The arsonist birds of Australia

Australia is a terrifying place. Every animal native to the oversized island seems to have evolved to kill and eat human beings. And yet humans live there. Amid giant spiders, ripped kangaroos and bloodthirsty sharks, now there are birds that set fire.

According to a new report, some bird species have adopted a scorched-earth policy — not in fighting us — but to grab a bite to eat. Raptors (think falcons and hawks, not dinosaurs, yet) are spreading wildfires to flush out prey from their hiding spots, researchers argue. They take a stick from an existing brush fire and drop it someplace that isn’t on fire yet, and then wait for the critters to show themselves as their habitat burns down.

We think this can technically be considered an attack on mankind by the animals, because they burn people’s property. And it’s only a matter of time before they drop fires on houses to flush us out.

The government is tracking your heart

If you have a pacemaker, you probably need to back away from your computer. You also are probably glad that you have a machine that’s keeping your ticker ticking. But did you know that the government is tracking you?

In Ohio, authorities say they charged a man with arson and insurance fraud after examining the data from his pacemaker. Last fall, the 59-year-old man’s house burned down. He told police that as the house was burning, he was able to pack some bags and get them out of the house. Police obtained a warrant for the data on the man’s pacemaker, and a doctor said his heart rate did not match that of a man rushing to pack and carry heavy suitcases.

With that, police said they had enough evidence to say the man packed his suitcases ahead of time, because the fire was no accident.

Tortoise nearly burns down two houses

Pets, much like children, gain our affection only to use our emotional attachment against us and bend us to their will. It’s no secret. But from time to time we need a reminder to stay vigilant with our pets, even the slowest of them.

In San Antonio, a tortoise nearly burned down his owner’s house and the neighbor’s house when he knocked over a heat lamp. According to reports, the heat lamp was knocked on to a mattress, which then caught fire. The fire was so bad that it spread to the next house over. The neighbor’s house actually got the worst of the damage, estimated to be $150,000 worth. Of course, the tortoise escaped the fire unharmed, and gullible authorities have not charged him with arson.

Do you know what animals are living next door?

Setting fires won’t get you hired

There’s a lot to be said for being a go-getter when trying to find a job. If you can set yourself apart from the pack, you’ll have a better shot at getting hired. But there are limits.

In Kentucky, police say a man seeking a job as a weatherman set a forest fire so he could gain new fans on Facebook. Police say that rather than go to the several wildfires tore through the region, the 21-year-old man set his own fire, and videoed himself covering the fire before uploading it to Facebook so he could get more followers.

He is facing charges of second degree arson. But more importantly, forest fires aren’t weather.

Fire and ice cream

Gents, when a lady asks you to buy her some ice cream, perhaps you should.

In Florida, authorities say that a man refused to buy his woman a McFlurry from McDonald’s, so she set his car on fire. After an argument about getting the frosty treat, the woman apparently grabbed the man’s car keys, dumped alcohol and gasoline on the car, and set it ablaze.

Which begs the question, why did she take his keys?

Sexual frustration > gaming frustration

News bite: A high school student, frustrated, over a recent gaming session at an Internet café in South Korea set light to a warehouse Saturday evening.

The 15-year-old told police that he torched the warehouse, located at the top of a four-story building, because “his computer games did not go well.” The fire did an estimated four million won in damage.

Nice going, kid. It’s good that Korea isn’t letting a nasty stereotype stop them from being socially awkward.

Achievement Unlocked: Arson

Apparently a family in Michigan didn’t get the memo that the original Xbox runs fairly hot (like its big brother) and possesses a power cord that can cause fires. Subsequently, the eight-pound console has toasted their house and business.

The fire started on August 25 as a result of a son who forgot to turn off his console and decided that the best place for his notebook was right next to the Xbox’s ventilation ducts. Firefighters who investigated the scene think that the Xbox could have been on in the family’s basement for as long as four days before igniting the notebook.

The family wasn’t privy to the fact that Microsoft had recalled all of its previous power cords, and initially wanted to seek damages against the company. After checking out what a legal battle would cost, they’ve decided that just putting their lives together after this disaster is enough punishment. When asked by MLive if they would buy their son a new Xbox, the mother said, “I’m really not sure.” Classy, MLive. Classy.

At least now there are grounds to ask for an upgrade. Hope that one just red rings the console and not their residence.

Criminal Mastermind of the Week

A Michigan teen either has brass ones, or is incredibly stupid. Given this blog’s history of coverage of the human race, we’re going to say it’s the latter.

The spike in gas prices is hitting everyone hard. It hits some people so hard that they must resort to stealing gas from other cars. After two arson complaints in a week of houses just being built, detectives were on a stakeout in the neighborhood to catch the arsonist.

Then a allegedly kid walked up to the cruiser, unscrewed the gas cap and began siphoning gas out of the car. Obviously, the cop got out and chased after the kid. He was eventually caught and police said he admitted to the arsons.