Don't Panic! Lighten Up!S


A leap back in time shows Czechs ate frogs' legs first

Frogs' legs, a delicacy most closely associated with the French, is in fact, a Czech dish, according to archaeologists. Although the edible amphibians are closely associated with Gallic cuisine - so much so that English people refer to the French by the derogatory nickname "the frogs" - ancient Czechs were eating them more than 5,000 years ago.

New research by archaeologists has uncovered the kitchen remains of hundreds of frogs' legs in a hill fort east of Prague. Most of the 900 bones found in a pit are hind legs (the part which has the most meat and which is traditionally eaten), and came from males. This suggests they were deliberately caught in the spring during their mating season.

A report by archaeologists at the Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of the Sciences of the Czech Republic says: "The discovery indicates that the dietary use of frogs in prehistory is not limited to the Western Europe only. It shows that the small vertebrate could have played an important role in human lives in central European agricultural prehistory."

Bizarro Earth

Pole wakes from 19-year coma in democratic country

A 65-year-old railwayman who fell into a coma following an accident in communist Poland regained consciousness 19 years later to find democracy and a market economy, Polish media reported on Saturday.

Wheelchair-bound Jan Grzebski, whom doctors had given only two or three years to live following his 1988 accident, credited his caring wife Gertruda with his revival.

"It was Gertruda that saved me, and I'll never forget it," Grzebski told news channel TVN24.

"For 19 years Mrs Grzebska did the job of an experienced intensive care team, changing her comatose husband's position every hour to prevent bed-sore infections," Super Express reported Dr Boguslaw Poniatowski as saying.


4 Charged in False Brain Surgery Claims

NEW YORK - Four people billed a health insurance company for 20 brain operations that were never performed on them, sometimes for the same person on multiple occasions, authorities said.

Bizarro Earth

Iran minister backs brief marriages to stem illicit sex

An Iranian cabinet minister said young people should be encouraged to get temporarily married, a practice unique to Shiite Islam, to avoid illicit extramarital sex, newspapers reported Saturday.

"We should expect violations and repercussions if we do not practically respond to young people's sexual needs," the centrist Kargozaran daily quoted interior minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi as saying.

"Islam has solutions for all human problems and temporary marriage is a solution to this kind of problem," the minister, who is himself a cleric, was quoted as telling a conference in Iran's clerical capital of Qom.

Temporary marriage, known in Farsi as sigheh, is a contract that allows a man and a woman to be married for any period of time from just an hour to 99 years.


Rifle Replica Leads to School Lockdown

WEST POINT, Utah - A bus driver called police when he saw a student carrying what turned out to be a replica of a Civil War-era rifle that had been displayed in class all year. The call led to a 47-minute lockdown at West Point Junior High School and two elementary schools.


Belgian soldiers to blowtorch caterpillars

A mini-platoon of soldiers wielding blowtorches will be deployed to the Belgian forests to tackle a plague of hairy caterpillars that are causing allergy outbreaks in humans.

Procession caterpillars, so called for the way they march in lines through forests, are covered in long, toxic hairs which cause dermatitis and respiratory problems and account for up to 80 per cent of doctor visits in the affected area.


Study Finds Cocaine, Pot in Rome's Air

Researchers may have figured out what makes la vita so dolce in Rome. A report from Italy's National Research Council released Thursday found that there are traces of cocaine and cannabis in the air of the Eternal City.

Comment: They'll probably find some way to blame this on plain, old, tobacco filled cigarettes.


Tigers' chick-mates

Zoo-keepers in China say they were shocked when a group of tiger cubs made friends with some newborn chicks.

Workers at Zhejiang Wenling Zoo in Taizhou city put the chicks in a cage with the four month-old tiger cubs.

A zoo spokesman told People's Daily: "We wanted to bring out the savage nature of the tigers while they were still cubs."


What Sex Toy Would Jesus Use? Better Ask a Celibate Priest First

A Catholic priest has removed his church's organist and choir director from her duties saying her sale of sex toys was not "consistent with Church teachings."

Magic Wand

Baby hedgehogs rescued after they are born too early

These tiny newborn hedgehogs are proving a handful for carers at a rescue centre - after the mild weather triggered a string of early orphaned arrivals.

The seven babies - from two separate families - have all been handed in to the Prickly Ball Farm Hospital in Devon in the last week.

Staff say Britain's mild spring weather has caused the females to come out of hibernation and give birth around a month early.

This means that animal rescue centres are dealing with the inevitable orphaned offspring weeks earlier than expected.