Don't Panic! Lighten Up!


Wash. City Using Classical Music To Chase Gangs From Bus Stop

City authorities, fed up with gang activity in public places, are taking Bach their bus stop.

Transit workers are installing speakers this week to pump classical music from Seattle's KING-FM into the Tacoma Mall Transit Center. The tactic is designed to disperse young criminals who make drug deals at the bus stop or use public transportation to circulate between the mall and other trouble-prone places.

The attack by Bach, Brahms and Beethoven follows the theory that prompted the city to stage pinochle games on dangerous street corners: Jolting the routine in such spots throws criminals off balance.

"It's based on routine activity theory and situational crime prevention. You mix different types of activities in locations that are crime-ridden to change the composition of the environment," said psychologist Jacqueline Helfgott, who chairs the Criminal Justice Department at Seattle University.

Skeptics include Tony Wilson, a bus driver for 18 years.


Man Sues Over McDonald's Receipt In English

Lawyer Wants 13 Cents

BEIJING -- A lawyer reportedly has sued McDonald's in China after he was given receipts that were printed mostly in English.

The state-run newspaper Beijing Youth Daily said the lawyer claims the use of English instead of Chinese "violates the consumers' right to know."


Prepare for a new round of crying game: Paris Hilton loses inheritance

Party princess Paris Hilton is $60 million out of pocket after her billionaire grandfather - appalled by her jail term for drink-driving offences - axed her inheritance.

Family patriarch Barron Hilton was already embarrassed by his granddaughter's wild behaviour - notably when her home sex video was leaked on the internet.

But the 79-year-old considered her 23-day sentence last month the last straw.


Meditators say vibrations will raise Dow, ward off hurricanes, create utopia

U.S. stocks had a tough week with the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffering its worst one-week point drop in five years, but a group of meditators promise their good vibrations will send the index past 17,000 within a year.

A group called the Invincible America Assembly made that claim and more Friday, insisting they have America's prosperity under control and their positive vibes will bring fewer hurricanes and better U.S.-North Korean relations.


Soliciting sex draws fowl sentence for 3

PAINESVILLE, Ohio - A judge known for giving unusual sentences has ordered three men who pleaded guilty to soliciting sex to take turns dressing in a bright yellow chicken costume.

Painesville Municipal Judge Michael Cicconetti agreed to suspend a 30-day jail sentence if they wear the costume between 4 and 7 p.m. Friday outside the court while carrying a sign that reads "No Chicken Ranch in Painesville."


Quit horsing around!

She may be standing in the shadows but one little horse is reaching heights of her own.

At a mere 17 inches, the miniature brown mare known as Thumbelina takes pride in the lofty title of the World's Smallest Living Horse.

Her companion, Radar, is a Belgian draught horse with his own big claim to fame - as the Worlds Tallest Living Horse.

Big heights: Radar, a Belgian draft horse towers over Thumbelina, a miniature who is the world's smallest living horse.


Excuse Me, Is This Your Phone?

We dropped 30 phones in 32 cities. How many would we get back?


Agency Offers AIDS Education to Elderly

©AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
Joy Antonella, 91, center, reads a handout during an HIV/AIDS educational presentation and screening for seniors at the Peter Cardella Senior Center in Ridgewood, New York

NEW YORK - While volunteers passed out cups of Jell-O to the white-haired lunch crowd at a senior center, another group was distributing something that didn't quite fit amid the card games and daily gossip: condoms. "You're giving out condoms," 82-year-old Rose Crescenzo said with a wistful smile, "but who's going to give us a guy?"

But this was no joke.

Light Sabers

Police lose scooter in blazing 8 mph chase

This plucky pensioner led police on a low-speed chase around Middlesbrough - and then gave officers the slip.

The lukewarm pursuit started after he caused traffic chaos by crawling down the fast lane of a busy dual carriageway.

Police asked the stubborn senior citizen to pull over. But he defiantly cranked his battery-powered mobility scooter up to its top speed - 8mph - and somehow managed to escape their attention.

©Gazette Live

Comment: Man on the run... Man on the run...


Pool and water stolen from New Jersey yard

Someone stole 1,000 gallons of water from Daisy Valdivia's backyard. And they didn't spill a drop.

Valdivia woke Wednesday morning to find that her family's inflatable pool, hip high and 10 feet in diameter and filled with water, was stolen from her backyard in the middle of the night. There is no evidence that the water was poured out, pumped out, evaporated or drunk.

©Leslie Barbaro / Herald News
Daisy Valdivia, of Paterson, is trying to figure out how thieves managed to steal the family's backyard inflatable pool and the 1,000 gallons of water in it during the night Wednesday.