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March 27, 2014

Scrap Dealer’s Bargain Turns Out To Be Worth Millions

London (AP) There is good luck, outrageous good fortune and now there is the case of the scrap metal dealer who found one of the eight missing Faberge imperial eggs at a flea market in the American Midwest.

A London antique dealer said Wednesday that that the scrap metal entrepreneur bought the egg for about $14,000, thinking he could make a small profit by reselling the piece for its gold content.

It turned out the jewel-encrusted piece was worth millions.

Kieran McCarthy of Wartski, which specializes in Russian artifacts, said the scrap metal dealer began to suspect he was holding a rare piece after seeing an article online about an imperial Faberge Easter egg made for Russian royalty. The dealer contacted McCarthy, who verified the egg as genuine and negotiated its sale to a collector. Both buyer and seller want to remain anonymous, and McCarthy did not disclose the sale price but experts note that a non-imperial Faberge egg sold at Christie’s for $18.5 million in 2007.

Independent Faberge expert Geza von Habsburg said the egg is “absolutely genuine” and matches the one-line description found in records kept by Russia’s Imperial Cabinet.

The egg, which contains a Vacheron Constantin watch, sits on a jeweled gold stand and was given by Alexander III to his wife Empress Maria Feodorovna in Easter 1887.

Only 50 of the imperial eggs were made for the royal family, and eight remained missing before the latest find, though only three of those are known to have survived the Russian revolution. It will be on display at Wartski’s London showroom April 14-17, the first time it will have been seen in public for 112 years.

Finnish Gibberish Talker Finds Fame, Heads To US

Helsinki (AP) A 19-year-old Finnish supermarket cashier with millions of Internet fans of her language imitation YouTube video is heading for America hoping her gibberish hit will open up a new career.

In two weeks, Sara Maria Forsberg’s “What languages sound like to a foreigner” has drawn more than 9 million viewings, transforming her into a sought after celebrity that prompted the mayor of her hometown of Pietarsaari to hand her the town keys as a gesture of appreciation.

Mayor Mikael Jakobsson says she “likely is the most famous person ever” to have been born in the coastal town of 20,000 inhabitants.

Her agent Jere Hietala told the AP on Wednesday that Forsberg was headed for Los Angeles on March 29 after “numerous advertising related companies” had been in touch.

Ireland Needs Shaggy Sheep For ‘Shearing Olympics’

Dublin (AP) Do you own a shaggy sheep? Ireland needs ewes.

The Irish require at least 6,000 sheep as hosts of this year’s Golden Shears World Championships. But they’re more than 1,000 short with just weeks to go before an event dubbed “the Olympics of sheep shearing.”

Organizers said Monday they need ewes, aged 12 to 14 months, to ensure that all competitors are supplied similarly shaped sheep. Prices for such animals in Ireland are running high, and farmers are under pressure to sell them before the May 22 start of the four-day competition in Gorey, south of Dublin.

This year’s event features competitors from 38 countries from China to Chile, including defending champion shearer Gavin Mutch of Scotland. Ireland previously hosted the 37-year-old contest in 1998.

‘How To Poo On A Date’ Wins Odd Book-Title Prize

London (AP) A guide to coping with an awkward romantic moment has been awarded a prize for the year’s oddest book title.

Humorous self-help book “How to Poo on a Date: The Lovers’ Guide to Toilet Etiquette” triumphed Friday in the quirky Diagram Prize.

Organizers said the book, published by Prion Press, received 30 percent of votes in an online ballot. It beat other finalists including “Are Trout South African” and “Working Class Cats: The Bodega Cats of New York City.”

Prize director Horace Bent said voters had chosen “a manual that can help one through life’s more challenging and delicate moments.”

The prize, founded in 1978, is run by the British trade magazine The Bookseller.

Previous winners include “Bombproof Your Horse,” ‘’Living With Crazy Buttocks” and “Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes.”

Search For Old Atari Games Gets Trashy

Alamogordo, NM (AP) Organizers say a planned dig into a New Mexico landfill for a rumored cache of what some consider the worst Atari video game of all time is expected to proceed despite state environmental regulators’ concerns.

Fuel Entertainment and LightBox Interactive are seeking to excavate an old Alamogordo landfill that reportedly was a dumping ground for “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” game cartridges. Jonathan Chinn, an executive producer at Los Angeles-based LightBox, said Thursday that the search hasn’t been halted.

Chinn says a local waste-management consultant who filed an excavation permit is addressing questions raised by the New Mexico Environmental Department.

A department spokesman has said the agency was waiting on a revised waste excavation plan.

“E.T.” the video game, inspired by the hit 1982 movie, is said to have contributed to Atari’s decline.

Students Hold Festive Protest Of Canceled Vacation

Bethlehem, PA (AP) When Northampton Community College canceled spring break to make up for excessive snow days, students decided to protest by wearing flip-flops, bathing suits and tank tops to class. Not to mention plastic leis.
The imaginary beach day on Tuesday drew sympathy, not scorn, from winter-weary administrators at the eastern Pennsylvania school. They set up a Tiki bar with an inflatable palm tree in the campus food court to serve nonalcoholic drinks with paper umbrellas.

Protest organizers Thoai Luong and John Cronce, both 20 and from Easton, were a bit disappointed in the turnout, which totaled around 15 people, mostly male. But they said those who joined in were having a blast.

“Most of the campus is looking at us like we’re nuts,” Cronce told the Express-Times of Easton. “It would be nice if there were more girls.”

The food court also featured a plastic kiddie pool and a pingpong table, where college President Mark Erickson played against the students. Erickson wore sandals, an orange polo shirt, madras shorts and a lei, although he stashed a suit in his office for some afternoon functions.

But all the festivities couldn’t change the still-chilly weather in Bethlehem ‚Äî or the fact that a weeklong vacation was nixed.

Holding a beverage from the Tiki bar, student Efrain Lopez told WFMZ-TV: “The drink’s nice, but I’d rather be on spring break.”

Camera Used On Moon Landing Sold For $758,489

Vienna (AP) It was put on auction as a camera that made it to the moon and back. And it had its price‚ nearly $760,000.

The Hasselblad 500 sold over the weekend is described by Vienna auctioneers Galerie Westlicht as part of the equipment carried by the 1971 Apollo 15 mission, the fourth manned mission to land on the moon. Galerie Westlicht identifies the new owner as Japanese businessman Terukazu Fujisawa.

It says the owner of an electronics chain placed his winning bid of 550,000 euros by phone. Bidding started Saturday at 80,000 euros, just over $110,000. The gallery initially described the Hasselblad as the only camera ever brought back from the moon but later said it was one of several, after some experts questioned that claim.


ARCHIVES:

March 20 - City Considers Taking Ban On Spitting Off Books

March 13 - Gettysburg Wax Museum Selling Historical Figures

March 6 - Woman Gives Birth In New York City Crosswalk

February 27 - Wisconsin Rubber Duck Bill Racing To Finish Line

February 20 - Wait Till Santa See ‘Em! Reindeer Get Glowing Antlers

February 13 - NJ Festival Lets You Eat, Drink, Floss With Bacon

February 6 - Romance Sizzles At Bacon Fest As Couples Marry

January 30 - Man Shares Wanted Photo, And Cops Really LIKE Him

January 23 - Beloved Dog’s Ashes Returned To Owner After Two Years

January 16 - Colorado Gives Up And Renames Mile 420 Marker

January 9 - Brewery Responds To Starbucks Letter With $6 Check

January 2 - Atlanta Home Prompts 911 Calls With Fake Dangler

December 26 - Dog That Survived Gassing Headed To Rose Parade

December 19 - Tourist Distracted By Facebook Falls Off Pier

December 12 - ‘Cannibal Sandwiches’ Sicken Wisconsin Residents

December 5 - Topless Barber Charged With Unlicensed Cosmetology

November 28 - 852 Thai Children Set Human Christmas Tree Record

November 21 - Beagle’s Nose Predicts Few US Polar Bear Cubs

November 14 - NY Knish Factory Fire Leads To Nationwide Shortage

November 7 - Stolen Costumes + Craigslist = Not A Good Idea

October 31 - City: Odor From Sriracha Chili Plant A Nuisance

October 24 - Deadly Halloween Tableau Too Realistic For Some

October 17 - Abandoned Philly Prison Adds Screams For Halloween

October 10 - Indiana Dog That Crashed Half Marathon Gets Medal

October 3 - Naked And Scared Has Turned Into Semi-Clothed & Spooky

September 26 - Extra Weight Costs Bank Robber Swift Exit

September 19 - Russian Shot In Quarrel Over Kant’s Philosophy

September 12 - Art Heist Trial Help Up Over Lawyer’s Sneakers

September 5 - Marijuana Wrapped Arrow Shot At Squirrel?

August 29 - Hole Makes Huge Pumpkin Ineligible For Alaska Fair

August 22 - Prowling Ninja Says He Was Trying To Help Cops

August 15 - British Cats’ DNA Helps Convict A Killer

August 8 - China’s Heat Wave Brings‘Dead’ Man Back To Life

August 1 - Owner Could Face Charges For Venomous Snakes

July 25 - Swimmer To Go Alone Hauling 2,000 Pounds Of Brick

July 18 - Thai University Apologizes For Hitler Banner

July 11 - Winner Of The Cherry-Spitting Contest - BB Gun!

July 4 - Family Dogs Survive Close Call With Mama & Baby Bears

June 27 - ‘Here’s Looking At You...Officer!’ Man Quotes Bogart Upon Arrest

June 20 - "Happy Birthday To You" Copyright Suit Filed In NY

June 13 - Nude Revelers Greet Popular Tourist Train

June 6 - ‘Bucket List’ Item Leads To Women’s Arrest

May 30 - Swing Dance Your Way To Class Credit

May 23 - NH City Sues Parking Meter “Robin Hoods”

May 16 - Critter Cams Provide Peek Into The Lives Of Bears

May 9 - OMG - The Sun Is Shining! School Closes For Nice Weather

May 2 - Cartel-Linked Man Arrested On The Dance Floor

April 25 - Oregon Juror Jailed For Texting During Trial

April 18 - What’s That Sound? Court Screeners Find Pet Duck In Bag

April 11 - Goat That Walked Into Bar Was Taken From Zoo

April 4 - Man Accused Of Using Fake Penis For Drug Test

March 28 - Caretaker Charged With Taking Care Of Old Whiskey, Too

March 21 - Crime Doesn’t Pay #1: Thief Returns Money From 1980s

March 14 - People, Pooches Team Up To Fight Flab At Gym

March 7 - 37-Pound Tubby Tabby, Biscuit, In Need Of Home

February 28 - Shoeshine Man Donates $200,000 In Tips

February 21 - 911 Call Asking For Cigarettes Leads To Arrest

February 14 - Mistrial Declared When Prosthetic Eye Pops Out

February 7 - Snoozing Judge Sent Home For Nap


 

 

 

 

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