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Watercooler Stories

  |   June 5, 2012 at 6:30 AM
Bear killed after swatting man in hot tub

WHISTLER, British Columbia, June 5 (UPI) -- Police in Whistler, British Columbia, say officers shot and killed a black bear that swatted a man on the head as he relaxed in a backyard hot tub.

The 55-year-old Coquitlam man had his back to the woods while soaking in the hot tub Sunday afternoon when a blow from behind knocked him over in the tub, police said in a statement Monday. When he turned around, he found himself staring at the bruin. He yelled at the animal and made his way into the house to call police.

Police found the bear about 100 yards away in the forest and shot it.

The man was treated for cuts on his head.


'Charm school' for Glasgow workers

GLASGOW, Scotland, June 5 (UPI) -- Residents of Glasgow, Scotland, are being offered a one-day "charm school" course to prepare them to deal with 2014 Commonwealth Games visitors.

The "Glasgow Welcomes" class, which costs $38 per person and is based on principles created by the Walt Disney Co., is aimed at teaching people including restaurant workers and taxi cab drivers how to speak properly, use positive body language and maintain eye contact while talking to tourists expected to visit the city for the games, Scotsman.com reported Monday.

Organizers of the class, which is backed by VisitScotland and put on by the Glasgow Tourism Service Initiative, said they are planning to train thousands of workers in the service industry by holding several of the classes during the next two years.

Project manager Stella Callaghan said officials want to give tourists a positive image of Glasgow.

"The natural friendliness of Glaswegians can be a positive part of visitors' experience to Glasgow. What we're trying to do is put a polish on that and encourage professional service as well. We are in competition with a lot of excellent destinations worldwide so we have to raise our game to give Glasgow the competitive edge," she said.


Artist turns deceased cat into helicopter

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, June 5 (UPI) -- A Dutch artist said he decided to pay tribute to his departed cat by turning the departed feline's taxidermied remains into a working helicopter.

Bart Jansen said his cat, Orville, was named after legendary aviator Orville Wright and the feline's namesake helped inspire him to transform the stuffed remains into a radio-controlled helicopter with the help of RC expert Arjen Beltman, The Mirror, Britain, reported Monday.

Jansen said the "Orvillecopter," which is being displayed at the Kunstrai art festival in Amsterdam, is a tribute to his beloved pet.

"After a period of mourning he received his propellers posthumously," he said.

The artist said his "half cat, half machine" creation will soon be "flying with the birds."

"He will receive more powerful engines and larger props for his birthday. So this hopping will soon change into steady flight," Jansen said.


Obama writes excuse for fifth-grader

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn., June 5 (UPI) -- A Minnesota fifth-grader who skipped school to meet President Barack Obama with his family received an excuse note signed by the commander-in-chief.

Tyler Sullivan, 11, said he had never before skipped school, but couldn't pass up an opportunity to meet the president Friday at the Honeywell facility in Golden Valley, Minn., where his father, Ryan, was introducing Obama before his speech, ABC News reported Monday.

The boy said Obama approached him and his family after the speech.

"First I said, 'Hi, Mr. President.' Then he says, 'Hi Tyler. You must be out of school then,'" Sullivan said.

He said Obama then obtained a pen and a card with the presidential letterhead and offered to write him an excuse note.

"Do you want me to write an excuse note? What's your teacher's name?" Tyler quoted Obama as saying. "And I say, 'Mr. Ackerman.' And he writes, 'Please excuse Tyler. He was with me. Barack Obama, the president.'"

Sullivan said he had the note framed and he hopes his teacher accepts the excuse.

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