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Offbeat News 28th July 2010

Offbeat NewsOffbeat News is a selection of weird news stories that have surfaced in the last week. This is a selection of the best Offbeat news stories that we found and we hope they will leave you as astounded as they did us:

Photo Negatives From Garage Sale Worth Millions

I bet you wish this was YOU!

A collector from America bought a set of 65 glass negatives at a garage sale in Fresno, California for $45 ten years ago.

They have recently been proved to be authentic works by photographer Ansel Adams, and are valued at $200 million.

Well that’s even better than winning the lottery isn’t it!

Experts determined that the glass negatives were created by Ansel Adams, and the handwriting on the envelopes that the plates were stored in was authenticated to be that of his wife, Virginia.

Ansel Adams died in 1984, and many of his negatives were believed to have been lost in a dark room fire in 1937, which may have destroyed as many as 5,000 negatives, or 1/3 of his portfolio.

He was a pioneer nature photographer, and well known for his images of the American West, in particular Yosemite National Park.

Anyone want to join me on a tour of the local garage sales?

Read the full story HERE

Truck Driver Jailed For Trying To Sell Ritz Hotel

I think this is going to be one of those weird days when it comes to finding odd news stories…

A British truck driver is now going to be spending the next five years in prison, having been found guilty of a multi million pound scam.

While out of work, he was able to persuade a property dealer that he was a good friend of the Barclay Brothers, billionaires who own the Ritz Hotel in London.

He convinced the property dealer that the family wanted to sell the hotel privately through a third party, and received a deposit of £1 million (US$1.5 million), which was financed through a Dutch billionaire.

Oh dear, all this talk of billionaires… I would be over the moon to just have a million… How about you?

Read the full story HERE

Plastic Bottle Boat Floats Into Sydney Harbour

A unique yacht sailed into Sydney Harbour in Australia this week, having completed the 8,000 mile journey from San Francisco.

What makes this yacht unique, is that it is made out of plastic bottles, 12,500 of them in fact.

The “Plastiki” as she is named, after the famous papyrus raft “Kontiki“, is made of PET (Polyethelene Terephthalate) bottles, and is the brainchild of David de Rothschild, who wants to make a statement about the way that plastic is used.

Do you think he would be interested if we offered him our used pop bottles?

Read the full article and see pictures HERE

Short Film About Hanging Shoes Wins Awards

We have all seen them, they show up everywhere, those shoes that are up there in the air, hanging from power lines.

It’s not just here in the UK, but in the USA you can’t go far without spotting a pair.

Nobody seems to know why they have been thrown up there, and theories abound from whether it’s to mark a gang’s turf, or just a way to play a prank on someone.

It even has it’s own term, “Shoefiti”, but now Australian film-maker Matthew Bate has been so intrigued by it, he made a short film about it.

“Flying Kicks”, has won several awards since it was screened at the Melbourne Film Festival in Australia this month, and is destined to go far.

I wonder what I could make a short movie about…

Read the full story HERE

The Sunshine State Is A Lazy State

Not only does Florida have more sunshine than any other state, it now ranks number 17 out of a list of the Top 20 The Laziest States.

According to a survey by Businessweek, people in Florida spend:

Time sleeping: 8 hours, 36 minutes
Time watching TV: 2 hours, 53 minutes
Time relaxing and thinking: 18 minutes
Time socializing: 40 minutes
Time working: 3 hours, 25 minutes
Median age: 40.1
Obesity ranking: No. 36 (25.1 percent), tied with New York and Idaho

The No. 1 Laziest State in the survey is Louisiana, where the population spend:

Time sleeping: 8 hours, 44 minutes
Time watching TV: 3 hours, 5 minutes
Time relaxing and thinking: 29 minutes
Time socializing: 54 minutes
Time working: 2 hours, 41 minutes
Median age: 35.1
Obesity ranking: No. 5 (31.2 percent)

Oh yeah, I would love to only have to work 2 hours 41 minutes a day, but then again in the sticky heat of summer in Louisiana, that is probably pretty good going.

Read the full article HERE

The “Deer Magnet” Hits Five Deer In Twelve Months

A teenager from Central Iowa has earned the nickname of “The Deer Magnet” after hitting five deer while driving in the last year.

Kaycee Larson, who is 17, started her run of bad luck when a deer came out of nowhere and hit her car, while she was on the way home from the ice cream shop where she works.

A few months later a similar incident occurred, while she was driving to church.

After the fourth hit, her pastor’s wife suggested that she ought to start praying before she got into her car.

Apparently she was doing exactly that on Friday, when she hit her fifth deer, which totalled her minivan.

It may just be me, but for a 17 year old to be driving a vehicle the size of a minivan when she is known for having accidents is a little weird. Of course it could be to have a larger vehicle to make it safer for her when she hits something.

Nothing was said about her using a cell phone or having other distractions when any of these accidents occurred, or what speed she was doing, but in areas where deer are likely to be present, and given her past history, you would think that she might have taken additional care.

Of course this could be a herd of Kamikaze deer, intent on taking revenge on motorists who hit them – the hard way.

Read the full story HERE

Bizarre Bungling Bank Robber Gets Busted

Well at least there is a happy story to end on this week, albeit another bizarre one, but then if it wasn’t bizarre, it wouldn’t be Offbeat News would it…

A man robbed a bank in the Pittsburgh area of Pennsylvania this week, wearing a blonde woman’s wig, clown pants, and a pair of fake breasts under a sweater.

He robbed the bank, using a BB gun that he had shoplifted from a store, and then entered a woman’s car.

The woman was fortunately able to get out and take her keys with her, and called the police.

They found the man still inside the car, covered in red pain, from one of the packages of banknotes that he had stolen.

Well it takes all sorts I suppose. If he wanted to be a millionaire, maybe he should have just gone to the garage sales, and waited a few years…

Read the full story and see the video HERE

Well you heard these stories first on Offbeat News, and if these aren’t proof enough that the truth is stranger than fiction, check the previous installments of this weekly series.


ABC News Australia

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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