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B-List Archive

November 2004

Postings to the B-List.

Subject: B-List: World Wide Waits
Date: Mon, 1 November 2004 9:30:51 AM

1. "Couple still courting after 30 years"
   < >
"'Dating is much better than marrying, we do not have to worry about day-to-day
 problems. There are less fights and you don't have to put up with things you
 don't agree with'"

2. "Moroccan soldier keeps bride waiting for 24 years"
   < >
"But he had an excuse, he was in jail deep in the Sahara desert"

3. "It's a girl - family's first in 200 years"
   < >
"After eight generations of boys, Jade's birth this month took everyone by

4. "Welsh valley time forgot emerges from dark"
   < >
"Tucked deep in the Welsh mountains, Cwm Brefi will this week become the last
 village in Britain to connect to the electricity network"

5. "Couple switch on - after 37 years"
   < >
"Pat Payne, 74, and wife Margaret, 72, raised nine children in their farmhouse
 in Whepstead, near Bury St Edmunds, without electricity"

6. "After 28 years, phone line request turned down"
   < >
"A Romanian man who submitted a written request for a fixed phone line in 1976
 has finally received a reply from Romania's state-run Romtelecom, telling him
 it still has no lines available"

7. "Cheque's in the mail, 24 years late"
   < >
"A remorse-stricken Norwegian has finally settled a hotel bill 24 years after
 he fled without paying"

8. "Son repays dad 34 years on"
   < >
"A man who sold his prized Jaguar to buy a pram for his baby son in 1970, has
 been repaid with a new car on his 60th birthday"

9. "Better late than never"
   < >
"Austrian bureaucrats who held a collection for a family who lost everything in
 a fire have admitted they put the money in the safe - and forgot about it for
 more than a decade"

10. "20-year wait for ticket prize ends"
   < >
"[A] man from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory has received a prize of
 two tickets for the inaugural passenger rail journey to Darwin on the Ghan,
 more than 20 years after winning a Territory government competition"

11. "Premiere of kidnap movie that took 13 years to make"
   <,13955,1069867,00.html >
"The unluckiest film in recent British movie history finally had its premiere
 last night at the London Film Festival after trials and tribulations that
 mirrored the story of incredible resilience it tells"

Subject: B-List: Animals Being a Nuisance to Cyclists and Drivers
Date: Tue, 2 November 2004 4:34:32 PM

1. "Road hog attacks Hong Kong cyclist"
   < >
"A Hong Kong cyclist required hospital treatment after he was attacked and set
 upon by a wild pig"

2. "Angry buzzard terrorises cyclists"
   < >
"An angry buzzard is terrorising a quiet English country road by dive-bombing
 passing cyclists"

3. "Postman plagued by jealous pheasant"
   < >
"'I think it sees me as a giant pheasant which it has got to see off. It is
 totally obsessed by me and the van. I have been attacked by dogs in the past
 but never by a pheasant'"

4. "Beaver hit bus with tree"
   < >
"The driver was suddenly faced with the astounding sight of a tree falling
 into the highway after an industrious beaver's after hours work"

5. "Buffalo rams into Mo. woman's car"
   < >
"Tina Squires was driving in rural Independence, Mo., early Tuesday morning
 when a 1,200-pound buffalo rammed the side of her car"

6. "Hitchhiking raccoon snarls traffic"  [expired link]
   < >
"[S]he looked again at the gas pedal and saw a raccoon on top of her foot"

7. "Hungry ferret causes commuter chaos"
   < >
"A hungry ferret has caused chaos on a commuter train in central England,
 leaping from passenger to passenger before ducking into the driver's cab
 and devouring his lunch"

8. "Rats ravage bayside cars"  [expired link]
   <,4057,9973039^13762,00.html >
"Not content emptying seaside cafes of customers and sending families running
 from beaches, rats in the City of Kingston are now snacking under car bonnets
 and turning residents' vehicles into death traps"

Subject: B-List: Amusing Grounds for Divorce
Date: Wed, 3 November 2004 9:45:50 AM

Divorce is a serious matter, but sometimes the reasons for it can be amusing,
as this collection of news stories shows.

1. "Woman divorced for hit on pet dog"
   < >
"A woman in China has been divorced for hiring four hitmen to kill her
 husband's pet dog"

2. "Man married wrong twin"
   < >
"A Romanian man is demanding a divorce after finding out he married the twin
 sister of the woman he fell in love with"

3. "Man divorces and sues wife over ugly past"
   < >
"A Chinese man has divorced and sued his wife for £55,000 after discovering
 she'd had plastic surgery before they met"

4. "Groom finds bride is bald, wants divorce"
   < >
"A university professor in Helwan, south of Cairo, demanded a divorce after
 discovering on his wedding night that his bride was bald"

5. "Bryan Adams causes divorce...but it's not what you think"
   < >
"Tina Shaw blames her ex-hubby for launching her love affair with Canadian
 rocker Bryan Adams.  So she was bit surprised when he then named the superstar
 in their divorce as a reason for the split"

6. "Wife divorces husband because of 'thunderous snores'"
   < >

7. "Yemeni man seeks peace in second marriage"
   < >
"A Yemeni man has reportedly divorced his first wife because she was loud and
 argumentative and then picked a deaf and mute woman as his new bride"

8. "Rows between mother and daughter-in-law drive man to seek divorce"
   < >
"[A] judge refused, saying because he still loved his wife he must put up with
 the rows"

9. "Jordanian man divorces wife three times over phone bills"
   < >
"A Jordanian man has divorced his wife for a third, and final, time in three
 years, accusing her of ruining him financially because she spent hours
 talking on the phone"

10. "Wedding photo sparked instant divorce"
   < >
"A Saudi man divorced his wife immediately after the ceremony when his bride's
 brother insisted in taking a photograph of the newly married couple"

11. "A granny seeks divorce after husband's sex change"
   < >
"A Chinese couple in their 80s are divorcing after the husband decided to have
 a sex change"

12. "Husband divorces wife over dreams"
   < >
"The husband told a divorce court that a dream interpreter advised him a snake
 represents a lover, meaning his wife is cheating on him"

13. "Lotto win kills marriage"
   < >
"Kenneth Parker, 77, filed for divorce last summer after learning his wife of
 16 1/2 years wasn't going to share her winnings"

14. "Inflatable doll leads to divorce"
   < >
"The Romanian mother of two said she couldn't accept the idea of being cheated
 - even if her rival was an inflatable doll"

15. "Woman seeks divorce over Euro 2004 obsession"
   < >
"A woman from London has asked her husband for a divorce because he's pre-
 occupied with Euro 2004"

Subject: B-List: Follow the Trail II
Date: Thu, 4 November 2004 12:21:17 PM

1. "Toilet roll wraps up intentional damage case"
   <,2106,3044656a4560,00.html >
"The toilet paper trail at the Mangaokewa Reserve, about 2km from of Te Kuiti,
 led to a stolen digger"

2. "Cash register tape trailed into the bushes where they were hiding"
   < >
"When officers arrived, they found that the front door had been kicked in and
 the cash register was stolen. But the roll of tape that records transactions
 in the register was unraveling behind the thieves as they ran away"

3. "Burglar leaves trail of paint"  [second story down]
   < >
"[A] suspected crook spilled paint on the floor of a homeowner's garage, then
 walked through it. Police followed the footprints to a nearby motel"

4. "Bank theft suspect caught on BART"  [expired link]
   <,1413,82~1865~2472367,00.html >
"A bank robber probably thought he got away clean when he made it into the
 Downtown Berkeley BART station Friday evening. But a colorful red trail from
 an exploding dye pack led Berkeley police to their man"

5. "German thief caught by trail of blood"
   < >
"A thief in Germany was caught after a sniffer dog followed a trail of blood
 from the scene to a local hospital"

6. "Blood-red money leads to a suspect"  [expired link]
   < >
"Struggling and trying to escape, Reed dove through a plate-glass window and
 landed on a balcony, severely slashing his leg, according to authorities"

7. "Gary Goodwill Jr leaves behind a mile-long mud trail from a vandalized
    Highland Township lawn"  [expired link]
   <,1413,140~9956~2258159,00.html >

Subject: B-List: There's A ... In My Food II
Date: Fri, 5 November 2004 10:16:56 AM

1. "'Lady, there's a lizard in my meal'"
   < >
"The airline admitted in a statement published on Friday that it had launched
 an inquiry into how the 5cm-long lizard came to be cooked and served up to
 businessman Ashok Sharma"

2. "'There's a mouse in my soup'"
   < >
"Therese Oulad, 49, claims the mouse was floating on top of her Cream of Tomato

3. "Chinese restaurants shut down for using opium"
   < >
"Narcotics police in southwestern China shuttered 215 restaurants found to be
 mixing opium poppy into their soups and hot pot stews"

4. "Live frog found in supermarket salad"
   < >
"A supermarket shopper in Arco Trento, Italy, got a big surprise in her salad"

5. "Piccadilly recalls greens after man says he finds rat parts in food"
   < >
"He says he noticed what appears to be rat body parts in the greens and
 accidentally swallowed some of the parts"

6. "Woman claims she bit down on fingertip, nail in beet salad"  [expired link]
   < >
"A Manhattan woman reportedly has filed a $3 million lawsuit against a midtown
 Manhattan restaurant after she found a fingertip and nail in her salad"

7. "Eww!-berry muffin"
   < >
"Theresa VanHorn, a 29-year-old writer at MTV Networks, said she was eating a
 carrot-nut cream-cheese-topped muffin from her office building's bodega on
 West 50th Street when she found a piece of latex baked into the crumbly

8. "Texas teen finds joint in McDonald's frozen yogurt"
   < >
"A teenager says she found a partially smoked marijuana joint in her frozen
 yogurt parfait at a McDonald's in south Texas"

9. "Judge found dead mouse in beer"
   < >
"A US judge is seeking compensation after finding the body of a dead mouse in
 a bottle of beer ... Judge Anglen says a Miller representative told him to
 pack the bottle in dry ice and mail it to them, so they could determine if
 it was a mouse"

Subject: B-List: Possible Overreactions
Date: Mon, 8 November 2004 9:29:26 AM

1. "Family dinner escalates into shootout"
   < >
"A family meal erupted into a gunbattle after a father and son clashed over how
 to cook chicken"

2. "Policewoman shot brother in row over butter"
   < >
"A Tennessee police woman says she accidentally shot her brother in an argument
 over a tub of butter"

3. "Stabbed with fork over $2 bill"
       2004/11/02/1099262830408.html >
"A Malaysian man is in custody after he allegedly stabbed an Indian waiter with
 a fork following a heated dispute in a restaurant over a $3 bill"

4. "Woman allegedly stabs brother over 'stinky socks'"
   < >
"An argument over smelly socks apparently led a St. Paul woman to stab her
 brother to death"

5. "Mother repeatedly stabs boy over stuffed animal"
   < >
"A mother repeatedly stabbed her 10-year-old son in the arm with a steak knife,
 allegedly because he and his brother destroyed her favorite stuffed animal"

6. "Man killed over DIY noise"
   < >
"An English court has handed down a 10-year sentence to a man who murdered his
 neighbour because the noise from his do-it-yourself improvements was annoying

7. "Man shot for mowing lawn too much"  [expired link]
   < >

8. "Sneezing mooner gets a church bruising"
   < >
"Police in western Germany were called to a city church on Friday after two
 women began fighting outside because one of them could not stand the other's
 incessant sneezing during a service"

Subject: B-List: Not-So-Small Change
Date: Tue, 9 November 2004 11:59:17 AM

1. "Man uses 32,000 coins to pay for goods"
   < >
"A Brazilian man has paid for goods in an electrical shop with more than 32,000

2. "Couple paid by Paramount in 100,000 pennies"
   < >
"[A] Paramount producer paid them one-thousand dollars to stop trimming their
 tree while he filmed an outdoor scene in their Brentwood neighborhood. But
 instead of writing the Roths a check, producer Ronald Schwary sent over 100-
 thousand pennies in 20 bags -- two weeks later"

3. "A million pennies saved, nothing earned"
   < >
"A California man who collected 1 million pennies for a bet is having a hard
 time cashing in on his $10,000 fortune"
   "Store chain scents publicity in million-cent problem"
   < >
"The frustrated collector of a million US one-cent coins has found a buyer to
 relieve him of his burden: the supermarket company Safeway will buy the coins
 and donate half to charity"

4. "School has collected 1 million pennies"
       school_has_collected_1_million_pennies/ >
"Students started saving pennies in 1996 as part of a math project by fifth-
 grade teacher Dave Jorgensen"

5. "To give a lifetime of pennies"
   < >
"After nearly half a century of piggy banking his pennies, West Warwick resident
 Roland L'Heureux has decided to donate his savings to the West Warwick Senior
 Center improvement project"

6. "Boy swindled out of piggy bank money"
   < >
"Police said Tuesday a 13-year-old boy offered to befriend an eight-year-old
 schoolmate in return for a video game, game cards and piggy banks. The younger
 boy returned to school later in the day with the items, including two piggy
 banks filled with almost $1,000"

It appears emulating item #1 wouldn't be possible in Australia:
   < >
1c and 2c coins were withdrawn from circulation, but they remain legal tender.
The Currency Act 1965 limits use of such coins coins to pay up to 20c of an
amount owing. But it does let you pay off up to $5 using 5c, 10c, 20c or 50c
coins. A warning to anyone wanting to try this: check for any payment conditions
which may apply.

Subject: B-List: Airport Dramas
Date: Wed, 10 November 2004 10:45:14 AM

1. "Naked Canadian man jumps on moving Qantas jet"
   < >
"A Canadian man angry that he was refused a plane ticket to Australia at Los
 Angeles International Airport has stripped naked, climbed a barbed wire fence,
 sprinted across the tarmac and climbed into the wheel well of a moving jumbo

2. "Stripper in airport scare"
   < >
"A drunken woman looking for a place to sleep slipped past security and onto an
 aircraft at Aberdeen airport in Scotland where she dozed unnoticed for several
 hours, sparking a review of security"

3. "Air passenger dropped his trousers"
   < >
"A passenger at Cologne airport stunned staff who asked him to remove his belt
 by taking off his trousers instead"

4. "Man in pyjama bottoms beats US airport security"
   < >
"A US airline passenger drove a baggage tractor on to a runway while wearing
 only a pair of pyjama bottoms"

5. "Boy, 4, sneaks onto airport conveyor belt"
   < >
"A four-year-old boy caused chaos at a Norwegian airport this week when he
 hopped aboard a luggage conveyor belt next to an unstaffed check-in desk"

6. "Woman drives car through airport terminal"
   < >
"A woman returning her rented car to an airport drop-off point - drove the
 vehicle through a terminal building"

7. "Spilled nail varnish on plane prompts emergency at German airport"
   < >
"A spilled bottle of nail varnish on-board an aircraft prompted emergency
 services to rush into action at an airport in northern Germany"

8. "Vibrator closes airport"
   < >
"An adult sex toy sparked a security scare which closed an Australian airport
 for nearly an hour"

9. "Drunken flight attendant beats up passenger"
   < >
"Drunken passengers often give air crews trouble, but Russia's leading airline
 on Tuesday reported an 'unprecedented' reversal: a passenger was assaulted by
 intoxicated flight attendants"

Subject: B-List: Falling Down - Lucky Escapes II
Date: Thu, 11 November 2004 10:05:45 AM

1. "Sleeping man survives cliff plunge"
   < >
"He later awoke to the sound of waves crashing around him after the vehicle
 dropped down a 15-metre embankment and came to rest at the bottom, upside
 down on the rocks in the surf"

2. "Cavorting couple careen off cliff"
   < >
"A couple who parked for a bit of passion on wheels got the surprise of their
 lives after their raucous rocking sent their car over a cliff in the west of

3. "Husband catches falling wife"
   < >
"A Chinese woman who accidentally fell from the balcony of her fifth-floor
 apartment was caught by her husband standing below"

4. "Man's survival 'miracle'"
   < >
"An elderly Taiwanese man who plummeted 12 storeys to the ground after he
 fell from his apartment balcony while changing a lightbulb survived with
 only minor bruises"

5. "Lada softens man's 50ft fall"
   < >
"A Serbian man survived a 50 foot fall from his flat by landing on the roof
 of Lada parked below"

6. "Toddler survives 80ft fall"
   < >
"A two-year-old Romanian boy survived an 80ft fall down a rubbish chute from
 the top of a nine-storey block of flats"

(a John West post)

Subject: B-List: Be Careful What You Do In Public
Date: Fri, 12 November 2004 9:02:22 AM

1. "Cyclist to stand trial for 'falling off bike'"
   < >
"The boy on the eastern Aegean Sea island of Chios has been ordered to stand
 trial on October 13 for allegedly violating eight articles of the penal code
 and one traffic violation for falling off his bicycle during an annual race"

2. "Fan arrested for sleeping through match"
   < >
"Prosecutors have been urged to drop their 'ludicrous' case against an English
 soccer fan who fell asleep as his home side lost a Premiership match"

3. "A Utah couple is cited for refusing to give up movie theater seats"
   < >
"Saving seats in a movie theater isn't uncommon -- but becoming argumentative
 when asked to release them apparently is worth a citation"

4. "German court throws out laughable lawsuit"
   < >
"A German took his female neighbour to court for laughing too loudly"

5. "Woman arrested for cursing on phone"
   < >
"A pregnant woman said she was handcuffed by transit police and forced onto
 her stomach during an arrest that began with her talking too loudly on her

6. "Popping balloon leads to unreasonable noise charge"
   < >
"A man has been summonsed to court for making unreasonable noise because his
 son's balloon burst on a New York street"

7. "Woman accused of pinching policeman's bottom"
   < >
"She was arrested last month after police accused her of squeezing an officer's
 buttocks three times during an anti-globalisation protest outside the Greek
 Embassy in London"

8. "We're not sorry, say puddle case police"
   < >
"A police force stood its ground today after being criticised for prosecuting
 a motorist who accidentally splashed an officer"

9. "Court finds man guilty of 'gross ingratitude'"
   < >
"A German court has found a man guilty of 'gross ingratitude' and ordered him
 to pay back a gift of 21,000 euros after telling his wife she was insane"

10. "Woman arrested for eating chocolate in station"
   < >
"A woman has been handcuffed and arrested for eating a chocolate bar inside a
 Metro station in Washington DC"

Subject: B-List: Pest Control Gone Wrong
Date: Mon, 15 November 2004 9:55:17 AM

Don't try these at home ...

1. "Bug-bomb explosion rips house apart"
   < >
"The owners of the house at 3715 Euclid Ave. reportedly set off 19 bug bombs
 in the home to exterminate insects, only to have the gas inside the containers
 fill the house until a pilot light ignited it, tearing the house apart"

2. "Man has close call when home explodes"
   < >
"'I thought I had shut off the pilot light in the water heater,' said Napoleon,
 who just moments before had opened two pest foggers in his home"

3. "Man sets house on fire trying to kill mosquito"  [Japan]
   < >
"Police say the property was gutted in the blaze caused by Tatsuo Onishi
 lighting a cigarette after spraying pesticide outside"

4. "Man sets fire to own house trying tackle mosquitoes"  [Brazil]
   < >
"He lit a sheet of paper to scare off the insects, but the flames quickly
 spread and worried neighbours called the fire brigade"

5. "Bid to rid apartment of wasps ends in blaze"  [Switzerland]
   < >
"A man who tried to fight bothersome wasps with insect spray and a cigarette
 lighter burned down his apartment and two neighbouring flats"

6. "Wasp smoke out sets house ablaze"  [Wales]
   < >
"It is thought the woman had lit a small fire outside the house to smoke out
 the wasps but timbers caught, spreading the flames to the roof"

7. "Burning wasp sets house on fire"  [Germany]
   < >
"[A] roofing worker used his blowtorch to protect himself against a swarm of
 the insects. A wasp was set on fire and flew back to its nest located in the
 rafters and set it on fire"

8. "Bee-burning effort results in arson arrest"
   < >
"Snyder ignited hair spray from an aerosol can and aimed it at the nest that
 he believed was concealed in a hole in the wall of the outside deck"

9. "Man arrested for lighting tarantula-fed fire"
   < >
"A Carlsbad man who burned a tarantula that crawled away and sparked a grass
 fire has been fined and sentenced to jail time"

10. "Man shoots at mouse, hits girlfriend"
   < >
"A US man who tried to shoot a mouse accidentally shot his girlfriend in the
 arm instead"


For those interested, I posted a weekly update to my vegie garden blog yesterday:
   < >

Subject: B-List: Life Imitates Art
Date: Tue, 16 November 2004 10:44:41 AM

1. "Basil Fawlty-style hotel owner 'locked up guests'"
   < >
"Manager Anello Aiello, 68, faces possible kidnapping charges after locking in
 guests who complained about poor service including unchanged sheets and poor
 quality meals"

2. "'Thelma and Louise' copycats to face court"
   < >
"Two women who allegedly dressed up as Hollywood movie characters and drove
 through south-west Western Australia pointing a toy gun at motorists are due
 to face court today"

3. "Liberian stuck in real-life Terminal"
   < >
"A man who identified himself as a Liberian national has been stuck at South
 Korea's main international airport for four months without a passport"

4. "Casablanca gets real Rick's Cafe"
   < >
"The restaurant is named after the cafe from the 1942 classic film Casablanca
 which starred Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman"

5. "Pentagon to pay millions for Scots' robot soldiers"
   < >
"Chief executive Simon Hardy said the technology had its nearest equivalent in
 the Star Wars movie Attack Of The Clones"
George Lucas would be impressed, again:
   < >
"Lucas never liked the fact that the Reagan administration used the title 'Star
 Wars' as a shorthand for their Strategic Defense Initiative. As a result, he
 named a character after Ronald Reagan. The last name is Reagan is inverted,
 and becomes Nute Gunray."

6. "Worst-kept secret revealed: It's the Isotopes"
   < >
"The Isotopes name comes from a March 2001 episode of 'The Simpsons,' the long-
 running Fox cartoon series. In the episode, titled 'Hungry, Hungry Homer,'
 Homer Simpson thwarts a plan to move his favorite baseball team, the
 Springfield Isotopes, to Albuquerque"

7. "Simpsons plant seeds of invention"
   <,1286,61091,00.html >
"Rob Baur of Lake Oswego, Oregon, dreamed of bringing to life his favorite The
 Simpsons episode, one from 1999 in which Homer grows 'tomacco,' a combination
 tomato-tobacco plant"

8. "Venice opera house rises from ashes"
   < >
"Venice's much-loved Fenice ['The Pheonix'] Opera House, completely destroyed
 in a fire eight years ago, reopened on Sunday with a gala concert"

Subject: B-List: Pesky Pranksters
Date: Wed, 17 November 2004 4:17:40 PM

1. "Friends foil Olympia man's home"
   < >
"Downtown resident returns from trip to find belongings silver-coated"

2. "Toilet paper in principal's yard cleaned up"
   < >
"The Merwin home was the site of a homecoming prank that left the property
 awash in a sea of toilet paper"

3. "Eminence principal calls prank 'vandalism'"
   < >
"High school officials say a senior prank became a health hazard because
 hundreds of pounds of manure was spread on school doors and around the
 building, and dead animals, animal blood and stolen 'for sale' signs were
 put outside the school"

4. "Senior prank goes awry in Fremont"  [expired link]
   <,1413,86~10669~2194542,00.html >
"As part of a senior prank, students released about 50 mice at American High
 School, sending some students screaming and scrambling for safety atop tables
 and prompting other students to kick and stomp the mice"

5. "Radio prank leaves city leaders smoking"
   < >
"[D]isc jockeys on WXZZ ... told listeners that a new smoking ban had passed,
 prohibiting smoking in cars"

6. "Pranksters target gnome lovers"
   < >
"Garden gnome lovers have been targeted by official-looking letters that
 threaten prosecution if they do not remove their outdoor ornaments"

7. "House hoax drives council mad"
       0,5744,10975166%255E421,00.html >
"Eager Simpsons fans have inundated Whittlesea Council in Melbourne with
 telephone calls after rumours the municipality had a real-life replica of
 the cartoon family's home"

8. "Michigan cops seek prankster jamming fast-food drive-thru with trash talk"
   < >
"Police in the northern Detroit suburb are looking for someone who is using
 a device to broadcast on the same frequency as a Burger King drive-through

9. "Airport prank"
   < >
"Some pranksters at an airport made up foreign looking names that when read
 over the public address system sound like something else entirely"

10. "Best computer pranks ever: Practical jokes guaranteed to drive your
     co-workers to distraction"
   < >
Don't try these at work unless you want to risk your job :)

Subject: B-List: Pampered Pets
Date: Thu, 18 November 2004 8:25:39 AM

1. "Pampered pets get more than foreign aid recipients"
   < >
"The Australia Institute estimates that more than $2.2 billion was spent on pets
 last year, compared to the Federal Government's official development assistance
 [foreign aid] of less than $2 billion... It says the upsurge in spending on
 pets is driven by expensive products such as diamond jewellery for dogs,
 gourmet cat food, sleeping bags for ferrets and breath freshener for animals"

2. "Guide caters for pet jet set"
   < >
"The RACQ has published Travelling With Pets, which lists more than 180 holiday
 destinations where people can take their animals"

3. "Turkish horse loves chips, drink and ciggies"
   < >
"A Turkish father of two so treasures his horse that he feeds him potato crisps,
 nourishes him with a potent alcoholic drink and slips him the occasional

4. "World's first restaurant for cats"
   < >
"The café features tables where cats can try out six varieties of Meow Mix - and
 where their owners can snack on people food"

5. "Japanese dogs eat in style at canine cafe"
   < >
"The cafe, in Tokyo's fashionable Daikanyama district, now offers a menu
 prepared exclusively for dogs, including dishes such as cabbage roll and
 chicken pie"

6. "Japanese store offers £145 meal for dogs"
   < >
"Two hundred New Year's 'bento' sets are up for grabs on a first come first
 serve basis at the Mitsukoshi store"

7. "Hotel chain sees profits in pooches"
   < >
"The company is actually offering doggie beds. 'Every dog has its duvet,' it
 says. 'Besides the beds, each brand will also offer food and water bowls and
 temporary I.D. tags with hotel contact information.'"

8. "Birthday cakes for canines"
   < >
"A new company has been set up in Moscow to hand make and deliver birthday cakes
 for dogs"

9. "Brazilian pet shop sets up creche for dogs"
   < >
"A Brazilian pet shop has set up a day care centre for dogs where people can
 leave their pets while they are at work... Pet Life also has a hotel for dogs
 and a 24-hour pet hospital"

10. "Dogs 'need' yoga too"
   < >
"Some people have been bitten by a new yoga bug - the kind that allows you to
 meditate with dogs"

11. "Fat dogs queue up for footballer's therapy pool"
   < >
"A former First Division footballer says he has dozens of dogs on a waiting
 list after opening a hydrotherapy pool for overweight hounds"

12. "Pooches soak up luxury treatments at dog spa"
   < >
"Soaking in a fragrant tub scattered with flower petals, or stretched out on a
 massage table as an attentive therapist applies hot compresses - it is a dog's
 life at a spa for stressed-out Bangkok pooches in Thailand"

13. "Dog gym opens in Chile"
   < >
"A gym exclusively for dogs has opened in Santiago"

14. "Fancy dress big for dogs in Chile"
   < >
"Dog owners in a Chilean city are putting their dogs in fancy dress costumes to
 take them for walks"

15. "Pampered pooches hit the dogwalk"
   < >
"Princess Tamara Borbon and her five-year-old Yorkshire terrier Bugsy were top
 of the bill at a canine fashion show at Harrods"

16. "Show rooster gets a bath at the dog wash"
   < >
"The Kibbee's, who raise show chickens in Manhattan, saw an advertisement for
 the dog wash and decided it would work well for bathing chickens, too"

Subject: B-List: World Toilet Day
Date: Fri, 19 November 2004 3:06:36 PM

Today's post marks a very important occasion: World Toilet Day.

1. "World Toilet Summit opens"
   < >
"'New public toilets are an important symbol to demonstrate the development of
 the city'"
Find out more about the summit and the World Toilet Organization:
   < >

2. "Toilet computer warns users"
   < >
"A cultural centre in Amsterdam has installed sensors in its toilets that tell
 users if they're taking too much time... Toilet users will also be given a
 reminder if they fail to flush the toilet, smoke, don't put up the toilet
 seat, or use to much toilet paper"

3. "Men can't stand it"
   < >
"A German inventor who developed a gadget that berates men if they use the
 toilet standing up has sold more than 1.6 million devices"

4. "Student arrested for blocking toilet"
   < >
"A US college student's been arrested on the Canadian border and charged with
 blocking a toilet after answering a call of nature"

5. "School charges for toilet trips"
   < >
"School officials instituted a plan to charge pupils for toilet trips in order
 to pay for repairs that were needed after students vandalized bathroom

6. "Toilet training for pupils"
   <,,91059-12992442,00.html >
"Youngsters at the Lawrence Middle School, in New Jersey, are allowed just 15
 toilet breaks during class time each month"

7. "Kinder's toilet-cam plan upsets parents"  [expired link]
   <,4057,8653095%255E421,00.html >
"A kindergarten will install surveillance cameras in toilets despite clashing
 with a student's family over privacy"

8. "Toilet users told to mind their pees and q's"
   < >
"In a campaign on latrine etiquette ahead of World Toilet Day on Wednesday,
 the association is urging users to report flushes that do not work and help
 tourists find the loo at shopping malls"

9. "Man goes down toilet"
   < >
"A man trying to fish his mobile phone out of a commuter train toilet got his
 arm stuck, forcing the train to stop and causing delays throughout the New
 York rail system"

10. "Man seeks income stream"
   < >
"A man in western China is reportedly seeking permission to turn his home into
 a public toilet in order to make money for his family"

11. "Singapore gives five stars to toilet"
   < >
"Environment Minister Lim Swee Say launched the 'Happy Toilet' campaign, which
 will rate public restrooms using a five-star system similar to that used for

12. "New play being staged in toilet"
   < >
"A Brazilian theatre company has opened its new production - in a public toilet"

Subject: B-List: Take Your Time - Late Mail II
Date: Mon, 22 November 2004 9:38:16 AM

1. "Letter arrives 54 years late"
   < >
"A Norwegian woman had a real surprise this week when she received a letter
 mailed 54 years ago, delivered by a mailman who brought along flowers for
 the occasion"

2. "American woman's postcard to mother takes 37 years to arrive"
   < >
"A woman vacationing in New Jersey 37 years ago popped a postcard into the mail
 and it just arrived at her mother's house in Pennsylvania"

3. "Stamp mix-up postcard arrives 42 years on"
   < >
"A postcard mailed in Paris with an Irish stamp by mistake, has arrived in
 Germany 42 years late"

4. "Christmas card takes five years to arrive"
   < >
"A woman in County Donegal in the Irish Republic has received a Christmas card
 from a nearby relative - almost five years late"

5. "New meaning given to 'snail mail'"
   < >
"The letter from a bank in a small New Zealand town to a fashion store across
 the road reached its destination safely. Via Austria, that is."

6. "Mail delivered after nearly two decades"
   < >
"Trisha Collins-Lavigne waited 19 years to see Nina Roxanne's plastic face
 again. The Cabbage Patch Kids doll, which arrived at her home recently, was
 mailed to her almost two decades ago, after she left it on a tour bus in

7. "Home buyer finds 113-year-old letter behind wall"
   < >
"A woman who bought a house in the southern Brazilian town of Laguna, found a
 113-year-old letter behind a wall"

Subject: B-List: Uninvited Company
Date: Tue, 23 November 2004 8:32:24 AM

1. "Stranger moves into woman's house"
   < >
"A woman came home from vacation to find a stranger living there, wearing her
 clothes, changing utilities into her name and even ripping out carpet and
 repainting a room she didn't like, authorities said"

2. "N.C. man returns home, finds homeless people"
   < >
"A North Carolina man says he came back from three weeks of vacation to find
 three homeless people living in his house. They were watching TV when he came
 through the door"

3. "Man knocks his flat into neighbour's"
   < >
"A man who found his flat in the city of Metz too small, knocked it into his
 neighbour's flat and moved in"

4. "Naked intruder found at Russian consulate"
   < >
"Police arrested a naked man in the office of the Russian consulate in downtown
 Seattle early Thursday morning"

5. "Intruder sneaks into Olivos residence in a new blot on presidential security"
   < >
"A man sneaked into the Olivos presidential residence on Sunday morning, walked
 around the mansions gardens for around three hours and even asked for a glass
 of water at the guests house before walking away without being noticed"

6. "Uninvited 'visitors' in Hess"
   < >
"Two residents living on different floors of Hess Hall were awakened by an
 unknown visitor who entered their rooms Monday morning"

7. "Intruder flees through neighborhood"
       0,2132,WXYZ_15924_3330290,00.html >
"A man suspected of trying to break into a Sterling Hgts. home ended up running
 from house to house trying to hide from police"

8. "Robbers staged party in victim's home"
   < >
"A gang of robbers who raided a house in Argentina threw a party in front of
 their victims"

Subject: B-List: Keystone Kops
Date: Wed, 24 November 2004 8:25:25 AM

1. "Sarajevo police attempt to catch bank robbers by hitching ride in streetcar"
   < >
"It was the talk of the town on Friday: two policemen trying to catch two bank
 robbers hopped on a streetcar because they lacked a car"

2. "Burglar escapes in police car"
   < >
"Two Dutch policemen were embarrassed when a burglar stole their patrol car as
 they chased his getaway driver on foot"

3. "Suspect dodges police to nick patrol car"
   < >
"When the police got out of their car and attempted to arrest the man, he
 dodged past them and escaped in the police car"

4. "Belgian police red-faced as Dutroux van drives off with door open"
   < >
"Television pictures showed the green police van leaving the Palace of Justice
 in Arlon, south-east Belgium, with one of the doors to its trunk wide open as
 it began the 300 metre trip to the nearby jail"

5. "Police 'missed burglar under the bed'"
   < >
"Police searched a Blackburn man's house after reports of a break-in - but
 missed the suspected burglar hiding under a bed"

6. "French police unwittingly aide jewellery thief"
   < >
"The man, identified only as Yves, told the officers he had lost his keys and
 needed their help to get into the shop. They kindly obliged, calling in a
 locksmith to pry open the door"

7. "Police car stolen from police HQ"
   < >
"Romanian police are investigating how one of their cars was stolen in broad
 daylight from outside their national headquarters"

8. "Courthouse cafeteria in a twist over doughnut bandit"
   < >
"[I]t doesn't look good to have someone stealing donuts a few feet from dozens
 of sheriff's deputies"

9. "Policeman rips hole in royal oil painting"
   < >
"A policeman who was determined to protect a royal oil painting from thieves
 accidentally tore a gaping hole in its canvas"

For those unfamiliar with the Keystone Kops:
   < >

Subject: B-List: Fun and Games, On and Off the Field
Date: Thu, 25 November 2004 8:44:42 AM

1. "Soccer club president takes road rage to the pitch"
   < >
"The president of a soccer club in Moldova has been fined after jumping into
 his jeep and trying to run over a referee who awarded a penalty against his

2. "Row between wives stops footie match"
   < >
"A soccer match in Nottinghamshire had to be abandoned after a brawl between
 the managers' wives"

3. "Referee sends off the crowd"
   < >
"A referee abandoned an under-13s football game and sent off their parents for
 verbal abuse"

4. "Fans dump manure on kicker's lawn"
   < >
"[T]he kicker's house had been pelted with eggs ... about an hour after the
 game was over. While McCallum's wife was out cleaning up the mess, a second
 vehicle pulled up and dumped the manure"

5. "'Rig' challenges 'Boof' to battle of slow pokes"
   < >
"A charity foot race between the two slowest members of the Australian and New
 Zealand cricket teams for this week's Adelaide Test match has been arranged,
 with both to wear full-length body suits"

6. Fans put coach and player up for auction on eBay:
   "Sporting auction"
   < >
"Southampton boss Steve Wigley has become the latest high-profile name to get
 the ebay treatment... The sales pitch reads: 'Comes in used, but fairly decent
 condition, just no management, man-management, motivation or technical prowess'"
   "Dyer up for sale on ebay"
   < >
"The accompanying sales patter reads: 'Hailed in his younger years as a super-
 star in the making, Kieron Dyer has spectacularly under-achieved in his five
 years at Newcastle United, as well as in his call-ups for England"

7. "'His and hers' loos for Wayne and Coleen"
   < >
"Wayne Rooney [English soccer player] and Coleen McLoughlin [actress wannabe]
 will reportedly have side-by-side 'his and hers' loos in their new home"

8. "All Black confesses he wears make-up"
   < >
"A member of the All Blacks, New Zealand's best known and possibly toughest
 sporting team, has admitted he wears make-up"

9. "'Crazy' bingo sessions bond Portugal players"
   < >
"Portugal soccer coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is crediting regular sessions of
 bingo for helping the national team develop team spirit ahead of the soccer
 Euro 2004 finals"

10. "'You've got no chance' - soccer star tells Brit girls"
   < >
"The 29-year-old striker, who has been single since he divorced a year ago from
 a former Miss Croatia, said he had been swamped with female admirers in the UK,
 but was only interested in Croatians"

Subject: B-List: Animal Firestarters
Date: Fri, 26 November 2004 9:21:45 AM

1. "Pizza-loving pooch blamed for fire"
   < >
"A dog with a nose for pizza left on a stovetop apparently turned on the range
 inside a Ken Del apartment late Tuesday night causing a fire to start in unit
 No. 42"

2. "Dog starts Napa fire, nearly perishes with hamster"
   < >
"The fire began sometime before 8 a.m. in the kitchen of the home at 1596 Verna
 Drive after Charlotte, while jumping onto the counter to get to a bag of
 garbage that had been left there, inadvertently turned a knob on the stove"

3. "Foraging pigs spark fire"
   <,4057,8100793%5E1702,00.html >
"Five pigs searching for food ran into their owner's house in Cambodia, knocked
 over a container of gasoline and started a fire that killed the sleeping owner
 and seriously injured his wife, a newspaper reported today"

4. "Royalton house explosion blamed on animal"  [expired link]
   < >
"The Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety said it believes a rodent - probably a
 gopher - chewed through a gas line causing the explosion"

5. "Backfire ignites dog, dog sets grass fire"
   < >
"The dog, whose coat caught fire when the owner's vehicle backfired, ignited a
 grass fire just off U.S. Highway 95"

6. "Blazing bunny's revenge"
   < >
"A rabbit set alight by a bonfire at an English cricket club got its revenge
 when it ran burning into a hut and set it ablaze destroying costly equipment"

Subject: B-List: Criminals Trapping Themselves
Date: Mon, 29 November 2004 9:00:30 AM

1. "Caged thief had to help police arrest him"
   < >
"[A]s he smashed the window at the entrance the alarm went off, sending a
 rolling iron gate crashing down behind him. The thief was then trapped and
 on display while waiting for police to respond to the alarm"  (with photo)

2. "Clumsy thief falls in bin"
   < >
"A bumbling thief fell into a clothes recycling bin and had to be rescued by
 firefighters"  (with photos)

3. "King crab thief locked in freezer"
   <,4057,8511798%5E1702,00.html >
"A Japanese man who stole valuable king crabs from a fish market was arrested
 after accidentally locking himself inside a freezer"

4. "Robber found locked in getaway car boot"
   < >
"A German bankrobber was arrested after the driver of his getaway car left him
 locked in the boot"

5. "Idiot breaks into glue factory to get high - and winds up stuck to floor!"
   < >
"Desperate Bill Henderson broke into a glue factory in search of the ultimate
 high, and 12 hours later stunned workers found him -- stuck to the floor!"

6. "'Down the chimney he fell ...'"  [registration required]
   < >
"A Minneapolis man's imitation of old St. Nick on Christmas Eve brought cheer
 only to police and fire rescuers, who had to stifle chuckles while rescuing
 him from the narrow chimney of a bookstore in the city's Phillips neighborhood"

7. "Burglar's plea after getting stuck in chimney"
   < >
"A man who allegedly tried to break into a restaurant in Texas pleaded for
 help after getting stuck in a chimney"

8. "N.C. men get stuck in lake fleeing police"
   < >
"Two men fleeing police were captured after they ran across a muddy lake bed,
 lost their shoes and got mired in the muck"

9. "Unlucky robber leaves crime scene battered"
   < >
"He allegedly grabbed some money but as he tried to leave through the roof the
 thief twice fell back into the shop"

Subject: B-List: A Slight Case of Overcharging + November Postings Reprised
Date: Tue, 30 November 2004 8:11:34 AM

A. A Slight Case of Overcharging

1. "Record electricity bill shock"
   < >
"The bill - for two months - was NOK 7.6 million (USD 1.1 million)"

2. "Computer error means £2.3 trillion electricity bill"
   < >
"The demand for £2,320,333,681,613 was supposed to be for electricity supplied
 to Mr Law's new home at Fartown, Huddersfield"

3. "Couple swimming in $7.7 million water bill"
   < >
"A Texas couple needed a drink after they got a water bill for $7,714,510.21
 instead of the usual $50 or $60"

4. "Patient billed $1100 for 5min visit"  [expired link]
   <,4057,9099746%255E421,00.html >
"A Serpentine mother has been billed $1100 by a doctor for a five-minute visit
 while she was in labour - even though he did not deliver the baby"

5. "Lawyer sends £1.5m bill for one hour's work"
   < >
"A self-employed German who earns just £12,000 pounds a year has been landed
 with a £1.5 million pound legal bill after asking a lawyer to do a few minutes

B. November Postings Reprised

[World Wide Waits]
* "Schoolboy query taxed British officials for years"
   < >
"It was only a simple query in a school test - why does Britain's tax year
 start on April 5?  But according to a report on Monday, the question took
 Britain's Inland Revenue's best minds a full seven years to answer"
* "Couple forgot to pick up wedding album - for 15 years"
   < >
"A Malaysian couple forgot to pick up their wedding album until they had been
 married for 15 years"

[Possible Overreactions]
* "Poor table manners lead to stabbings"
   < >
"A man was charged with stabbing two relatives after they allegedly
 criticized his table manners during Thanksgiving dinner"
* "Cabbie killed unruly passenger"
   < >
"A taxi driver killed a drunken passenger when the man refused to get out of
 his cab"
* "Fight over car doors cited in killing"
   <,1413,36%257E53%257E2537292,00.html >
"A dented vehicle door led to a homicide Saturday night in the parking lot of
 an Aurora Blockbuster video store"

[Not-So-Small Change]
* "Ohio man sets record for most pennies collected"
   < >
"A 78-year old man from Ohio has set a new national record for the most
 pennies collected, weighing in at 3.5 tons, he cashed in a total of
 1,048,013 pennies, or $10,480.13"

[Airport Dramas]
* "Airline stowaway proves a hard rat to track"
   < >
"A China Eastern Airlines passenger jet flying a daily route between Shanghai
 and Singapore was grounded for three days as crews tried to locate and
 exterminate a stowaway rat"
* "Pregnant baboon runs loose at Houston airport"
   < >
"A pregnant baboon being loaded on a Continental Airlines plane at Bush
 Intercontinental Airport Wednesday briefly escaped when the door to her cage
* "'Doofus' travellers carrying saws, mines"
   < >
"Many air travellers in the United States apparently still haven't understood
 the word about leaving their handguns and knives behind when they go to the
 airport - not to mention chainsaws, landmines and gunpowder, too"

[World Toilet Day]
* "Eminem's bathroom bother"
   < >
"Eminem was stunned when a huge minder knocked a wall onto him while he was
 on the toilet"
* "Soft, strong but a long time to go away - how loo paper puts a strain on
   the system"
   <,,1-2-1369346-2,00.html >
"The pampered posteriors of Britain's bathrooms are placing an increasing
 strain on plumbers as ever-kinder toilet tissues block up the nation's

[Take Your Time - Late Mail II]
* "Letter 286 years late"
   <,,2-1343-1347_1626234,00.html >
"A letter that landed in the wrong box 286 years ago finally reached the
 right address in Germany on Wednesday after an expert decoded the ornate


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