Md. unveils crash test dummy statue
GLEN BURNIE, Md., Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Maryland's Motor Vehicle Association has unveiled a 30-foot statue of a crash test dummy outside of its headquarters in Glen Burnie.
John Kuo, administrator for the Motor Vehicle Association, said the bright yellow statue is meant to serve as a safety reminder for the state's motorists, The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday.
Kuo, who said both of his siblings were killed in a car crash when he was 12, said the 500 road-related deaths last year was a record low for the state.
"Can you imagine, we only lost 500 people and that's a reason to be happy?" Kuo asked. "Why do we accept the loss of life on our roads?"
The 2-ton statue made its debut during the summer at Baltimore's Artscape festival and was put in storage for a few months until the Motor Vehicle Association chose its final location.
Pygmy hippo born at Florida zoo
TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Fla., zoo said the birth of a rare pygmy hippopotamus is an important milestone for the preservation of the species.
Dr. Larry Killmar, vice president of animal science and conservation for the zoo, said the as-yet-unnamed female pygmy hippo was born last week to mother Zsa Zsa, who previously gave birth to a calf in 2008, the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times reported Wednesday.
Killmar said there are thought to be only a few thousand of the animals remaining in the wild and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums said there were a total 54 pygmy hippos at accredited zoos in North America before the birth.
"The birth of this rare and endangered nocturnal forest species marks only the 55th individual in the managed population within North American and underlines the importance of our conservation efforts," Killmar said. "With fewer than 3,000 pigmy hippos in the wild, each birth is vital if we have any hope of saving this truly unique species."
Turkey stolen from garage freezer
OCALA, Fla., Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A Florida woman said her Thanksgiving turkey is being carefully guarded after the first turkey she got was stolen from the freezer in her garage.
Joyce Romer of Marion County told Marion County Sheriff's deputies she obtained the first 12.5 pound turkey Friday and she and her husband discovered Monday morning it had been stolen from their garage freezer, The (Ocala, Fla.) Star-Banner reported Wednesday.
"I asked (my husband) to go get the turkey so we could start thawing it out," Romer said. "He was gone for the longest time and finally he came in and asked, 'Where'd you put the thing?'"
"I guess somebody was hungry," Romer said. "The odd thing is, they didn't take any of the beer that was out there."
Romer said she bought a fresh turkey to serve Thursday and she is keeping a close eye on the bird until Thanksgiving dinner.
Racy German song in New Zealand exam
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Teachers in New Zealand said they were shocked to discover a German song peppered with sexual innuendo was used in a national exam for teens.
The high school teachers said the song, "Relativ" by a cappella group Wise Guys, was included in the listening comprehension portion of the national exam for 16 and 17-year-old students taking German, Stuff.co.nz reported Wednesday.
"I assume there's a lot I could do with you in bed," the group sings in the tune.
Teachers and some students described the song choice as inappropriate for an educational setting.
Natasha Smith, head of German for Christchurch Girls' High School, said the song was not only inappropriate, it was also difficult to understand even for seasoned German speakers.
She said the song is filled with ''colloquial expressions, metaphoric language and a myriad of other items, even nonsensical items like 'Eg ich mag dich relativ sehr' -- 'I like you relatively very.'"
''Songs have a place in the classroom, where you have time and in this case a dictionary nearby for the students. However, to use it in an exam is completely unacceptable and simply unfair,'' she said.