31 January 2007: The happy life of crime

Gangsters enjoy their work more than the police, according to two surveys just published in South Korea.

The first survey was conducted among 109 jailed gangsters by the Korean Institute of Criminal Justice. Just under 80 percent said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their life in organised crime.

Only about 65 percent of police said they enjoyed their profession, according to the second survey.

One reason for the difference may be that South Korean gangsters make on average more than 2,000 pounds a month; much higher than the pay for police.

30 January 2007: A Jammed Cat

Un unnamed cat had to pause for thought after it tried to fish a mouse out of a jam jar - and got its head stuck.

A motorist found the tabby wandering by a road in Cambridgeshire with the jar on its head and the mouse millimetres from its nose. At the local police station a receptionist and three burly policemen could find no way to solve the puzzle. They pulled and twisted but to no avail.

But the tale has a happy ending. The cat freed itself - and the mouse - by smashing the jar on the floor of the police station.

SaintFM wonders if it was charged with breaking and exiting.

29 January 2007: The high cost of motoring

A motorist, who had waited nearly a year to take delivery of his new car, only had it for less than an hour.

Roger Robinson was on his way to work in his brand new £19,000 silver Ford Focus ST when he was involved in a collision with another car and a lorry. His car skidded off the carriageway, down an embankment, and was a complete write-off.

Mr Robinson, from Basingstoke, was not hurt. His comments were not reported.

26 January 2007: No Card No Sale

A former Lord Mayor was asked to prove he was over 18 when he tried to buy a bottle of sherry in a supermarket.

Jack Archer said he was shocked and flattered when asked the question by staff at Morrisons supermarket in York.

Mr Archer said he did not think he looked his age but said staff must have known he was not under 18.

Mr Archer is 87.

25 January 2007: Holy Orders

A Saudi court has given a convicted drug user an unusual form of suspended sentence.

He faces a year in prison if he fails to recite the Koran, the Muslim holy book, by heart.

There are more than 77,000 words in the Koran and it normally takes on average two years to study. The court has given him six months to learn it.

And, in case any local JPs are listening SaintFM would like to point out that The Bible has more than ten times as many words in it ....

24 January 2007: Adding insult to injury

Motorist Nicky Clegg, was forced to abandon her Ford Fiesta during storms which battered the UK last Thursday.

When she returned to her car she found it had been crushed by a falling tree. And on the windscreen was - a parking ticket.

Worcester City Council says it has launched an investigation into why the parking ticket was slapped on the stricken car, and has decided to cancel the £60 fine.

23 January 2007: Fit Women

Fit Women

Women do more walking than men, according to UK Government figures, and the reason is not health consciousness but the lure of shopping.

Women make an average of 261 walking trips a year compared with the figure of 228 trips for men, according to Department for Transport statistics.

Shopping is the main reason for taking a walking trip, accounting for 21% of all journeys made on foot. The next main reasons for walking are going to and from places of education and leisure or social trips.

Perhaps women go shopping to buy shoes to replace those they wore out going shopping ...

22 January 2007: Bird-brained smoker

Fire-fighters called to extinguish a blaze that had burned the roof off an office block in the United States, found an unusual cause.

In the attic they found a pigeon nest, five feet across, littered with old cigarette butts. They believe the pigeon was somehow fascinated by them and had collected and carried them back to its nest. One day it must have picked up one that was still alight, hence the fire.

Fire-fighters constantly warn people against smoking in bed. SaintFM wonders how they propose to extend this message to include birds.

19 January 2007: Knickers Nicker Nicked

Police in England have asked women who have had their underwear stolen to come forward, after a man was arrested carrying a large quantity of knickers and other garments.

The 40-year-old man was stopped by police in Portsmouth. Officers believe the items may have been stolen from washing lines across the city.

The suspect, who comes from nearby from Southampton, was charged and bailed while police inquiries continue.

18 January 2007: Mummy, what's that statue for?

A Dutch newspaper has reported that Amsterdam's red light district is to erect a bronze statue dedicated to prostitutes around the world.

Apparently a Dutch artist has made the statue at the request of a former prostitute. It is understood that the statue will be a first of its kind and has received the blessing of the city authorities.

The statue is described as "a self-assured woman, with her hands on her hips, looking sideways towards the sky, and standing on a doorstep".

The report ends: "The precise place where the statue will be laid ..." (yes, it really says that) "...has not yet been announced."

17 January 2007: Love Me Tender

The people of Parkes, a town in the Australian outback, have set a record for the number of Elvis Presley impersonators singing together.

By listening to 147 renditions of Love Me Tender, they smashed the previous record - a mere 78 mustered by Collingwood in Canada.

Parkes, is most famous for the large radio telescope located there, which featured in the movie "The Dish".

It is also just over 200 miles from the nearest large city. With 147 Elvises singing, Saint FM thinks that's maybe that's just as well.

16 January 2007: Only Obeying Orders

A 46-year-old German motorist driving along a busy road suddenly veered to the left and ended up stuck on a railway track -- because his in-car navigation system told him to.

The motorist was heading into the city of Bremen when, to quote a police spokesman, "the friendly voice from his satnav told him to turn left. He did what he was ordered to do and turned up over the curb and onto the track of a local tram line. He tried to back up off the track but got completely stuck."

Police said about a dozen trams were held up until a tow lorry arrived to clear the car off the track.

Several German motorists have crashed their cars in recent months, later telling police they were only obeying orders from their satnavs.

15 January 2007: Football Hot Air

A dedicated football fan says he is planning to overcome a ban on attending a match by watching it from an airship.

All Cardiff City fans have been banned from the away match against Wolverhampton Wanderers this weekend after clashes between rival supporters in previous fixtures between the two sides.

But businessman Steve Day, 40, claims he is hiring an airship for himself and 29 other fans to hover above the Molineux Stadium and watch the action from the air.

12 January 2007: Could you be king?

If you can trace your family tree as far as the 11th Century you may have a claim to the throne of England.

First a piece of history: English King Edward the Confessor named his nephew Edgar Aetheling as the next king, but when Edward died the new king was too young so Harold II was crowned instead. Harold II was defeated in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and William the Conqueror became king.

But a group is now considering the possibility that William's defeat of Harold II did not entitle him to the crown because the real king should have been Edgar. If this is true, then a descendant of Edgar could now claim the throne of England.

So if you can show that you are a descendent of Edgar Aetheling (1051-1126) you need to contact English Heritage on www.english-heritage.org.uk/hastings

11 January 2007: Put it out, please

Council bosses have defended a decision to investigate a complaint about a couple smoking in their own home.

The couple were stunned when they were told officials were to probe their smoking habits following a complaint from a neighbour.

The couple, from Caernarfon, north Wales, received a letter from Gwynedd County Council saying a neighbour had complained about cigarette smoke "permeating into her living room".

The husband, who smokes 20 cigarettes a day, said: "I thought it must be a joke."

10 January 2007: A groom who didn't say "no"

Following our story yesterday about a bride who jokingly said "no" to the all-important question, comes a story of an Iranian man who regrets not having said "no".

He has now filed for divorce, on the grounds that his wife used to be a man.

The man told the court he had learned only after the marriage that his wife, Mina, was a transsexual who had had a sex change operation. He told the court he had tried to "cope with it" in the four years they had been married, but now Mina was making demands for a dowry worth more than $4,000, so he had sought to annul their marriage.

9 January 2007: Just don't say 'No'

An Austrian couple have had their marriage postponed for 10 weeks because the bride made a joke during the ceremony.

When asked the all-important question, she said "no". Although she immediately said that it was only a joke, the officiating registrar was required under Austrian law to break off the heavily attended ceremony.

Austrian regulations stipulate that there must be a postponement for reconsideration of at least 10 weeks if one of the parties responds in the negative.

Whether the people present, and particularly her husband-to-be, enjoyed her joke, was not reported.

8 January 2007: Tidiness is next to ....

National Insurance staff in Longbenton, North Tyneside, have been told to keep their computer keyboards straight, and clutter away from their workspace, in an ongoing efficiency drive. To help them do this, black tape has been put on their desks to show them where to put their pens.

It's all part of a £7-million project being undertaken by consultants, which has also resulted in public sector workers being told to clear their desks of all personal items.

The project has been described by one union as "madness".

5 January 2007: Cool for Cats

An Australian bank has admitted issuing a credit card with a credit limit worth about £1500 to Messiah, a ginger tom cat.

Messiah's owner, Katherine Campbell, already had a Bank of Queensland Visa card, and says she applied for the additional card in the name of her cat to test the bank's identity security system.

"I just couldn't believe it," she told local media, cradling the cool cat and his card. "Banks need to have better security," she said.

A Bank of Queensland spokeswoman admitted issuing the card to the cat, saying "We apologise as this should not have happened."

The card has now been cancelled so Messiah will just have to go back to paying cash.

4 January 2007: Tourist questions

Tourist Information Centres around the world try to deal helpfully with questions from visitors. Some of the queries are quite bizarre.

Among the more intriguing questions posed to one of the UK's Tourist Information offices included:

Are there any lakes in the Lake District?

  • In what month is the May Day demonstration?
  • Is Wales closed during the winter?
  • What is the entry fee for Brighton?
  • Do you have any information on (former topless model) Samantha Fox?

3 January 2007: Beer is better than ... a dog?

A unemployed German man sold a dog to the owner of a bar to pay for beer.

The dog didn't even belong to him; it was the pet of his 6-year-old step-daughter. He offered to take the dog for a walk, and stopped at a bar where he convinced the owner to buy the 3-year-old Beagle for 40 euros, which he spent quenching his thirst for beer.

Having learned the truth the bar owner returned the dog to its owner.

2 January 2007: I can't make it in today

A 21-year-old German woman who did not feel like going to work sent her parents a text message saying she had been kidnapped.

Police in Bavaria said they had launched a massive search throughout the region for the woman who allegedly disappeared but turned up unscathed the following morning, saying the kidnapper had set her free.

A spokesman said the woman had been questioned and admitted she made up the story because she didn't want to go to work.

She now faces a fine of up to 1,000 euros.