• Oh here we go again, another idiot with a gun. Most of these guys are a little too trigger-happy and that’s when bad things happen.

    This is not the case for this shy little robber. It all goes down in the first minute, because it only took about 45 seconds for this robber to completely fail.

    On Tuesday, March 4, a 24-hour convenience store in Bendigo, Australia, experienced a robbery for the fourth time this year … but this time, the attempt was laughable.

    Wearing a black balaclava mask in the middle of what looks like summer, the robber casually strolls into the store. With no one around, the robber takes a gander at a couple snacks. Being a robber is tough work, he might need a snack.

    [ Buzz: Woman becomes Internet sensation for tweeting "Barraco Barner" ]

    Just then, the store clerk appears. The robber empties his pocket in search of his gun, aims it at the store clerk, presumably telling him to hand over the money.

    The store clerk, calm as anything, says “no.”

    Hats off to you, Mr.

    Read More »from Robbery fail: Man with gun gets denied by shopkeeper
  • An Alaska State Trooper poses with Amber, the golden retriever. (Alaska State Troopers photo)

    Otis Orth, 52, is lucky to be alive. His hero: Amber, his 15-month old golden retriever.

    "I owe that dog my life," he told the Anchorage Daily News last week.

    On March 2nd, the Alaskan man was making a trip into Trapper Creek with his dog to get groceries and supplies when he was thrown almost 50 feet from his snowmachine.

    "I tried to take a shortcut and ran into a hollow snow drift and that kind of kicked the back end of the snowmachine forward, and I went over the handlebars and slid for about 30 or 40 feet on my face and back," Orth told Alaska Dispatch from his hospital bed at Providence Alaska Medical Center last Tuesday morning. "It was kind of happening in slow motion, and I was thinking, 'This has got to stop pretty soon.' And when it did stop, Amber came running over to me. I couldn't move but I could talk to her, and she was licking my face."

    Orth managed to roll over onto his back but could do little else to help himself. His shoulder was dislocated. He knew "something was

    Read More »from Alaska man’s dog keeps him warm, finds help after snowmachine accident
  • There are times in life when the only reaction that can be mustered is that wide-eyed, “OMG did that really just happen” kind of expression.

    This is one of those times.

    At about 1:30 am on March 3, 20-year-old beautician Gemma Worrall sent out this tweet:

    "If barraco barner is our president why is he getting involved with Russia, scary."

    There’s just so much wrong happening here, I’m not sure where to begin.

    [ More Buzz: Colorado man faces court over $700 in Girl Scout cookies fees ]

    Barraco Barner. Barraco Barner … if you say it real fast ten times it sounds like you’re drunk-talking about the president. Maybe she can just blame it on the a-a-alcohol …

    I guess, if you lived in England … presumably under a rock … and never picked up a newspaper, like ever, you might assume that’s how you spell the president of the United States’ name.

    Perhaps she was phonetically sounding it out because she just had to tweet to the world her opinion on Russia’s crisis at that moment. President

    Read More »from Woman becomes Internet sensation after tweeting about President ‘Barraco Barner’
  • Cute lion cubs venture out with their dad for the first time

    The Oregon Zoo's lion cubs — we first met Kamali, Zalika and Angalia in November — recently hung out with their 500-pound father, the intimidating-looking Zawadi Mungu, in their outdoor habitat for the first time.

    The cute cubs were introduced to him in their indoor den only days earlier.

    "The cubs rushed him as soon as they saw him," Laura Weiner, senior keeper for the zoo's Africa section, told the Oregonian. "At first he was surprised, but as time passed he grew more patient. A few days later, he was grooming them."

    [ More Good News: Toronto Zoo reveals polar bear cub’s name ]

    In the video of the outdoor encounter, Zawadi Mungu tolerates his curious kids — the proud father briefly escapes them by hopping up on a boulder — but doesn't look like he's going to stoop to playing childish games with them any time soon.

    Maybe he's more "cool dad" than "fun dad." Or maybe he just needs a little more time to adjust to the idea of parenthood.

    Read More »from Cute lion cubs venture out with their dad for the first time
  • Last month, we shared the story of the Jackson County spelling bee that couldn't declare a winner because after 66 rounds, it ran out of words.

    Grade 5 student Sophia Hoffman and Grade 7 student Kush Sharma had been duking it out for the last 47 of those rounds, nailing words like "scherzo," "fantoccini," "schadenfreude" and "barukhzy."

    When the words ran out, the competition had to extended to another date.

    On Saturday, the spelling whizzes picked up where they left off and battled for another 29 rounds.

    Sophia spelled "Permian" and "muumuu" correctly.

    Kush didn't falter on "igneous" or "waywiser."

    This time, however, there was a winner.

    [ Related: Jackson County Spelling Bee runs out of words ]

    After Sophia stumbled over "stifling" — she apparently misheard the pronunciation and went with "s-t-e-i-f-l-e-i-n" — her opponent spelled "definition" and earned a much-coveted spot at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., this May.

    Read More »from We have a W-I-N-N-E-R! Spelling bee finally ends after 95 rounds
  • A magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook the coast of northern California late Sunday night, and was apparently felt up and down the west coast, from southern California to Vancouver Island.

    According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake struck at just past 10:18 p.m. Sunday night, centred around 77 kilometres due west of Eureka, Calif., and at a depth of around 16 kilometres. Residents in and around Eureka reported the strongest shaking, which would have likely woken anyone sleeping at the time and could have toppled objects and knocked items off shelves. Nearly 4,000 people reported the quake, most from the rest of northern California and in southern Oregon, but it was also reported as far south as San Diego, Calif., and even as far north as Victoria, B.C.

    Nearly two dozen aftershocks, including three of at least magnitude 4.4, have followed since. Many more will likely happen as the fault-zone settles down from this powerful release of energy.

    Fortunately, no injuries have been reported

    Read More »from Powerful earthquake rattles northern California coastline
  • We all remember Lucien Bouchard.

    He was, of course, the former Mulroney cabinet minister-turned founder and leader of the separatist Bloc Quebecois and was the inspirational leader of the 1995 referendum.

    Well, there are some suggesting that the Parti Quebcois' latest star candidate is sort of a second political coming of Bouchard.

    On, Sunday, Pierre Karl Péladeau — a 52-year-old billionaire media baron who was one the head of Quebecor — announced his candidacy for Pauline Marois' party.

    "My devotion to the Parti Québécois is a devotion that rises from my most intimate values — that is to say: To make Quebec a country," he said, according to the Toronto Star.

    [ Related: Pierre Karl Peladeau to run for Parti Quebecois in Quebec election ]

    The Globe and Mail's Konrad Yakabuski described the announcement as a "seismic shock" to both Quebec and Canadian politics.

    "Pierre Karl could be the Lucien Bouchard of the next Quebec referendum,” explained a leading Quebec federalist who worries

    Read More »from Is Pierre Karl Péladeau the next Lucien Bouchard?
  • The Quebec government website shows examples of acceptable (L) and unacceptable religious symbols allowed to be worn by public servants, according to its proposed Charter of Quebec Values, September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Quebec Government website

    A controversial values charter that would strip Quebec public employees of the right to wear religious symbols and clothing at work is at the centre of the Parti Quebecois election platform, and is expected to play a key role in the outcome of the April 7 provincial election.

    The Quebec values charter would restrict public sector workers from wearing or displaying conspicuous religious symbols, such as head scarves and turbans, while still allowing small pendants such as crosses. The charter has been a divisive issue since it was introduced last year, and it remains so despite protestations by the PQ that similar laws exist elsewhere in North America.

    PQ MLA Bernard Drainville has previously defended the introduction of such measures claiming that similar laws ban the wearing of religious garb in Nebraska and Pennsylvania.

    As a campaign strategy, it probably seems like a strong move: This extreme and controversial law we are promoting has been done before, making it neither extreme

    Read More »from Outdated U.S. religious garb statutes don't strengthen PQ's values charter argument
  • CBC photoB.C.'s reputation as a hotbed of labour militancy, where strikes and lockouts shut down major parts of the economy or public service, has waned since the 1980s.

    But there's one sector where time seems to have stood still – education.

    The relationship between the main teachers' union and the B.C. government, which oversees province-wide collective bargaining, is perhaps the most dysfunctional in Canada.

    B.C.'s public-school teachers voted overwhelmingly last week to strike or take any other job action the B.C. Teachers' Federation deems necessary to back its contract demands.

    There's no expectation of an immediate walkout but the union representing 29,000 teachers hopes the threat, backed by an 89 per cent endorsement, will encourage the government's bargaining team to take its demands more seriously.

    "We do not consider job action unless it's absolutely necessary," federation president Jim Iker said, according to CBC News.

    The teachers would increase the pressure gradually, starting with

    Read More »from Years of bitterness cloud latest bargaining round between B.C. and teachers
  • Former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles DuceppeIt might be counter to the common refrain, but a former Quebec politician suggests that the sovereignty movement is, in many ways, in better shape now than it was in 1995 the year of the last referendum.

    In an interview with Yahoo Canada News last week, former separatist Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe said that he thinks the Parti Quebecois will win the election (either as a minority or majority), that the campaign will focus primarily on jobs and the economy while the issue of Quebec identity will hover in the background.

    [ Related: Red and blue all over, again ]

    And despite the latest poll suggesting only one-third of Quebecers want an "independent country," Duceppe says he's not deterred.

    "I think [Liberal Leader] Philippe Couillard said [Quebec identity and sovereignty] are not really issues. I've never seen so many people discussing about a non-issue," Duceppe quipped.

    "I do remember that in 1995, the middle of September, they were asking people the priorities in the coming

    Read More »from Gilles Duceppe eyes future sovereignty vote in Quebec

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