Janitor, 52, graduating from Columbia
NEW YORK, May 11 (UPI) -- A 52-year-old custodian at Columbia University in New York said he is scheduled to graduate with honors from the school this weekend after 12 years of study.
Gac Filipaj, who moved to the United States from Yugoslavia in 1992 and still sends most of his money back to his family, said he chose to work as a custodian at Columbia because he believed it to be the best school in the city and he began taking classes part time after six years spent learning English, ABC News reported Friday.
"I am extremely pleased and happy to see the results of my efforts pay off after all of this time. I have truly enjoyed my professors, especially Professor Gareth Williams, and being in classes with young people who are extremely mature in their approach to their coursework," Filipaj said.
Filipaj said he wishes his father, who died three weeks ago, had lived long enough to see him graduate "because he thought that I'm not that smart."
Artist defends Olympic tower
LONDON, May 11 (UPI) -- The artist who designed the 377-foot-tall tower for London's Olympic Park compared criticism of the work to early criticism of Paris' Eiffel Tower.
Anish Kapoor, creator of the $36.5 million ArcelorMittal Orbit tower, dismissed critics who have derided the tower as ugly, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.
"You know, the Eiffel Tower was hated by everybody for a good many years -- 50 years or something like that -- and now it's a mainstay of how we understand Paris," Kapoor said. "It's controversial and that's a place to start. Discomfort is OK."
"It's not really an image; it's an experience," Kapoor told BBC Radio 4's "Today" program. "We wanted to make something that was a kind of deconstruction of the tower. Towers are almost always symmetrical -- this is an asymmetrical tower. It has a particular refusal, in a way, of a singular image. It's all about walking around it."
Man wins six $1M prizes from same lottery
GLENDALE, Ariz., May 11 (UPI) -- An Arizona man who purchased six Powerball lottery tickets with the same numbers ended up with six $1 million prizes.
Karen Bach, an Arizona Lottery spokeswoman, said the Glendale man, who asked to remain anonymous, purchased the tickets for the April 25 lottery with the numbers 4, 25, 29, 34, and 43 for Powerball 29 and each ticket won him a $1 million second prize, the Arizona Republic reported Friday.
Bach said the man purchased the tickets at a QuikTrip store.
Motorcyclist flees cops until gas runs out
DALLAS, May 11 (UPI) -- Police in Texas said a motorcyclist who refused to pull over led police on a chase through several cities before running out of gas.
Police said an officer saw the man commit several traffic offenses around midnight Thursday in Rowlett and the biker led officers on a chase through Garland, Dallas, Carrollton and Farmers Branch before running out of gas on Stemmons Freeway in Dallas, The Dallas Morning News reported Friday.
The man's name and the charges filed against him were not yet available, the Morning News said.
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