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sábado, 11 de outubro de 2008

Rock found to be prehistoric toy hedgehog

It may look like a grubby bit of rock but this ancient carving has caused a stir among archaeologists and hedgehog lovers.

It is a prehistoric toy hedgehog and was unearthed from a three-year-old child's grave at Stonehenge in Wiltshire.

Thought to be about 2,500 years old, it is the earliest known depiction of a hedgehog in Britain.

'Amid the aura of gloom that surrounds Stonehenge, it comes as a beam of light to find a child's toy,' said archaeologist Dennis Price.

Deadly mouse turns tables on snake

A mouse thrown into a deadly viper's cage as a snack for the snake turned the tables – attacking and killing the serpent.

The mouse was put into the cage by firefighters in Nantoun, Taiwan, after they'd removed the snake from a home in the area. Thinking the viper was probably hungry, the decided to feed the mouse to it.

But the mouse had other ideas.

One firefighter described the scene: 'It attacked the snake continuously, biting and scratching it.'

The life-and-death battle lasted for half an hour before the mouse emerged triumphant, and the snake emerged dead.

Lan Sengqiu, the firefighter's team leader, speculated: 'Perhaps it used up all its venom when we caught it - but the mouse barely had a scratch on him.'

Dead woman is eaten by her cats

A dead woman was found eaten by her pack of 20 cats.

Much of 58-year-old Livia Melinte was nibbled by her pets after she died weeks ago.

'She loved her cats so much she spent half her time feeding them.

I suppose they had a big appetite,' said a neighbour in Tomnatic, Romania.

German pop star marries a pineapple

As celebrity weddings go, it's one of the wackiest (and, er, sweetest) you're ever likely to see.

German pop star Ramma Damma, aka Ulli Hopper, decided to get married – to a pineapple.

Picking up his bride for about £8 – he wanted one who wasn't cheap – he drove her across the Scottish border to Gretna Green in a Jaguar covered in green AstroTurf.

There he and the pineapple – which he affectionately named Tippi – were wed before returning to his home in Munich.

'We drove through the night – it was a fun away wedding, not a runaway wedding,' he said.

'I loved her. I wanted to marry her. We stayed in Gretna Green Hall Hotel and we were married by a craftsman wearing a kilt.

'We enjoyed meals out. We would go to restaurants and she would enjoy a glass of water over dinner.

'Tippi loved to go to the movies – especially ones about earthquakes – and she would sit on my lap when she got scared.'

Now in case you were wondering why you've never heard of Hopper, this all happened 38 years ago.

But although Tippi has long since departed, the union has borne fruit.

Today, Hopper is known as the Green Rebel in Munich, where he runs the only 'plant sanctuary' in Germany, accommodating 300 indoor plants.

The 65-year-old is almost completely self-sufficient, even making his own stinging nettle spaghetti or brewing plum cider in a 230-litre bin.

'I will defend every plant,' he said. 'They are the wonders of our world – we just to need to listen to them.'

Man sentenced to stupidity

A Wisconsin man has avoided jail after a judge ordered him to instead stand outside a waste water treatment plant holding a sign saying 'I was stupid'.

Shane McQuillan of Eau Claire County was found guilty of criminal damage after he drunkenly rammed his car into a closed gate at the plant.

At the time of the incident last March, he told a police officer that he was 'just being stupid.'

Sentencing him on Wednesday, Judge Paul Lenz took him at his word, and gave him two options – jail time, or the humiliation of standing outside the plant holding the 'I was stupid' sign.

McQuillan chose the 'stupid' option.

Large blue rabbit attempts robbery, fails

A man dressed in a blue bunny-rabbit outfit – accompanied by a shotgun-wielding sidekick – has been arrested over a failed armed robbery in Sweden.

The blue rabbit and his accomplice allegedly tried to rob a currency exchange office in Farsta, to the south of Stockholm.

They attempted to force their way through security doors in the exchange – but quick thinking staff managed to shut the second of two doors in their face. At that point, the bunny and the gunman ran away, leaving onlookers perplexed.

'I was exchanging some money and saw a huge blue bunny standing there with a bucket. There were several kids standing around it pointing and laughing…I assumed it was there collecting money for some charity,' witness Dave Arthur told The Local.

Police captured two suspects a short while later, and held them on suspicion of attempted robbery. Authorities believe that the bunny suit may itself have been stolen earlier in the day.

Politician quits over fortuneteller calls

A Norwegian Labour Party politician took voluntary sick leave Thursday and said she wouldn't seek re-election after running up big phone bills at Parliament's expense by turning to an unusual set of advisers: fortunetellers.

Saera Khan's mobile phone habits became known after Parliament said it would no longer cover her bills, which Norway's largest newspaper Verdens Gang said hit 48,000 kroner (£4,590) in one three-month period.

'Advice from fortune tellers has not influenced the Labour party's work in Parliament,' Labour's parliamentary leader Hill-Marta Solberg said in announcing Khan's leave.

It was not immediately clear how long she would be on leave, but Khan said she would not seek a second term in September elections. Solberg said the amount of the bills would not be made public.

At first, Khan said the bills were run up because she was calling a satellite phone used by her boyfriend, who she claimed was on a secret foreign mission with Britain's special forces.

The 29-year-old lawmaker refused to give his name, age or base, but only said that he had a personal satellite phone with him.

But Norwegian tabloid Dagbladet contacted the British military and learned that soldiers are barred from having personal satellite phones on missions for security reasons.

Finally, she released a statement late Wednesday confirming news reports that her bills were so high because she called pay-by-the-minute fortune tellers 793 times in one nine-month period. She said she paid back the amount.

'A large part of the cost was due to calls to alternative advisers: so called fortune tellers,' she wrote. 'I apologize.'

Neither Khan nor Solberg said what kind of advice she sought.

sexta-feira, 10 de outubro de 2008

'I prefer bazookas to burkas'

They reckon glossy adverts using svelte models have put feminism back in the dark ages. We say that’s nonsense and, here, arch-feminist JULIE BURCHILL, who once lived with a woman, says why she believes females must continue to take their kit off.

RIGHT at the start, let me say I am a TOTAL feminist.
I believe in equal pay and equal rights for the sexes.

I even said, when I was younger and sillier, that it was the duty of every woman to make two grown men cry each and every day.

Of course, I’m older and wiser now — one a day will do fine.

Why then am I, almost alone among middle-aged female hacks, completely unconcerned by the images of perfect young near-naked bodies which are increasingly appearing around us, advertising everything from handbags to house music?

Those who know me personally may sourly point out I’ve always had an eye for a pretty girl so my view of such full-on, stripped-down, pin-up pulchritude might not be unbiased.

But, hand on heart, I swear I never leer at visual representations of naked girls in a lesbionic lather. They’d have to actually be in the room, breathing, for me to do that.

I simply think, “She’s nice!” or “No tits!” and turn the page. I get no thrill from naked pictures but I find no offence in them, either.

Admittedly, I find people over 18 who drool over pictures of unclothed humans slightly weird. They’re obviously sailing on the HMS Ain’t Gettin’ Enough.

As someone who has never had any trouble getting three-dimensional cuties to get their kit off without paying for it, maybe, as a Christian, I shouldn’t judge those who can’t.

But equally weird are those who get upset about naked photos, be they of curvy, lad-mag totty or titless, high-fashion hottie. What are they scared of? And DON’T tell me that voluntary, well-paid, kit-offing is an offence against everything feminists have historically fought for.


How in the name of Marx does it degrade a non-academic, attractive girl who likes attention to make a lot of money for a limited period when she could be wasting her youth and beauty in a subterranean call centre for the minimum wage?

The eminently sensible (now retired) Page 3 girl Michelle Marsh, who earned £100,000 a year, said: “At the end of the day I could work nine to five but I would not be travelling the world earning such good money.”

Who could possibly argue with the clear-eyed logic of that? Well, envy, snobbery and hypocrisy have a way of clouding the vision.
Many is the ageing swinger, be she actress or academic, who happily got her nipples out for the hippies in the Sixties and Seventies but now looks down on girls who get their kit off for fun and/or money.

It’s not just an age thing, but a class thing. At a time when social mobility is actually reversing, glamour modelling is to girls what football is to boys. It’s a means of escape from the minimum wage drudgery which might otherwise be their lot.

That it isn’t really a sex war issue can be summed up in two words: gay porn. Gayers LOVE looking at photos of gorgeous young men — does this mean they hate men? I don’t think so! People like looking at attractive people — think of that famous survey where babies smiled more at photographs of pretty faces — and the more they can look at, the better.

If a gorgeous girl like Keeley Hazell wants to take her breasts in her own hands — ooo, missus — to get a little fun and money, maybe she is a better feminist than her sister who meekly accepts the hand Mother Nature dealt her and sees her breasts for the unpaid benefit of her husband and children.

If hackettes want to get worked up about sexual politics, why don’t they concern themselves with the real agony that millions of people suffer every day simply because they are female?


What about the rape and forced marriage of girl children, female genital mutilation, sexual trafficking and slavery, the abuse and rape of women and girls for the pleasure of the moronic masturbating masses crouched over their computer screens?

Or women burned to death for failing to provide an acceptable dowry, stoned to death for having sex, murdered for falling in love with someone of another religion, executed for wanting an education?

With all this horror going on daily, how can anyone get worked up about some Western bird voluntarily dropping ’em for a few hours for a decent wodge of readies.

The reason is, I suspect, one of two things and neither of them has anything to do with feminism. One is PC; the other is me, me, ME!
Many people are scared to criticise the worst excesses of Islamofascism while being hysterically sensitive to the perceived wrongs of our own culture, especially when it comes to the oppression of females.

Let a woman get stoned to death for adultery in a Muslim country and five’ll get you ten some dopey posh cow will say it’s their “culture” and therefore “racist” to object. Let some British brickie call a barmaid “love” and it’s a case for the European Court Of Human Rights.

Some particularly crazed, civilization-hating and self-loathing Western female commentators have actually compared the voluntary wearing of high heels to the barbaric, crippling Eastern tradition of forced foot-binding, and voluntary cosmetic surgery to the Third World tradition of mutilating the genitals of girl children.

Presumably these dingbats don’t recognise the concept of consent.


Then there’s the personal, rather than political, hypocrite. This woman often experiences feelings of inadequacy on seeing photos of perfect bodies. But if a woman is so shallow she judges people, including herself, on that basis then, frankly, she deserves to feel inadequate.

It’s a fact that both women and men reach the peak of their physical beauty in their early twenties — after that you’d better start relying on other qualities or you’re going to have a miserable old time of it.

Stopping other, younger women from showing theirs isn’t going to make you any prettier or happier.

Lots of worry warts will whine that photos of naked women mark the start of a slippery slope to sexual enslavement. But if they look at the cold logic of the situation they will see it is in countries as diverse as Sweden and the US — where you can’t move without getting your eye put out by a nearby nipple — that women have unprecedented freedom to learn, love, work and worship freely. And yes, to go naked as the Lord made them on beaches and billboards during the summer of their lives.

On the other hand, where there is no public female nakedness you will find zero rights for women.

Where the female body is forcibly covered in public, you will find mass sexual enslavement.

Which is the more offensive? If you really find freedom more frightening and distasteful than the lack of it when it comes to women taking their clothes off, then I suggest it is you, and not the likes of Keeley, who has the wrong attitude.

A few weeks wearing the badge of shame that is the burka might sort out your priorities a treat, my sour sisters.

And if you find inner peace by dressing like a parrot’s cage that someone forgot to take the drape off of, good for you!
Just don’t expect the rest of us to follow you.

Vienna breaks Lego tower record

Lego enthusiasts in Vienna have built the world's highest ever Lego tower – beating a record set in Britain this May.

The tower was constructed by hundreds of children outside the city hall in Rathaus Platz, and took four days to build.

It stands 29.48m tall – beating the record set in Windsor's Legoland by just 18cm. 460,000 bricks were needed to complete it, and a crane had to be used to position the highest sections

Bigfoot in a Freezer

Dead Bigfoot purportedly found in Georgia forest

On 9 July, a group of friends posted a video on YouTube claiming that around a month earlier, on 10 June, they had stumbled upon a dead Bigfoot at a location “in deep woods” in northern Georgia, USA. Later that month, one of the Georgia group, Rick Dyer of Forest Park, went on an Internet radio show called Sasquatch Detective to claim that it had taken a day and a half to drag the carcass seven miles (11km) through the woods to the nearest road, where they then preserved the body in a freezer full of ice. Dyer went on to say his group – later described as having “military and law enforcement backgrounds” – also had “clear photos and video” of a Bigfoot family seen in the same undisclosed area. In answer to listeners’ quest­ions, Dyer added that they had already had an offer of $10 million for the carcass.

The released images of a hairy humanoid corpse stuffed into a freezer initially excited the hopes of many, but ultimately convinced few. The story sparked public arguments between established Bigfoot researchers and the Georgia group, who defended themselves aggressively in the face of mounting criticism and searching questions. The full story of the resulting media storm can be followed on Loren Coleman’s blog.

During a press conference held in a Palo Alto, California, hotel on 15 August, attended by nearly 100 press and TV reporters and a man in a gorilla suit who shouted questions, Dyer – a former corrections officer who also runs a ‘Bigfoot tours’ business – said: “There’s a lot of comment being made that it looks fake, or it looks like a suit, but these people weren’t there when I was sweating, pulling this thing through the woods.” The conference was arranged by Tom Biscardi, a Californian Bigfoot promoter, who three years earlier in 2005 had claimed to be party to the capture of a creat­ure, and only on the eve of being exposed on George Noory’s Coast to Coast radio show, did he excuse himself as having been “scammed by a woman in Nevada”.

Back to the present, and the press conference did not go well for the good old boys from Georgia.

As the bubble of the first, uncritical exposure on national and international media burst, the ridicule began and the prospects of making money from their pictures, film and freezer ‘tableau’ rapidly dwindled. Biscardi, who had gone to Atlanta to see the latest ‘corpse’, did not help when he told reporters: “I touched it. This is ‘Eureka!’ man.”

Then Dyer’s press-conference partner Matthew Whitton, a police officer on sick leave, had to acknowledge that he had created suspect videos for YouTube, in one of which his brother posed as a scientist, and another in which he seems to admit that the body is a fake. He then said it was made “to throw off” their critics (whom he called “psychos” and “stalkers”), by which he seemed to mean anyone in the cryptozoology camp who had made overtly sceptical comments about the object in the freezer. When asked how much money they hoped to make, Biscardi chipped in with: “As much as we can”. He was certainly charging viewers of his website premium rates to watch dubious video footage.

The dénouement to this unsavoury saga came quickly, but not before Biscardi bought the ‘corpse’ from Dyer and Whitton for an “undisclosed sum”. Only then (on 17 August) did he send a colleague, self-styled ‘Sasquatch detective’ Steve Kulls, to examine it more closely. As the block of ice was thawed, Kulls took samples of hair and burned them; he was surprised to find they melted. As the feet were exposed, Kulls reached into the freezer to feel them. They were made of rubber!

On 19 August, Fox News revealed publicly what everyone now suspected: the ‘body’ was a widely-available hire costume that had been stuffed with road kill and then frozen, possibly inspired by the ‘look and smell’ of the famous ‘Minnesota Iceman’ that had so impressed cryptozoology’s founders Dr Bernard Heuvelmans and Ivan Sanderson. Kulls reported the bad news to Biscardi, but by the time he got to Dyer and Whitton’s hotel the pair had already checked out. Without any sense of irony, Biscardi said he would be seeking legal redress.

The exasperated groans of serious cryptozoologists, who had seen such wild claims before, could be heard across the web. Coleman told FT that the public interest in this “Piltdown of Sasquatchery” was so great that possibly 85 per cent of the “server’s forums, websites, and blogs [concerning Bigfoot] crashed and had to be rebuilt from 12 August through 18 August”.
The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, the oldest group of its kind – which had distanced itself from the Georgia group early on – acknow­ledged that this hoax will linger for a long time, awakened by each Google search for ‘Bigfoot’. In time, though, they hoped, serious research into North American manimals would recover and continue, much as ufology did after the ‘Alien Autopsy’ hoax.

Whale explodes in Taiwanese city

A dead sperm whale has exploded while being delivered to a research centre near the southwestern city of Tainan.

Passers-by and cars were soaked in blood and body parts were sprayed over a road after the bursting of the whale, which was being carried on a trailer.

The whale had died earlier on a beach and had been collected so its remains could be used for educational purposes.

A marine biologist blamed the explosion on pressure from gases building up in the mammal as it began to decompose.

The whale attracted a lot of onlookers both before and after it exploded.

This blood and other stuff that blew out on the road is disgusting, and the smell is really awful Tainan resident Several parked cars and pedestrians got covered in blood when it exploded.

Residents and shop owners wore masks while trying to clean up the spilt blood and entrails.

"What a stinking mess. This blood and other stuff that blew out on the road is disgusting, and the smell is really awful," said one resident.

Professor Wang Chien-ping, of the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, had ordered the whale to be moved to the Shi-Tsao Natural Preserve after his own institution refused to allow a post-mortem examination on its own premises.

Record find

He said that the animal had been close to death when it was found on a beach and had died by the time help arrived.

"Because of the natural decomposing process, a lot of gases accumulated, and when the pressure build-up was too great, the whale's belly exploded."

However, he said despite the explosion, enough of the whale remained to allow for an examination by marine biologists.

Professor Wang said initial observation showed the whale to be an older bull and that its weight of 50 tonnes and 17 metre-length made it the largest whale ever recorded in Taiwan.

Reports say because of the whale's size, it took 13 hours, three large lifting cranes and 50 workers to get the mammal loaded on the trailer truck for its final trip.

quinta-feira, 9 de outubro de 2008

Human remains found inside crocodile

Human remains have been discovered inside a crocodile suspected of killing and eating a missing British-born man in Australia.

Officials in Queensland who have been investigating the fate of Arthur Brooker, 62, said they had found the remains inside one of three big crocodiles captured in the Endeavour River.

Mr Booker, who is originally from Scotland and served with Australian forces in the Vietnam war, vanished from the banks of the crocodile-infested river in Cape York last week while checking pots used to catch crabs.

The three crocodiles, longtime residents of the Endeavour, were then caught and taken by truck to a veterinary surgery in Cairns. One has been ruled out as a possible culprit but the other two will be subjected to further tests, a police spokesman said following the initial discovery of human tissue.

Police said that at this stage no more crocodiles will be trapped in the river.

They added that the crocodile shown not to have been involved in any possible attack on Mr Brooker would be returned home to the river.

But a return to the wild has been ruled out for the largest of the three, a 4.3 metre long male, which had shown aggressive territorial behaviour and would probably now be sent to a farm, said Michael Devery, a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency.

UFOs 'have been here since 1947'

UFOs exist and have been here since 1947, according to a British expert.

Editor of UFO Data Magazine Philip Mantle is set to unveil his findings at an international conference this month.

He investigated the site in Roswell, New Mexico where many people believe there was an alien crash landing. He analysed rock, earth and vegetation.

The area is surrounded by charred trees and bushes and a mysterious blue substance that dribbles down rocks.

US physician Dr Ronald Rau said in the 1940s high levels of radiation pointed to a ship landing there in the 1940s.

The area in the Nogal Canyon is close to the well-known Socorro desert site where experts say another object appeared to have landed in 1964.

Mr Mantle said: "A good friend of mine Ed Gerham first found the site and I flew over as soon as I could.

"It was a real find and as soon as I arrived there I knew what a special and peculiar place it was.
There is nothing around it for around 70 miles, it is literally in the middle of nowhere.

"Us Brits really have beaten the Americans at their own game and it is really great that we have done that. It really is revolutionary for the UFO world."

Mr Mantle is set to reveal his full findings at the UFO Data Annual Conference later this month in Leeds.

'Mount Vesuvius erupting' is actually Italian fighter jets chasing suspicious aircraft

An ear-splitting bang over the Italian port city of Naples sparked fears on Wednesday that nearby Mt Vesuvius was erupting.

Vesuvius is the only volcano on the mainland of Europe to have erupted within the last century Photo: AFP/GETTY

Switchboards at the city's emergency services were jammed as frightened locals prepared for the worst, with police and fire fighters put on high alert.

But the deafening noise turned out to be a supersonic boom caused by two Italian F-16 fighter jets streaking over the city in pursuit of a suspicious aircraft.

The aircraft, which had failed to identify itself properly, was found to be a civilian Ilyushin cargo plane returning from an aid mission in North Africa to Austria.

Vesuvius is the only volcano on the mainland of Europe to have erupted within the last century, although it is currently dormant.

It is best known for erupting in AD79, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Since then it has erupted about 40 times, with the most serious recent explosion happening in 1631, when about 3,000 people died.

The last eruption was in 1944, when photographs of the mountain spewing huge columns of black smoke were captured by United States Air Force bombers.

Last year a report by National Geographic magazine claimed that Naples' current evacuation plans were chronically inadequate and that many inhabitants would not be able to escape the city in time if the volcano erupted.

Italian authorities dismissed the report, saying that the evacuation plan would work smoothly.

Mutant fish develops a taste for human flesh in India

A mutant breed of fish is believed to have killed a number of people in India, scientists have said.

The enormous goonch, a type of catfish, is said to have developed a taste for human flesh after feeding on corpses thrown into the river after funeral ceremonies.

Locals rumours have held for years that a mysterious monster lurks in the water.

But they think it has moved on from scavenging to targeting live bathers who swim in the Great Kali, which flows along the India-Nepal border.

The extraordinary creature has been investigated by biologist Jeremy Wade for a TV documentary to be shown on Five.

He said: "The locals have told me of a theory that this monster has grown extra large on a diet of partially burnt corpses. It has perhaps got this taste for flesh by feasting on remains of funeral pyres.

"There will be a few freak individuals that grow bigger than the other ones and if you throw in extra food, they will grow even bigger."

Mr Wade caught one goonch, among the largest freshwater fish in the world, which weighed 161lb and was nearly 6ft long – a world record for the species.

He said: "If that got hold of you, there would be no getting away."

In 2007 an 18-year-old Nepali disappeared in the river, dragged down by something described as like an "elongated pig".

However, the first live victim of a goonch was thought to have been a 17-year-old Nepalese boy in April 1988.

Witnesses said he was cooling himself in the river when something suddenly pulled him below the surface.

Three months later a young boy was dragged underwater in front of his horrified father.

Five's Nature Shock series starts on October 14 and Flesh Eating River Monster is on October 21 at 8pm.

quarta-feira, 8 de outubro de 2008

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (most recent) by country


DEFINITION: This entry furnishes the annual percent change in consumer prices compared with the previous year's consumer prices.

SOURCE: CIA World Factbook, 14 June, 2007

Brazil's beaches suffer penguin slick

More than 370 penguins that mysteriously washed up on Brazil's equatorial beaches were flown south on a huge air force cargo plane and released closer to the frigid waters they call home.

Onlookers cheered as the young Magellanic penguins were set free on a beach in southern Brazil and scampered into the ocean, the International Fund for Animal Welfare said. It called the penguin release the largest yet in South America.

The penguins were among nearly 1,000 that have washed up on Brazil's north-eastern coast in recent months, group spokesman Chris Cutter said.

About 20% of the penguins died and the rest were not healthy enough to send back.

Toilet girlfriend man feeling flush

Things were looking down for Kory McFadden at the beginning of the year, as the world discovered that his girlfriend had been sitting on the toilet for the past two years – so long that she'd become physically stuck to the seat.

But now things have improved, as the 37-year-old Kansan has won £20,000 on his state lottery – for the second time this year.

The toilet issue came to light in February, when McFadden called authorities to report that his gOfficials found her physically attached to the lavatory seat, which had become stuck to open sores on her body. The toilet seat was only removed once she was taken to hospital.

In July, McFadden was given six months probation after pleading no contest to charges of misdemeanor mistreatment of a dependent adult.

But on Monday, McFadden won the Kansas state lottery in Great Bend – the second time this year that he's won it.irlfriend, Pam Babcock, had been in the bathroom for two years.

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terça-feira, 7 de outubro de 2008

Plumbing mishap turns water into wine

Water into wine - a miracle? Nope, a plumping mishap by bungling Italian authorities.

The Marino Grape Festival normally features a fountain in the square where free wine flows.

But at this year's festival sparkling chilled white wine started flowing through the reisdent's own taps.

The free wine was hailed as a "Miracolo" by people in the town south of Rome.

They said housewives doing the washing up or running a bath suddenly noticed a strange smell of alcohol.

Adriano Palozzi, the embarrassed mayor of Marino, said that water engineers had inadvertently misdirected the flow of wine into the domestic supply.

The mistake was quickly spotted and reversed, but not before many quick-thinking residents had filled buckets, jugs, and any containers that came to hand.

Naked guy in Japanese moat adventure

Japanese police detained a man - believed to be British - who went skinny dipping in a moat ringing the Imperial Palace in a busy Tokyo business district, attracting a huge crowd, officials said on Tuesday.

The naked middle-aged man jumped into the moat, then threw rocks and splashed water at two policemen who chased him in a rowing boat, a Tokyo Metropolitan Police official said.

Local TV footage showed the man swimming around the moat as the police chased him with a long stick, attracting a crowd of onlookers. He was in the water for about an hour.

TV footage showed the man swimming around the moat as the police chased him with a long stick

He eventually got out of the water and climbed a stone wall only to fall into the hands of police waiting for him.

The police official said the man was detained for questioning, but could not confirm if he was arrested or charged.

Broadcasters were careful to meet Japan's obscenity laws once he had climbed out of the water, masking images of his private parts with a blurry dot.

The police official said he had never heard of a skinny dipper causing a stir in the palace moat before.

segunda-feira, 6 de outubro de 2008

Man shoots himself over sex fail

A man in the US shot himself in the arm after his girlfriend refused to have sex with him. As you do.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office in Fort Myers, Florida, reported that a 29-year-old man and his girlfriend returned home from a bar early Wednesday morning.

The girlfriend told deputies that her boyfriend wanted to get intimate, but she just wanted to go to sleep. When she refused, he became irate.

Authorities said the girlfriend went to a spare bedroom, and several minutes later she heard two gunshots.

The man was treated for two gunshot wounds to the arm and was taken to jail. He was charged with threatening violence and firing a weapon in an occupied dwelling.

Revealed: The new tallest building in the world

The global economy may have hit rock bottom but exciting plans have been unveiled for a record-breaking building which would be sky high.

Ambitious Dubai developer Nakheel wants to build a 1km (3,280ft) tall tower which would boast more than 200 floors and be the highest in the world.

'This is a complete iconic development,' said Christopher O'Donnell, chief executive of Nakheel, which was also behind Dubai's man-made islands in the shape of a palm tree.

'It may be the tallest. Someone may build something taller.' The Nakheel Tower would be part of a multi-billion-pound development in Dubai.

It would include 150 lifts and be built with 500,000m3 of concrete.

Mr O'Donnell shrugged off fears that the plan would be financially impossible during the global economic crisis.

'It was always going to be a project that would take ten years-plus,' he said. 'When you go about trying to fund a project like this, you have to take account of the economic cycles.'

As well as the landmark structure, there will be another 40 towers, ranging in height from 20 floors to 90 floors.

The entire development will be home to more than 55,000 people.

'There is nothing like it in Dubai. Nakheel Harbour and Tower is located in the heart of ''new Dubai'', where we have focused on creating a true community,' said executive chairman, His Excellency Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.

The tallest building in the world at present is the Burj Dubai, also in Dubai.

Mr Gay UK 'cooked victim's flesh in olive oil'

The first winner of Mr Gay UK stabbed a man to death before carving a piece of flesh from his thigh, seasoning it with fresh herbs and cooking it in olive oil, a court heard today.

Anthony Morley, 36, of Bexley Avenue, Leeds, then chewed a piece of Damian Oldfield's flesh before walking to a nearby takeaway and telling staff he had killed someone, Leeds Crown Court was told.

Morley, who worked as a chef, also cut a piece of 33-year-old Mr Oldfield's chest and nipple and left a bank card over the wound, the jury heard.

The defendant denies murdering Mr Oldfield and told police when he was arrested that someone had tried to rape him.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Andrew Stubbs QC told the jury of eight women and four men that the two men had been involved some kind of relationship in the past and that Morley was troubled by his sexuality.

Mr Stubbs said the two men arranged to meet in Leeds on April 23 this year and later went back to Morley's house, where the defendant prepared a meal for them both before the pair went upstairs to his bedroom.

The prosecution claim that sexual activity took place in the bedroom before Morley launched his attack on Mr Oldfield, cutting his throat and stabbing him numerous times.

Mr Stubbs said: "He continued to stab and stab and stab him until he died. Even when he was dead the attack continued until finally Mr Morley cut parts of flesh from the body."

The barrister said six pieces of cooked human flesh, identified as being from Mr Oldfield's body, were found on a chopping board, while a further piece of flesh, which appeared to have been chewed, was found in a bin bag.

"From a chopping board on one of the kitchen units, six pieces of cooked flesh, which had been seasoned with fresh herbs and fried in olive oil were recovered. The flesh was human in origin," Mr Stubbs said.

"A further piece of cooked flesh, which appears to have been chewed, was recovered from a bin bag in the kitchen."

Mr Stubbs continued: "Having killed him upstairs, the defendant carved away a piece of flesh, took it downstairs to his kitchen, where he seasoned it, fried it and tried to eat it."

The trial continues.

Plucky cleaner fights off hungry python

A plucky zoo cleaner has fought off a python which tried to swallow her in its enclosure.

Cleaner Renate Kaiser, 33, was mopping the floor of the giant tiger python's enclosure at the zoo in Uhldingen, Germany, when it attacked.

The 14ft long snake which has about 70 sharp teeth and weighs eight stones, launched a lightning attack on Ms Kaiser's head, according to German media.

A policeman said: "The snake had its jaws around her face. She was in danger of slithering down its gullet."

But the brave cleaner fought back. As its powerful coils began to encircle her. She dug her thumbs into its mouth while zoo staff poured buckets of warm water down its throat.

It became disorientated and released her.

The effect of the water dulled the snake's sense of smell, while the thumbs rammed in its mouth caused it pain.

According to the German media, the python, from Africa, can swallow antelopes and other large animals. Ms Kaiser was treated for bites and shock in hospital.

domingo, 5 de outubro de 2008

Thief hires decoys with fake Craigslist ad

A job advert on Craiglist, offering $28.50 an hour to anyone who wore a blue, long-sleeved shirt, yellow safety vest, eye protection and ventilator mask and waited near a bank, seemed at first glance like a nice earner.

It turned out it was actually an elaborate ruse to position decoys for a bank robbery.

Police said a number of people wearing the specified outfit were waiting near a Bank of America branch Tuesday when a similarly dressed man accosted a Brinks armored truck guard with pepper spray during a cash delivery in Monroe, a town about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Seattle.

Police said the man grabbed a bag of money and eluded pursuers after entering a nearby creek.

FBI agents were trying to determine the source of the ad posted on, which ostensibly was seeking landscaping help on a city project, Monroe police spokeswoman Debbie Willis said.

'We believe the ad was not a credible ad and that it may have been an attempt to get people dressed like the suspect into the area,' she said.

As of Thursday morning no one had been arrested and the source of the ad remained undetermined, FBI Agent Roberta A. Burroughs said.

'There's nothing about this case that's run of the mill,' she said.

She told The Herald of Everett that she had never heard of a similar tactic in 15 years of investigating bank holdups.

She should maybe rent the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, in which Pierce Brosnan's art thief, wearing a trench coat and bowler hat, makes off with a priceless masterpiece as museum security guards are distracted by a horde of lookalikes he had hired.

The amount of money taken in the robbery was not disclosed. It was not immediately clear how many workers showed up because of the ad.

'The e-mail specifically said to wear a blue shirt and said, "If a project manager is not there, do not leave,"' said Mike Stevenson, 30, of Bremerton, one of several prospective workers who gathered at a Monroe park.

'We started wondering if guys were going to show up and shoot paint balls at us, or if we were about to be Punk'd and Ashton Kutcher was going to show up,' Stevenson told The Seattle Times, referring to a practical joke television show hosted by the actor.

'Turns out we were set up as decoys for a robbery instead.'

Burroughs wasn't convinced that the tactic had actually helped the thief out much.

'Was it really necessary? Did it help the guy out?' she pondered. 'I don't think so.

World's tallest man is now world's tallest dad

Our hero Bao Xishun, the world's tallest man, is now a proud father of a baby boy.

As we told you last week, Bao's regular-sized wife Xia Shujuan was expecting a baby.

Well, yesterday, she gave birth to a 4.2kg baby boy at a hospital in Zunhua, in north China's Hebei province.

The couple got married last year after Bao's worldwide search for a bride ended with him finding true love with Xia - who came from his hometown of Chifeng.

7ft 9in Bao recently reclaimed his title as the world's tallest man, after Ukranian usurper Leonid Stadnyk refused to be officially measured by Guinness World Records officials.

It remains to be seen whether their son will take after Bao or 5ft 5in Xia on the height front. However big he grows, however, it seems likely that he'll be able to settle playground disputes with a confident claim that 'my dad is bigger than your dad.'