Falling ice chunk hits cathedral roof
BRENTWOOD, England, July 10 (UPI) -- A British Roman Catholic priest said a chunk of ice believed to be from an airplane fell through the roof of a cathedral during a service.
The Rev. James MacKay said he was leading the Eucharistic prayer July 1 at the Cathedral Church of St. Mary and St. Helen in Brentwood, England, when he heard a sound like an "explosion," the BBC reported Monday.
"Everything stopped as we heard this. I turned to my left to see lots of slate and what looked like white stuff, which we now know was ice, falling from the roof," MacKay said. "I was trembling with a bit of shock. After a couple of seconds of shocked pause I said 'right, let's crack on' and we did so."
The Civil Aviation Authority said there are about 30 reports of ice falling from aircraft each year.
"Ice falling from planes does not happen that often -- it can happen around hose connections and if washers fail," a CAA spokesman said. "You can have a big lump of ice come off an aircraft as it descends into warmer air."
MacKay said the damage to the roof and beams of the cathedral, which was finished in 1991, cost hundreds of dollars to repair.
Rare white Kiwi gets a mate in New Zealand
WAIRARAPA, New Zealand, July 10 (UPI) -- Officials at a New Zealand wildlife center said a rare white kiwi appears to be "getting on OK" with her new boyfriend.
Department of Conservation captive breeding ranger Philip Wisker said the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Center's 14-month-old kiwi, Manukura, believed to be the first white kiwi born in captivity, has been introduced to a young male brown kiwi, and the couple seem to be "getting on OK," The Dominion Post reported Monday.
"They're both doing well, and eating well," Wisker said. "She's certainly the one in charge, though she checks to make sure he's still there, but she's the one that gets the pick of the nest boxes. She goes over to him and gives him a prod with her beak, and when he jumps and gets a fright, then she runs off."
Wisker said kiwi do not become sexually active until they are about 3 years old, but officials are hoping Manukura and her mate -- currently known as MB27 due to his hatching order -- will eventually mate as part of the ''Operation Nest Egg'' breeding program at the Wairarapa wildlife center.
Texas residents see tarantula boom
BASTROP, Texas, July 10 (UPI) -- Members of a Texas family said they have recently noticed an unusually high number of tarantulas on their 10-acre property and in their home.
Jason and Victoria Fisher of Bastrop County said they moved into their home on family land about a year ago and the past few weeks have brought an unusual number of tarantulas onto their property, KXAN-TV, Austin, Texas, reported Monday.
"We've seen a whole bunch of tarantulas, more than normal," Jason Fisher said. "We've seen probably up to 10 tarantulas (around) the house in the past month. And then driving back and forth from Austin to work, we've been seeing a few crossing the roads -- like they're just infested out here."
Walker Hale, a board-certified entomologist with ABC Home and Commercial Services, said the spiders are in their mating season.
"The males migrate in, so you'll see them across roads with greater frequency and maybe around the property with greater frequency. Just the time of year," Hale said.
Hale said the number of spiders in the area may have been bolstered by fires last September as well as several other factors.
"The spiderlings of last year don't succumb to certain fungal infections (or) diseases, food is plentiful for them and just population dynamics. Things tend to ebb and flow," he said. "Why we're seeing them more this year could've been the early rains and the lack of rain when it really mattered last year, our drought."
Man dreams up zombie theme park in Detroit
DETROIT, July 10 (UPI) -- A Michigan man said he is trying to raise $145,000 to build a zombie apocalypse theme park in Detroit.
Marc Siwak, 40, said he is looking to buy or lease abandoned property to host Z World Detroit, a theme park that would be primarily comprised of a paintball-like game where players try to "kill" hoards of actors portraying the undead before they are bitten and join the zombie swarms, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday.
Siwak said he hopes his plan will help revitalize the struggling city.
"I think we have a great opportunity to do something unique. Can't we do something more creative than just walking away from chunks of the city?" he said.
Siwak said his online fundraising efforts at www3.indiegogo.com/zworlddetroit will continue until Aug. 10.
"Realistically, it needs to attract a local developer," he said. "We're just some people with an idea."
However, mayoral spokeswoman Naomi Patton responded negatively to an e-mailed question about whether the city's Planning and Development Department would consider such a project to be a suitable means of land use.
"No. And the city has no additional comment on this proposal," Patton said.
|Additional Odd News Stories|
WASHINGTON, June 18 (UPI) --General Motors said it would recall 231,000 model year 2006-07 vehicles due to a short in the driver's door that could spontaneously cause a fire.