Thursday, May 29, 2008


Cussing N.Y. cabbie fined $1,000
NEW YORK (UPI) -- A New York cab driver says he was ordered to take 30 days off work and fined $1,000 for allegedly dropping the F-bomb when another cabbie cut him off. Zbigniew Sobczak was found guilty of verbal harassment for allegedly cursing at fellow driver Malik Rizwan during a confrontation between the two on the road, the New York Post reported Wednesday. "What the (expletive)? You have problem? Why you beeping?" Sobczak is accused of saying. It is reported Rizwan responded with "You (expletive)! You go in your car." Since neither cabbie was transporting a passenger at the time, they were at liberty to let the expletives fly, the Post said. The Post said Rizwan notified authorities after he and Sobczak got into two additional squabbles that day.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Beetles found in package from Taiwan
MOHNTON, Pa. (UPI) -- Postal officials in Mohnton, Pa., said a Philadelphia-bound package was found to contain numerous beetles that could have proven harmful to the environment. The officials said 26 insects -- including Hercules, Rhinoceros and Goliath beetles -- were found in smaller containers within the package, which was shipped from Taiwan, WPVI-TV, Philadelphia, reported. The package had been labeled "toys, gifts and jellies." "The specimens were some oft the largest of their kind, and some of the largest I've ever seen, averaging five to six inches in diameter," said John Plummer, an agriculture specialist with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. "They are highly destructive insect pests that can cause extensive damage to fruit and vegetable crops, trees, shrubs and turf grasses." The intended recipient of the package told authorities he is a wildlife photographer and needed the specimens for staged photos. He denied any involvement in illegal beetle breeding.
Copyright 2008 by United Press International


2 women becoming bishops in Australia
MELBOURNE (UPI) -- Barbara Darling, ordained one of Australia's first female priests in 1992, is about to become the second female bishop in the Church of England in Australia. Darling is scheduled to be consecrated in Melbourne May 31, nine days after Kay Goldsworthy is to be consecrated in Perth, The Age reports. The Melbourne Diocesan Council announced Darling's appointment Thursday night. She is to be the diocese's fourth assistant bishop with an area of responsibility for diocesan services, including hospital chaplaincy and children's and youth ministries. After the meeting, there was a celebration in a nearby hotel bar. "I wept tears of joy," said Muriel Porter, who filed a legal challenge last year, forcing the church to consider naming women as bishops. Darling said she is glad she and Goldsworthy are moving up in tandem. "At the moment there are a lot of unknowns," she said. "But all the way along God has sustained and strengthened me, and provided support."
Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Police: Man took naked stroll
READING, Pa. (UPI) -- A Reading, Pa., man accused of walking naked for three miles along a bypass has been charged with indecent exposure and other violations, police said. John Messerly, 38, allegedly walked naked for three miles of the West Shore Bypass after he climbed onto the roof of a van he was driving and was thrown when the vehicle crashed into a guide rail, the Reading Eagle reported. Police said Messerly, who received emergency surgery for a severe cut to his abdomen, was found to have cocaine in his system. He has been charged with indecent exposure, risking a catastrophe, open lewdness, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, driving while intoxicated, public drunkenness and various traffic violations. Messerly was being held without bail at the Berks County Prison on parole violation allegations in a separate case.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Saturday, May 24, 2008


NYU trash becomes another's treasure
NEW YORK (UPI) -- Items collected for discard at the end of the semester at New York University have been donated to the homeless, participants in the cleanup said.

Green Apple Move Out coordinator Jennie Tichenor said items found in dorm rooms ranged from food to a box labeled "1,000 Sex Games," The New York Times said Sunday.

"Kind of from the sublime to the ridiculous," Tichenor said. "Forks and knives. A feather boa. You know, it's New York."

The project was initiated last May. Organizers say this year's event, which was funded by alumni and the school's Sustainability Task Force, is expected to gather at least 25,000 pounds of goods. Project organizers say the recycling not only helps the homeless but also helps the environment by eliminating thousands of pounds of campus trash.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Friday, May 23, 2008


Hundreds of pizzas lined up for charity
FORT PIERCE, Fla. (UPI) -- A total of 722 pizzas were lined up longer than two football fields in Fort Pierce, Fla., to raise money for charity, the event's organizer says. Organizer Scott Van Duzer said while he was thrilled to learn the pizzas had reached a world record length of 722 feet, 1 inch, the real winner was a St. Lucie County firefighter who lost his home to a recent wildfire, The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported Sunday. "People need money when a crisis happens," Van Duzer said, "not weeks or months later." Van Duzer said the pizza line easily surpassed the current Guinness world record of 611 feet, 2 inches, but had yet to be authenticated. Allen Civita, the firefighter who benefited from Saturday's event, was thankful for the unspecified amount of money donated by his fellow area residents. "I was just so overwhelmed," Civita told the Post. "All these years the community has helped Scott, and now he's giving back." Meanwhile, Van Duzer told the newspaper the grand total of ingredients for the pizza line-up included 500 pounds of flour, 30 gallons of pizza sauce and 250 pounds of mozzarella cheese. Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Mom offered phone sex in number mix-up
ANDALUSIA, Ala. (UPI) -- An Alabama mother says she was offered the wrong kind of assistance when she called a poison control center and instead reached a phone sex line. The unnamed Covington County mom said she was trying to get in touch with the local poison control center after she saw her 2-year-old daughter holding a carpenter crayon that contained lead, the Andalusia (Ala.) Star-News reported Friday. "I called the number and they asked me if I was horny. I got another phone book and redialed the number, but I got the same message," the mother said. It is reported the 2008-2009 Pioneer Directories' Covington County phone book accidentally listed the number of an adult chat line in place of the number for the poison control center. The mom said she got assistance after calling the Children's Hospital and she let Pioneer know about the number mix-up. A Pioneer spokesperson said the company was working to find a solution for the typo. Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Moses was high on drugs: Israeli researcher

JERUSALEM - High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published this week.
Such mind-altering substances formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times, Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wrote in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy.
“As far Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don’t believe, or a legend, which I don’t believe either, or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effect of narcotics,” Shanon told Israeli public radio on Tuesday.
Moses was probably also on drugs when he saw the “burning bush,” suggested Shanon, who said he himself has dabbled with such substances.
“The Bible says people see sounds, and that is a clasic phenomenon,” he said citing the example of religious ceremonies in the Amazon in which drugs are used that induce people to “see music.”
He mentioned his own experience when he used ayahuasca, a powerful psychotropic plant, during a religious ceremony in Brazil’s Amazon forest in 1991. “I experienced visions that had spiritual-religious connotations,” Shanon said.
He said the psychedelic effects of ayahuasca were comparable to those produced by concoctions based on bark of the acacia tree, that is frequently mentioned in the Bible. - Sapa-AFP.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) -- Governments have changed. War erupted and ended. Neighbors had children, and then grandchildren. But Hedviga Golik never left her tiny apartment in Croatia's capital -- until her mummified body was carried out this week, 35 years after she died.
Police said Friday that no one ever reported Golik missing and no one has come to claim her body.
Residents of her loft building in downtown Zagreb had broken into Golik's flat after deciding that the apartment should belong to them, and not to her. Startled by the remains in bed, they called police.
Forensics experts said Golik likely died in 1973, about the time a neighbor last saw her. Expert Davor Strinovic said she seemed to have died of natural causes, but "it's almost impossible to say for certain" after so much time.
Some of Golik's neighbors claimed she had talked about going abroad.
Experts said her windows had been open, likely diminishing the smell. It remained unclear who -- if anyone -- was paying her bills and who exactly owned the apartment. In the 1970s, when Golik died, apartments were state-owned.
Neighbors now argue the apartment should be divided among the remaining tenants.
The discovery of Golik's body on Tuesday prompted media debates on how it is possible for a woman to die so long ago without anyone noticing. One local journalist said it showed people were becoming more alienated.
"My dear neighbors! Please keep on being curious and a bit tiresome, as you have been so far," Merita Arslani wrote in the Jutarnji list daily.

Friday, May 16, 2008


N.Y. Town dedicated to honoring Jell-O
BATAVIA, N.Y. (UPI) -- True Jell-O fans might think they are in seventh heaven if they get to Le Roy, a New York town that practically worships the gelatin brand. More than 10,000 Jell-O fans travel to Le Roy each year to partake in its Jell-O Gallery exhibits, dedicated to recognizing the popular dessert, The New York Times reported. The General Mills Inc. factory that originally produced Jell-O has been closed for more than 40 years, but the gallery celebrates Jell-O in all its unnatural glory. "Most little historical societies would give their eye teeth for a hook like we have," gallery director Lynne J. Belluscio said. Bulluscio, whose gallery is paired in Le Roy with a Jell-O Brick Road, told the Times that Mormons are particularly fond of the dessert food. In fact, Jell-O was officially declared the state snack of the Mormon-rich state of Utah in 2001. The Times said based on gallery information, Jell-O was invented in 1897 by Le Roy carpenter Pearle B. Wait, whose wife is credited with coming up with the name that has become known worldwide.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Company Impressed with Proposal Hack
SEATTLE (UPI) -- Officials with a Seattle video game company said they were delighted rather than irked to hear of a man who reprogrammed their game for a wedding proposal. Bernie Peng, of Jersey City, N.J., said he spent one month reprogramming his girlfriend's favorite game, "Bejeweled," to display a wedding ring and a marriage proposal when she achieved a high enough score, the (Newark) New Jersey Star-Ledger reported Tuesday. His girlfriend, Tammy Li, reached the high score and subsequently accepted the proposal. Officials with PopCap, the company that created the game, said they usually take issue with their games being reprogrammed, but they were so impressed by Peng's story that they offered to pay for part of his wedding and offered to supply free copies of "Bejeweled 2 Deluxe" to guests at the August wedding. "Most video game companies would frown on people manipulating their games," said PopCap spokesman Garth Chouteau. "But it won him a woman," Chouteau said. "As a bunch of geeks we have to say, 'Bernie, hats off to you.'"

Copyright 2008 by United Press International


Thief Runs Off With Empty Register
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (UPI) -- A thief was caught on surveillance video breaking into a Florida restaurant to steal an empty cash register, police said. Kissimmee police said security footage shows a robber smashing the restaurant's window and going into the building, WKMG-TV in Orlando reported. Police said the robber was a 175-pound Hispanic male about 5 feet, 9 inches in height. They said he had on white shoes and was dressed in a short-sleeve shirt and shorts. The video reportedly was taken April 5 at the Azteca restaurant in Kissimmee.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Man Accuses New Wife of Assault
CINCINNATI (UPI) -- A husband of five days appeared in a Cincinnati court and told the judge he fears for his life after his blushing bride allegedly beat him up. Timothy Schaffer Jr. told the court after Crystal Whitaker, 25, was arrested Saturday that he fears his wife "very much," The Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Whitaker is accused of striking Schaffer and threatening to kill him. She has been charged with domestic violence. Schaffer said he has also been threatened by his wife's friends. He said Whitaker had applied for a passport and was planning a trip to Mexico. Whitaker was jailed in lieu of $5,000 bond and ordered to steer clear of Schaffer.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Neighbor Shoots Rooster
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (UPI) -- Police in St. Petersburg, Fla., said a man shot a neighbor's rooster after he'd had his fill of the bird's crowing. Some neighbors who heard several shots coming from outside their homes Saturday said they looked out their windows to see Eric Nicastro, 30, standing with a handgun over the body of the dead rooster, The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported. "I got him!" Nicastro allegedly said after shooting the bird. The rooster belonged to a flock of chickens that roosted at neighbor James Dominic's house and were cared for by Britani Farley, 16. "I broke down in tears," Farley said. "They're my pets." Jim Bordner, a spokesman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, said Nicastro threw the rooster's carcass into a nearby creek. Bordner said the state's attorney will decide on formal charges.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Men Shoot Paintballs at Strippers
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (UPI) -- Police in Boynton Beach, Fla., said three men dressed in black walked into a strip club and pelted dancers and customers with pellets from paintball guns. Investigators said they believe the attack was carried out on behalf of an afternoon shift dancer who was upset after the manager refused to pay her, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported Monday. Police said the woman left the Platinum Gold club with another woman who had been seen arguing with a manager before the attack. The three assailants and both women were gone from the premises before police arrived.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Friday, May 9, 2008


Villages Hope to Black Out Millipedes
BALCHRICK, Scotland (UPI) -- People in three remote Scottish villages should try a World War II-style blackout in their war against inch-long invading millipedes, a property manager urges. No one is sure why the millipedes have become so numerous recently. But in the last four years, thousands have appeared every spring in the villages on a tract of land owned by the John Muir Trust on the Sutherland coast, The Scotsman reports. Cathel Morrison, land manager for the trust, said millipede experts suggest trying blacking out homes to deter the nocturnal insects. The millipedes are harmless. They do not bite, spread disease or devour crops. And that is part of the problem. Authorities can offer little help in getting rid of them. Experts say using thick curtains and dark shades to keep light from being visible through the windows after dark, might work because the millipedes are attracted to light. During the war, the blackout was imposed to keep British cities and towns invisible to German bombers.

Bridget Graham, the postmistress in Balchrick, said she plans to try it.

"I'll try anything," she said. "They are horrible. They start in April and last year they were still coming in in October."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel on eBay
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (UPI) -- The nine-story, 122,000-pound Ferris wheel at California's Santa Monica Pier is up for sale on eBay. The wheel, which has been towering over the ocean at Pacific Park for 12 years, was put up for auction on eBay this week, KTLA-TV, Los Angeles reported. A $1.5 million modern wheel is to take the place of the old "Pacific Wheel" next month. The old wheel, with its 20 gondolas and 5,392 light bulbs, is in great shape, amusement park spokesman Cameron Andrews said. The wheel will be auctioned on eBay for 10 days, at a minimum cost of $50,000. The Special Olympics will receive half of the final sale price. The top bidder will have to pay for shipping and handling and a $135,000 base to hold the wheel, KTLA-TV reported.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Police Report: Teens tried to Steal Gator
DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. (UPI) -- Five students have been arrested for allegedly trying to steal an alligator from a miniature golf course in Daytona Beach Shores, Fla., police said. An officer said he spotted the suspects -- Embry-Riddle University students Jesse Ramos, 18; George Grampp, 18; Craig Devries, 19; Eric Tatki, 19; and Thomas Shaughnessy, 19 -- climbing into the Congo River miniature golf course's alligator pool Thursday morning, WFTV, Orlando, Fla., reported. The officer said the teenagers, who were allegedly using duct take and a palm frond to try to nab the gator, fled after he tried to make contact with them, but all five were captured by police. The suspects were being held on $1,000 bond each.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Friday, May 2, 2008


Tesco Accused of Selling Sexy Bra to Kids
CHESHUNT, England (UPI) -- Calling it highly inappropriate, critics say the English supermarket chain Tesco is marketing a "bust-booster" bra to 7-year-olds. The Cherokee padded bra, which costs about $8 and mimics a low-cut style to flatter womens' cleavage, is on Tesco shelves near other clothing for 7- and 8-year-olds,The Daily Mail reported Monday. Critics argue the bra, called a "bust-booster," is highly inappropriate for girls as young as 7, especially because most girls that age haven't even begun developing breasts. "Children grow up quickly enough as it is. The last thing they need is a product like this," London mother of two Julie Stephens said. Tesco has defended its product, claiming it is not meant to be sexually provocative. "It is a product designed for girls at that self-conscious age when they are just developing. Designed to cover up, not flatter, it was developed after speaking to parents," a Tesco spokesman said. Tesco was slammed once before in 2006 for selling a pole-dancing product in its online shopping toy section. The product was taken off the company's Web site. Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Cop Rescues Pet Store Owner from Python
EUGENE, Ore. (UPI) -- An Oregon police officer and firefighters saved a pet store owner from a 12-foot Burmese python, using a screw driver to pry open the snake's jaws. Sgt. Ryan Nelson told the Eugene (Ore.) Register-Guard his first thought when he reached the store Thursday was to cut off the python's head. But Teresa Rossiter, who owns Best Friends with her husband, begged him not to, even though the snake was biting her ring finger and coiled around her body. While Rossiter lay on the floor, the snake slowly tightening its grip, Nelson put on gloves and tried getting the mouth open. A firefighter poured cold water on its head, which did not work either. Finally, a firefighter used the screw driver while Nelson pulled Rossiter to safety. He then wrangled the angry snake into its cage. Rossiter said she opened the cage to show off the python and forgot she had been handling mice.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International