Saturday, June 11, 2005

Weird But True News - Marathon

Decided to post all weird but true news in one blog. Here it goes....

Woman Charged With Smuggling Fish Under Her Skirt

SYDNEY, Australia (June 6) - There must have been something fishy about the way she walked. Customs officials said Monday they stopped a woman as she arrived Friday in the southern city of Melbourne on a flight from Singapore and found 51 live tropical fish allegedly hidden in a specially designed apron under her skirt.

''During the search customs officers became suspicious after hearing 'flipping' noises coming from the vicinity of her waist,'' the Australian Customs Service said in a press release. ''An examination revealed 15 plastic water-filled bags holding fish allegedly concealed inside a purpose-built apron.''

The species of fish was not immediately known, but customs officials warned they could carry diseases that could decimate Australian fish if they escaped into local rivers.

Customs officers will charge the woman once they establish what species the fish are. If convicted of smuggling wildlife, she faces a fine of up to $83,617 and could also get a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

06-06-05 11:21 EDT

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

Cats Use Fax as Toilet, Spark House Fire

TOKYO (June 10) - Two kittens picked the wrong place to relieve themselves when they urinated on a fax machine, sparking a fire that extensively damaged their Japanese owner's house.

Investigators in the western city of Kobe have concluded that the fire in January was caused by a spark generated when the urine soaked the machine's electrical printing mechanism.

The fire damaged the kitchen and living room before it was put out by the house's owner, who was treated for mild smoke inhalation, said Masahito Oyabu, a fireman at the Nagata fire station in central Kobe.

The kittens quickly ran to safety, he added.

"If you have a cat, or a dog for that matter, be careful where they urinate," Oyabu said. "Especially keep them away from electrical appliances and wires."

06/10/05 10:04 ET

Village Marries Off Toads in Bid for Rains

KHOCHAKANDAR, India (June 10) - Two giant toads were married in a traditional Hindu ceremony in eastern India at the weekend by villagers hoping to propitiate the rain gods and end a dry spell.
Some 400 people cheered and blew conches as women put streaks of vermilion on the female toad's head while a band played music and priests solemnized the marriage to the chanting of Hindu hymns.

The toads were picked up from separate ponds, dressed in bright red clothes and brought to the marriage venue in a decorated palanquin in Khochakandar village in West Bengal state late Sunday.

The married toads were released into a pond after the ceremony in the village about 225 miles north of the state capital, Calcutta.

"Our forefathers used to organize marriages of toads to get sufficient rain for cultivation. We hope rain will be coming very soon," said Konica Mandal, one of the organizers of the wedding.

The village has been reeling under a severe heat wave, drying up ponds and creating problems for farmers and their crops.

The southwest monsoon hit India's southern coast Sunday, about four days later than normal, but it will be some time before the rains wind their way to the rest of the country.

A heat wave sweeping India, Bangladesh and Nepal has killed nearly 100 people over the past two weeks.

06/06/05 09:23 ET

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