In Shamokin, Pennsylvania, a female porch pirate who stole an Amazon box got a big surprise when she opened it. The box was taken from Robert Lynch's front porch about 7am. But it wasn't a delivery from Amazon - it was filled with cat poop he'd forgotten to put out with his trash. All of this was caught on his home security system. The video shows a woman with a large backpack and carrying something covered with a blanket. She is seen looking at the house, walking past and then returning. She did not go onto the porch. When she was unable to maneuver the box through a wrought iron fence, she slide the box -- about 10 inches long and six to eight inches deep, along the porch to the steps where she could pick it up. Although nothing valuable was taken, Lynch called police anyway. The responding officer took a report and got a good laugh out it, he said. (Penn Live)
Now... 8 Lives for Baloo
Baloo the tabby cat travelled about 1,500 miles inside a box containing a tire rim. He wasn't supposed to be there but apparently snuck in unnoticed before her owner sealed the box and shipped it off in the mail. You'll be happy to know Baloo was safely returned to her home in Nova Scotia after a 17-hour drive and 1,500 mile round trip. Purolator employees discovered the cat in Montreal and called the local SPCA, which tracked down its owners. Jacqueline Lake had been searching for her family's one-year-old tabby for four days when she got the call. Lake guessed that the cat, Baloo, had crawled into a package containing a tire rim in the hour before she shipped it off. She thought it was strange that one of the packages weighed 10 pounds more than the others, but dismissed it as a possible problem with the rims. She added, "He never made a single sound." Lake said she is "eternally grateful" to the SPCA and the network of volunteers with the organization Freedom Drivers who relayed Baloo back home. Baloo, for his part, appeared to be healthy. He ran straight to the family's other cat and then to his food dish. (CBC)
Better Respect Those Historical Landmarks
A buyer who illegally demolished a famed historical house in San Francisco was given a rather creative punishment by the city. Largent House, in the city's Twin Peaks neighborhood, was built in 1936 by eminent modernist designer Richard Neutra. Its new owner, Ross Johnston, bought the property last year for $1.7 million and did receive permission to renovate it. However - that did not include tearing it down. A neighbor filed a complaint after coming home to find the famed house demolished. In response, the San Francisco Planning Commission has ordered him to rebuild an exact replica of the original home and install a plaque explaining what happened! If the property is sold, the new buyer will also be obliged to honor the ruling. Planning Commissioner Dennis Richards said he hoped the story would prove a cautionary tale adding, "If a developer has even a thought of demolishing a house illegally, I'd like them to go up to 49 Hopkins and take a look at the plaque, because this is what's going to happen in the future." (BBC)
Lottery Scam May Mean Life in Prison!
A federal judge in North Dakota has ordered a Rhode Island woman convicted of funneling lottery scam money between the US and Jamaica to remain jailed pending a February sentencing hearing where she could face a stiffer sentence than the alleged mastermind of the scheme. US District Judge Daniel Hovland said "Her hands were all over the conspiracy" that authorities said bilked at least 90 mostly elderly Americans out of more than $5.7 million. During the detention hearing 28-year-old Melinda Bulgin verbally sparred with Judge Hovland and Assistant US Attorney Jonathan O'Konek. Defense attorney Chad McCabe called her "very emotional." A jury in September convicted Bulgin of conspiracy, fraud, and money laundering in what is believed to be the first large-scale Jamaican lottery scam tried in US courts. A government filing in October suggests the appropriate sentence for Bulgin under federal guidelines is life in prison. O'Konek says the actual filing he will make will likely be "lower than life." His filing indicates her sentence might still be higher than for Lavrick Willocks, who authorities say was the kingpin of the operation. He pleaded guilty in July 2017 to conspiracy in a deal with prosecutors and was sentenced to six years. (Newser)
A Proud College Graduate!
After raising five kids and retiring at age 77 from her secretarial job, Janet Fein had the time to go do what she really wanted to do - graduate from college! Fein, now 84, went to back to school and will soon check off that all-important bucket list item when she graduates from the University of Texas at Dallas with a bachelor's degree. She says, "I didn't have anything to do in retirement and I didn't think that playing bingo was up to my speed." She majored in sociology because she felt it was "substantial" and says she enjoyed all the reading and writing papers adding, "With each class I already knew a lot, but then I also learned a lot. And that made me happy." People 65 and older make up less than 1% of US college students. "Keeping oneself active and vital and giving yourself something to look forward to like that is just a really positive move," says Dr. Carmel Dyer, executive director of the UTHealth Consortium on Aging at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Fein took part in a state program that allows people ages 65 and older to take up to six credit hours for free at public universities in Texas. (Newser)
Well - It Does Seem Like a Legitimate Concern!
For the first time in history, the World Pie Eating Championship will not use red meat and potatoes over concerns they produce too many bad farts. This is England so we are talking about meat pies here. Officials have said the move was necessary to make the event more enjoyable for onlookers. It's kind of a bigger deal than you would think because the change has left little time for competitors to change their training regimes, and a former champion has claimed it could even mean (heaven forbid) a Southerner could take the title! This year's contest will be held at a pub in Wigan, England tomorrow. The winner of the contest is whoever eats a standard pie the fastest. The cooked dimensions of the official pie are 4.75 inches across and 1.4 inches deep with a pie wall angle from base to top of between zero and 15 degrees. The current world record of 23.53 seconds was set in 2012. Cheerio! (Metro)
What the What?
In China a man has been hospitalized with a severe fungal infection in his lungs caused by sniffing his own socks. It seems our friend would take a whiff every day at the end of every day when changing out of his sweaty work clothes. As a result he caught an infection from a fungus that had developed in his shoes and socks from his sweaty feet and spread to his lungs when he breathed in the spores. He was admitted to the ER but doctors say he will recover. Sounds like the agony of de feet! Hi-Yoooo! (Metro)