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Watercooler Stories

  |   Jan. 30, 2012 at 6:30 AM
Waterless school bathroom springs leaks

BOCA RATON, Fla., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Officials say they have started repairs on the waterless urinals at a Florida high school after they began springing leaks of liquids that were not water.

Students and staff at Spanish River High in Boca Raton have been dealing with rivers of urine flowing across restroom floors from holes in corroded pipes.

"It was seeping through the hallway into the classroom next door," student Caleb Rader, 15, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "Pretty disgusting."

Palm Beach County school officials said the problem was caused by corrosive gases created by urine that have eaten away the copper plumbing over the years. The lack of water in the waterless systems means the urine isn't flushed away, allowing the fumes to build up in the system.

The result has been leaks inside the walls at Spanish River High and trickles appearing in the most inconvenient places.

Palm Beach County is negotiating with the vendor on the cost of the repairs at a total of four schools, which will run about $500,000.


15% would miss child birth for Super Bowl

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Fifteen percent of U.S. adults -- presumably men -- say they'd miss the birth of their child for the Super Bowl, a survey indicates.

The survey of 2,625 U.S. adults, sponsored by CouponCabin.com, said 21 percent said they'd miss important work responsibility for the big football game, while 20 percent said they'd miss a wedding of a close friend and 19 percent said they would miss the funeral of a loved one.

Thirty-seven percent of U.S. adults said the Super Bowl is the best major sporting event, followed by 9 percent who favored Major League Baseball's World Series and 7 percent who favored the NCAA March Madness (basketball) Championship.

Fifty-six percent of U.S. adults said they plan to watch the Super Bowl this year -- 67 percent of men and 46 percent of women.

Of those who said they plan to watch the Super Bowl, 47 percent said they will watch because they love the NFL, 37 percent said they will watch the game primarily for the commercials and 33 percent said they will watch because it's fun to go to a Super Bowl party.

This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive from Jan. 9-11. The survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error could be calculated, Harris said.


British naval hero's sword found on wreck

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A British diver says he found artifacts belonging to naval hero Lord Nelson on a Victorian-era British warship that sank off the coast of Lebanon.

British diver Mark Ellyatt was part of a team that discovered the shipwreck of the HMS Victoria warship, which sank in 1893 off the coast of Lebanon, in 2004, The Daily Telegraph reported Sunday.

Now, Ellyatt said he has located the ship's admiral's cabin, which contained a number of items he believes belonged to Nelson, Britain's most celebrated naval hero.

Nelson died 88 years before the HMS Victoria sank. Among the items believed to be Lord Nelson's is his sword, the newspaper said.

Vice Admiral George Tryon was apparently a fan of Nelson's and collected his personal belongings, said a historian from Malta. His ship sank, along with 358 sailors, when it collided with another British warship as they were preparing to anchor during peacetime maneuvers off the coast of Lebanon.

"The cabin is a bit like a shrine, with all kinds of nice things hanging off the walls," Ellyatt said this week. "There seem to be a lot of things which are older than the ship itself."

The British Ministry of Defense has taken an interest in the wreck, but has asked that Ellyatt leave all potential Nelson effects alone.

"The MoD wanted to know the whereabouts of anything to do with Nelson. They didn't want it appearing on auction Web sites," Ellyatt said. "They were very interested in the sword but seemed to get cold feet when I offered to bring it up for them. I don't want people to go and strip the ship bare."

The diver said he "would like to bring the sword to the surface but I worry that it would be seized by the local authorities. If the items are to be recovered, I would like to see them end up in a museum in the [United Kingdom]."


Cicero official's nephew busted again

CICERO, Ill., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A nephew of the town president of Cicero, Ill., allegedly used a city hall car while on break from his city job to steal beer from a supermarket, police said.

Joseph Terrana, 41, was charged with stealing $287 worth of beer on two occasions, loading the allegedly pilfered suds into a Town of Cicero car while wearing a Town of Cicero employee jacket.

Terrana has a relatively long rap sheet and was on probation when he was busted last week; however he is also the nephew of Town President Larry Dominick and had a part-time government job driving senior citizens, the Chicago Sun-Times said Sunday.

"President Dominick is not involved in the case at all," Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania said in a written statement. "Any decision about Terrana's status will be based on the results of the IG's (inspector general) investigation. No action has been taken against him pending the investigation."

Terrana was hired as a trash collector in Cicero in 2007 shortly after Dominick married Terrana's aunt. He had to resign that position two years later for allegations of unspecified improprieties, the Sun-Times said.

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