Man dresses as giraffe, does good deeds
DUNDEE, Scotland, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A 32-year-old man who performs good deeds across Scotland dressed as a giraffe said the idea for his venture came to him while he was in the bathroom.
Armstrong Baillie has been spotted over the past six months handing out bananas and water to runners at the Edinburgh Half Marathon, cleaning beaches and giving free coffee to people on cold days -- all while dressed as a character he calls the Good Giraffe -- The Courier (Dundee, Scotland) reported.
When asked why he chose a giraffe, Baillie said: ''I was on the loo and I wondered 'what would happen if I dressed up as a giraffe and went around doing good deeds?' That is the truth -- that was where it started.''
Baillie, who is unemployed, said he funds his good deeds through busking. He said he is looking for a job, but plans to continue his project even if he finds full-time employment.
''I feel good when I do it,'' Baillie said Thursday. ''When I carry out these acts it seems to have a knock-on effect and people seem to have a positive response. That's my whole thing -- what comes around goes around.
''There have been happy and sad moments from my life that have led to the creation of the Good Giraffe,'" he said. ''I am looking for work but I would like to think the Good Giraffe would be part of that one day. Even if it's not, I would still want to do this at least once a week.''
Shipping container condos hit Detroit
DETROIT, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A development firm is set to build an apartment complex out of empty shipping containers in Detroit, officials said.
The firm, Three Squared, is scheduled to start construction in December on a model unit and sales center where a 20-unit complex near Wayne State University will sit, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The $3.4 million project would stack empty containers four high, cut in windows and doors, install plumbing, stairways and heating, and add amenities such as balconies and landscaped patios, said Three Squared Chief Executive Officer Leslie Horn.
Horn said many people find the concept strange.
"Even last week I met with some investors and one of them said, 'I'd rather invest after you have one built.' I think part of it is education," she said. "People still have a stigma because they don't see the versatility in container construction."
Horn said she is looking ahead to similar projects in other cities.
"We believe it's just the beginning of the capacity of our company," she said.
Obama, Maroney 'not impressed'
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney who famously scowled when she placed second in the vault, made her "not impressed face" with President Barack Obama.
The U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams visited Obama in the White House Thursday.
During the visit, Obama and Maroney both paid tribute to the scowl she made when she won silver in the vault, an event in which she was heavily favored.
Afterward, Maroney tweeted: "Did I just do the Not Impressed face with the President..? // Yes."
Pets escape Sandy, land in San Diego
SAN DIEGO, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Dogs and cats displaced by superstorm Sandy flew from Newark, N.J., to San Diego on a flight whose pilot said was their "only chance" to avoid euthanasia.
The Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., worked with Southwest Airlines, SeaWorld and BP Global to arrange the special cross-country flight, U-T San Diego reported.
The plane -- carrying 30 dogs and 30 cats from New York and New Jersey that had faced euthanasia because their shelters were without power -- took off Saturday from Newark Liberty International Airport.
"It sounded like you were in a dog kennel. They were unsure, and they started yelping when we took off, but once we started leveling off, they calmed down," said Southwest Airlines chief pilot Bert Seither.
Flight attendants, pilots and other Southwest personnel donated their time to the cause, while SeaWorld provided expert animal handlers to ride with the pets and BP paid for the gas bill.
"These animals were going to be put down if they weren't moved," Seither said. "This is the only chance these animals had."