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Offbeat News 6th October 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:


In this latest edition of Offbeat News you can find bizarre news stories that include the world’s biggest book, a clown in congress, a public toilet shaped like Doctor Who’s tardis, where California benefits get spent, weedkiller revenge, Mom’s hold underage drinking parties and more.


How Would You Like To Own The World’s Biggest Book?

A publisher from Sydney, Australia, has created what is by far the largest book that the world has ever seen, measuring six feet by nine feet.

The book is an Atlas, and was unveiled last week at the world’s biggest book fair, which is held in Frankfurt, Germany.

The publisher, Gordon Cheers, is offering to sell the book for US$100,000. Apparently the only other book that comes close to this one was the Klencke Atlas which was created in 1660 as a gift for King Charles II of England, but that was at least a foot smaller than the atlas that Gordon has created.

Just turning the page takes all your strength, and if you look at the picture of the book, it’s hard to imagine where anyone could practically put it.

Taking about a month to produce each volume, the publisher is limiting the first edition to a total of 31, so this will definitely be a collectors item.

The Atlas has maps of whole continents, plus a number of collages of famous sites, formed from over 1,000 individual pictures.

I know I couldn’t afford the book, and definitely wouldn’t have room in our house to put it, but I don’t think I could even afford the postage to have it delivered!

Read the full story and see a picture of the book HERE.


Roll Up Roll Up, The Brazilian Congress Is In Session

Well I know a lot of you are probably going to say this isn’t the first time this has happened, but seriously, a professional clown has won a seat in congress in Brazil.

The clown, Francisco Oliveira, is a 45 year old television comic, with a stage name of Tiririca, and he is all set to take up his position in the Brazilian congress, however there is a problem.

A police forensic examination of his electoral application raised suspicion as to whether the writing actually belonged to Francisco, and there is now a lawsuit
which claims that he can neither read or write. According to the Brazilian constitution, federal deputies in congress must know how to read and write to be able to pass laws.

Francisco has ten days to prove to the court that he is not illiterate, or else he will lose his place in congress.

The entertainer achieved international fame last week for gaining 1.3 million votes, more than any other deputy throughout Brazil.

His campaign slogan – “It Couldn’t Get Any Worse – Vote For Me!”

He also campaigned saying “Vote for me as federal deputy so I can help the needy, especially my family.”

Sounds rather like an ex-president from Texas to me…

Read the full story HERE.


Newcastle Doesn’t Want Anyone To Be Seen Going In the Tardis

Councillors in the city of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia, have rejected a proposal to build a block of toilets in the Hunter Street shopping mall that were said to resemble Doctor Who’s Tardis.

The project has been funded by contributions from the developers, but instead the councilors want to use the money to build bus shelters.

It’s a shame that the project didn’t get the go ahead, and can’t you just imagine pressing a button to flush the toilet, and hearing the unmistakable sound of the Tardis taking off somewhere.

Read the full story HERE.


California Benefit Recipients Are Spent On Vacations In Florida

Well we all know that some people are receiving benefits when they are not entitled to them, but a recent study has shown that tens of millions of welfare dollars that were issued in California have been spent in other states.

An analyst from the Los Angeles Times found that $69 million that had been paid out in welfare benefits in California over a 3 ½ year period had been spent at destinations that included Las Vegas, Hawaiian beaches, and cruise ships based in Florida.

The analyst was able to trace the money, since welfare benefits are deposited electronically onto cards that can then be used like debit cards.

The investigator found that nearly $12 million had been spent in Las Vegas, $1.5 million in Florida, $388,000 in Hawaii, and over $16,000 taken out using ATM’s on cruise ships.

Of the money spent in Florida, $13,000 was spent on South beach in Miami, another $7,000 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, and $16,000 from cruise ships.

Welfare supporters were quick to point out that this is less than 1 percent of the $11 billion that California issued during the 3 ½ year period, and investigators for the County, who are responsible for preventing fraud, said that they don’t even begin to question where a claimant has been until they have been away for more than 30 days.

Well I am sure this all makes tax payers in California very happy, knowing that they are funding regular vacations for some of those on welfare in the State. It’s likely too that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Read the full story HERE.


Man Takes Revenge On Neighbor With Weed Killer

Because a neighbor owed him more than $200 for drugs, a man from Bradenton in Florida performed a series of assaults on his yard using Roundup weed killer.

He drove past the front of the house on a number of occasions and squirted the plants and bushes using a water gun, and to get to the back yard he filled water balloons with weed killer and lobbed them over the house.

The estimated damages to the neighbor’s property were said of be in the region of $250.

The man confessed to the deed after police pulled him over for driving with a suspended license. He was later released from jail after filing a $500 bond, and has been charged with criminal mischief with property damage.

Actually this is a similar thing to what I seriously was going to do a few years ago, when a landlord conned me into parting with a month’s rent and month deposit at what was a vunerable time for me. I got out of there as soon as I could, in two weeks, but I ended up losing $1,000 to this unsympathetic man, and really wanted to cost him a lot of money for his greed.

Read the full story HERE.


Two Florida Moms Allowed Underage Daughters To Hold Drinking Parties

Two women from Bonita Springs in Florida have been charged by the sheriff’s office with allowing minors to drink alcohol in their homes.

When deputies were called to one house just after midnight, they found a group of about 15 minors in the yard, and they were drinking beer. When one of them went to fetch the mother, she was also found to be intoxicated.

When the deputies questioned her, she let rip with a series of expletives at them, resulting in her heading to jail.

Deputies arrived at a second house at around 3am where they found six minors in the driveway and 15 to 20 more inside the house.

There were several empty liquor bottles in the kitchen, and about 30 beer cans around the house.

The mother was in the kitchen also drinking beer.

When questioned by the police, she said that it was all her daughter’s idea, and that “it was homecoming, and that’s what you do!”

It’s no wonder kids get into trouble with alcohol when the parents don’t set a good example and take responsibility.

I have no problems with minors taking a sip of alcohol, in fact it’s common in families in Europe, where the kids grow up drinking wine or beer mixed with soda.

In fact after my son, who was 18 months at the time, kept pestering to have a sip of red wine or scotch on the rocks, I gave in and let him have a sip. It was the best thing I could have done actually, and the look on his face was priceless. He didn’t ask to touch alcohol for a good few years after that.

Read the full story HERE.


News Reports Taken From The Following Sources:

Digital Spy

ABC News Australia

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The Bournemouth Echo

The London Evening Standard

The Daily Telegraph

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