British Boy Lands 5 lb Goldfish
When schoolboy angler Nick Richards felt a tug on his fishing line, he was hoping it was a carp. However, the 16-year-old was amazed when he reeled in a 5lb goldfish, which was 16ins long. The whopper is thought to be the biggest ever in Britain. It is thought that the fish was abandoned in the lake in Poole, Dorset, by its owner after outgrowing its tank and has rapidly expanded in size since. Nick, from Camberley, Surrey, who has just finished taking his GCSEs at Collingwood College, Camberley, said: ‘I had gone to the lake to fish for carp – I’d heard rumors there might be some big carp there and thought I’d see for myself. ‘I was there for two days running and caught some big common carp. ‘Then suddenly I saw this big orange fish cruising along the top of the lake. ‘I was using a rod and line intended to catch carp, so it wasn’t exactly a fair fight – I wasn’t too much trouble to reel it in.'
Cuban Picked Up in Styrofoam Raft Off the Keys
A Cuban man's journey to freedom took quite a bit of ingenuity and nearly ended his life.
On Tuesday, U.S. Coast Guard officers rescued a severely dehydrated man from a homemade boat made mostly of Styrofoam near the Florida Keys.
The unidentified man told authorities he had cast off from Havana on June 20. A picture of the white boat shows a few pieces of metal helped outfit the vessel and a plastic gallon jug was still inside.
The amazing voyage comes just days after the Cuban government began releasing political prisoners in a move that was viewed internationally as a sign things were getting better on the island.
The fact that someone was willing to risk their life on a raft made of Styrofoam might prove otherwise.
How In Hell Did He Survive That! ^
kcoy - Not much is left of a Santa Maria Police cruiser after it was wrapped around a tree early Sunday morning.
The powerful impact nearly split the squad car in two stopping just short of the officer sitting behind the wheel.
"That car is the worst police traffic collision I have seen here at this police department in 35 years", says SMPD Chief Dan Macagni.
Macagni says Officer Damon Badnell was responding to a call for help from another officer on foot chasing a burglary suspect in the north end of town.
"It had just rained, the roads were slick and for unknown reasons he lost control of the car at Main and Broadway", Macagni says.
Officer Badnell is being treated for broken bones at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital where doctors are optimistic about his recovery.
A three year veteran of the Santa Maria Police Department, Damon Badnell is a husband and father who grew up in the area and was just awarded by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for making the most DUI arrests in the city.
"It's unbelievable he's alive and survived this crash", adds Chief Macagni.
In a separate incident earlier that same Sunday morning, Summer Ramirez and her family were awoken by the sound of a suspected stolen car crashing into the first grade classroom at St. Mary's school in Santa Maria.
"If it had happened during the day time it could have killed a bunch of children", Ramirez says holding her young daughter.
It was a dramatic end to a high speed police chase that began in Pismo Beach after a report of a stolen car in Shell Beach.
"Grateful that since 1938 nothing like this has ever happened at the school", says St. Mary's principal Carmen Vadillo, "so I guess once every 72 years isn't such a bad record."
Insurance is expected to cover the cost of repairing the school classroom.
But cash-strapped St. Mary's will have to scrape up the $2,500 deductible and then get the green light from the city to have the work done in time for the start of school next month.
20 year old Marcus Lee Williams was arrested after the high speed chase and booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail with bail set at $25,000.
Russian Boy Dies During Exorcism
WashPost - A four year-old boy with pneumonia suddenly died after his parents took him to a spiritual healer in an attempt to cure him, investigators in Russia's Far East said on Wednesday.
Traditional shaman healers, who have practiced in some areas of Siberia and the far east for thousands of years, have experienced a revival since the 1991 break-up of the Soviet Union ended repression by the Communist authorities.
Identified by Russian media as Dmitry Kazachuk, the boy's family brought him to a female shaman in his village in the Pacific Ocean region of Primorsky Krai on Sunday, where the ancient shamanic practice of mediating between the human and spiritual worlds is common.
"The investigation has established that the child died during non-traditional medical treatment," said Avrora Rimskaya from the Prosecutor General's investigative committee, adding that the exact cause of death remains unknown.
State television Rossiya 24 showed a picture of the smiling, black-haired boy, who was from the village of Sergeyevka, 135 km (84 miles) north of the regional capital Vladivostok.
Pavel Astakhov, who oversees children's rights in Russia, blamed Kazachuk's parents for his death, who acted out of "arrogance and irresponsibility," he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Popular Russian tabloid Tvoi Den said the boy was left alone with the shaman after the family were hypnotized. When the parents returned to the room the boy was dead, the report said.
'Trigger' Sold to Nebraska TV Station
A Nebraska cable TV network ponied up $266,500 for Roy Rogers' stuffed and mounted horse, Trigger, at an auction in New York City on Wednesday.
The movie cowboy's faithful companion was bought by the cable company RFD-TV in Omaha, Neb., at a Christie's auction of items from the now-closed Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Mo.
Trigger's sale price outpaced the estimated $100,000 to $200,000 it was expected to fetch, with many other items also selling far above estimate.
RFD-TV's chief financial officer Steve Campione says Rogers reflects the company's values. The network airs mainly agricultural, equine and country living programming.
The company's owner, Patrick Gottsch, wanted to buy the whole Rogers collection but didn't have time to work out the deal, Campione said.
"It came to our attention a little too late," Campione said. "By the time we lined up the right financing and kind of got our arms around the value of the collection, it was literally 24 hours ago."
Auctioneer Cathy Elkies said it was the "most colorful, emotional and sentimental" sale she had experienced in her 20 years at Christie's. Many of the bidders in the packed hall came in Western attire and cowboy boots, and there were more than a few tears.
Rogers' son Roy Jr. cried at the beginning of the sale as he spoke of the family's decision to auction Roy's belongings.
"We hope you get a piece of Roy and Dale and take it home and you'll get to pass it on to your children," he said.
There also were strong emotions among Jamie Nudie, Mary Lynn Cabrall and Julie Ann Ream, who flew in from Los Angeles to reclaim a piece of their personal history.
Nudie's grandfather was the "rodeo tailor" who designed Rogers' colorful Western outfits, as well as Rogers' silver-dollar encrusted 1964 Bonneville convertible that sold for $254,500 on the auction block.
The three women have carried on Nudie's Western tailoring business, and they were there to reclaim the Nudie trailer shaped like a covered wagon that the tailor had given to Rogers as a gift in the 1960s. Ream broke down in tears when her paddle went up and she got the trailer for $3,000 without a fight. The trailer was expected to fetch between $5,000 and $8,000.
"For it to come back into our family — it's amazing," she said.
Ream, the niece of another famous singing cowboy, Rex Allen, said her family was close friends with the Rogers' family. She said some of Rogers' children didn't support the auction, and she didn't think Rogers and his wife, Dale Evans, would have wanted the collection dispersed either.
"They are spinning in their graves right now," she said.
Cabrall, also a family friend, had another take on Rogers' wishes.
"Roy always said, `When I'm dead, skin me and put me up on Trigger,'" she said. "It's a famous quote. If he got his wish, he'd be up here for sale today."
Rogers had Trigger preserved with taxidermy and mounted rearing on its hind legs in 1965. The presale estimate for the horse was $100,000 to $200,000.
Roy Jr. said it was difficult to put the collection up for auction, but he said Rogers had told the family to sell the museum collection if it stopped making money and became a burden.
"You're smiling out of one side of the face and crying out of the other," he said.
As for Trigger's new owner, Campione says RFD-TV hopes to start its own Western museum and is looking to buy more Rogers items.
In the meantime, Trigger will be put to pasture at either the network's office lobby or Gottsch's house until final plans are made.
Other items auctioned Wednesday included Roy's first guitar, which sold for $8,750, compared to an estimated high of $3,000; his first boots, which sold for $7,500, compared to an estimate of $4,000; and a charm bracelet that sold for $20,000, compared to an estimate of $9,000.
All sale prices include the buyer's premium of 25 percent for most items, or 20 percent for prices in excess of $50,000.
The auction was to continue Thursday with more than 1,000 items, including the Rogers' family dinner table, toy six-shooters, Rogers-themed tin lunchboxes and the Jeep "Nellybelle" from the Roy Rogers TV show.
Tiny Mushroom Blamed For Mysterious Deaths In China
BBC - A tiny mushroom, little known to scientists, is behind some 400 sudden deaths in China, experts say.
For 30 years, during the rainy season, scores of villagers in Yunnan province have died suddenly of cardiac arrest.
Following a five-year investigation, researchers from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Beijing say they have the culprit.
The mushroom, know as Little White, belongs to the Trogia genus and has three toxic amino acids, experts say.
Researchers found that the deaths, known as Yunnan Sudden Death Syndrome, occurred almost always during rainy season (from June to August), and at an altitude of 1800-2400m (5900-7900ft).
"We heard amazing stories about how people would drop dead in the middle of a conversation," Zhang Shu, a cardiologist who took part in the CDC study, told Science magazine.
"About two-thirds of victims, in the hours before death experienced symptoms such as heart palpitations, nausea, dizziness, seizures and fatigue," he said.
The investigation was initially hampered by language barriers, and the remote locations of the Yunnan villages.
However, in 2008, the scientists noted that the Little White mushroom was often found in the homes where people had died.
Yunnan province is well-known for its wild mushrooms, many of which are exported at high prices.
Families, who make their living by collecting and selling the fungi, eat the Little White as it has no commercial value - it is too small and turns brown shortly after being picked.
A campaign to warn people against eating the tiny mushrooms has dramatically reduced the number of deaths. There have been no reported deaths so far this year.
However, the scientists are carrying out further tests to find out why the mushroom is so lethal, as testing found the mushroom contained toxins, though not enough to be deadly.
"What's happening in Yunnan isn't expected from any other mushroom toxin," said Robert Fontaine, a US epidemiologist who took part in the investigation.
"What we have here is a toxin that is picking off vulnerable people," he told Science.
He suggested that the toxins could be acting together with high concentrations of barium, a heavy metal, in the local water supply.
Fortean / Oddball News - 7/15/2010