TGV - watch out for the toilets

A passenger on a French train had to be rescued by firemen after having his arm sucked down the on-board toilet.

The victim was trapped when he tried to fish out his mobile phone, which had fallen into the toilet bowl, and fell foul of the suction system.

The TGV train had to stop for two hours on its journey between La Rochelle and Paris while firemen cut through the train's pipework.

"He came out on a stretcher with his hand still jammed in the toilet bowl, which they had to saw clean off," said a witness to the man's plight.

Save money - leave your girlfriend in prison!

A German man left his girlfriend in prison rather than pay her €225 fine. Magdalena Czerwinska was sentenced to 15 days in prison for theft but was told she could pay a fine instead. But when she called her boyfriend to pay the fine on her behalf, he refused.

A German police spokesman said: "People are very worried in the current economic climate and they have to make whatever savings they can. He saw not paying the fine as a simple saving."

It is not clear if Schuster and Czerwinska will stay together when she gets out of prison.

Beethoven for Bangers

A German organic sausage maker is playing classical music to his bangers to improve the quality.

The Tegut nature food company employs a string quartet playing Mozart & Beethoven to the sausages on Monday mornings.

Boss Wolfgang Gutberlet says the soothing music makes the meat taste even better. "We know that you can't prove this scientifically but are convinced that the harmonic melodies do influence the ripening process," he said. "Similar experiments have already been carried out in wine-growing."

Feeling discomgoogolated?

Do you feel stressed or anxious if you are unable to access the internet?

According to a survey, 44% of Britons suffer from discomgoogolation, with over a quarter admitting to rising stress levels when they are unable to go online. "The proliferation of high speed internet connections has meant for the first time in history we've entered a culture of instant answers," said Dr David Lewis, who identified discomgoogolation by measuring heart rates and brainwave activity.

The term comes from "discombobulate," which means to confuse or frustrate and Google.

"A galaxy of information is just a mouse click away and we have become addicted to the web," said Lewis.


Need someone to change a light bulb or babysit? Rent-a-husband Petteri Ikonen says he is your man for all chores about the house.

"I don't sell sex services at all" stresses Ikonen, a warehouse worker who set up his solo husband rental business, noting that his clients were mainly "lonely women" but included men and families too.

"I've been giving driving lessons, I've sung a birthday serenade, all sort of things", says the entrepreneur who advertises his services on English translation is provided.

Indian Woman Picks Husband on TV

A pregnant Indian woman, torn between two husbands, used a TV show to decide she would return to her first spouse who was freed from a Pakistani jail five years after he was given up as a deserter or dead.

A spokesman of the TV channel said the network had only tried to help Guriya (the Indian woman) have her say.

Parlez-vous Ponglish?

Young Poles living in England have developed their own language "Ponglish" by taking English words and giving them Polish endings, or translating English idioms and grammatical structures literally into Polish.

UK Poles no longer pay 'podatki' (taxes) but British 'taksy'. They spend 'kesh' (cash) take 'offy' (days off) and make 'fony' or 'cally' (phone calls) to their 'frendy' (friends.)

"Young people love it because no-one knows what they're talking about. Neither their Polish parents nor the English adults have got a clue what they're saying," said one Ponglish speaker.

Most ridiculous commute

A man deemed to have the shortests and "most ridiculous commute" in Malmo has won a bicycle as part of a campaign to reduce car traffic in the southern Swedish city.

A man called Lasse Jonsson won the contest after his girlfriend Anna Holm signed him up.

"He drives his car every day less than 200 metres between his home and workplace, nd also drives another few hundred metres to lunch," Sara Forslund told AFP.

Forslund is one of the organisers of Malmo's municipal campaign called "No ridiculous car journeys".

Guns and Buns

A new fast food restaurant in Beirut serves food with a Bang. "Buns and Guns" is decorated to resemble a military post with replica weaponry on the counters and camouflage netting on the ceiling, and diners enjoy their meals to a soundtrack of gunfire.

Juusef Ibrahim presents re-branded Lebanese cuisine such as "rocket-propelled grenade" and "terrorist bread". "They accuse us of terrorism, so let'serve terrorist bread, why not?" Mr Ibrahim told Hezbollah's al-Manar TV.

Also on the menu are dishes called Kalashnikov, Dragunov, Viper and B52. Mr Ibrahim insists the only way his sandwiches could kill the customers is by their generous proportions.

Crook prefers jail to wife

An Italian criminal begged to go back to jail after telling wardens that life behind wars was better than living again with his wife again.

Luigi Folliero, 45, had been freed to serve the second year of his two-year sentence for theft under house arrest.

But after just two days at home he returned to the Ponte San Leonardo jail, near Naples, and begged to go back in his old cell because he could not stand being at home with his wife. He told wardens: "She never stops moaning and nagging."

Traffic Cop Ballet

Romanian traffic police have started taking ballet lessons to make them more graceful. 20 officers from Timisoara have enrolled for classes with two professional dancers.

The Head of community police explained: "We see this as a new concept, a way to make our agents look better on the streets. They can learn how to be agreeable and make the traffic more fluent at the same time."

Theacher Sorin Baltica, who worked for 27 years as a ballet dancer for the Romanian Opera said: "instead of having robots guiding the traffic, we can have very graceful agents doing the same thing."

In the dog house

A would-be mayor is in the dog house after turning packs of stray dogs into living advertisements.

Voters in Bacau, eastern Romania, found that their streets were flooded with dogs, all wearing posters saying 'Vote for Radu Nicolau' on their backs.

Nicolau said 'It's the best way to get my message across. I love dogs and they can spread the word about my campaign to lots of places quicker than me and my campaign team could.'

In the (Pringles) can

The man who designed the Pringles potato crisp tube was so proud of his accomplishment that some of his ashes have been buried in one of the iconic tall, circular cans.

Fredric J. Baur died in Cincinnati on May 4, 2008. He was 89. Baur was an organic chemist and food storage technician who specialized for Procter & Gamble.

A portion of his ashes was also placed in an urn and buried in his grave alongside the can. The rest of the ashes were given to his grandson.

Fire-fighter in Wedding Dress

A Romanian woman surprised officials when she turned up in her wedding dress to sit an exam to become a fire-fighter.

Alina Modoran from Tumu Severin arrived directly from church and insisted on wearing her wedding gown during the test.

Alina explained We just couldn't postpone the wedding as we had fixed the date a year in advance. So I came in my wedding dress because the priest told me not to take it off all day because it brings bad luck.

Unfortunately, Alina and the other three candidates all failed the exam.

Milk for Stress Relief

A Japanese dairy company has launched super-premium milk for stressed-out adults.

At the price of 5.000 Yen (some 30 Euros or 45 US $) for a 900 millimetres bottle, Tokyo-based Nakazawa Foods has targeted the Adult Milk at adults who live in a stressful society.

The price is nearly 30 times as expensive as ordinary milk. The milk is taken from cows once a week at the break of dawn as they discharge a lot of a stress-relieving hormone called melatonin during the night.

The company says it contains three to four times as much melatonin as usual milk.

Monumentally Ugly

The World Association of Ugly People unveiled a statue during their annual meeting in Piobbico, Northern Italy.

The monument depicts an unknown person looking at his reflection in the mirror

The President of the Association said: 'It is not a monument to a good-looking film-star or dashing war hero, but to a person who is just as beautiful - but only on the inside. '

Very Sweet Tooth

A woman with an apparently insatiable sweet tooth stunned staff at a London shop after she bought more than 10,000 chocolate bars and had them loaded into her chauffeur-driven limousine.

The woman asked staff at a north London Woolworths branch for every single Mars bar in stock - 10,656 of them packed in 220 boxes - and paid the total bill of £2,131 in cash.

It would usually take the supermarket a month to shift that number of chocolate bars.

Who's for catserole?

Australians are tucking into their latest national delicacy - stewed cat.

A wild version of the domestic pet is on the menu after stray cats began breeding in the outback. They have now become a major pest, killing millions of small native animals each year.

A recent cooking contest at Alice Springs featured wild cat casserole. The meat is said to taste like rabbot or chicken.

But the marinated moggie, garnished with bush plums, was not to everyone's taste.

Fiacrius / Viagra ?

The Dutch town of Breda has decided to rename a new street that was to have been called St. Fiacrius court after people started calling it Viagra court.

The Town Council changed the name to Hofhage after people about to move into a planned housing development complained about the negative associations of living in a street with a name that sounds like the popular impotence drug.

Doctors Get Guide to Yorkshire Slang

Help is at hand for foreign doctors working in Yorkshire whose patients complain of sore lugholes or say they are feeling jiggered and can't stop gripping.

Health officials in Doncaster, South Yorkshire have compiled a guide of local dialect and slang to help a group of seven Austrian doctors - all fluent English speakers - better understand their sometimes thickly accented patients.

The guide includes some terms that are quite vulgar, but the doctors have found it very useful and it's also helped them integrate into life in this area.

They know now that lugholes are ears, feeling jiggered means exhausted and gripping is vomiting. Other terms include doofer for penis, tackle for testicles and popped his clogs for dead.

Bra gives waste the chop

In Japan, lingerie maker Triumph has unveiled a new bra with cups fashioned to look like a bowl of rice and a bowl of miso soup, complete with side pouches to hold compact chopsticks.

The My Hashi or My Chopsticks bra was designed to reduce the waste generated by people throwing away their disposable chopsticks.

The company said the design was in response to a growing trend for Japanese people to carry their own personal chopsticks around so they would not have to use disposable ones provided in restaurants.