Ball protest bounces wrong way for Italian
ROME, April 28 (UPI) -- A man received an eight-month suspended jail sentence Monday for rolling a half million or so colored balls down Rome's famed Spanish Steps.
Graziano Cecchini, 54, was convicted of disrupting bus services with his January 2008 stunt, which he described as a protest against dishonest politicians of all parties, ANSA reported.
Cecchini criticized the outcome of his trial, the Italian news agency said.
"What sort of interruption of service could there possibly have been? The Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps) is a pedestrian area. There wasn't any crime, only a pop-art event," he said.
Vittorio Sgarbi, a prominent Italian art critic and former culture chief of Milan, praised Cecchini's effort, saying "anarchy is a typical feature of contemporary art."
Police: Teen burgled cars for lawyer money
JANESVILLE, Wis., April 28 (UPI) -- Police in Wisconsin allege a teenager burglarized cars to get money to help pay for a lawyer.
Investigators said Jason Leigh Markham, 19, of Beloit was arrested about 4:30 a.m. April 16 after a Janesville homeowner allegedly discovered the suspect inside his car, which had been parked inside the home's garage, the Beloit Daily News reported.
Officers said Markham -- who was in possession of gloves, a flashlight, a global positioning system, nine CDs and seven video games at the time of his arrest -- told police he and a friend had been burglarizing cars on the street.
Markham was arrested and charged with burglary, possession of burglar tools and bail jumping.
"Markham indicated that he was in serious legal trouble and was trying to get money to help pay for a lawyer," the criminal complaint filed in the case stated.
Police said the suspect faces charges of disorderly conduct, theft of movable property and a drug charge from previous arrests.
Fire starts with spider chase
PORTSMOUTH, England, April 28 (UPI) -- British firefighters say a man set fire to the front of his house trying to kill a spider with a lighter.
Firefighters said they arrived at the Portsmouth, England, home and found the man attempting to put out the flames with a garden hose, The Daily Telegraph reported.
"The whole thing had clearly scared the life out of him," watch manager Steve Pearce said. "There was a gap in the cladding where he was trying to kill the spider and so the sparks got through to the material behind and started spreading upward toward the roof."
Pearce said firefighters spent about two hours extinguishing the blaze.
"Surprisingly there wasn't much damage to the house other than to the cladding," he said. "We obviously had a chat with the man but I don't think he'll be doing this again."
Mensa picks year's top games
FORT MITCHELL, Ohio, April 28 (UPI) -- Cornerstone, Dominion, Marrakech, Stratum and Tic-Tac-Ku were the highest rated games at this year's American Mensa Mind Games event in Ohio.
About 240 members of high-IQ society American Mensa gathered during the weekend in Fort Mitchell to test dozens of games and rate them on aesthetics, originality, instruction, clarity and the game's value and appeal, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Games chosen as top picks during previous Mind Games events include Taboo, Scattergories, Apples to Apples and Hit or Miss.
The top games this year were Cornerstone, a 3-D building game based on strategy; Dominion, which challenges players to build the best deck of cards from action, treasure and victory cards; Marrakech, a sales-based dice rolling game; Stratum, a game involving layering pieces; and Tic-Tac-Ku, a Tic-Tac-Toe variant involving nine playing areas.