August 8, 2013
China’s Heat Wave Brings‘Dead’ Man Back To Life
Beijing (AP) Having the dead guy jump up for a drink probably wasn’t part of the script.
A staged protest claiming that city officials had beaten a sidewalk vendor to death in central China went awry when the man playing dead under a white sheet was overcome by the region’s heat wave and sprang up to quaff a bottle of water, state media reported Monday.
“It’s too hot. I can’t bear it anymore,” the man was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua News Agency.
More than 10 men had gathered Saturday with a gurney that purportedly carried the vendor’s body, covered by a sheet, in the Hubei provincial capital Wuhan. They were demanding tens of thousands of yuan (thousands of dollars) in compensation for the alleged death, Xinhua said.
The incident drew 300 onlookers and about 80 police officers.
It was not immediately clear how the group intended to press their claims without submitting the body for an investigation and autopsy. In any case, the game was up when the man - as Xinhua reported - jumped up after two hours under the sheet.
Cardboard Officer Cuts Crime At Subway Stop
Cambridge, MA (AP) The burly officer watching over the bike racks at a Boston-area transportation hub is a real stiff.
As part of an effort to cut crime at the Alewife MBTA subway and bus station in Cambridge, transit police placed a cardboard cutout of a police officer in the bicycle cage. Hundreds of people use the racks daily.
Deputy Chief Robert Lenehan says the fake cop, along with video cameras and a new lock, has cut bike thefts by 67 percent.
It’s also a money saver. Lenehan estimates it would cost $200,000 a year to have an officer watch over the cage full-time.
The cutout is actually a picture of real MBTA Officer David Silen.
Silen says the split second thieves take to glance at the cutout is enough to discourage them.
Discarded NYC Theater Prop Sparks Bomb Scare
New York (AP) A New York City playwright who directed a show called the “American Suicide Bomber Association” unwitting sparked a bomb scare when he threw a prop from the production into the trash at his home.
Playwright Ethan Fishbane tells The New York Post he wasn’t thinking when he discarded the fake bomb while cleaning out his Manhattan apartment Tuesday.
A building superintendent saw the prop the next morning and called police.
That brought out the bomb squad.
It didn’t take long for investigators to figure out what had happened.
Fishbane says he was stunned when officers knocked on his door, but he praised the department for its quick response, saying it was “wholly appropriate.”
The 23-year-old wrote the play while attending New York University’s Tisch School of The Arts.
Former Redneck Olympics Under Way In Maine
Hebron, ME (AP) Despite being forced to changes its name, the event formerly known as the Redneck Olympic Games continued its tradition Saturday of holding unorthodox competitions like lawn mower races, mud runs and tire burnouts.
A full day of events was on tap during the Maine Redneck “Blank” Games. Organizer Harold Brooks changed the name under pressure from the International Olympics Committee, but noted that “everyone knows what the ‘blank’ stands for.”
Being a redneck, he said, isn’t about living in a trailer, or getting drunk.
“A redneck is someone who works hard. They say their neck is red because they work outside. A redneck can make fun of himself and have a good time,” said Brooks, who’s a general contractor.
The Redneck Olympic Games kicked off three years ago. But the name was changed after the International Olympic Committee came after him, telling him he couldn’t brand his event as an Olympic event.
That still doesn’t sit well with Brooks because he doesn’t think anyone should own the rights to a word.
“The word was around before they were around,” he said, pointing to the Olympics’ origins in ancient Greece. “If they want to complain, then they should have the Greeks call and tell me to stop using it.”
Tagliani Pays Off Wager With Beaver Suit
Indianapolis (AP) IndyCar driver Alex Tagliani has made good on a bet he lost to fellow driver Scott Dixon by wearing a beaver costume while riding a tricycle and milking a cow at the Indiana State Fair.
Tagliani’s stint as a clown on Monday happened because Dixon managed to raise $1,130 more than he did for charities through an initiative called Power of 2. Together, the two racers raised more than $13,000.
Tagliani also tried unsuccessfully to ring the bell at the “Strong Man” game on the midway and had photos taken with the fair’s “world’s largest male hog” and the “world’s largest popcorn ball.”
Tagliani, still wearing the beaver suit, prevailed over Dixon when the two raced go-karts for five laps on a quarter-mile banked oval track.
Nevada Brewpub Shames Patron On Facebook
Reno, NV (AP) A Nevada brewpub irked that a patron left without paying his $100 tab turned to Facebook earlier this week to publicly shame him.
The Brewer’s Cabinet in Reno posted a picture of smiling patron Saul Zelaznog on Tuesday, urging users to remind him to pay up and warning other businesses to watch out for future freeloading.
“And, while you’re at it, you could tell him that visiting restaurants with your friends, running up a huge bill, roughing up servers and then bailing is pretty uncool ... pathetic, really,” the post reads. “Get a life, man.”
The post had more than 600 shares on Facebook by Thursday.
Chris Kahl, a co-owner of the Brewer’s Cabinet, told the Reno Gazette-Journal he contacted police after the dine-and-dash.
“All his friends paid and left, and he was the last one,” Kahl said. “The server needed to collect his money. He said he forgot his wallet.”
Other restaurants and bars in the area‚ including Imperial, Campo and Chapel Tavern‚ told KRNV-TV they believe they’ve also been his victims.
“I’m not trying to burn bridges around town,” he told the paper. “This is a small little town.” Zelaznog said he was asking relatives to wire him money in hopes of paying the bill by Thursday, although restaurant manager Ed Griggs said the money hadn’t showed up by midday.
Mind The Fat: Huge Blob Of It Found In UK Sewer
London (AP) It may look like an iceberg, but there’s nothing cool about it.
Utility company Thames Water says it has discovered what it calls the biggest “fatberg” ever recorded in Britain - a 15-ton blob of congealed fat and baby wipes lodged in a sewer drain.
That’s enough “wrongly flushed festering food fat mixed with wet wipes” to fill a double-decker bus such as the famous London Routemaster, the company said.
This blockage - built up over an estimated six months - was discovered after residents in nearby apartment buildings were unable to flush their toilets.
It damaged the sewers so badly that it will take six weeks to repair them.
The company said Tuesday it was sharing news of the massive lard lump in hopes that customers will think twice about what they dump down the drain.
It also released video footage of the fatberg, filmed by a remote vehicle gliding through the sewer like an underground amusement park ride.
The company says untreated fatbergs cause flooding and backups.