Nude swim marks graduation
MOORHEAD, Minn., May 1 (UPI) -- Students at a Minnesota college celebrated graduation with a late-night skinny dip in a campus pond.
A security guard at Concordia College found somewhere between 50 and 80 naked students or recent graduates at the pond early Monday, hours after Sunday's graduation ceremony, the Fargo (N.D.) Forum reported. The guard called police when he "did not get the cooperation he hoped for" from the students, said Roger Degerman, the college's senior director for communications and marketing.
In fact, some students pushed the guard's golf cart into the pond.
By the time Moorhead police arrived, they found some students still on the scene, but all at least had their underwear on, Deputy Chief Bob Larson said. Officers also gathered up wallets and clothing items left behind by students who had made themselves scarce.
Larson said no one has been charged because officers do not know if the students who left wallets behind were the ones who pushed the cart into the pond. He said there have been rumors of similar festivities in the past but usually police only hear about them "after the fact."
Mystery safe contains not much
TACOMA, Wash., May 1 (UPI) -- A large safe found in the middle of a street in Tacoma, Wash., has been found to contain nothing, at least nothing that would pay towing and storage charges.
When the safe was drilled open, police found some wood chips, paper clips and a small white spider, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.
The safe is now known to have been stolen from an Elks Temple, a building that is closed and empty. Police found marks of the safe's removal in dust on the floor of a former office.
When the safe was first discovered March 15, there was speculation it might contain a fortune in cash, a body or something else equally exotic. But Doug Jones, general manager of Robblee's Total Security, which drilled open the safe, had no great expectations.
"In the 31 years I've been doing this, I've never seen much in those things," he said.
Court upholds ban on gang insignia
SAN JOSE, Calif., May 1 (UPI) -- A federal appeals court has ruled that gang colors are not protected free speech, upholding a California garlic festival's decision to bar a motorcycle club.
In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel in San Jose rejected claims by the Top Hatters Motorcycle Club, The San Jose Mercury News reported Tuesday.
"In this case, the plaintiffs' act of wearing their vests adorned with a common insignia simply does not amount to the sort of expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of speech," the judges said in their opinion.
Garlic Festival organizers in Gilroy, Calif., barred the Top Hatters from wearing their insignia to the 2000 festival, ordering them to leave when they showed up. The club sued, claiming a violation of constitutional rights, and lost in a lower court in 2005.
Study: Most lizards live on islands
SAN DIEGO, May 1 (UPI) -- A U.S. study has confirmed what biologists have long observed -- more lizards live on islands than on the mainland.
The University of California-San Diego study also signals an alarm, suggesting climate change might have devastating consequences for lizards and other animals inhabiting islands since their ecosystems are more sensitive to change than those on the mainland.
"We found island populations are less resistant to biological invasions, which will likely increase dramatically with changing climate," said assistant professor Walter Jetz, the study's co-author.
"Climate change will drive animals to move to new places," added Lauren Buckley, a postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute who is a visiting scholar at UCSD and the other co-author of the study. "Our research suggests those animals that move to islands can strongly affect the sensitive animal communities on islands."
Jetz and Buckley gathered 643 estimates of lizard abundance from around the world for their survey -- the first extensive global study of island densities for any animal group. They determined lizards are consistently 10 times or more abundant on islands than on the mainland.
Details of the research are scheduled for the June issue of the journal Ecology Letters