Saturday, April 16, 2011

Police advise officers how to pack sandwiches...

UK police force gives guidance to officers on how to pack sandwiches

A BRITISH police force issued advice to officers on how to keep their sandwich packs fresh.
Lincolnshire Police in central England handed guidance to its 1219 officers and 1162 other staff members warning them to keep "lunch boxes cool" and not to use "out of date food," The (London) Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

"Sandwiches should not be kept in briefcases or warm cars and snacks must be kept separate from lunch items," officers were told.

The guidance was disclosed by an anonymous police inspector who writes a blog about policing issues. He said, "There follows the usual nannying about using separate chopping boards for raw and cooked products and instructions to wash your hands and measure the fridge temperature."

"No doubt any officer looking for advice about how to stay safe whilst outnumbered by drunken maniacs on the High Street can wait for their once-a-year day's training," he added.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police said the guidance was given to officers who were going on training courses, in an attempt to ensure any food they brought stayed fresh.

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UK's most expensive flat sold for £135.4 million...

UK's most expensive flat sold for £135.4 million

The UK’s most expensive flat has been sold in London for £135.4 million, according to Land Registry documents.

One Hyde Park
Prices for a one-bedroom apartment at One Hyde Park start at £6 million Photo: BLOOMBERG
The buyer of “Flat a” at the One Hyde Park development is understood to be a Ukrainian who purchased the penthouse in cash in 2007.
The new owner is thought to be spending up to £60 million on interior work after receiving the apartment with bare walls and no amenities.
The Ukrainian used an offshore company called Water Property Holdings to buy the flat, which covers the top three floors in the Richard Rogers designed complex next to Knightsbridge.
The complex, built by a development group led by the Candy brothers, the upmarket property investors, has become the most expensive residential development with almost £1bn of sales transacted across 45 apartments.
The scheme finished in January and almost all the apartments have been bought through offshore trusts.
The law firm used in the purchase is based in Russia and Ukraine. There is no mortgage linked to the property and the identity of the buyer is covered by confidentiality clauses with Project Grande (Guernsey) Limited, the developer.

US postal service uses wrong Statue of Liberty on stamps...

Oops! US post service prints THREE BILLION stamps using the wrong Statue of Liberty

Last updated at 2:38 PM on 16th April 2011
You'd think it would be pretty straightforward to choose a photo of one of the world's most famous landmarks.
But against all the odds,  the United States Postal Service managed to print the wrong Statue of Liberty on three billion stamps, accidentally picking a replica outside a Las Vegas casino instead of the true Lady in New York Harbour.
The embarrassing mistake was only spotted with an eagle-eyed stamp collector - and Liberty 'superfan' - noticed something just wasn't quite right.
Embarrassing slip-up: USPS's Lady Liberty 'Forever' stamp accidentally featured the wrong Statue of Liberty
Embarrassing slip-up: USPS's Lady Liberty 'Forever' stamp accidentally featured the wrong Statue of Liberty
He contacted Linn's Stamp News, the bible for philatelists, which gleefully ran a photo of the two statues side by side.
Red-faced USPS officials are determined to stick with the original design for the Lady Liberty 'Forever' stamp, which was printed in December using a picture chosen from a photography service.
Spokesman Roy Betts told the New York Times: 'We still love the stamp design and would have selected this photograph anyway.'
He did admit the post office regretted the error, and is 're-examining our processes to prevent this situation from happening in the future.'
Statue of Liberty Las VegasStatue of Liberty New York
Spot the difference: The real Statue of Liberty, left, looks out over New York Harbour - the replica, right, looks down on gamblers in front of a Vegas casino
To visitors,  differences seem obvious. The 14-year-old replica outside the New York-New York Casino in Vegas is only half the height of the original, and of course it's several thousand miles away in Nevada.
But on a stamp-sized photo, it took a true expert to notice the difference. The hair is different, there's a a rectangular patch on the replica's center spike and the Vegas version has more sharply defined eyes.
The mistake was made even worse by an informational leaflet released this month with a sheet of 18 Lady Liberty and flag stamps. It includes a short history of the Statue of Liberty - but makes no mention of the replica.
Officials have now said they will change the brochure to explain the photo features a replica rather than the real 125-year-old statue.
The real Lady: An eagle-eyed stamp collector noticed subtle differences between the two statues, including the replica's more sharply-defined eyes
The real Lady: An eagle-eyed stamp collector noticed subtle differences between the two statues, including the replica's more sharply-defined eyes
It may have caused embarrassment for USPS, but the slip-up has created nothing but pride in Las Vegas.
Gordon Absher, spokesman for MGM Resorts International, said: 'Everyone thought the post office was honouring just one great American institution when in reality they were honouring two - the Statue of Liberty and Las Vegas.'
The news was not quite so well received in New York, where Edward Koch, who famously declared the city was the centre of the universe when he was mayor, told the Times: 'It simply means the post office is doing a stupid thing.'

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Italian village for sale is bargain at £485,000

For sale: entire medieval Italian village for £485,000

It sounds almost too good to be true: an entire medieval village in Italy for sale for the price of a modest flat in London.

The historic village of Valle Piola, in the heart of one of Italy's
biggest national parks, is on sale for 550,000 euros
Image 1 of 3
The historic village of Valle Piola, in the heart of one of Italy's biggest national parks, is on sale for 550,000 euros Photo: REX FEATURES
But for anyone tired of Britain's crippling property prices and inclement weather, £485,000 will buy the historic village of Valle Piola, which is surrounded by wild and mountainous terrain in the heart of one of the country's biggest national parks.
Italy is littered with abandoned hill villages but Valle Piola is a particular gem, consisting of 11 crumbling stone buildings, including a half-ruined 13th century church and two shepherds' houses.
It lies in the middle of the Gran Sasso national park in the central Abruzzo region, an area that has been severely depopulated by a decline in sheep farming.
The settlement was first mentioned in records in 1059 and some of the houses have distinctively-shaped wooden balconies believed to have been influenced by Lombard invaders from Italy's north.
It lies at an altitude of more than 3,000ft, in a natural amphitheatre of mountains in the Apennines, buffeted by snow and gales during the winter and baked by the sun during long, hot summers.
Its only link with the outside world is a dusty dirt road that, once it runs through the village, peters out into a mule track. The nearest airports are Ancona, Perugia and Pescara.
The local council, along with an elderly man who owns some of the buildings, has put Valle Piola on the market for €550,000 because there are no public funds to protect the place from vandals, let alone restore it.
The same sum would buy a three-bedroom town house in Hackney or a tiny one-bedroom apartment in Covent Garden.
The council hopes that a buyer will come forward and breathe new life into the hamlet.
"It's been deserted for about 30 years," said Daniele Palumbi, the mayor of the nearby town of Torricella Sicura.
"It's a beautiful spot, a real jewel, and the buildings are all made of local stone. We're not giving an estimate of how much it would cost to make the houses habitable – it will be up to the buyer to come up with a plan.
"There's been a lot of interest from potential buyers in Italy, though nothing from abroad so far because it has not been widely publicised.
"It could be turned into private homes or some sort of tourist development."
One option would be to turn the village into what Italians call an albergo diffuso, in which the entire hamlet would become a spread-out hotel, with guests staying in individual houses.
The model was pioneered in another part of Abruzzo by a Swedish-Italian entrepreneur, Daniele Kihlgren, who bought up the half-derelict village of Santo Stefano and has since turned it into a luxury boutique destination.
Anyone interested in buying the village should contact Giacomo Ciapanna, the surveyor in charge of the sale, by emailing or calling +39 3384754099.

Royal Flush... toilet sells for $6,390 (£3,900)

Royal flush: The £3,900 toilet that’s fit for a king

Last updated at 12:35 PM on 16th April 2011
We’ve all heard the word throne being used to describe a toilet. Well now there’s a loo so luxurious that it really is fit for royalty.
American manufacturer Kohler makes a lavatory called the Numi and sells it for a cool $6,390 – or around £3,900. A price that’s way too hefty for most people – but not someone on the civil list, of course.
That whopping sum will buy you a quite extraordinary toilet, though.
Kohler Numi loo
Hi-tech: The Numi loo's seat will automatically open when you approach it
Kohler describe their device as combining ‘unmatched design, technology and engineering to bring you the finest in personal comfort and cleansing. From its striking form and features to its unrivalled water efficiency, the Numi toilet marks a new standard of excellence in the bathroom’.
They’re probably not wrong.
For starters, there’s no danger of chilly cheeks when you sit on it – because the motion-activated seat is heated . Your feet are kept toasty, too, by vents that gently blow hot air on them.
The spec also includes a charcoal-filtered deodoriser, built-in bidet, illuminated side panels and speakers with MP3 input sockets.
Users won’t even need to go to the trouble of choosing their own music - the toilet will play pre-programmed music or radio broadcasts.
Kohler Numi
Amazingly, the Numi isn't the most expensive toilet
The website for the toilet is extremely swish and clearly positions the Numi as the loo for high-earning trendy types. Though bizarrely it is pictured out in the open in a room with floor-to–ceiling glass.
Remarkably, the Numi isn’t actually the world’s most expensive toilet. That title belongs to one made by Hang Fung Gold Technology in Japan. It's made of solid 24-carat gold and is worth around $37million.
The second-most expensive toilet is onboard the International Space Station. It cost $19million, partly because the sophisticated convenience is able to recycle urine into water.
Another very expensive toilet can be found in the home of American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.
For his birthday last year he was given a Toto Automatic Toilet worth $6,000.
The high-end water closet has an automatic lid, a night light, three washing modes, an integrated warm air dryer and even a hands free auto flush and air purifying system.
It also has a constantly heated seat like the Numi does, so the star's behind won't get cold.
Ryan said that he 'felt like a new man' since receiving the gift.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

A leopard who thinks he's a meerkat...

  • 15 April 2011, 13:30

Leopard thinks he's a meerkat

Leopard/Meerkat /Lets Kamogelo/Solent News/Rex
A safari guide thought he was seeing things when he spotted a leopard acting like a meerkat.
The big cat in question had been carefully stalking a warthog when its prey disappeared into some particularly long grass.
In order to keeps its dinner in sight, every few minutes the leopard would balance expertly on its hind legs - doing an excellent meerkat impersonation - and peer over the grass.
The bizarre spectacle was caught on camera by 27-year-old Letsogile Kamogelo at Savuti Camp in the Linyanti Game Reserve, Botswana.
Mr Kamogelo, who works as a safari guide, said he had never heard of a leopard behaving in such a way.
He explained: "This leopard had spotted a warthog from a distance and stalked it for almost an hour.
"He kept a reasonable distance from his prey but he lost sight of the warthog when it went in to tall grass.
"He lifted himself up for at least 45 seconds to a minute at a time. I don't think he was comfortable holding the position for any longer.
"He was very careful whenever he stood up because he didn't want to fall on his back. This is a very unusual behaviour and I have never heard or read about it before.
"There is a lot of animal behaviour that has not been recorded and it is mostly influenced by the type of terrain. The animal has to respond to the changes within its environment and it may display unusual behaviour like this."

Couple's naked wedding a day to remember-Austria

  • 15 April 2011, 10:03

Couple's naked wedding to remember

Naked wedding /Europics
An Austrian couple tied the knot in the buff after trying to find a way to make sure they would never forget their wedding day.
Bride Melanie Schachner, 26, wore just a veil while groom Rene Schachner, 31, sported nothing but a top hat to cover his modesty when they got married in Feldkirchen.
"We're not ashamed of our bodies and we wanted to do something different. It certainly saved on a wedding dress," explained Melanie.
"It will certainly be a wedding our guests will never forget," added Rene.
Thankfully for the couple, the registrar managed to keep any giggles and embarrassment under control.
"The guests seemed to be taking plenty of pictures so they obviously weren't put off by out nudity. Many said it was a great idea and added extra fun to our day, which we had been planning for a few years," said Melanie.
The pair got hitched in a register office service in front of friends and family before celebrating in a castle.
"Luckily it was a lovely spring day and quite warm otherwise it would have been a bit chilly for the naked lovebirds." said one of the guests.

Man gets 200 page rejection letter from council...

Bureau-crazy! Motorist claiming £40 pothole damage gets 200-page rejection letter

Last updated at 10:03 PM on 15th April 2011
When Terry Rothery filed a £40 claim to his council for pothole damage to his car, he wasn’t really expecting much of a response.
The reply he got, however, turned out to be rather overwhelming.
For while council bureaucrats did, as expected, refuse to compensate the retired magazine executive, they also felt the need to send him a 200-page letter explaining their decision.
Rambling: Terry Rothery received the council's 200-page reply to his £40 pothole damage compensation claim
Rambling: Terry Rothery received a 200-page reply to his £40 pothole damage compensation claim
Over-officious highways bosses even included their entire 186-page road maintenance strategy along with a lengthy explanation letter.
Mr Rothery, 65, filed the claim in protest at the council’s road maintenance after he hit a massive pothole as he was driving his blue BMW along a road at night near to his home in Billericay, Essex.
The father of four and grandfather said: ‘The rejection letter was a load of gobbledygook, with clauses and subclauses and explanations which basically said they could not be held responsible.
‘Why they had to send me the complete highway maintenance strategy, I have no idea.
‘It just needed the couple of pages within that document that are relevant – not the complete works.’
Pen pushers: Terry Rothery was baffled when the 20o page letter arrived to reject his £40 claim for pothole damage to his car
Bump: Mr Rothery was driving in the dark when a large pothole damaged the alloy wheel of his blue BMW
Mr Rothery has since been left frustrated in his attempts to speak to council officials, who he says have not been answering their phones.
He said: ‘If they have done this to me, there must be hundreds of other people out there who have been sent the same thing, so just imagine how much that will have cost taxpayers.
‘We are the taxpayers, we make the contributions and this is just lunacy.
'When people talk about barmy bureaucracy, this is it – it’s alive and well. There were so many pages there that it cost about  £2 [in postage] to send it out  to me.'
    He added: ‘I could not believe it. I was just gobsmacked when it arrived – I thought, “What in heaven’s name are they up to?”’
    Mr Rothery said of the pothole that caused £42 of damage to his alloy wheel: ‘It was one rather large crater in the road. As soon as I hit it, I thought, “That’s done some damage”.
    ‘Thankfully the damage was not too serious but I thought I would put the claim in out of principle as the roads have become so bad.
    ‘The road workers are only filling up the potholes as a temporary solution and they know that they will be back time and time again to repair them.’
    Evidence: Mr Rothery photographed his car next to the massive potholeLetter: Complete with another 199 pages
    Letter: The first page of the letter and right, Mr Rothery's car next to the massive pothole which he photographed as evidence
    A spokesman for the council said: ‘It is certainly not Essex County Council’s policy to send out our full highways maintenance policy with every response to a compensation claim.
    ‘It appears on this occasion that it has been sent in error and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
    ‘Our policy when sending responses is to direct residents to the relevant section of our website, or to only send out relevant pages by post in order to keep paperwork to a minimum.’

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    Pizza company gives a slice of Royal wedding...

    Get a slice of the 

    Royal wedding

    Cheesey ... special Prince William and Kate Middleton pizza
    Cheesey ... special Prince William and Kate Middleton pizza

    THERE have already been many portraits of the happy couple - but the latest is hoped to give everyone a slice of the Royal wedding.

    Pizza chain Papa John's has created its own image of Prince William and Kate Middleton - made out of a mosaic pizza - ahead of their April 29 wedding.
    The chain worked with a food artist to create the pizza, which includes Miss Middleton's veil made from mushrooms; her dress from cheese; and William's morning suit out of salami and peppers.
    Jack Swaysland, Papa John's vice-president for the UK and Europe, said: "It seems like the whole country has got royal wedding fever, so we just had to do something special to celebrate this momentous occasion.
    "There are odds of 50/1 that the Royal Wedding Breakfast will be pizza so, you never know, Kate and William might be requesting a special delivery on the big day."
    The chain is delivering to royal wedding parties on the big day, with preordering available from today, as well as giving people the chance to have the pizza recreated for them by the same food artist if they email

    Outrage as 6-year-old is frisked and drug tested at US airport

    Outrage in US as six-year-old girl is frisked at airport

    The parents of a six-year-old girl who got an "intensive" pat-down at a New Orleans airport security checkpoint earlier this month have called for different security screening procedures for children.

    Outrage in US as six-year-old girl is frisked at airport
    Selena Drexel with the video showing her 6-year-old daughter Anna getting frisked Photo: AP
    Dr Todd and Selena Drexel said that daughter Anna was confused by the security procedure, a video of which has been widely viewed since the family posted it on YouTube.
    "Afterward, she broke down with crying, because she really didn't understand what she had done wrong," Todd Drexel said on Good Morning America. "We were struggling to explain it to her, because we had really stressed to her that it's not OK to be touched in certain places, and now she's been pat down in a public setting."
    A spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, which is responsible for screening passengers and cargo at airports, said that the search was in line with established procedures.
    "TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that this officer followed proper current screening procedures," agency spokesman Jim Fotenos said in a statement.
    He said that TSA Administrator John Pistole had directed the agency to explore "additional ways to focus its resources and move beyond a one-size fits all system while maintaining a high level of security."
    Mr Fotenos said TSA has been reviewing its policies in an effort "to streamline and improve the screening experience for low-risk populations, such as younger passengers."
    The YouTube video shows Anna and Selena Drexel at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport on April 5. A female TSA screener asks Anna to stand near her mother with her arms extended and does a patdown search similar to those routinely performed on adult travellers.
    The screener runs her gloved hands along both sides of the Anna's head and along each arm; along the sides, front and back of the girl's torso, hips and thighs, and runs both hands along each leg from crotch to foot. The screener also slides her fingers along the inside of the neckline and waistband of the girl's shirt and jeans, explaining each step of the search as she goes.
    A spokeswoman for the New Orleans airport declined to comment on the incident, referring questions to the TSA.
    Selena Drexel said on Good Morning America that the family was heading home from a vacation, travelling with Anna as well as their two other daughters, ages 9 and 2. She said Anna was selected for a patdown, and that she asked that her daughter be rescanned instead but that her request was denied.
    "They just said they were going to do what they were going to do," Selena Drexel said.
    Asked why she posted a video of the incident on YouTube, Selena Drexel said that she wanted other people to see it so that she could get others' opinions about it.
    "We felt that it was inappropriate," she said. "We struggle to teach our children to protect themselves, and to say 'no' and 'it's not OK for folks to touch me in those areas,' and here we are saying it's OK for these people."