Don't Panic! Lighten Up!

Bizarro Earth

Estonia dominates wife-carrying championship

Estonians took gold and silver at the world wife-carrying championships in Finland on Saturday, defying rain and exhaustion to stumble along a path with women clinging upside-down to their backs.

They were among 44 couples from 12 countries competing in the annual event in Sonkajarvi, central Finland.

The race, held for the 12th time, is intended to evoke the spirit of a legendary Finnish brigand, Rosvo-Ronkainen, who made those who wanted to join his gang run through a forest carrying heavy sacks on their backs.

In the modern version, couples race along a 250-metre track, tackling a pool and several hurdles, with the men carrying the women on their backs.

Estonian Madis Uusorg finished first, in a time of 61.7 seconds, despite having Inga Klauson on his back upside-down with her legs around his neck.


10,000 yen notes rain down into Tokyo district

About 30 or 40 10,000 yen notes were spotted floating down from an area near a bridge over the Sumida River in Tokyo on Friday, police said, adding that several residents apparently walked off with the cash.

Police arrived and recovered four 10,000 yen notes, one 5,000 yen note and one 1,000 yen note after receiving a call from a resident at about 11 a.m. saying that about 30 or 40 10,000 yen notes had fallen down from an area near the Kototoi Bridge over the Sumida River in Sumida-ku, Tokyo.

Comment: Universe trying to tell us something?

Money falls from sky in German town 5 July 2007


It's Dick's Government

I got your checks and balances right here. Well, right there, under Dick Cheney's foot, holding hands with individual liberties, writhing in their death throes.

Alright, I got a message for the American public, and the message is this: leave Dick Cheney alone. He's not answerable to you. Get off his big white furry butt. You are not the boss of him. Nobody is the boss of him. Dick Cheney is the boss. Of you, me, Bush. Nouri Al- Maliki. Gitmo. All of us. He's Boss Dick. And the only reason you're out to get him is because when he smiles he looks like he swallowed a small black child. And that is just prejudiced people. Doesn't matter that he's keeping this country safe. And the only two ways to do it are his way and the highway. Well, actually, under the highway. Sometimes as part of the highway. Mixed in with the rebar.

Grey Alien

Cereal offender creates crazy crop circle


This was the chaotic scene when a driver high on crack veered into a farmer's field - and came a cropper after being chased round and round by two cop cars.

Life Preserver

Where bottled messages are all washed up

When Roberto Regnoli started finding bottles with messages inside them on his local beach on the Adriatic coast of Italy he thought little of it. But they kept coming - and he now has more than 80, ranging from political appeals from the Balkans to poignant messages from the lovelorn.

Mr Regnoli, 59, a doctor at Termoli, near Campobasso, said that whenever possible he replied to the messages, which have been posted on his website Some have travelled hundreds of miles, drawn to Termoli by the strong currents around the Gargano peninsula. The messages were in Italian, English, German, French, Croatian and Russian.

The first bottle that he found contained an appeal in 12 languages from Montenegro, dated October 2005, asking anyone who found it to help the country to achieve independence from Serbia - which it did in June last year. "By the time I opened the bottle and found the message, Montenegro was already an autonomous republic, so it was a bit late," Mr Regnoli said. "The sea takes its time. But every message tells a story."


China Public Restroom Has 1,000 Stalls

They're flush with pride in a southwestern Chinese city where a recently-opened porcelain palace features an Egyptian facade, soothing music and more than 1,000 toilets spread out over 32,290 square feet.

Officials in Chongqing are preparing to submit an application to Guinness World Records to have the free four-story public bathroom listed as the world's largest, the state-run China Central Television reported Friday.

"We are spreading toilet culture. People can listen to gentle music and watch TV," said Lu Xiaoqing, an official with the Yangrenjie, or "Foreigners Street," tourist area where the bathroom is located. "After they use the bathroom they will be very, very happy."


Money falls from sky in German town

A German motorist surprised by euro notes swirling in the air around her car hit the brakes and collected a "substantial amount of money" before turning it over to police, authorities in Worms said on Thursday.

A police spokesman in the small western town said the 24-year-old woman saw the money flying through the air in her rear view mirror late on Wednesday. She pulled over and tried to collect all the notes, unsuccessfully.


Ethanol Blamed for Beer Inflation

LANCASTER, Pa. -- It's the latest example of the trickle-down economics of ethanol -- beer is getting more expensive.

Compared to this time last year, beer prices are up about 3 percent across the nation, according to the Labor Department. The increase marks the largest jump in more than two years.

One big reason, according to some brewers, is the rising cost of barley. A high demand for corn-based ethanol has many farmers devoting more fields to their corn crop and less to barley.

Bizarro Earth

Hemp field becomes a folly in the mad spirit of King Ludwig

A picture of Neuschwanstein Castle, the retreat of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, took 1,200 hours to plough in a hemp field in Utting, Germany. The enterprise celebrates a king who was a promoter of the arts and architecture and littered Bavaria with imaginative castles.

Bavarians revere the eccentric King. Musicals and songs have been composed about him and Bavarian pubs still carry his portrait.

The King's current popularity is based on admiration for his almost poetic love of building impractical castles.


Dangerous games: Woman charged over WOW love

An Australian woman who forged a relationship with a younger World of Warcraft player has been arrested in the US as she attempted to meet with the chap and his family.

31-year-old Tamara Broome had met the 17-year-old in Azeroth when he was a year younger, and - who we're nicking all this off, obviously - claimed that he had previously attempted to fly over there, and that they aimed to get married.