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B-List Archive

August 2004

Postings to the B-List.

Subject: B-List: Pilfering Animals
Date: Tue, 3 August 2004 7:47:54 AM

These stories remind me of a friend's dog who used to visit neighbours' yards,
returning with shoes, balls, toys etc.

1. "'Klepto Cat' raiding Calif. homes"
   < >
"A marauding feline named Midnight - now dubbed Klepto Cat - has been sneaking
 off in the dark to raid neighbour's homes, garages, sheds and patios, bringing
 home shoes, hats, shirts, socks and even a wrapped Christmas present"

2. "Dog robs gas station"
   < >
"A hungry bull terrier with a sweet tooth left his home to make a night raid on
 a gas station"

3. "Foxes go on shoe-stealing spree"
   <,4057,7031341%255E13762,00.html >
"Foxes residing in inner Melbourne have stolen masses of shoes, prompting
 scientists to dub their activity the Imelda Syndrome"

4. "Hungry elephants hijack sugar trucks"
   <,4057,8093585%5E13762,00.html >
"Hungry elephants have gone on the rampage in eastern Thailand, ransacking
 villagers' plantations and forcing sugarcane trucks to stop so they can raid
 their goods"

5. "Thieving squirrels par for the course for Edmonton golfers"
   < >
"The furry critters regularly sprint from the bush, scoop golf balls from the
 green, and run off with them"

6. "How to squirrel away a $65,000 ring"
   < >
"British treasure hunters have been warned to stay away from a colony of red
 squirrels after England's Sun newspaper reported the rare creatures' nature
 reserve may be hiding a $65,000 engagement ring"

Subject: B-List: Foiled Thieves
Date: Thu, 5 August 2004 8:11:28 AM

1. "Sixty-year-old Kung fu fighter nabs robber"
   < >
"A 60-year-old woman in China has taken the law into her own iron fists, using
 her skills as a kung fu enthusiast to catch a robber"

2. "Would-be robber attacked by customer with hammer"
   < >
"A masked gunman was hit on the head four times with a hammer after a customer
 intervened to stop an attempted robbery on a pizza shop"

3. "Cook clocks thief with wok"
   < >
"A purse snatcher was stopped cold on a Berlin street by a quick-thinking
 fast-food cook who hit the fleeing thief over the head with a wok"

4. "Man scares off robbers by faking seizure"
   < >
"An Australian man visiting a southern Chinese city scared off robbers
 demanding the security code for his ATM card by faking an epileptic

5. "Lafayette grandmother soothes burglar to sleep"
       lafayette15.DTL >
"Through prayer, milk and a banana, a 73-year-old Lafayette grandmother soothed
 a robber to sleep"

6. "'Spiderman' foiled by greased drainpipes"
   < >
"Residents of a Brazilian city have thwarted a burglar nicknamed Spiderman by
 coating their drainpipes with grease"

7. "Suspected thief stopped by junior rugby team"
   < >
"A suspected thief was tackled by a junior rugby team after they spotted him
 acting suspiciously at their ground"

8. "Suspected thief caught after chase involving 47 people"
   < >
"The chase described as 'like a scene from Benny Hill' began in Wells after a
 customer in a stationery shop spotted a man taking cash from a till"

Subject: B-List: The Simpsons Stuff
Date: Fri, 6 August 2004 8:01:46 AM

1. Guide to Springfield USA (of The Simpsons fame)
   < >
Features a "Big Map", plus lists of places mentioned in past episodes (physical
features, districts, landmarks, shops, restaurants, offices, schools, public
buildings and private residences)

   < >
   < >
"The Simpsons ... contains over a hundred instances of mathematics ranging
 from arithmetic to geometry to calculus, many designed to expose and poke
 fun at innumeracy"

Futurama pi k - Mathematics in the Year 3000
   < >
Futurama is another Matt Groening creation, but set in the future.

3. The Simpsons Personality Test
   < >
"Find out which character from The Simpsons you are most like!"

4. From the B-List archive: The Simpsons Archive
   < >
"the Internet's clearinghouse  of Simpsons guides, news, and information"

Subject: B-List: Unusual Cross-Country Expeditions
Date: Mon, 9 August 2004 8:20:45 AM

1. "Group plan to swim across Oz"
   <,4057,6526933%5E13762,00.html >
"Twenty West Australians are planning to swim to Sydney in a pool on the back
 of a truck"

2. "Swiss man sails through Australian desert"
   < >
"A Swiss national will have hit the halfway mark of his dream of traversing
 Australia in a sailboat when he reaches Alice Springs in the Northern

3. "American engineer golfs across Mongolia, one stroke at a time"
   < >
"After nine months of traversing the Mongolian steppe with nothing but a Jeep,
 a tent and a three-iron, Tolme has completed his journey of golfing across
 the land once ruled by Genghis Khan"

4. "Sherpa plans 2,700-mile football dribble"
   < >
"The grandson of legendary Everest climber Sherpa Tenzing Norgay plans to
 dribble a football 2,700 miles across India"

5. "Buddhist marathon monk completes seven-year run"
   < >
"The run in the Hiei mountains, a range of five peaks that rise above the
 ancient capital of Kyoto, covered a distance equivalent to a trip round the

6. "Indian rolls 265 miles to help build new temple"
   < >
"An Indian man has rolled 265 miles on a road in blistering heat to raise
 money to help build a Hindu temple"

7. "Arts student rolls barrel 150 kms"
   < >
"It took Davies, a student at Red Deer College in central Alberta, five days
 to make the trip, but the 28-year-old said the effort was worth it if he
 persuaded people to vote for change in the provincial election expected
 next spring"

8. "Geordie celebrates after walking length of country carrying door"
       &command=displayContent&sourceNode=83929&contentPK=6528965 >
Unfortunately this link is now broken, and I couldn't find an alternate :(

Subject: B-List: DIY Trouble - Homemade Artillery
Date: Tue, 10 August 2004 8:16:39 AM

1. "One Fine September Morning..."
   < >
A story about home-made mortar that fires bowling balls, with pictures

2. "Ind. man builds pumpkin-shooting cannon"
   < >
"It looks much like a mobile anti-aircraft gun"

3. "Home-made cannon handed in to police"
   < >
"A 3ft-long home-made cannon has been wheeled into a West Midlands police
 station as part of the nationwide gun amnesty"

4. "German police arrest man firing potato bazooka"
   < >
"German police have arrested a man for firing potatoes at passers-by with a
 homemade bazooka, authorities in the western city of Essen"

5. "Teens lucky with homemade cannon"
   < >
"The trio of bored teens had decided to try building a homemade cannon.
 They used a meter-long iron pipe and bought a steel boccia ball to use as a
 projectile. The final ingredients were a small amount of gunpowder scraped
 out of some old fireworks and a fuse"

6. "NZ Govt scuppers DIY missile project"
   < >
"The New Zealand engineer who has been building a cruise missile in his back
 garden claims the New Zealand government has moved to shut down this

(a John West post)

Subject: B-List: Making The News
Date: Thu, 12 August 2004 8:15:19 AM

Two sites that attempt to display visually what's making the news.  They
show which stories have got the most mind-share in the media.

1. newsmap
   < >
   < >
"Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing
 landscape of the Google News news aggregator. A treemap visualization
 algorithm helps display the enormous amount of information gathered
 by the aggregator."

Can be customised, e.g. Italian news:
       &categories=world,nation,business,technology,sports,entertainment >

2. In The News
   < >
"This data visualisation experiment is intended to give a high-level view of
 who's making news at the moment, and who made the news at specified times
 in the past"

Subject: B-List: Music Nobody Wants To Hear
Date: Mon, 16 August 2004 7:57:25 AM

1. "Ice-T and David Hasselhoff team up for rap album"
   < >
"'Baywatch' star to reinvent himself as 'Hassle The Hoff'"

2. "William Shatner to release new album"
   < >
"William Shatner has recorded a new album featuring a guest appearance by US
 punk legend Henry Rollins"
   "Shatner 'recording Pulp song'"
   < >
"The new song is a duet with singer Joe Jackson"

3. "Debut gig for MPs' new boy band"
   < >
"A band with a difference made its debut on Thursday night as four MPs put
 aside all political differences and play their first public gig"

4. "Powell gets down at ASEAN forum"
   < >
"Mr Powell donned a hard hat and stuffed a hammer in his belt for the Village
 People's disco hit YMCA"

5. "David Beckham records 'duet' with Victoria"
   < >
"David's contribution is a voicemail message of him asking Victoria to ring
 him back and saying he loves her"

Subject: B-List: Thou Doth Protest Too Oddly II
Date: Wed, 18 August 2004 8:44:18 AM

1. "Angry NZ man sends over 80,000 SMSes"
   <,4136,64259-1090598340,00.html >
"A New Zealander sent over 80,000 text messages from his handphone last month
 - an average of 2,580 messages a day - in protest against a hike in short
 message service (SMS) rates"

2. "Pyjama protest speeds up delivery"
   < >
"A man who had waited two months for a new bed reportedly got it delivered
 within hours when he went to the store in his pyjamas in protest"

3. "Protesting bank customer votes with her hooves"
   < >
"A disgruntled customer protesting about interest rates rode her horse to
 the bank which uses the animal as its logo"

4. "Topless protesters march in Pamplona to protest bullfighting in Spain"
   < >
"Several hundred animal rights activists - some in their underwear, others
 topless - marched through Pamplona on Monday to condemn bullfighting on
 the eve of the Spanish city's wildly popular running of the bulls festival"

5. "Chilean man's hotel protest"
   < >
"A Chilean man dangled himself from a balcony on the 20th floor of a Miami
 hotel to protest against local discrimination against tourists"

6. "Protesters organize game of naked croquet"
   < >
"They were demonstrating against a recently passed anti-nudity ordinance"

Subject: B-List: What Are The Odds Of ...
Date: Thu, 20 August 2004 8:13:46 AM

1. "Woman gets hit with a foul ball at Cardinals game -- twice"
   < >
"Early in the game, a foul ball struck Denoyer in the neck. Then in the ninth
 inning, Seattle's Scott Spiezio hit a foul that also struck Denoyer --
 this time in the head"

2. "Firefighter administers aid to woman he helped deliver"
   < >
20 years ago, fireman helps deliver a baby girl.  Fast forward: treats her for
smoke inhalation after a fire.

3. "Rather a chance encounter for TV news anchor"
   < >
"What are the odds of running into the man who tried to steal your car 12 years
 ago, halfway around the world from the scene of the crime?"

4. "Identical twins break same arm on same day"
   < >
"Identical twins from Manchester broke their left arm in the same place on the
 same child's slide on the same day"

5. "Birthday trio beat the odds" [archived]
   <,4057,8277230%255E13762,00.html >
"A Victorian family is one in 48 million after baby Matilda was born on
 Christmas Day - the same day as her mother Angela Close and grandmother
 Jean Carr"

6. "What are the chances of that?"
   < >
"A whale jumping out of the water and on to your yacht seems like a billion-to
 -one shot, but it happened last week. And, as David Randall reveals, those
 who investigate unbelievable events know that the extraordinary happens
 every day"

7. "Chances aren't: other very very unlikely events"
   <,2763,1034209,00.html >
"Scientists announced today that there is a 909,000/1 chance of an asteroid
 destroying life on Earth on March 21 2014. Here we list other possibilities
 given the same odds by bookmaker William Hill"

Subject: B-List: Unusual Marriage Proposals
Date: Mon, 23 August 2004 7:47:13 AM

1. "Sidewalk chalk spells 'Marry Me?'"
   < >
"John Patrick McChesney is an artist who likes to hammer out beautiful wall
 sculptures in gleaming and distressed bands of copper, but on Thursday,
 his important work to date was a sketch in pastel chalk of three little words
 that had to be big enough to be seen by his muse a thousand feet away"
 (includes photo)

2. "Indy man goes extra mile to propose: Man plows question in field"
   < >
"Ryan Cole spent Saturday plowing 'Amanda Will You Marry Me?' into a Madison
 County field"  (includes photo)

3. "Woman misses marriage proposal after taking different route to work"
   < >
"The Malaysian, who is currently living in Australia where he works, made the
 offer on a huge banner hung outside the PJ Hilton hotel in Petaling Jaya"

4. "Eagle swoops on woman with marriage proposal"
   < >
"Sean Connolly had the engagement ring hidden around the neck and under the
 feathers of Wally the eagle at the Spier wine estate, near Stellenbosch"

5. "Woman ran off after basketball proposal"
   < >
"A woman who was subjected to a surprise proposal at a US basketball game
 sprinted off the court"

6. "Female streaker tries to get NZ rugby star to marry her with proposal
     written on her stomach"
   < >
"Across her belly she had scrawled 'Marry me, Richie'"  (includes photo)

7. "Man posts marriage proposal on eBay"
   < >
"A Florida woman surfing the eBay website found her boyfriend had posted a
 marriage proposal to her on it"

8. "Cop pops question with radio cupid call"  [expired link]
   < >

9. Other examples
   "Marriage proposals to remember"
   < >
   "Proposal stories"
   < >

Subject: B-List: Funny Money
Date: Tue, 24 August 2004 8:07:50 AM

1. "Man buys groceries with worthless GW Bush currency"
   < >
"The bogus bill -- the U.S. Mint does not print a $200 bill -- bore the image
 of President George W. Bush on the front and had the White House on the back"

2. "Woman arrested in Georgia for trying to pass fake million-dollar bill"
   < >
"The U.S. Treasury does not make $1-million bills, but similar-looking currency
 is sold in some souvenir shops"

3. "'Redemption theorist' ordered to do penance in prison for bank fraud"
   < >
"convicted of trying to pass a fake U.S. Treasury check for $25 million"

4. "Thief steals fake 1,000 euro note"
   < >
"A man who stole what he thought was a 1,000 Euro note, has been arrested by
 police in Berlin"

5. "Mushroom picker stumbles across counterfeit cash"
   < >
"It did not take the police long to decide they were fakes; most of them bore
 the same number"

6. "Costly counterfeits puzzle police"
   < >
"Japanese police are scratching their heads in bewilderment over the country's
 latest counterfeiting trend - fake notes that cost as much to make as their
 face value"

Subject: B-List: Funfurde
Date: Thu, 26 August 2004 8:03:06 AM

   < >

A blog dedicated to "Funky. Furniture. And. Design."
(the maintainer likes lots of dots - you'll see what I mean).

Recent highlights (dots removed):
* travelland river table
   < >
* vector tv unit
   < >
* sapien bookcase
   < >

Subject: B-List: Feral Children + August Postings Reprised
Date: Tue, 31 August 2004 8:20:32 AM

1. Feral Children
   < >
"Feral children, also known as wild children or wolf children, are children
 who've grown up with minimal human contact, or even none at all.  They may
 have been raised by animals (often wolves) or somehow survived on their own.
 In some cases, children are confined and denied normal social interaction
 with other people."
A very comprehensive site.

A list of isolated, confined and feral children
   < >

Recently in the news:
* Siberian boy 'brought up by dog'
   < >
"A seven-year-old boy who has been brought up by a dog for the past six years
 has reportedly been found in Siberia"
* Man was raised by chickens
   < >
"Social workers in Fiji are trying to rehabilitate a 32-year-old man they say
 was raised by chickens"

2. August Postings Reprised

[Foiled Thieves]
* "Woman swallows money to defy robbers"
   < >
"A Peruvian woman has swallowed the equivalent of $800 in cash to avoid being
 robbed by a gang ... The 35-year-old rolled all the notes up individually and
 swallowed them one by one"

[What Are The Odds Of ...]
* "Double quads make Liverpool hospital history"
   < >
"Two sets of quads have born at a Liverpool hospital just days apart"
* "Freak 'egg inside egg' stuns producer"
   < >
"A free-range egg producer on the mid-north coast of New South Wales is
 scratching her head over the appearance of a giant egg with a second egg
 inside it"
* "Seafaring father and son rescued, twice"
   < >
"When British coastguards rescued a man and his small son who had managed to
 get their tiny inflatable boat stranded on mudflats, they probably thought it
 was the last they would see of the hapless pair.  However the father and his
 eight-year-old promptly went out and bought another toy vessel and had to be
 saved again after drifting far out to sea off western England - the very next

* "morfeo (couch)"
   < >


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