December 24, 2007

weirdest news stories of year 2007 - getting started

aol news, chose a list of events to be the "top 11 weird news stories of 2007", & opened a poll for aol users to choose the weirdest of them. let's try here to list the stories detailed & make an opinion about them ...

Duct Tape Bandit:

Duct Tape BanditA man, Kasey G. Kazee, 24, wrapped his head in duct tape and tried to rob an Ashland, Ky., liquor store. Kazee was charged with committing one of the area’s more bizarre crimes in recent memory.

According to the Ashland Police Department, Kazee entered the store with his entire face and head — save for openings for his eyes and mouth — covered with duct tape, and his shirt pulled up over his head in a manner reminiscent of “Cornholio”, the hyperactive alter ego of the character Beavis from the animated series “Beavis and Butthead”.

Kazee allegedly indicated to a female clerk that he had a knife and threatened to harm her if she didn’t give him the money out the cash register (later police said no weapon was found on the robber). The clerk complied and the robber turned and left.

Before he could make his getaway, though, an employee in the store, Craig Miller, tackled him in the parking lot. miller & several other men who came running over from the Foodland store next door helped to detain Kazee until the police arrived.

it seems that Kazee wasn't too greedy, as Manager Bill Steele said the register came up only $15 short when he counted it.

the Photo of Kazee above, was taken by police at the scene, show the suspect with his duct tape askew, his lip bloody and his eye swollen. Miller said that Kazee sustained those injuries when his face hit the blacktop after he tackled him.

more on the daily independent

193 miles floating on a chair attached to 109 balloons

on Saturday, July 7, Kent Couch from BEND, Oregon settled down in his lawn chair with some snacks and a parachute. Attached to the chair were 105 large helium balloons. his goal was to reach Idaho.

With instruments to measure his altitude and speed, a global positioning system device in his pocket, and about four plastic bags holding five gallons of water each to act as ballast — he could turn a spigot, release water and rise — Couch headed into the Oregon sky.

Nearly nine hours later, the 47-year-old gas station owner came back to earth in a farmer’s field near Union, short of Idaho but about 193 miles from home:
“When you’re a little kid and you’re holding a helium balloon, it has to cross your mind, When you’re laying in the grass on a summer day, and you see the clouds, you wish you could jump on them, This is as close as you can come to jumping on them. It’s just like that.”
Couch told the Bend Bulletin

Couch is the latest American to emulate Larry Walters — who in 1982 without any flying experience, rose three miles above Los Angeles in a lawn chair lifted by balloons. Walters had surprised an airline pilot, who radioed the control tower that he had just passed a guy in a lawn chair. Walters paid a $1,500 penalty for violating air traffic rules. Larry Walters (April 19, 1949 – October 6, 1993) invented then what is now known as "Cluster ballooning":
Unlike traditional hot-air balloons, which possess vents for easy altitude control, cluster balloons rise uncontrollably, expanding as they go. Cluster balloonists must periodically cut balloons (disregarding where the balloons end up) loose to maintain altitude and descend. Bottled water is a common ballast, and can be partially emptied to slow descent.
wikipedia - Cluster ballooning

It was Couch’s second flight, In September 2006, he got off the ground for six hours. Like Walters, he used a BB gun to pop the balloons, but he went into a rapid descent and eventually parachuted to safety.

This time, he was better prepared. The balloons had a new configuration, so it was easier to reach up and release a bit of helium instead of simply cutting off a balloon.

a three-car caravan filled with friends, family and the dog "isabella", followed him from earth as he was making about 25 miles an hour.

more on msnbc

YOu can also visit the official site dedicated to the exploit:, you could maybe help couch find his lost chair & get a reward of $500 ... & below is a video with preparation then the fly, enjoy!

end of the first part.