Don't Panic! Lighten Up!S

Light Saber

Enfield poltergeist lives again

UNITED KINGDOM. It is 30 years since the "Enfield poltergeist" hit the headlines, but it is still an event that haunts those who experienced it. As well as the Hodgson family, who were at the centre of this paranormal outbreak in their north London home, witnesses included police officers, journalists and a photographer, a physicist, and two of the Society for Psychical Research's leading investigators.


German man chainsaws house in two in divorce split

BERLIN - A 43-year-old German decided to settle his imminent divorce by chainsawing a family home in two and making off with his half in a forklift truck.


Inseminated elephant gives birth in Asia

BANGKOK, Thailand - Thai veterinarians announced Thursday that an artificially inseminated elephant has given birth to a bouncing baby boy - a first in Asia that could be a crucial step in conserving the endangered species.

A one-day-old baby elephant stands next to its mother at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang province, northern Thailand

Light Saber

Star Wars cloak sells for £54,000 ($104,254)

A cloak worn by Sir Alec Guinness in Star Wars, which went missing for 30 years, has been sold for £54,000 ($104, 254) at an auction of cinema and TV outfits.


Comment: So, clearly the question at this point is, 'does it fit well, atreides?'


Blockage at Md. dam threatens town

Workers were racing to beat a thaw in the weather and clear a blockage at an earthen dam that threatens to break and flood about 25 homes and businesses, officials said.

Workers were trying to clear a drainage pipe blocked by beavers at the 7.5-million gallon reservoir near the mountain town of Oakland before a thaw that was expected to begin Thursday and continue through the weekend.

"If it warms up to 50 and rains - and we already have several feet of snow - there could be a pretty rapid runoff. And if you have that type of runoff there, it could weaken the dam," said Asa McCain, mayor of the town of 1,900.

Magic Wand

Teacher's 'Witch Lawsuit' Goes to Trial

Was she casting spells or teaching spelling?

In an unfolding trial, lawyers are debating a former teacher's claims in a $2 million federal lawsuit that she was improperly fired from Hampton Bays elementary school because administrators and others thought she was a witch.

Lauren Berrios, 37, who denies ever practicing witchcraft, sued in 2001 after she was fired following her second year as a reading specialist teacher. She has since moved to the Atlanta area, where she is working as a teacher. The trial in the lawsuit began Wednesday in New York.

While the school district was not under obligation to explain why Berrios was not granted tenure, its lawyer claimed Wednesday that Berrios didn't get along with co-workers, had a condescending attitude and was eventually reported to Child Protective Services after telling tales about imaginary injuries to her own son.


Robbery Suspect Wears Bag In Court

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - An armed robbery suspect took no chances on Wednesday in allowing a victim to see his face. Oji Ngozi, charged in an October 2003 armed robbery, wore a shopping bag with two small eye holes over his head at a motion hearing Tuesday to suppress photographic evidence used in a police lineup.


Legless panda needs a hand to improve sex life

An animal research center in northern China has appealed to the world for help to fashion an artificial leg for a panda that lost a limb -- along with its sex life -- in a fight, local media reported on Thursday.

In December, a resident of Dajiangou village in Shaanxi province stumbled upon a group of pandas fighting, the Beijing News said.

One seriously injured panda, a two- or three-year-old female that rescuers named "Niu Niu" (girl), was taken to an animal rescue center and saved, but lost two-thirds of its front left leg.

"Niu Niu's spirits have lifted, the wound has healed and her appetite has basically recovered. But without her left paw, her loss of balance has directly affected her love life," the paper said.

Magic Wand

Price of Vanity: 'Bargain' Picassos netted fraudsters $20m

Becoming a player in the rarefied world of art sales had never seemed easier. Without moving from their armchairs, viewers of the cable TV show Fine Arts Treasures Gallery could become the owners of works by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Picasso, Chagall, Dalí all came up regularly on the show, often at surprisingly low prices.

But when the winning bidders received their authenticated artwork in the post, they realised that something was not right. Often the expensive artworks were sent uninsured by the dealers. Some of them arrived bent out of shape or with staples through them. Others appeared to be expensive photocopies, executed on ordinary copy paper. And while many of the artworks were signed, as promised by the auctioneers, they were not signed by the artists.

Bizarro Earth

The baby who came back from the dead

A woman who had an operation to remove her unborn child after being told that it had died in the womb has given birth to a healthy baby boy.

Julie Brown, 29, was told after a scan at five and a half weeks that no heartbeat could be detected.

A day later she had an operation to remove the foetus, but three weeks after the dilation and curettage procedure, another doctor told her she was still carrying a live baby.