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More news. More strange stuff we couldn't possibly make up unless we were using illicit drugs and that would never happen, no way.

Not the actual sheep.

(Ananova) - A businessman in Berlin has launched a rent-a-sheep service for city dwellers to get a taste of the country. Sheep owner Martin Portmann says his animals have already appeared at children's parties. Other customers are hiring the sheep to keep their lawns tidy by eating the grass. Several other clients are hiring the sheep to keep them company while they go for walks. Portmann told the paper, "The price is negotiable. Some people bring a sack of animal feed, some give money but the main thing is they enjoy being with the animals."

(Ananova) - Experts say a reported UFO sighting in Norway was probably an electrocuted cat. People in Lardal reported seeing a fire ball explode in the night sky and fall slowly down to earth. But investigators think they've solved the mystery after the charred body of a cat was found at the foot of an electrical pole. They believe the unlucky cat climbed up the pole and touched a live wire, reports Aftenposten. Lars Helge Sogn says what people saw was the cat exploding and falling off the pole.

(Berlin, Reuters) - Human sperm become excited when exposed to the scent of lily of the valley, doubling their speed and homing in on the aroma, a German scientist reports. Hans Hatt, a biology professor at Ruhr University in Bochum, said knowledge about a newly discovered odor receptor on the sperm's surface could enable researchers to devise alternative contraception methods or ways to boost fertility. "This is the first time sperm has been shown to respond to smell," Hatt, who said the findings came after three years of study, told Reuters. "The application of the substances in a salve to the vaginal area could raise the chance of conceiving." He said receptors in the sperm's membranes are attracted to two chemical compounds, cyclamal and bourgeonal, used in the cosmetics industry to imitate the plant's smell. Another compound, undecanal, was found to block the attraction and could be used for contraceptive ends, he added.

(Berlin, Reuters) - A woman lion tamer has run away from a circus in Germany with eight lions, two tigers and the circus director's son, police said recently. The woman, in her late 40s, is believed to have developed a close relationship with the 20-year-old man she was training to become a lion tamer, a police spokesman in the northern German town of Melle said. The couple eloped with a truck containing the animals and is still on the run. "If she can handle lions and tigers she shouldn't have trouble with a 20-year-old man," said Georg Dongowski, spokesman for the Melle police. The circus director reported the matter to police, saying the theft amounted to a value of around $107,300.

Some women turn to baggy clothes to disguise their extra flab, but a new study found that they might want to spray on some perfume instead. A decade-long study found that men perceived women to be 12 pounds lighter when wearing a pleasant, floral-spicy perfume. The study was conducted by researchers at the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. "We didn't actually reduce the weight of women who wore the aroma, but rather, caused men to believe she weighed less," said Dr. Alan Hirsch, the study's lead researcher. But not just any perfume works, he said. After testing over 100 different odor combinations—including butterscotch, cigarette smoke, grapefruit, and pepperoni pizza—the floral-spice combination was the only odor found to work. "It acts as the olfactory equivalent to vertical lines," said Hirsch, noting the visual illusion of reduced girth while wearing a blouse designed with up and down stripes. Hirsch is now looking at whether this same odor can be used to help self-perception of body size in teenagers with anorexia nervosa. But while this aroma reduced men's view of a woman's weight, researchers could not find any odor that influenced a woman's ability to estimate weight.

(California) - He's been on the job for a while, but it became official last week: Bert the camel is now a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy. Bert, who weighs in at 1,700 pounds, got his sheriff's ID card after a swearing-in ceremony. Bert is a member of the Sheriff's Posse in San Dimas and visits area schools as part of a presentation on California history, said Nancy Fite, a member of the Sheriff's Posse and Bert's handler. Bert joins other members of the sheriff's four-footed force that also includes dogs and horses.

The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has long relished controversial ads to spread its message, but in an effort to reach out to Spanish-speaking children, something got lost in the translation—with unintentionally lewd results. A life-size cow has been visiting the nation's middle schools, including some in Orlando, Hialeah and Tampa, passing out playing cards and frozen soy bars. The heifer also totes a translated sign that is supposed to mean "Dump dairy"—but some say "Eche la leche" is slang for something else. The verb "echar" can also mean "to discharge" leading to some unfortunate consequences when combined with the word for milk. "In Spanish, milk can also mean sperm, and well, you can imagine," said Hialeah's Palm Springs Middle School Principal Manny Ferrer, who declined to elaborate. PETA officials were surprised by the suggestion. This time, the attention sparked by the campaign was a complete accident, they said. Over the years the campaign's English equivalent has also run into problems in the United States and abroad, prompting headlines such as "Chaos as giant cow protests at school."

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Girl Hit By Fish Odor Syndrome
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(BBC) - A four-year-old girl has been diagnosed as having a rare inherited condition where sufferers constantly smell of rotten fish. The child's condition was triggered when fish was included in her diet from the age of nine months. According to the journal Medicina Clinica, it is the first genetic case of "Fish Odour Syndrome" to be documented in Spain. It is estimated there have been just 200 cases seen worldwide since the condition was first observed in the 1970s. The syndrome often has very negative psychological effects on sufferers: social exclusion that leads to depression, low self esteem and anxiety.

(Berlin, Reuters) - A German artist who turns cow manure into wall clocks and small sculptures wants to expand his repertoire to include cow dung wrist watches. "Artists are always looking for new materials and I was struck by the similarities in the consistency of the manure to my paints," said Bernd Eilts, 43. "I used sheep droppings at first but they were too small so I switched to cow dung." Eilts said the idea came to him as he walked through a mound-filled field 10 years ago. He lets the cowpats dry out for a few weeks before sculpting, painting or lacquering them. He said animals fed on fresh grass produced the best pats, but other foods made for interesting varieties. "Cows fed on carrots and turnips produce a reddish dung, which looks quite different from the normal material." His trademark clocks cost $140.

(Canada) - Police have leveled charges of bestiality against a 60-year-old man after a bizarre encounter with two animals at the Canada Agriculture Museum. Staff at the Prince of Wales Drive farm called officers after an employee reportedly observed the man receive oral sex from one cow and one calf at the farm. "His nervous behavior during previous visits had us keep an eye on him and then with what happened we thought it was prudent to call the police," said museum spokesman David Sutin. The alleged acts were carried out in a public petting and observation barn area where cows and horses are held but was not witnessed by any other guests. The suspect has been charged with two counts of bestiality, one count of committing an indecent act and one count of mischief.

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