Don't Panic! Lighten Up!S


Ecuador Demands Military Base in Miami

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, who has refused to renew the lease on the Manta air base on Ecuador's coast which is set to expire in 2009, has demanded a military base in Miami in return.

Correa said "We'll renew the base on one condition: that they let us put a base in Miami - an Ecuadorean base" adding "If there's no problem having foreign soldiers on a country's soil, surely they'll let us have an Ecuadorean base in the US."

Life Preserver

US: Firefighter revives cat after house fire

A southern Illinois firefighter is proof that saving lives doesn't just involve people. Firefighter Dave Chambers helped rescue several animals during a house fire last week, including a kitten that wasn't breathing when it was carried out of the home.

Chambers performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the cat. He said the cat came out of it and, perhaps as a show of gratitude, jumped on his lap and started purring.


Gives new meaning to "going in the car"

If you're stuck in traffic when Mother Nature calls, Japan's Kaneko Sangyo Co. has developed the loo for you.

The manufacturer of plastic car accessories drew back the curtain on Tuesday on its new portable toilet for cars.

The toilet comes with a curtain large enough to conceal users and a plastic bag to collect waste.


Wild turkeys take to Massachusetts cities, towns

BROOKLINE - On a recent afternoon, Kettly Jean-Felix parked her car on Beacon Street in Brookline, fed the parking meter, wheeled around to go to the optician and came face to face with a wild turkey.

©Boston Globe/Mark Wilson
A wild turkey strolled along a sidewalk on Beacon Street in Brookline. The birds can grow to weigh roughly 20 pounds and stand 4 feet tall.


Boy's Calls to 911 Lead to Mom's Arrest

VANCOUVER, Wash. - An 8-year-old boy riding in a car with his mom called 911 several times to report that she wasn't "acting normal," leading to her arrest for investigation of drunken driving and other charges, authorities said.


Parrot Imitates Fire Alarm, Saves Family

MUNCIE, Ind. - A noisy parrot that likes to imitate sounds helped save a man and his son from a house fire by mocking a smoke alarm, the bird's owner says.


Japanese dress like vending machines to avoid crime

©New York Times
How not to be seen.

Although crime rates are actually decreasing in Japan, an experimental fashion designer has found a new way to shield herself from any potential attackers - by dressing like a vending machine to blend into the Tokyo surroundings.

Aya Tsukioka invented the strange design in the hope that it will ease Japan's increasing fear of crime.

Comment: Can we expect assorted alphabet agency spooks to take this idea on?


Glam grannies vie for pageant crown in Brooklyn

New York - Pageantry proved ageless on Friday night as a bevy of Brooklyn grandmothers competed in the sixth annual Your Highness Grandmother Beauty contest.

©REUTERS/Mike Segar
Participants Galina Ostrowics (L) and Anna Malkina-Shumayev (R) pose after winning "Ms Grandmother" and "Ms Queen Grandmother" at the 2007 "Your Highness Grandmother" pageant in Brooklyn, New York, October 20, 2007.

Magic Wand

J.K. Rowling outs Hogwarts character

"Dumbledore is gay," the author announced to a crowd of fans.

Comment: The HP book series has ended, but, as is their way, the author, publishers and entertainers keep mining the topic, and the fan's interest, for more cash through movies, licensed merchandise, etc. To do that, they seem to have employed a perennial favorite, polarizing topic. Or, it could just be that Dumbledore has always been gay - either way, a fictional character in a fictional world gets much more attention than reality. As usual - the world is burning and millions of people would rather ponder this than pay attention.


New Zealand brewery offers lifetime supply of beer for stolen laptop

A New Zealand brewery is reportedly offering a lifetime supply of beer for the return of a stolen laptop.

Local media said the laptop was stolen from the Croucher Brewing Company in the central North Island city of Rotorua earlier this week.

Owners were desperate to retrieve the computer containing designs, contact details and financial information, the Rotorua Daily Post said.