Postings to the B-List.
Subject: B-List: 2004 in Review + December Postings Reprised
Date: Mon, 3 January 2005 9:30:06 PM
A. 2004 in Review
Recent events have made 2004 a particularly tragic one for many people.
Many websites have posted reviews of the past year. Here are a few of
the more unusual retrospectives ...
1. "2004 Year-End Google Zeitgeist"
< http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist/archive2004.html >
< http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist2004/intl-zeitgeist.html >
"Search patterns, trends, and surprises according to Google"
2. "Top 10 Net Hoaxes / Urban Legends of 2004"
< http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/internet/a/top_10_uls.htm?nl=1 >
3. "Film Threat's Frigid 50: The coldest people in Hollywood 2004"
< http://www.filmthreat.com/Features.asp?Id=1265 >
4. "The biggest movie mistakes from 2004"
< http://www.moviemistakes.com/bestof2004.php >
5. "Some unusual statements in the news in 2004"
< http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2004/12/22/793896-cp.html >
6. "Least popular baby names for 2004 revealed"
< http://www.thevoiceofreason.com/2004/Dec/LeastPopularBabyNames2004.htm >
[Don't take this one too seriously]
B. December Postings Reprised
[Order in the House]
* "'Bloody' MPs do as they please"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200311/s998308.htm >
"The Speaker of South Australia's Parliament has ruled that it is accept-
able for MPs to use the word 'bloody' in the House but they still cannot
* "Santas giving away marijuana"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1209010.html >
"Police in Rio de Janeiro have arrested two drug dealers dressed as Santa"
* "Make-believe NATO soldiers rob security van"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200412/s1256934.htm >
"Thieves masquerading as NATO soldiers have stolen a million euros ($US1.3
million) from a Bosnian security van on the last day of the alliance's
peace mission in the country"
* "Man takes squad car, crashes, sleeps"
"An armed robbery suspect used the arrest of his partner as a diversion
to steal a new patrol car, crash into a ditch, break into a woman's home
and then fall asleep on her couch"
* "Thief falls asleep after robbery"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1218104.html >
"A burglar in Argentina fell asleep inside the house he was robbing"
* "Lawyers sue over smelly courtrooms"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1217059.html >
"Romanian authorities are facing a legal challenge from some of the
country's top lawyers over courtrooms they say smell like stables"
* "Couple 'poisoned' by sofa awarded damages"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200412/s1267834.htm >
"A Norwegian court has awarded a young couple 356,000 kroner ($US57,700)
in damages after the stench of their Italian leather sofa made them
physically ill and forced them to move out of their apartment"
* "Germany's smelly Xmas cards"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1205353.html >
"Germany's post office is giving away millions of free scented stickers
this year to make Christmas cards smell of honey and fir trees"
* "Britney 'stinks'"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1205228.html >
"Britney Spears caused a real stink when her smelly feet gassed a plane
full of people"
* "Twins swap identities for jail break"
< http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=348571 >
"Brotherly love was put to the test this week after two 18-year-old
identical twins swapped their clothing and traded places so that one
could escape jail"
* "Woman fights off intruder with a poker"
< http://www.galvnews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=e6792c1f3b748e00 >
"Authorities said the woman grabbed a fireplace poker and began to strike
the man with it. When the man tried to get away from her, she began
grabbing his clothes and tearing them off"
Subject: B-List: A Modern Guide to Parenting
Date: Tue, 4 January 2005 9:48:24 PM
1. "Kids naughty, so dad sells their gifts on eBay"
< http://www.azcentral.com/offbeat/articles/1223ebay-grinch23-ON.html >
"There's not much laughter today at the home of a Pasadena information
technology specialist who has decided to auction off his kids' Christmas
presents - and possibly dismantle the family tree - because the young-
sters, ages 9, 11 and 15, have been naughty, not nice"
2. "Father shames his 'tearaway' kids on the internet"
"He says that, because he loves his children so much, he has taken the
desperate step of publicly humiliating them on the local community
website in a bid to save them from spiralling into trouble"
3. "Parents go on strike, move out to protest messy kids" [expired link]
< http://www.wsoctv.com/news/3980478/detail.html >
"Cat and Harlan Barnard say their 17-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter
haven't been helping out around the house, and the dishes, garbage and
dirty laundry have been piling up. So they have lived in a tent in their
front yard since Monday morning and have only gone in the house to use
the restroom or shower"
"'Striking' parents vow to continue protest"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200412/s1264762.htm >
"A couple from the US state of Florida has marked one week on strike in
front of their home and vowed not to end the protest camp-out until their
kids start doing their fair share of the household chores"
4. "Protective father 'shocks daughter's boyfriend'"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_812850.html >
"An over-protective father in Germany has allegedly warned off his step-
daughter's new boyfriend with an electro-shocker"
5. "Kenyan stepmother made boy sleep in chicken coop"
< http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L13370371.htm >
"Kenyan police said on Thursday they had rescued an 18-year-old boy who
was forced by his stepmother to sleep in a chicken coop for the past 10
6. "Central Florida parents who chained wild teens avoid prosecution"
< http://www.marconews.com/03/07/florida/d949784a.htm >
"A woman and ex-husband accused of chaining her teenage sons to their
beds in an effort to control their criminal behavior avoided prosecution
by agreeing to an 18-month intervention program"
7. "Toddlers eat 'horrifying' diet"
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3582259.stm >
"Nine out of 10 toddlers are allowed to eat junk food"
I'm not sure whether Dr Spock would approve ...
< http://www.drspock.com/about/drbenjaminspock/0,1781,,00.html >
Subject: B-List: Fugitive Animals
Date: Wed, 5 January 2005 10:26:57 PM
1. "Elephant packs trunk, escapes zoo"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1030359.htm >
"The elephant took a large log from her enclosure and dropped it on an
electric fence, making it inactive"
2. "Zoo lockdown after 'escape artist' chimp breaks free"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1028803.htm >
"The monkey business erupted on Monday afternoon when a mischievous
15-year-old chimp called Gracie slipped out of her cage for the fourth
time in five years and created havoc as she ran wild through the US zoo"
3. "Officers chase down teenage chimpanzee" [expired link]
< http://www.dailynews.com/Stories/0,1413,200~20954~2544466,00.html >
"The sanctuary is named after Cheeta, the retired chimpanzee star of a
dozen Tarzan movies, who still resides there at age 72. The runaway
chimp was Cheeta's 16-year-old grandson, Jeeter"
4. "Giant lizard terrorises Beirut"
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3195937.stm >
"He's big, he's a carnivore, he's terrorising the neighbourhood's
residents, he's been swimming in people's pools and he's already
claimed victims - several cats, a dog and apparently even a horse"
5. "Fido the lizard on the loose"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_849326.html >
"Police have warned people to stay away from a two-and-a-half stone
monitor lizard which is on the loose in a built-up area"
6. "Tiger roams New York suburb"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1041973.html >
"A tiger who escaped from a travelling circus roamed around a New York
suburb for several hours before being persuaded back into his cage"
7. "Runaway tiger eludes US Army"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200409/s1197318.htm >
"The tiger has not been seen in a week despite a search that involved
100 soldiers, trackers, trappers and police using military helicopters"
8. "Police take ten hours to track down 40mph ostrich"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_792005.html >
"An ostrich managed to evade police for ten hours after it escaped from
a circus in the Bulgarian capital Sofia"
9. "Swiss police wrestle runaway roo"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200310/s957401.htm >
"Two Swiss policemen emerged scratched but contented following a day-
long chase after a kangaroo which made a leap for freedom from a zoo"
10. "Sheep hides out in Mutton Cove, escapes dinner plate"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200409/s1202279.htm >
"Now there is the story of the sheep who 10 weeks ago escaped while
boarding a ship at Port Adelaide and hid out the aptly named Mutton
Cove, eating rare plants and scaring birds"
Subject: B-List: Unusual Theme Parks
Date: Thu, 6 January 2005 9:18:21 PM
1. "Dracula theme park to draw tourists to Romania"
< http://travelvideo.tv/news/more.php?id=3369_0_1_0_M >
"The park will house a gothic castle with spooky effects, horror rides,
labyrinths and also a golf course and a hotel"
2. "Charity to launch slum 'theme park'"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200306/s869526.htm >
"Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit group that builds low-cost housing,
is opening an unorthodox 'theme park' designed to give tourists a look
at the world's worst slums"
3. "Tigers, alligators head for China theme, food park"
< http://www.jphpk.gov.my/English/Dec02%2027C.htm >
"One hundred tigers and 2,000 alligators have been flown from Thailand
to China to grace an animal park where visitors will be able to admire
and eat some of the creatures displayed"
4. "The evolution of the Bible-based creationist theme park"
< http://www.projo.com/travel/content/projo_20041212_nodar12x.354501.html >
"[T]he Passmores sought out a lower-profile Florida attraction: Dinosaur
Adventure Land, a creationist theme park and museum in Pensacola that
beckons children to 'find out the truth about dinosaurs' with games
that roll science and religion into one big funfest, with the message
that Genesis, not science, tells the real story of the creation"
5. "Namco plans ramen-noodle theme park"
< http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3137139 >
"The 'Nagoya Noodle Shop Alley,' due to open for business on February 25,
is meant to introduce visitors to the history of ramen noodles and the
different types of ramen available around Japan"
6. "He spies with his little eye" [expired link]
< http://dailytelegraph.news.com.au/story.jsp?sectionid=1265&storyid=2384282 >
"'Spylands is a theme park telling the worldwide history of spies and the
secret service. It is the brainchild of former secret service agents who
wanted to build a museum to tell the stories of their comrades and
(a John West post)
Subject: B-List: Cool Sites
Date: Fri, 7 January 2005 3:40:12 PM
Something different today. Three examples that raise the bar in web
interaction, without the need for any special plugins. However they
may only work with recent versions of browsers.
1. Map: Switzerland
< http://map.search.ch/index.en.html >
Interactive map of Switzerland allowing you to zoom in and pan around.
It uses satellite images, and includes streets. My advice is to pick
a city, eg Bern:
< http://map.search.ch/index.en.html?addr=&plz_ort=Bern >
and zoom in to see more detail. This is awesome stuff!
2. Google Suggest
< http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=1&hl=en >
"As you type into the search box, Google Suggest guesses what you're
typing and offers suggestions in real time"
3. B-List Flashback [from July 2004]: DHTML Lemmings
< http://18.104.22.168/games/lemmings/index.html >
to remember the level you last completed
Subject: B-List: Stupid Human Tricks
Date: Mon, 10 January 2005 4:06:31 PM
1. "Man shows how he lost thumb, and loses finger"
< http://iol.co.za/index.php?art_id=qw1048165741274B216 >
"An English machine operator lost part of his thumb in a workplace acci-
dent, then lost a chunk of a finger on his other hand, while trying to
demonstrate to bosses how the first accident happened"
2. "Indiana coroner giving demonstration on gun safety shoots self in leg"
< http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2004/09/08/620739-ap.html >
"A gun safety demonstration went awry and landed Monroe County coroner
David Toumey in the hospital after he shot himself in the leg"
3. "Man swallowed toothbrush"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1162246.html >
"Doctors in India have operated on a man who 'accidentally' swallowed a
seven inch toothbrush"
4. "Man superglued condom to penis"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1154610.html >
"He and his wife decided to use contraception but the condom they bought
was too big so he stuck it on with glue"
5. "Finger rescued from gas tank at Lincolnwood Mall"
"The man found some gum stuck to his shoe, so he reached his finger into
the gas tank to get gasoline to rub the gum off -- and didn't get it
out until more than an hour later. His finger was caught in a one-way
flap in the inner part of the tank, and the gas level was not as high
as he had hoped"
6. "Man gets stuck in child's tyre swing"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_990112.html >
"An Austrian man got himself trapped in a swing made from a tyre after
7. "Man suffers severe burns trying to kill lice"
< http://www.channel3000.com/news/1693622/detail.html >
"The 26-year-old doused a towel with rubbing alcohol, put it on his head
and then lit a cigarette, police said"
8. "UGA student severely burned during fraternity drinking ritual"
"The ritual involved 190-proof grain alcohol and a lighted oil lantern.
Miller's clothes burst into flame, severely burning his upper torso"
9. "Cowboy ends up bare-bottomed on fence"
< http://www.azcentral.com/offbeat/articles/1129bare-cowboy29-ON.html >
"[T]he unidentified man, fortified by more than a few drinks, tried to
climb over a 2 1/2 meter-high fence as he was leaving an agriculture
festival late Saturday night. When he was just about over the top his
pant leg got caught, leaving him dangling upside down"
Subject: B-List: S. American Art Collection
Date: Tue, 11 January 2005 9:53:48 PM
Lately I've noticed that the news site ananova.com seems to have a
fascination with unusual examples of South American art, especially
from Chile. Here's a sample...
1. "Artist uses GI Joe to recreate masters"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_899333.html >
"A Chilean artist has opened an exhibition in which he recreates famous
paintings with plastic toys"
2. "Artist turns animals into everyday objects"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_852727.html >
"A Chilean artist is making a name for herself with an exhibition in
which stuffed animals are transformed into household objects"
3. "Artist wraps three floors with elastic ribbon"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1210168.html >
"A Chilean artist has wrapped three floors of a building with elastic
4. "Exhibition of discarded shoes opens in Chile"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1119645.html >
"A new art exhibition of shoes recovered from Chilean beaches, has
opened in the capital Santiago"
5. "New exhibition scoured from bins"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1203118.html >
"An Argentine artist is opening an exhibition of photographs he's
collected from the dustbins of Buenos Aires"
6. "Artist's ripping new show"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1112428.html >
"A Chilean artist is ripping up pictures, gluing them back together
and then ripping them up again for a new exhibition"
7. "Artist's condom career"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1150849.html >
"A Brazilian artist makes clothes and sculptures out of different
8. "Artworks are meaty"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1101335.html >
"A Chilean artist has opened a new exhibition of her work - all made
out of meat"
Subject: B-List: Cruel Baby Names
Date: Wed, 12 January 2005 10:25:27 PM
1. "Couple name baby Speedy Gonzales"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1152317.html >
"A Romanian couple whose baby was born in their car as they rushed to
hospital are to name the boy Speedy Gonzales"
2. "Tax authorities not kryptonite defeat Superman"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200409/s1209140.htm >
"Swedish authorities have turned down a request by two parents to register
Superman as a name for their child"
3. "Chinese man cannot name son '@'"
< http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/10/12/no_at_for_chinese/ >
"A man in central China has been refused permission to name his son '@'
because it cannot be translated into Mandarin - as the law demands"
4. "No dot-com for son, says China"
< http://news.zdnet.co.uk/0,39020330,39182933,00.htm >
"A programmer in China has been prevented from naming his baby son Zhao.com"
5. "Japanese kids can be called Buttocks or Prostitute"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1035312.html >
"Japanese children can be named 'Buttocks' or 'Prostitute' after a row
between parents and officials over a new list of acceptable names"
6. "Parents turning to soaps for names"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1040915.html >
"Parents are turning to soaps to find names for their children"
7. "Fragrant idea" [expired link]
"Parents Danny and Dominique Regan are hoping for the sweet smell of
success for their children - after naming all three after perfumes.
New-born baby girl Dior is the latest in a line of fragrant names,
which includes daughter Angel (13 months) and eight-year-old son Klein"
8. "Moon Unit voted weirdest celeb baby name"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1127053.html >
"Moon Unit Zappa has been voted the most bizarrely named celebrity
offspring off all time"
9. Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing: A Primer on Parent Cruelty
< http://www.notwithoutmyhandbag.com/babynames/ >
A catalog of naming questions and suggestions posted on several different
baby naming bulletin boards
Subject: B-List: Glitches Caused by Animals
Date: Thu, 13 January 2005 10:48:15 PM
1. "Curiosity killed the power: Cat in substation blamed for city outage"
< http://www.h-ponline.com/articles/2004/10/25/news/01outage.txt >
"The feline, of the dark tiger variety, wandered into the Cinergy substation
north of town, darkening many city homes and most city TV sets. And then --
after an unhealthy jolt of electricity had coursed through its body -- the
cat wandered away"
2. "Rat killed power supply"
< http://pub.tv2.no/nettavisen/english/article189127.ece >
"A rat the size of a small cat cut the power for 15,000 consumers in downtown
Bodø [Norway] Thursday evening"
3. "Rat plunges World Cup game into darkness"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1098252.html >
"A rat has been blamed for plunging a football stadium into darkness during a
World Cup qualifier match [in Calcutta, India]"
4. "Bunny blamed for Bluffs blackout" [expired link]
< http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_np=0&u_pg=1636&u_sid=992260 >
5. "Squirrel knocks out power to 13,000"
< http://www.brainerddispatch.com/stories/031004/new_0310040071.shtml >
"A single squirrel knocked out electricity to a large portion of northern
Crow Wing County Wednesday morning"
6. "Boa triggers blackout"
< http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2004/05/20/466765-ap.html >
"A snake triggered a 15 minute countrywide power outage when it slithered
into the intake tunnel of a major hydroelectric plan"
7. "Wayward whale trapped at N.S. power plant"
< http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1093382072521_88791272 >
"A hydroelectric plant in Nova Scotia remained shut down Tuesday after a
wayward whale swam through the underwater gates that connect the facility
with the Bay of Fundy"
8. "Fish force Michigan nuke plant shut down" [expired link]
< http://www.abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20030424_1068.html >
"Nuclear power plant on Lake Michigan shuts down after fish swim into
9. "Beaver blamed in phone outage"
< http://www.detnews.com/2004/metro/0407/04/d06w-202240.htm >
"Northeastern Michigan had a problem to chew on: Long-distance phone service
was interrupted for more than six hours after a beaver apparently gnawed
through a fiber optic cable"
10. "Nesting snakes cause of faulty traffic lights"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_659888.html >
"Austrian police ordered to check some faulty traffic lights discovered it
was being occupied by a family of snakes"
11. "Bear causes oil spill in N.W.T."
< http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2004/07/29/562272-cp.html >
"A curious black bear caused an oil spill near [Fort Simpson] in the North-
west Territories, say officials"
12. "Hamster had no inkling of printer danger"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1078560.htm >
"A German hamster called Teddy has sparked a police rescue mission after
getting stuck inside a computer printer because he was too fat to get back
(a John West post)
Subject: B-List: Strange But True
Date: Fri, 14 January 2005 3:59:47 PM
1. "Twin sisters deliver twin boys on same day"
< http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2004/12/14/782813-ap.html >
"Two twin sisters are seeing double - or make that quadruple - after
delivering two sets of twin boys Tuesday"
2. "Twins caught speeding on same day, same car"
< http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0105speedy-twins05-ON.html >
"Early Sunday morning, Const. Chris Legere pulled over an eastbound car
on Highway 401 for traveling at 155 kilometres an hour. An 18-year-old
woman from Akwesasne was charged with speeding and given a notice to
appear in Alexandria court on Feb. 7. Hours later, the same car was
stopped by Legere for travelling at 148 km/h, but this time it was
going westbound. Although the driver looked the same as the first
person stopped, an identification check showed that it was now the
twin sister of the first driver."
3. "Dutch twins share same pin"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1212610.html >
"Dutch twins have discovered they share the same pin number for their
bank account... Jefta complained to his brother that the new code was
difficult to remember. When Jiddo asked what it was, they found out
they had the same code"
4. "Owners do a double-take over identical cars"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200409/s1210066.htm >
"An Iranian who saw a woman driving what he swore was his own car accused
her of stealing it, only to find two identical vehicles had accidentally
been issued with the same registration plate"
5. "7-Eleven employee gets bonus after having 7-pound, 11-ounce baby"
< http://www.wftv.com/newsofthestrange/3859286/detail.html >
[expired link, but headline says it all]
6. "Mobile phone saves life"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1093140.html >
"A mobile phone saved a man's life when it stopped a crossbow arrow in
7. "Golfing partners score holes-in-one on same hole"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_880826.html >
"Two golfing friends scored holes-in-one on the same hole while playing
a round of golf together"
Subject: B-List: Cats and Their Nine Lives
Date: Mon, 17 January 2005 9:40:35 AM
"Ever wondered why cats are said to have nine lives?"
< http://www.moggies.co.uk/html/9_lives.html >
Here are some news items which might make you believe that cats do indeed
have nine lives ...
1. "Lucky kitten survives scrape with street sweeper"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200312/s1009826.htm >
"A Melbourne street cleaner has resuscitated a kitten after it was sucked
into his street sweeper. The Morwell Animal Clinic has named the lucky
kitten Hoover, and says it is in great health"
2. "Cat survives washing machine" [England]
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1099091.html >
"A cat which fell asleep in a washing machine survived a 60-minute cycle
"Milo's cat nap in washer" [Wales]
< http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,91059-13244528,00.html >
"Curiosity nearly killed the kitten when Milo climbed into his owner's
"Sylvester the kitten survives spin cycle" [Denmark]
< http://www.newsforthesoul.com/01Aug/08-01-kitten-survives.htm >
"A kitten has survived being washed at 70C for 20 minutes after he jumped
into the machine just before it was switched on"
"Kitten survives tumble drier spin"
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/animals/newsid_3466000/3466731.stm >
"Halfway through the 90-minute cycle Nikki Reed, 35, noticed a strange
smell and found a very hot little kitten"
3. "Cat survives snowbank ordeal"
< http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2004/12/31/803448-cp.html >
"The Siamese spent three bone-chilling days buried in a snowbank in
Summerside - and lived to meow about it"
4. "Cat survives high speed crash under the bonnet"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_864519.html >
"A cat which crawled near a car's engine to keep warm during recent
snowfalls survived a 40 mile drive and a high-speed crash"
5. "Cat rides 150 miles in car's engine, ok"
< http://www.rednova.com/news/display/?id=20416 >
"The long-haired gray cat rode unseen in the engine compartment of a
female college student's car as she drove home for the holidays"
"Kitten unharmed after 220-mile ride under hood of car" [expired link]
< http://www.local6.com/news/2373868/detail.html >
"The 8-week-old kitten traveled from Chambersburg, Pa., to Chesterbehind
the grill of a Mercedes, about 3 inches from the engine's fan"
6. "Grumpy cat survives wild car-top ride" [New Zealand]
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1079591.htm >
"A grumpy house cat was the toast of New Zealand traffic authorities after
it survived a hairy ride through a city clinging to the roof of a car,
with the driver unaware of the drama"
"Cat survives car roof-top journey" [Wales]
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_962503.html >
"A cat has escaped injury despite clinging to the roof of a car travelling
at 60mph for four miles"
7. "Cat survives 8 weeks trapped under deck"
< http://www.washtimes.com/upi-breaking/20040625-024852-3500r.htm >
"A cat survived for almost two months trapped under a garden deck in
8. "Kitten survives three weeks trapped behind fireplace"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_833471.html >
"The young cat fell into the fireplace while renovation work was being
carried out in a flat in Reutte in western Austria. It was trapped inside
after workers sealed the space up and put fresh tiles over it"
My own cat, Chairman Miaow,
< http://homepage.mac.com/bruno_andrighetto/ChairmanMiaow/ >
survived his own short trip under the bonnet of my car. I think he sees
the car as a big, placid, warm friend. On cold days he used to sleep
under the bonnet in a cavity near the engine. One wet morning, however,
he got the fright of his life as the "gentle" giant drove off. A few
metres down the road I heard a muffled sound from the front of the car.
A few seconds later, to my horror, in the rear-view mirror I saw my cat
tumbling on the road. He righted himself, then sped off into the vacant
block in the pouring rain. Later I looked under the hood and found the
place the cat liked to sleep. I don't know how he managed to wriggle out
of the confined space and avoid all the dangerous moving parts. Also, I
noticed chew marks on some of the wires leading from the battery to the
engine management system. I wouldn't be surprised if the cat got a jolt
when he bit down on the wires.
He seems to have made his peace with the car, because he still likes to
jump onto the bonnet when the engine is warm. But in the four years since
that day I don't think he's been game to sleep in the engine bay under the
hood. But every time I drive the car I check to see that he is nowhere
Finally, in case you didn't know, the Eveready logo on their batteries is
inspired by the saying (a cat jumping through the loop of a "9").
Subject: B-List: Treasure Hunt
Date: Mon, 17 January 2005 10:16:52 PM
1. "Farmers search for bandit king's fortune"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200410/s1226296.htm >
"The death of India's bandit king has sparked a treasure hunt for his
fabulous wealth believed to be stashed in secret caves and tree holes
deep inside a forest, officials said"
2. "Man fills in historic treasure after row with officials"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1122291.html >
"A Dutch artist who discovered historic treasure in his garden has decided
to cover his find up"
3. "Buried lottery winnings"
< http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article894826.ece >
"A Bergen man who won at least over NOK 1 million (USD 152,000) in a
lottery has found a way to keep his creditors from touching any of his
unexpected windfall - the old-fashioned burial method"
4. "Roman treasure found in pond dig"
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/bristol/somerset/3501426.stm >
"A man unearthed a priceless hoard of 20,000 Roman coins as he dug a new
fishpond in his back garden"
5. "Treasure trove for Wiltshire two"
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/wiltshire/3011901.stm >
"Julian Adams and Andrew Mitchell found the seven silver coins near
Salisbury, which could date back as early as AD356, an inquest hearing
6. "Ancient Javanese coins wash up in London"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200312/s1008283.htm >
"Archaeologists in London have found a bundle of 17th century coins from
Java buried in mud on the banks of the River Thames"
7. "Buried treasure dug up" [expired link]
< http://www.nj.com/news/times/index.ssf?base/news-2/1098345998124720.xml >
"Two police officers hit pay dirt in a Browns Mills woman's back yard
this week when they unearthed $50,000 in cash she had buried"
(a John West post)
Subject: B-List: True Confessions
Date: Tue, 18 January 2005 10:44:45 PM
1. "Killer sees Passion, confesses"
< http://smh.com.au/articles/2004/03/26/1079939840657.html >
"A Texas man who had gotten away with murder confessed to police after
seeing Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and talking with a spiritual
2. "Bank robbery suspect surrenders after watching new Mel Gibson film"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_895104.html >
"A man who robbed a Florida bank in 2001, has given himself up after
watching Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ"
3. "'Passion' film prompts another confession" [Norway]
< http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2004/03/30/402054-ap.html >
"A Norwegian man trying to put his neo-Nazi past behind him confessed to
bombing a youth group's headquarters in the 1990s, saying he admitted his
guilt after seeing 'The Passion of the Christ'"
4. "Conman with a conscience turns himself in"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1241706.html >
"A conman with a conscience in Chile called police and asked them to take
him to prison"
5. "Hen-pecked robber returns haul"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_888559.html >
"A hen-pecked robber who stole a cash till full of cash returned it an
hour later because his wife nagged him"
6. "No surrender for bank robber"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200411/s1240818.htm >
"An Albany man gave himself up to police after seeing himself on TV news
robbing a bank but was turned away by officers, who told him to come
back the next day"
7. "Robber gives up because police can't catch him"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_855590.html >
"A Briton who robbed several banks in Germany has turned himself in saying
he is sick of police failing to find him"
Subject: B-List: Personality Indicators
Date: Wed, 19 January 2005 11:35:10 PM
Forget the Rorschach Inkblot Test
< http://skepdic.com/inkblot.html > , or
the long-winded questionnaire in the Myer-Briggs Test
< http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp > .
Here are some alternative personality indicators ...
1. "What your computer says about you"
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2045175.stm >
"The computer in front of you could provide an insight into the kind of
person you are. Psychologists say that a computer's virtual desktop can
tell you as much about a person's personality as their real desktop"
2. "Biscuits the key to business personalities"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_778288.html >
"Businessmen and women give away their personality every time they bite
into a biscuit, according to new research"
3. "Mentioning the unmentionable: Find out what your underwear says about you"
< http://www.statepress.com/issues/2004/11/04/arts/688641 >
"Granny panties can mean you prefer comfort and functionality to style"
4. "What your favorite snack says about you"
< http://www.hon.ch/News/HSN/517934.html >
"The foods you choose to snack on may reveal more about you than you
realize, researchers say"
5. "So annoying . . but they brring in the money"
< http://news.scotsman.com/features.cfm?id=171182004 >
[examines the question: what does your ringtone say about you?]
"What your ringtone says about you" [expired link]
< http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/archive/2-1-19103-0-29-13.html >
"For example, young people choose popular music to show they fit in. An
aggresive young professional may choose an action movie or tv show theme
because they have no real action or drama in their lives. And people who
don't choose ringtones at all view their phones a purely functional items
and are too busy to download or choose a custom ringtone"
Subject: B-List: Touching Reunions
Date: Thu, 20 January 2005 10:17:36 PM
1. "Brothers bump into each other after 53 years apart"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200410/s1223597.htm >
"Two brothers who lost contact 53 years ago after one moved to Argentina
and the other to Australia have been reunited by chance at Lisbon's
international airport while on a trip to their native Portugal"
2. "Old soldier found long lost comrade - next door"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1005807.html >
"Two soldiers who thought each other had died in a bloody Second World
War battle 60 years ago have discovered they are next-door neighbours"
3. "Opera singer finds soldier who sang for his supper"
< http://smh.com.au/articles/2003/12/10/1070732288930.html >
"Italian opera singer Romano Dragoni has long wanted to meet again the
hungry New Zealand soldier who, nearly 60 years ago, sang to his family
as payment for taking some eggs during World War II"
4. "Twins meet 20 years after being separated at birth"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_756853.html >
"Twins separated at birth in Mexico 20 years ago have met after a mutual
friend in New York spotted their likeness"
5. "Man finds long-lost father in same block of flats"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_756444.html >
"An 18-year-old man has discovered his long-lost father living in the
same block of flats"
6. "Pixie jar helps find a brother"
< http://collectibles.about.com/b/a/027276.htm >
"In a truth is stranger than fiction story, the Pixie Cookie jar from
Grant-Howard has lead to Bob Kunath finding a brother he never knew
Subject: B-List: Right Royal Stuffups
Date: Mon, 24 January 2005 3:25:09 PM
1. "Britain's gaffe-prone royal family"
< http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/01/13/britain.royals.reut/ >
"Prince Harry, 20-year-old grandson of the queen, apologized on Thursday
after a photo of him wearing Nazi symbols at a party provoked outrage.
Here are some other embarrassing moments involving Britain's royal family"
2. "Portrait of a prince with vegetable and insect"
< http://smh.com.au/articles/2004/04/30/1083224589605.html >
"It is titled Homo sapiens, Lepidum sativum and Calliphora vomitoria, which
roughly translates as a portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh as the artist
3. "Queen is exposed to Highland game"
< http://www.thisislondon.com/news/articles/14606176 >
"[U]nlike his comrades, he hadn't taken the time to adjust his sporran and
kilt for decency"
4. "Princess Anne's dog to see shrink"
< http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2004/01/04/304213-ap.html >
"Princess Anne will send her dog to an animal psychologist to avoid having
it euthanized after it attacked a royal maid and fatally mauled one of the
Queen beloved corgis"
5. "Prince Edward scolded"
< http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2004/02/13/346781-ap.html >
"Like many a commoner before him, His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of
Wessex, was scolded by police for ignoring the strict pedestrian code on
upscale Belle Meade Boulevard"
Subject: B-List: Formula Embarrassment
Date: Mon, 24 January 2005 9:37:26 PM
1. "Ralf 'can't park'"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1214028.html >
"Ralf Schumacher can't park a car properly and drives worse than a woman,
according to his wife Cora"
2. "One rookie driver and bang goes a flawless £200,000 diamond"
< http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/story.jsp?story=524300 >
"A diamond worth £200,000 embedded in the nose of a Jaguar Formula One car
was lost when its rookie driver crashed in yesterday's Monaco Grand Prix"
3. "Formula One star caught speeding"
< http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2003/05/12/85770-ap.html >
"Juan Pablo Montoya was caught speeding on a French highway at 205
kilometres an hour"
4. "Racing driver scoots into trouble"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200312/s1008483.htm >
"A warrant has been issued for the arrest of former Formula One racing
driver Eddie Irvine after he was caught speeding on a scooter in London
with no licence and no insurance"
5. "F1 star's 14-year-old sister caught joy-riding"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_797938.html >
"The 14-year-old sister of Formula One star Heinz-Harald Frentzen is in
trouble after taking her mum's Mercedes for a spin around town"
6. "Rally drivers face ban for speeding"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_804586.html >
"The world's top rally drivers - including Richard Burns, Colin McCrae
and Carlos Sainz - are facing being banned from driving on roads in
the UK after being caught speeding"
(a John West post)
Subject: B-List: Too Clever for Words
Date: Wed, 26 January 2005 10:41:30 AM
1. "'Fictitious' author publishes the first book without verbs"
< http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/05/09/wverb09.xml >
"First, there was the novel written without using the letter 'e'. Now a
French author has produced what he claims is the first book with no verbs"
"Lipogrammatic Works of Fiction"
< http://phrontistery.info/lipworks.html >
A list of ancient and modern lipograms (compositions that do not contain a
certain letter or letters)
< http://www.palindromelist.com/ >
* Possibly the longest palindrome ever
< http://www.palindromelist.com/longest.htm >
< http://www.wordsmith.org/anagram/ >
* Topical anagrams
< http://www.wordsmith.org/anagram/topical.html >
* Hall of Fame
< http://www.wordsmith.org/anagram/hof.html >
Subject: B-List: Kleptomania Kollection
Date: Wed, 26 January 2005 8:01:54 PM
1. "Jail sentence for Englishman who stole and cleaned dozens of cars"
< http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2004/04/08/413148-ap.html >
"'He only takes brand new vehicles, drives them around for a couple of
hours, then he cleans them inside and out. He will even buy a tin of
polish to give them an extra sparkle and sometimes takes them to a
car wash to get them extra clean'"
2. "Cookery fan admits stealing 450 library books"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_881708.html >
3. "Knicker-thief's mammoth haul"
< http://smh.com.au/articles/2004/04/28/1083103549418.html >
"Japanese police who arrested a 55-year-old man for stealing women's
underwear raided his home to find 4000 pairs of knickers collected over
4. "Police officer with handbag fetish convicted"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1111802.htm >
"A German court convicted a police sergeant with a fetish for women's
handbags on 15 counts of theft and sentenced him to two and a half
years in jail"
5. "Left shoe fanatic held in Japan"
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3215303.stm >
"Japanese police have arrested a man for theft after 440 women's left
shoes were found in his home"
6. "Woman steals 80 bikes"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1140097.html >
"The woman, aged 44, had repeatedly stolen bikes parked in the area
where she lived in Berlin's Marzahn district"
Subject: B-List: Oops, Wrong House
Date: Thu, 27 January 2005 11:14:19 PM
1. "Demolition crew tears down wrong house"
< http://www.rednova.com/news/display/?id=8998 >
"House numbers in the southwest Phoenix neighborhood are not well-marked
and all the mailboxes sit on one side of the street, making identification
2. "Builders knocked down wrong wall"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1180532.html >
"Building workers failed to realise that the wall they wanted to remove was
also the outside wall of the neighbouring building"
3. "Company removes roof of wrong house"
< http://www.local10.com/news/4106725/detail.html >
"Roofer David Whitlow and his crew were half-finished tearing off the roof
of a Seminole Heights home when he received a disturbing call from his
office. They were at the wrong house"
4. "Man finds roofers stripping his roof instead of neighbor's" [expired link]
< http://www.nbc4.tv/irresistible/4046161/detail.html >
"Imagine coming home and finding a contractor stripping off your roof and
you never hired him. It happened in Amity Harbor, Long Island, on Dec. 18
to Jim Sullivan"
5. "Shakespeare tourists view wrong house -- for 200 years"
< http://archives.cnn.com/2000/STYLE/arts/11/29/shakespeare.poet.ap/ >
"The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said on Wednesday that research proves
beyond a doubt that the Bard's mother grew up at Glebe Farm, not the
property currently called Mary Arden's House, which is located just 50
yards (50 metres) away in Wilmcote, a little village outside Stratford
-upon-Avon in England"
6. "Intruders break into wrong house, apologise"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200412/s1273408.htm >
"Armed intruders broke into a family's house in Britain, only to apologise
and leave again, having realised they intended to beat someone up next
7. "Home invaders got the wrong house"
< http://ottawa.cbc.ca/regionalnews/caches/ot-invasion20050125.html >
"Ottawa police say it was a case of mistaken identity"
8. "Gifts left at wrong house"
< http://tv.ksl.com/index.php?nid=5&sid=141298 >
"Wootten says the gifts are clearly meant for young girls. She's contacted
LDS bishops, neighbors, police and fire departments, the United Way and
city council members, but no one is claiming the gifts"
Subject: B-List: Our Troubled Youth (and Youth Wannabes)
Date: Fri, 28 January 2005 9:02:43 PM
I don't want to depress you, but here are some thought-provoking items
about "young people today".
1. "Children who can't cook ... can't sew ... can't save"
< http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=21112005 >
"A new generation of children is growing up as 'life incompetents', unable
to sew, care for their clothes, or even realise that potatoes are boiled
before being mashed... A combination of a cosseted lifestyle and being
raised by parents who are barely more competent than the children is to
2. "Under 30s 'shun saving'"
< http://money.guardian.co.uk/saving/story/0,1456,1219608,00.html >
"The majority of young people fail to save regularly and spend their money
on alcohol, fast food and mobile phones instead"
3. "Generation Y keys in boomer-sized debt"
< http://smh.com.au/articles/2003/11/21/1069027327076.html >
"Telephone bills are a big cause of financial difficulty for more than a
third of young consumers seeking help from financial counsellors, with
mobile phone debts of thousands of dollars disproportionately hitting 18
to 24 year-olds"
4. "Teen generation will be 'world's sickest adults'"
< http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/12/09/nteen09.xml >
"The present generation of children and teenagers will turn into the most
obese and infertile adults in the history of mankind, doctors warned
5. "The children who won't grow up"
< http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/00000006DE8D.htm >
"Peter Pan-demonium, kidults, boomerang kids.... A sociologist examines
the phenomenon of lost boys and girls hanging out on the edge of adulthood"
6. "More than half men 'still children' at 30"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1042017.html >
"Two surveys in Britain and America have both concluded that today's
children are more likely to reach 'proper' adulthood some times in their
thirties rather than at 18"
7. "Grown up at 21? No way"
< http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030508-013708-6544r >
"A University of Chicago study indicates most Americans think it takes
several more years for one to become an official grown-up"
The malaise may not be restricted to "young people". It seems everyone
nowadays want to be "forever young". The following article compares the
way adults dress now to how their counterparts dressed in the middle of
"The Perpetual Adolescent (And the triumph of the youth culture)"
"The ideal almost everywhere is to seem young for as long as possible.
The health clubs and endemic workout clothes, the enormous increase in
cosmetic surgery (for women and men), the special youth-oriented television
programming and moviemaking, all these are merely the more obvious signs of
the triumph of youth culture"
Subject: B-List: Competitive Eating
Date: Mon, 31 January 2005 3:16:20 PM
(or: Stuffing Your Face with a Crowd of People Watching)
1. "Competitors who are all heart(burn)"
< http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2005/01/26/opinion/iq_3342312.txt >
"On Saturday, competitive eaters battled for $9,000 in prize money - and
the nearest bottle of antacid - as they devoured a burger heavier than a
2. "Kobayashi wins hot dog eating contest, again"
< http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20040704-032734-8158r.htm >
"For the fourth year, Kobayashi was named the world's top hot dog eater for
eating 53-and-a-half hot dogs in 12 minutes"
3. "Seven-stone woman crowned wing-eating champ"
< http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_861353.html >
"A seven-stone woman has beaten a 29-stone challenger by munching her way
through 167 chicken wings in 32 minutes"
4. "Iron-stomached Norwegian gulps down oyster record"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200309/s940545.htm >
"A Norwegian man has annihilated the world record for eating oysters by
downing a stomach-churning 187 of the slippery molluscs in three minutes
before polishing off a few pints of Guinness"
5. "Competitive 'eater' sets nibbling challenge"
< http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1101449.htm >
"To mark the premiere of a film about his life as a competitive eater,
Crazy Legs Conti is trying to eat his way out of a telephone booth-size
structure filled with popcorn"
6. "Redskins lineman wins eating contest"
"Thomas, who is 6 feet 5 and weighs 306 pounds, ate six pounds of food,
beating a 60-minute deadline, at Chubby's Barbecue in Emmitsburg, Md"
7. International Federation of Competitive Eating - IFOCE
< http://www.ifoce.com/ >
A site dedicated to the "sport" of competitive eating, including:
* IFOCE List of Records
< http://www.ifoce.com/records.php >
Latest update to my gardening blog:
< http://bruno-orto.blogspot.com/2005/01/return-of-shadecloths.html >