Jan 16, 2007

Austrian Skier Loses Bet, Skis Naked

After losing a bet with his physiotherapist, Austrian World Cup skier Rainer Schoenfelder went on a naked ski run on Wednesday alongside the famed Lauberhorn downhill course.

The 29-year-old Austrian skier vowed to ski naked if his pains had lessened by Wednesday morning. Schoenfelder hurt his neck and back in a crash last week and lost the bet with his physiotherapist, who had been treating his injuries.

The two-time Olympic bronze medalist was also photographed wearing only yellow boots and an orange helmet and gloves.

According to AP reports, Schoenfelder said, "Somehow I didn't notice the photographer. It was an internal bet and of course the whole thing wasn't planned for the public."

"I am happy, though, that the pains have eased up and that it was not cold when I honored my debt," he added.

Giant Owl Terrorizing Community In England

A giant eagle owl is reported to be terrorizing residents in Middlesborough, England. With its 5-ft wingspan, the bird can easily pick up foxes, small dogs and deer.

Reports said the owl set up its home on the roof of the town's train station near the town center, in September. However, the bird suddenly become unruly since December launching itself off high roofs and swooping on passersby.

One of the bird's victims, Craig Smith told The Sun newspaper that the bird tried to attack him from behind as he was running through the station car park to catch a train ride.

He said, "I heard a loud woo-woo noise and looked over my shoulder to see this creature with silver wings, claws stretched out.

"I ran as fast as I could on to the platform and it flew away. On Christmas Eve I saw it go for a man coming out of a pub and chase him down the street."

Mark Fyett, 40 said he was also attacked by the giant bird. "I was leaving work when I heard a hoot and a whoosh and saw this big white face coming at me. I put my arm up and hit its wing and it fell on the floor, but got up again and flew off.

"I was really shaken up. It was like something out of Harry Potter - I thought it was going to pick me up! I went home and called police, but I think they thought I was drunk."

Rachael Stewart, of the Kirkleatham Owl Center in Redcar, North Yorks, said the owl may have escaped from a traveling show and seems to be attacking people when it was just hunting for food.

She said, "We think it must have escaped from a traveling show. Volunteers have tried to catch it a couple of times. It's not dangerous to people but it will have to hunt to survive. It could easily kill a cat or small dog."

British Man Surrenders After Stealing Urinal

A British man who was caught on a closed-circuit security TV stealing a urinal from a pub in Hampshire, England has surrendered himself to the police.

The unidentified 42-year-old man surrendered to the Salisbury police and returned the urinal.

The unusual case generated a lot of publicity in Britain when the man took the urinal from the Royal Oak pub in Southampton, England as a "souvenir."

The police returned the urinal to the pub and the owner was delighted to have it back.

Alan Dreja told the police he was happy to have the urinal back in his pub, although he is planning to put it on display instead of returning it to its original place.

He told the BBC, "The publicity which surrounded the theft seems to have flushed him out."

The police gave the man a warning and told him not to commit the same crime again.

More Stupid Quotes

On Tough Jobs that Involve Letters: “It’s not as easy as it looks, being on all the time. I mean, what happens if I’m in a bad mood?”

– Vanna White, “Wheel of Fortune” co-star

On Standards, the Mega-Richand: “I’d rather not talk about money. It’s kind of gross.”– Barbra Streisand, dodging a question aboutwhat she was paid to direct and star in The Mirror Has Two Faces

On Disco Music, Importanceof: “God had to create disco music so that I could be born and be successful.”
– Donna Summer, disco singer

On Giving It Your All: “Ithink we played hard, but it was a lackadaisical hard.”
– New Jersey Nets guard Otis Birdsong on whyhis team had lost an NBA contest

On Hostage-Taking, Fun ForAll: “[Being taken hostage is] an adventure for the tourist, because the tourist will endup learning about the customs of the tribes as well as their good hospitality.”
– Abdullah Ahmar, speaker of Yemeniparliament, on the practice of taking foreign visitors hostage

On Acting, Jean-Claude VanDamme’s Interesting Insights On: “In an action film you act in the action. If it’s adramatic film you act in the drama.”– Jean-Claude Van Damme, interviewed on“Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous”

On Segues, Unfortunate:“Speaking of animals, he married his wife, Suzanne, when he was in college.”
– Mike Leavitt, governor of Utah, introducingSenator Larry Craig

On Book Reviews, Cogent:“It’s a very good historical book about history.” — former vice president Dan Quayle, about PaulJohnson’s Modern Times

On Civics Lessons, VicePresidential: “There are lots more people in the House. I don’t know how manyexactly-I never counted but at least a couple hundred.”
– former vice president Dan Quayle, attemptingto explain the difference between the House and the Senate

On Earth, Where Found:“[It’s] time for the human race to enter the solar system.”
— former vice president Dan Quayle, on theconcept of a manned mission to Mars.

Meteorite Crashes In N.J. Bathroom

Scientists have confirmed that the strange, silvery rock that tore a hole in the roof and landed on the bathroom of the Nageswaran family more than a week ago had been a meteorite.

Although about 50 extraterrestrial rocks crash on Earth regularly, it rarely strikes homes.

"The fact that something from outer space hit our house ... it's overwhelming," Shankari Nageswaran said in an interview.

Shankari and her husband, Srinivasan Nageswaran, are from India and have been living in Freehold Township since 2003.

It was the night of Jan. 2, when Srinivasan went into his bathroom and saw the hole in the ceiling along with chunks of drywall and insulation scattered around the area.

After cleaning up the bathroom, Shankari had found a metallic sparkly rock about the size of a golf ball but heavier at 13 ounces.

Two geologists from Rutgers University and an independent metallurgist confirmed that the rock - tentatively called "Freehold Township" - was an iron meteorite.

"It could have done great damage and destruction," Srinivasan Nageswaran marveled. "It could have hurt our people."

Every meteorite serves as a "poor man's space probe," yielding information on how the solar system formed, said Tim McCoy, curator of the Smithsonian Institution's meteorite collection.

"There's been fewer than 5,000 meteorites found over the surface of the Earth in the recorded history of mankind," McCoy added. "Every time we get a new one, it's an important event."

Meteorites that land on buildings are priced at thousands of dollars.

The Nageswarans have not yet decided what to do with it. "There are other dimensions to it than just the absolute 'What is it worth?'" Shankari Nageswaran said.