to be valued and you can imagine his delight when he found it was worth £180,000. Unfortunately when he got off the train at Taunton on his way home, he forgot all about the family heirloom which was still on the train. Despite a £10,000 reward being offered and an extensive search being carried out there is still no sign of the violin.

posted on Wednesday, 16 April 2008 14:32:16 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 15 April 2008
It appears that your local council could be using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to spy on people. In this example Poole Borough Council used the legislation which was introduced to improve national security to spy on a family to see whether they lived inside the catchment area of their child’s school. The family were watched by an undercover council official for three weeks as he made notes about their daily activities. The council justified their actions by saying "RIPA procedures have been used to investigate potentially fraudulent applications for school places” and "In such circumstances, we have considered it appropriate to treat the matter as a potential criminal matter.” It does seem a little extreme in my opinion, I wonder who else is being watched without their knowledge. I’m not paranoid, they are out to get you.

posted on Tuesday, 15 April 2008 14:13:04 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 14 April 2008
This article suggests that colour blind gamers are forgotten by game developers. According to the article games often rely on colours to differentiate between characters, for example the good guys might wear green and the bad guys brown. This seems to pose a problem with people who are colour blind and the article quotes one of their readers who says:

"One specific gaming example that always frustrates me is Battlefield 2142. I love the game, but the flags of the two teams are not distinct enough on the HUD, at least to me. I honestly can't tell you what color they are. Red, green, yellow, brown?" he told Ars. "I usually end up trying to distinguish them by brightness because one looks slightly brighter to me, but that is so slight it's still tough."

This was confirmed by my husband who is colour blind and says he has the same problem with several games. The solution according to the article is to use more drastic contrasts between colours and to use patterns and shapes rather than relying on simply making things two different colours.

posted on Monday, 14 April 2008 17:30:01 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
I read this article the other day in which the Deputy Security minster in South Africa aired some rather unusual views. Her advice to the police dealing with criminals included:

 “You must kill the bastards if they threaten you or the community. You must not worry about the regulations - that is my responsibility. Your responsibility is to serve and protect.

"I want no warning shots. You have one shot and it must be a kill shot.

"Criminals are hell-bent on undermining the law and they must now be dealt with. End of story. There are to be no negotiations with criminals."

With 22,000 murders in South Africa a year it’s easy to see why she might give such advice. It makes an interesting contrast with the UK, I wonder how the media would react if a government minister here said something similar.

posted on Monday, 14 April 2008 16:51:42 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
This is an interesting scheme to recycle food waste which is being offered on a trial basis in East Renfrewshire. People are given compostable bags in a sealed container which is then collected by the local council. All food waste can be put into the containers including scrapings from plates, bones and cooked and uncooked waste. East Renfrewshire Council believe that the scheme could cut the amount of waste they send to landfill sites by 35%.

posted on Monday, 14 April 2008 16:42:41 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 13 April 2008
A family of vegetarians got a surprise when they found a frog inside a bag of spinach. They had purchased the spinach from a Morrisons store in Bath. Surprisingly the European tree frog was still alive despite being washed and transported in the spinach and being kept in the fridge for three days. Unfortunately this article doesn’t include a picture of the frog so I have added my own picture of a European tree frog below.

posted on Sunday, 13 April 2008 15:46:17 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
A couple from Weston-super-mare have been sentenced for claiming thousands of pounds in benefits for 16 non existent children. Danny Wilshaw claimed over £75,000 over four years whilst Nancy Stevenson claimed £11,000 in child tax credits over the same period. The couple managed to exploit a loophole in the law after they realised they didn’t have to send children’s birth certificates to tax officials in order to prove their existence. He used the money to fund his gambling habit whilst she used it to buy as many as two bottles of brandy a day. Well, I’m glad my taxes are going to a good cause.

posted on Sunday, 13 April 2008 15:29:40 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
Two Muslim men have opened a pub with a difference, it serves no alcohol. The pub is called The Halal Inn and is in Oldham. It has all the usual things you would expect to find in a pub including snooker tables and darts, just no alcohol. It does however have a juice bar. The pub also has a prayer room and a steam room. It seems like an interesting idea, I wonder whether it will prove to be  popular.

posted on Sunday, 13 April 2008 13:29:20 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 12 April 2008
Barney the parrot is not unique for the fact that he can talk; he is however unique in that he has taught two other birds to talk. Unfortunately the phrases he uses are rather rude. Barney’s favourite words include f*** off and b******* and he has told the local mayoress to f*** off during a civic visit. He also told two police officers and a vicar  "You can f*** off too, w******!" His new friends Sam and Charlie now also use these rather choice phrases and the three happily swear at each other for hours.

posted on Saturday, 12 April 2008 20:02:36 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback