Don't Panic! Lighten Up!S


US police ploy 'insults' Osbourne

Rocker Ozzy Osbourne has claimed his reputation was tarnished by a police operation in the United States.

A party supposedly involving the star was organised in Fargo, North Dakota - but it was actually a scam by officers to round up missing criminal suspects.


Five hundred people with outstanding arrest warrants were sent invitations, and more than 30 suspects turned up.


Cherie Blair to burn at the stake

Artist Frank Shepherd was among the people who built the guy


Why can't the English be more like the French?

©The Times
With the high-speed link to London about to open at last, Hortense de Monplaisir warns her fellow Parisians of the horreurs anglais that await them.

Bizarro Earth

U.S. woman accuses co-worker of over-feeding her pet pig

A woman from Winona in Minnesota is accusing a work colleague, who was pet sitting her pig, of neglect after she allowed the pig to become obese, a local daily newspaper said Wednesday.

Michelle Schmitz, 22, said she left the pot-bellied pig, Alaina Templeton, with a colleague in February while she was recovering from ankle surgery. Within nine months the pig's weight tripled - from 22 kg (50 pounds) to 68 kg (150 pounds). In addition, it had trouble breathing and "stunk real bad."

"That pig is my life," the Winona Daily News quotes the woman, who even has the pet's name tattooed on her body, as saying.

Bizarro Earth

Nearly 3,500 Chinese Named 'Olympics'

The upcoming Beijing Olympics is more than just a point of pride for China - it's such an important part of the national consciousness that nearly 3,500 children have been named for the event, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Most of the 3,491 people with the name "Aoyun," meaning Olympics, were born around the year 2000, as Beijing was bidding to host the 2008 Summer Games, the Beijing Daily reported, citing information from China's national identity card database.

The vast majority of people named Aoyun are male, the newspaper said. Only six live in Beijing. The report didn't say where the others live.

Better Earth

Highest Bidder Gets to Name a Butterfly

Tucson - Researchers who helped discover a new species of Mexican butterfly are offering to sell the naming rights to raise money to fund more research.

Co-discoverer Andrew Warren is hoping to raise at least $50,000 by auctioning off the rights to name the 4-inch "owl eye'' butterfly, which lives in Sonora, a Mexican state bordering Arizona.

©Priscilla Broodkin
This male Opsiphanes butterfly was photographed Sept. 2, 2000, in Sonora, Mexico.


Grandmother celebrates 100th birthday by becoming world's oldest paraglider

British grandmother Peggy McAlpine celebrated her 100th birthday by becoming the world's oldest paraglider.

Thrill seeker: Peggy Alpine celebrated her 100th birthday by becoming the oldest woman to paraglide


Wiccan lottery winner plans to open witch school

An American lottery winner who follows the Wiccan religion has decided to use part of his $49million winnings to set up his very own school of witchcraft and wizardry.

Elwood 'Bunky' Bartlett, an accountant from Nottingham in Maryland and high priest of Wicca, attributed his win earlier this month to Wicca, and specifically to the Mystickal Voyage new age shop.

Comment: Witch numbers?


He's not undead, just unsober...

Passengers on a German train mistook a Halloween reveler dressed up as a gore-covered zombie for a murder victim and called the police.

©REUTERS/Seth Wenig
Members of the Zombie Army dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" at the 32nd Annual Village Halloween Parade in New York October 31, 2005.


Australia: Nightclub 'shufflers' fight back

A plan to ban a popular dance move from nightclubs has been branded as ridiculous by club managers and party goers.

The high-octane steps of the "Melbourne shuffle" came under fire recently when Sydney promoter Tim Sabre declared war on the move, saying young, drunk shufflers were endangering fellow clubbers.

Comment: Indeed, fun is a very dangerous thing to those in a position of power - for some strange reason.

We don't mean to rein on anyone's parade but there is no such thing as freedom of speech in Australia. The constitution does not guarantee such a thing in Oz. In fact, even the countries that do pretend to have it, also tend to stifle it all cost.