Don't Panic! Lighten Up!S


Teenager escapes prison in suitcase

A 19-year-old German woman has escaped from prison by hiding in a friend's suitcase.

The fugitive hid inside the large case when her 17-year-old fellow inmate was released from the youth prison in northwest Germany on Friday, Lower Saxony ministry spokesman Dennis Weilmann said on Monday.


Chasing leprechauns: Hypnosis 'victim' still traumatised

A man who allegedly ran from a theatre in pursuit of leprechauns after being hypnotised on stage claims he is still feeling the effects of the stunt.

Comment: This unhealthy preoccupation with entertainment hypnotism had to end in tears - we just didn't expect leprechauns to get involved...


Police catch burglar with his pants down

WEST BEND, Wis. - The suspect in a weekend burglary was easy to identify: He had left his pants behind at the scene. The man squirmed out of his pants and shoes while scuffling with the homeowner, police said. Clad in only a hooded sweat shirt and red boxer shorts, he fled from the house on the city's northwest side.

Police later found him hiding in tall grass in a wooded area. They are seeking charges of disorderly conduct, burglary and possession of stolen property.


More Interest in Mailboxes Than Meteors

NEW YORK - Two of the world's most famous meteorites failed to attract buyers at an auction Sunday, while an ordinary metal mailbox zapped by a falling space rock in 1984 was sold for the unearthly price of nearly $83,000.

A 30-pound chunk of the Willamette Meteorite, which was found in Oregon in 1902 and has been steeped in ownership controversies for more than a century, was offered by Bonhams auction house at an estimated value of $1.3 million but was withdrawn from sale after bidding ended at $300,000.


Holy cow! Man Eats 103 Hamburgers in 8 Minutes

Joey Chestnut won an eating contest after chowing down 103 hamburgers in 8 minutes


Italy's Padre Pio 'faked his stigmata with acid'

Padre Pio, Italy's most-loved saint, faked his stigmata by pouring carbolic acid on his hands, according to a new book.

Comment: SOTT is not inclined to dismiss the stigmata manifested by Padre Pio and we certainly know how skeptics can get carried away in their efforts to discount psychic phenomena. These claims could be entirely spurious. However, we certainly don't think that any such manifestations have anything to do with holiness or "imitating the wounds of Christ."

"How well we know what a profitable superstition this fable of Christ has
been for us." -- Pope Leo X (1513-1521)

Penis Pump

Man who had sex with bike in court

A man has been placed on the sex offenders' register after being caught trying to have sex with a bicycle.

Monkey Wrench

Belgian convict escapes after helicopter crash lands in jail

BRUSSELS - A notorious criminal escaped from a Belgian prison Sunday after a helicopter crash-landed inside the prison grounds, the local public prosecutor said.

Serial escapee Nordine Ben Allal managed to flee in a car after the hijacked helicopter crash caused confusion and threw up billows of smoke in the grounds of the Ittre prison some 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of the Belgian capital, the Nivelles region prosecutor Jean-Claude Elslander told reporters at the prison south of Brussels.

Bizarro Earth

Dutch protesters make bid to save "magic mushrooms"

Protesters turned out on Amsterdam's central Dam Square on Saturday, hoping to stop the government from banning magic mushrooms and asking to "save the 'shrooms".

Carrying banners reading "When will they ban bread?" and "Boss of your own brain", more than 100 people, some wearing hats resembling the bright red cap of the popular fly agaric variety, protested to keep hallucinogenic mushrooms legal.


After several incidents involving tourists -- in March, a French teenager jumped to her death from a bridge after taking mushrooms -- the Dutch government plans to ban them.

Arno Adelaars, author of a book on magic mushrooms, said this would only drive users underground and what was needed instead was better information how to use mushrooms right.


Teenager in go-cart leaves police standing

A teen-ager speeding through a German town in a go-cart with seven squad cars in hot pursuit managed to give the frustrated officers the slip, police said on Friday.

After leading the convoy on a 5-km (3-mile) chase through the winding streets of Moenchengladbach, the 18-year-old driver spotted a private garage with an open door, where he decided to lie low, police said.