Coin Rebuilding Scheme Cracked

Here is  a creative way of committing fraud!

An airline stewardess struggling to lift her bag at a German airport led to the discovery of a 6-million euro ($8.4 million) coin fraud.

The customs officer who stopped the stewardess in early 2010 found thousands of one and two euro coins in her bag, Bild newspaper reported in its Thursday edition.

The incident sparked an investigation that has uncovered a forgery ring stretching to China and potentially implicating employees of German airline Lufthansa, the paper said.

The Frankfurt prosecutors’ office said on Thursday it carried out dawn raids on offices and residences and arrested six people, four of whom are from China.

It suspects them of having smuggled coins that had been taken out of circulation or bits of those coins into Germany from China, where they had been sent as scrap metal.

The suspects then put the coins back together and exchanged them for a total of 6 million euros at the Bundesbank from 2007 to 2010, the prosecutors said.

Airline cabin crew do not have a weight limit on their baggage, prosecutors highlighted in a statement.

There was no suspicion of any wrongdoing on the part of Bundesbank employees, the prosecutors’ office added.

The Bundesbank said in a statement it was aware of the investigation into the use of scrapped coins. It also said that no Bundesbank employees were subject to the investigation.

A Lufthansa spokesman on Thursday said it was aware that individual employees were under investigation, but said the group could not comment on the investigation.

Old euro coins are taken out of circulation by removing the inner part of the coin from an outer ring and thus effectively turning them into scrap metal.

The investigators recovered around 3 tonnes of coin pieces as well as a machine for putting them back together, prosecutors said in the statement.

The Bundesbank is the only institute in Europe that exchanges damaged euro coins for free, replacing them with new ones of the same value.  People will think of anything to make an easy buck!

Statue Needs Breast Reduction

The mayor of a town in France has thrown a patriotic female statue out of his town hall because its breasts were too big, his aides said on Friday.

The terracotta bust of Marianne — the traditional female embodiment of the French Republic in a Phrygian cap — was an original work by a local artist, installed in 2007 at the town hall in Neuville-en-Ferrain, population 10,000.

“It was making people gossip,” said one town hall employee who asked not to be named. “Remarks were made, during weddings for example.”

Mayor Gerard Cordon persuaded councillors to approve 900 euros (1,280 dollars) in this year’s budget to buy a replacement, a more conventional bust of Marianne modelled on the statuesque French model Laetitia Casta.

The artist who made the rejected bust, Catherine Lamacque, said she gave it outsized breasts deliberately, “to symbolise the generosity of the Republic.”

The town hall bought her terracotta statue in 2007 for 1,400 euros.  I wonder if they will settle on a breast reduction?

Crazy News Headlines

Miss Jail Brazil 2011 is a murderer! – A prison in Recife, a city in the state of Pernambuco, recently held its inaugural Miss Jail pageant to join a growing global list of contests for beauties behind bars.  Miss Jail 2011 is 19-year-old convicted murderer Rebecca Rhaysa Suelen Guedesin.

Schools in Paris will stink! – Paris wants green sources to fuel 30 percent of its energy needs by 2020 and a new heating project at a primary school is the city’s first using power from sewers.  The technology takes advantage of the warm waste water flowing into the sewers from showers, dishwashers and washing machines. A steel plate containing heat-conveying fluid is submerged in the waste and feeds a heat exchanger pump — in this case located in the school’s cellar — which circulates heat through an existing network of radiators.

The crap-in-the-pants look is banned! – Students living in the state of Arkansas who love their sagging pants will soon have to leave them at home. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe signed a bill this week that bans students from wearing clothing that exposes “underwear or buttocks.

Have a really weird week!

Quick Get me a Spider!

Most of us get a little excited when we see a big spider, but for the unfortunate few who fall victim to the bite of the daunting Brazilian wandering spider, that “excitement” takes on a whole new meaning: The venom of the wandering spider — also known as the banana spider (or more formally Phoneutria nigriventer) causes erections in men.

“The venom of the P. nigriventer spider is a very rich mixture of several molecules,” says Dr. Kenia Nunes, a physiologist at the Medical College of Georgia who is currently studying the odd side effect. “These molecules are called toxins, and then we have various toxins in this venom with different activity. Because of this, when a human is bitten by this spider, we can observe many different symptoms including priapism, a condition in which the penis is continually erect.”

In addition to the hours-long painful erection, the wandering spider’s bite can cause loss of muscle control, severe pain, difficulty breathing and, if not treated, death, due to oxygen deprivation (with anti-venom, the victim usually recovers within a week.)

Now from the Anals of Totally Gross

A Chinese man spent 55 years with the opening to his rectum in the wrong place. That’s an unusually long time to live without a normal anus.

He had a relatively common birth defect known as imperforate anus, a condition in which one out of every 5,000 infants is born with a misplaced, blocked, or missing rectal opening. The problem occurs slightly more frequently in boys than girls, and its cause is unknown.

Surgeons typically repair the abnormality during infancy. Unfortunately for Wu, a Chinese farmer from Hubei Province, he couldn’t afford this operation until middle age.

So, how did he move his bowels for more than half a century?

“Wu endured a .5 centimeter diameter surgical hole, or stoma, near his urethra for excrement, through which he could squeeze stools out with his hands,” according to a story originally reported in the Wuhan Morning News.

It sounds gross, but medically speaking, he had a colostomy, a procedure that created a less than 1/4-inch wide “surgical hole,” which substituted as his anus. This opening was located closer to his scrotum in a more forward position on his body than rear. Colostomy is the first stage of a two-part operation needed to correct imperforate anus.

Still, it’s an awfully messy — and weird — way to go to the bathroom. Although living this way wasn’t easy, he made do. “Wu had to pay attention to the food he ate, avoid constipation and was a frequent user of laxatives,” explains the newspaper account. “The dilemma left him very thin but it did not prevent him [from] getting married and having children.”

This January, the poor fellow finally saved up enough money so a surgeon could give him something he had waited a lifetime for — an anatomically correct anus.

“What I find most unique about this case is that this gentleman went for more than five decades without getting proper treatment,” says Dr. Rafael Pieretti, chief of pediatric urology at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston. “In developed countries, children have imperforate anus surgically repaired within the first year of life.” In fact, surgery to correct a less-serious form of the abnormality can be done by any pediatric surgeon; the more complicated cases go to pediatric urologists like Pieretti.

Fortunately for Wu, within three days of the operation, he reportedly “could excrete like normal people.”

My Skis Were Built from Dead Animals

It is kind of gross but I am a carnivore so this is not worse! Would you use a pair of skis made out meat and bone meal? What if it meant they were biodegradable and cut down on landfill waste?

Researchers from Clemson University presented research at this year’s National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) showing that it’s possible to make biodegradable plastic out of meat and bone meal (MBM) byproducts from the livestock business, all without using any raw materials made from oil or natural gas.

But while the researchers have discovered a sustainable solution to the MBM problem, moral quandaries may prevent it from ever coming to market. What vegan will be happy with the knowledge that plastic products they use every day might contain little bits of sheep or cattle? MBM is already used in the U.K. as a fossil fuel replacement for energy generation, and it is even used in some cement kilns as a sustainable replacement for coal.

I can see this taking off!