From the we're-not-making-this-up department comes news that a company called Lifestyle Pets has introduced the Ashera, a new breed of cat that retails for $22,000. Sunroof extra.
Billed as the world's "largest, rarest and most exotic domestic cat," the Ashera is the size of a small dog -- and we're not talking Paris Hilton-style pooch. Top weight is about 30 pounds.
Developed by crossing two exotic feline bloodlines -- the African serval and the Asian leopard cat -- with a regular old domestic cat, the Ashera has leopardlike spots and contrasting tiger stripes and a smile that will scare the mailman. We kid. The news release says Asheras are intelligent, great with kids and OK with being walked on a leash. If this is the pet of your dreams, visit lifestylepets.com and start stocking up on fresh meat.
Jason's snark: Mice? What mice?
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
From BBC News
Australian police are investigating how and why homes near Sydney have been bombarded by dead chickens.
Residents in the city of Newcastle believe the birds may have fallen from an aircraft or been fired by pranksters using a slingshot.
Two homes have been damaged since the mystery began.
When a headless chicken crashed on to a suburban house in Newcastle last month, most people thought it had fallen from a low-flying aircraft.
It's raining hen
Newspaper headlineThat theory is now in doubt after a second bird fell on to another home nearby at the weekend.
Such was the damage to the roof that experts are convinced the carcass must have plummeted at least 1,600 feet.
A physics professor at Newcastle University has pointed the finger at local wags, armed with a giant slingshot or catapult.
The mystery has delighted headline writers around Australia.
Among the gems were "It's raining hen" and "Crashing chooks ruffle residents' feathers"!
The police have admitted they do not have much to go on - apart from two very squashed chickens.
Jason's snark: Less Nessman would be proud.
Posted by Jason Gibbs at 5:48 AM
Sunday, May 27, 2007
From The Associated Press
Hogzilla is being made into a horror movie. But the sequel may be even bigger: Meet Monster Pig. An 11-year-old boy used a pistol to kill a wild hog his father says weighed a staggering 1,051 pounds and measured 9 feet 4, from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail. Think hams as big as car tires. If the claims are accurate, Jamison Stone’s trophy boar would be bigger than Hogzilla, the famed wild hog that grew to seemingly mythical proportions after being killed in south Georgia in 2004. Hogzilla originally was thought to weigh 1,000 pounds and measure 12 feet long. National Geographic experts who unearthed its remains believe the animal actually weighed about 800 pounds and was 8 feet long. Regardless of the comparison, Jamison is reveling in the attention over his pig. ‘‘It feels really good,’’ Jamison said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. ‘‘It’s a good accomplishment. I probably won’t ever kill anything else that big.’’ Jamison, who killed his first deer at age 5, was hunting with father Mike Stone and two guides in east Alabama on May 3 when he bagged Monster Pig. He said he shot the huge animal eight times with a .50-caliber revolver and chased it for three hours through hilly woods before finishing it off with a point-blank shot. Through it all, there was the fear that the animal would turn and charge them, as wild boars have a reputation for doing. ‘‘I was a little bit scared, a little bit excited,’’ said Jamison, who lives in Pickensville on the Mississippi border. He just finished the sixth grade on the honor roll at Christian Heritage Academy, a small, private school. His father said that, just to be extra safe, he and the guides had high-powered rifles aimed and ready to fire in case the beast, with 5-inch tusks, decided to charge. With the animal finally dead in a creek bed on the 2,500-acre Lost Creek Plantation, a commercial hunting preserve in Delta, trees had to be cut down and a backhoe brought in to bring Jamison’s prize out of the woods. It was hauled on a truck to the Clay County Farmers Exchange in Lineville, where Jeff Kinder said they used his scale, recently calibrated, to weigh the hog. Kinder’s scale measures only to the nearest 10, but Mike Stone said it balanced one notch past the 1,050-pound mark. ‘‘It probably weighed 1,060 pounds. We were just afraid to change it once the story was out,’’ he said. The hog’s head is being mounted by Jerry Cunningham of Jerry’s Taxidermy. Cunningham said the animal measured 54 inches around the head, 74 inches around the shoulders and 11 inches from the eyes to the end of its snout. ‘‘It’s huge,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s just the biggest thing I’ve ever seen.’’ Mike Stone is having sausage made from the rest of the animal. ‘‘We’ll probably get 500 to 700 pounds,’’ he said.
Jason's snark: That's a helluva lot of chicharrone.
Posted by Jason Gibbs at 3:32 PM
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Granny Feng's tom cat has sprouted two hairy four-inch long wings, reports the Huashang News."At first, they were just two bumps, but they started to grow quickly, and after a month there were two wings," she said.Feng, of Xianyang city, Shaanxi province, says the wings, which contain bones, make her pet look like a 'cat angel'.Her explanation is that the cat sprouted the wings after being sexually harassed."A month ago, many female cats in heat came to harass him, and then the wings started to grow," she said.However, experts say the phenomenon is more likely down to a gene mutation, and say it shouldn't prevent the cat living a normal life.
Jason's snark: Too much Red Bull.
Posted by Jason Gibbs at 6:24 AM
Monday, May 21, 2007
AN 18-year girl's life-and-death experience had a happy ending because of an umbrella she was holding when she was blown off the roof of a six-story building in a storm.The umbrella allowed her to land relatively softly on the ground and saved her life.Zhang Haijing, a school student from Jingning County in neighboring Zhejiang Province, was caught in the rain on her way home in the evening of May 15. She intended to wash her soaked clothes in a laundry located at the top of her six-story building, Today Morning Express reported today.To get to the laundry, she had to walk along a slippery pathway on the roof and as she walked in the rain she was holding a raised umbrella in her hand.A strong gust of wind caught Zhang and sent her over the edge of the building but she managed to hold onto the umbrella as she fell, the report said.The umbrella reduced the speed of her falling and she landed in a deeply soaked garden around her building, which was being used to grow vegetables.Jason's snark: Wow, Marry Poppins is a live and well in China.
Posted by Jason Gibbs at 6:08 AM
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
From The Associated Press
DALLAS — A little candy can add up to a rainbow of trouble. A man caught removing tires from a truck has been charged with stealing the tractor-trailer containing $250,000 worth of Skittles, police said. Seven pallets of the 28 in the truck are still missing, authorities said. Alan Chavez, 22, has been charged with first-degree felony theft. It was unclear Monday whether he had a lawyer. Chavez said he had paid someone else $500 for the truck’s rims and tires, police said. The truck has an estimated value of $85,000, and the trailer’s value is $30,000.
Jason's Snark: In related news, one million mid-schoolers flock to Dallas neighborhood.
Posted by Jason Gibbs at 4:58 PM
Monday, May 14, 2007
LAKE LUZERNE -- A man was hospitalized Saturday after he accidentally discharged a round of ammunition into his abdomen using a screwdriver and a hammer, police said.The Warren County Sheriff's Office was called to 2073 Call St. at 5:05 p.m. Saturday, where they determined that Damion M. Mosher, 18, had been discharging .223-caliber rounds by placing them in a steel vice, putting a screwdriver on the primer, and striking the screwdriver with a hammer, police said.The round went about a half-inch into his abdomen, police said. Mosher was treated at Glens Falls Hospital and was released, police said.Police said Mosher told them he was trying to empty the rounds so he could return the brass casings for scrap. He had set off approximately 100 rounds before being struck, police said.
Jason's snark: I'll give you 100:1 odds this isn't the last time we hear from ol' Damion.
Posted by Jason Gibbs at 6:42 PM
From The Albuquerque Tribune
A man who threw a puppy at a police car is accused of grabbing a police officer by the genitals and squeezing.
According to a Metro Court criminal complaint, police responded early Sunday morning to a report of a man running through traffic holding a dog near I-25 and Paseo del Norte.
At the scene, police found a man later identified as Jonathan Padilla-Mora, 26, walking along the frontage road while holding a tan puppy by the scruff of its neck.
"Padilla stepped in front of my patrol car and threw the puppy at the front of the car," an Albuquerque police officer wrote in the complaint.
Padilla-Mora then took off his white tank top and offered to fight the officer, the complaint states.
After he was handcuffed at gunpoint, Padilla-Mora grabbed the officer's genitals while being searched and let go only after the officer squeezed a pressure point on Padilla-Mora's neck, the complaint states.
Padilla-Mora was charged with battery on a police officer and was being held in lieu of $5,000 bond.
Padilla-Mora's brother told police they had been out drinking that night. He said Padilla-Mora had thrown the puppy onto the highway several times, trying to get it hit by a car, according to the complaint.
The dog was taken by animal control officers and is alive, police said.
Jason's snark: Way to make us proud there Johnnie boy. Hope that puppy gets outta the cage long before you do.
Posted by Jason Gibbs at 5:59 PM
Sunday, May 13, 2007
From The Associated Press via Philly.com
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - A man died while trying to outdo a rival with an acrobatic move while "battle dancing," police said.
Robert Stitt, 48, and his rival were competing in a parking lot Monday night when he tried a forward flip and landed on his head.
"It was just two guys dancing. Everybody was laughing," Stitt's friend John Boxley said.
Boxley said James Brown was on the radio and Stitt wanted to outdo a rival dancer, who had flipped in the air.
Police said the victim went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead a short time at a local hospital.
Police said several people were in the parking lot drinking and battle dancing , a competition in which each dancer tries one-upmanship with unique moves.
Jason's snark: That's it! All you dang kids get out of the gene pool right now!
Posted by Jason Gibbs at 12:59 PM
Monday, May 7, 2007
From United Press International
NEW YORK, May 7 (UPI) -- A man from Liberia is charged with trying to unload a bag of white paper he claimed was $4 million in cash at a New York hotel.
The criminal complaint against Calvin Swen claims he was trying to find buyers for eight bricks of white paper that he claimed were incognito $100 bills, The New York Sun reported Monday.
Swen allegedly told a prospective buyer the money was intended to be foreign aid for Sierra Leone and had been dyed white to prevent couriers from being robbed. Swen said the paper would be revealed as actual $100 bills when placed between two actual bills. For this reason, the criminal complaint says, the attempted con man insisted the prospective buyer bring along $5 million in cash.
However, the prospective buyer was an undercover FBI agent, and Swen was arrested and charged with attempting to sell counterfeit money.
Jason's snark: Somebody tell this guy I've got a cool million bucks on top of my desk right now.
Posted by Jason Gibbs at 5:12 PM
From The Sun
George Smith, 82, was shopping when a raider walked into the village store in Speldhurst, Kent, and pointed the gun at postmistress Pat Carter.
The man demanded money — but Mr Smith belted him in the face with an iceberg lettuce.
A second hit persuaded the robber to run off.
World War II veteran Mr Smith, of Speldhurst, said: “The best form of defence is attack — so I did. I clobbered him twice.”
Mrs Carter, 52, said: “I was shocked to see someone with a gun — and by how George stopped him.
“Nobody knows how they are going to react — but George took the wind out of his sails.”
Jason's snark: Lettuce hope the robber didn't cabbage on to any loot.
Posted by Jason Gibbs at 6:41 AM
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Spanish words on a marquee outside Wagner High School advertising a Spanish-language version of the Shakespeare comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream" — "Un Sueno en Una Noche de Verano" — were changed to English after the school received calls of complaint.
The production, which opened Thursday and ends with a matinee today, is using a script translated into Spanish by Wagner drama teacher Laurence Wensel.
The cast members, several of them native Spanish-speakers who are now bilingual, showed enthusiasm for producing the famous play in Spanish.
Wensel said he was surprised to learn Thursday that the sign would be changed.
"It was upsetting to me because it was being taken down just for the sake of somebody complaining as opposed to finding common ground," Wensel said. "We're supposed to be supporting diversity." Wensel said he thought the marquee should be in Spanish because that is the title of the play.
Principal Joe Gonzalez said he received three or four calls from parents or community members who were more confused than upset, saying they didn't understand the words and what was being advertised. The Judson ISD superintendent's office also received two calls.
"I think they had a right to be concerned," Gonzalez said, adding he doesn't want to alienate anyone. "We're trying to educate our community too."
Gonzalez, whose school is 47 percent Hispanic, decided to change the sign. He noted it had been posted in Spanish for four days, enough time to get the message across.
All along, Gonzalez supported producing the alternative version of the play, though he said Friday" "You're kind of going out there on a limb when you're producing a play that's totally in Spanish."
Jason's snark: estúpido
Posted by Jason Gibbs at 7:38 AM
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
From The Associated Press
BRIGHAM CITY, Utah — Crime-solving doesn’t get much spicier than this. The owner of a Mexican restaurant is offering 500 tacos for information that leads to the arrest of the person who stole about $3,000. ‘‘We’re offering a food reward because all the cash got taken,’’ said Joe Cottam, owner of Melina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant. Someone broke through a glass door and stole cash and checks that had been prepared for deposit, said Cottam, who discovered the theft April 24. With tacos priced at more than $2, the reward is worth about $1,200, he said.
Guest snark from good buddy and colleague Brook: Can I get that in installments or is it a lump-sum payment?
Posted by Jason Gibbs at 7:25 AM
From The Associated Press
SARVER, Pa. — Lori Artman thought she’d uncovered a fortune when she found an old wooden box partially buried in her backyard. But there was no hidden loot in the box — just dynamite. ‘‘We were hoping for money, a buried treasure,’’ Artman said. ‘‘Instead we just had a crazy day with the bomb squad.’’ The box was found Friday when Artman, her boyfriend and her nephew were inspecting the fence around her property in Buffalo Township, about 25 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. They called police, who summoned the Allegheny County bomb squad. The dynamite was wrapped in newspapers from 1968. Artman said she was told it likely came from an old mine or was left by a gas company that used it to blow up large rocks. Authorities said they destroyed the 76 sticks of deteriorating dynamite by burning it in a field. ‘‘It was very unexciting,’’ said township Fire Chief Gary Risch Jr. ‘‘It looked like a bale of straw on fire.’’
Jason's snark: Now that's an explosive discovery.
Posted by Jason Gibbs at 7:22 AM