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Bomb

Bangladesh circus offers jumbo solution to demolition problem

A circus elephant came to the aid of city chiefs in southern Bangladesh after they were ordered to demolish illegal buildings without heavy equipment.

Discovering that there were no bulldozers available, officials decided to employ a pachyderm from a travelling circus to help do the work.

"We didn't have any bulldozer to conduct the demolition drive in the city so our officers had to hire an elephant from the circus," said Barisal city corporation chief executive Abdul Mannan.
Bizarro Earth

Police hot on the scent of crime

Police in India's Western state of Gujarat are to wear new uniforms impregnated with the fragrance of flowers and citrus to help improve their image.

"Most policemen look hassled, drenched in sweat after coming from any scene of crime," said Somesh Singh, a designer at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad that drew up the uniforms on request of the state government.

"They are surely not the best person one would like to meet, but if they smell good and fresh one might as well approach them," said Singh.
Wolf

Paranormal investigators try to get to the bottom of some strange pranks at the FireHall Pub and Grille

Bonnie Hall is convinced her pub is haunted but says she doesn't want the prankster of a ghost to leave.

Hall says strange occurrences have been a daily thing since she and her husband, Robert, took over the fire station and converted it into the FireHall Pub and Grille in 2005. Firefighters had told her that the building, more than a century old, may be haunted, she said.

It's little things that make Hall and others believe the place is haunted: The popcorn machine turns on by itself, lights flicker, doors latch by themselves and tools seem to move on their own, among other things, she said.

The rumor is that a firefighter named Frank hanged himself at the fire station many decades ago and his spirit remains inside, Hall said. The story has not been verified. She said the ghost has been harmless and should not be forced out.

"This is Frank's home," she said.

Cathy Simpson, a restaurant manager, said she, too, has experienced many things at the restaurant that are unexplainable. However, she said, she finds them comforting in a strange sort of way.
Bizarro Earth

Huh?! Alien UFO Detector Strap: Dating Necessity

Scenario: You meet Jim. He is sweet, kind and most importantly, easy to talk to. It's as if you've known him your whole life. And hugging him, no matter where you may be, feels like home.
Life Preserver

High Speed Message In A Bottle

A six-year-old girl has caused a conundrum of global proportions after her attempts to send a message in a bottle to Norway ended up in New Zealand.
Life Preserver

Suitcase Sent to Africa Washed up on Beach Two Miles from Where it started

When Marilyne Simony sent a suitcase of her boyfriend's photographs, books and clothes to South Africa, she never expected to see it again. But after travelling more than 1,000 miles by sea, the suitcase was washed up on Branscombe beach in Devon, less than two miles from where it started its journey.

Ms Simony, 27, only realised that all her belongings had been on the MSC Napoli that ran aground nine days ago when she saw a framed photograph of herself with her arms around Kobus Pretorius, 20, pictured in the local newspaper as an example of wreckage.

Comment: Apparently, following the publicity of the above article, the men who had taken Mr. Pretorius's possessions had a pang of conscience and returned them.

Battery

Suicide squirrels driving utilities nuts

Every year, Neil Engelman carefully collects his data, stands before his company's board of directors and is asked the same question: What caused more outages? The lightning or the squirrels?
Bizarro Earth

Woman reports stolen cannabis to police

New Zealand - A middle-aged New Zealand woman rang police to report a theft of cannabis plants she had been growing at her North Island home, local media reported.

The crying woman told a constable at the police station in the city of Napier the plant theft was the fourth from her property in as many years. The 45-year-old woman, who was not named, lamented someone had again sneaked on to her property at night to steal her three carefully nurtured marijuana plants.

"I am a good person. I am sick of these low-lifes stealing my things," the woman told a police communications officer.
Health

Prisoners may give up kidney to spend less time doing porridge

Early release from jail in the US used to be obtained either by impressing a parole officer with good behaviour or digging a hole, following the example of Clint Eastwood in Escape from Alcatraz.

Now there may be a third option: donating a body part.

A state senate panel in South Carolina has created an organ-and-tissue donation programme for inmates and called in lawyers to discuss a more radical proposal that would reduce the sentence of prisoners that are willing to give up their kidneys to transplant patients.

It has been suggested that a kidney donation could wipe up to six months off a jail sentence. Similar incentives could be given in return for bone marrow or parts of the pancreas, lung, liver or intestine. The US faces a chronic organ shortage, with 95,300 patients waiting for organ transplants and 6,700 dying each year as a result of not receiving them in time.
Book

Voting opens on oddest book title of the year

Industry magazine The Bookseller has opened voting for the oddest book title of the year, some of which suggest that nothing is stranger than non-fiction.

Readers of the magazine's website www.thebookseller.com are being invited to vote on a shortlist of six non-fiction books in its annual Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year.

The nominations are made by publishers, booksellers and librarians from around the world.

The nominees are:
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