Gator head launch delayed by construction
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A Florida artist behind a plan to float a giant alligator head down the Intracoastal Waterway said the project was delayed by construction issues.
Hollywood artist Lloyd Goradesky and Everglades historian Cesar Becerra said they had planned to launch the 40-ton alligator head, made of reclaimed parts and titled "Floating Tile Art: Gator in the Bay," Sunday, but the plans were delayed by issues with construction, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Monday.
Goradesky, who said the head may be launched Monday, said the gator is controlled by a self-propelled barge built into the head and a crane boom inside the sculpture opens and closes its three-story-tall mouth.
"It's safe to say something like this has never been done before," Goradesky said.
Becerra said the project is aimed at raising awareness of restoration efforts for the Everglades' ecosystem.
Napoleon letter sells for $244,800
FONTAINEBLEAU, France, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A coded letter from Napoleon Bonaparte threatening to blow up the Kremlin in Moscow sold for $244,800 at a French auction, officials said.
The letter brought more than 10 times its estimated price to the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in Paris at an auction in the nearby city of Fontainebleau, Radio France Internationale reported Monday.
"I am going to blow up the Kremlin on 22nd at 3 a.m.," Napoleon wrote in the coded letter, which was dated Oct. 20, 1812, and addressed to his foreign minister, Hugues-Bernard Maret.
French mayor demands manners at town hall
LHERAULE, France, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A French mayor has introduced rules to have citizens ejected from the town hall if they don't say "hello" and "thank you" when addressing workers.
Mayor Gerard Plee of Lheraule, a small town of 185 north of Paris, said the new rules are aimed at maintaining the "social standards in the municipality" after a poll earlier in the year found more than half of France's residents cited "a lack of manners" as their top source of stress, France 24 reported Monday.
"I believe that when people enter the town hall they should comply with certain practices like saying hello and goodbye as well as please and thank you," Plee said. "Being polite is the basic gesture of respect towards others which is needed for people to live together in harmony."
"If I don't introduce this rule I have no power to take action against these people because there is no law in France that forces people to say hello, and there's no judge who will condemn someone for not saying it," he said.
A sign posted on the door of the town hall warns visitors of the new policy and asked "the eternally dissatisfied, the rancorous and any other grumpy people" to mind their manners.
Woman choked on glitter, stage caught fire
BERLIN, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A German talent show being broadcast live on TV suffered a series of setbacks including a singer choking on glitter and a fire breaking out on stage.
Viewers of Saturday night's live broadcast of "Supertalent" were treated to an unusual spectacle when a singer named Laura choked on the glitter and confetti raining from the ceiling during her performance and an opera singer, Simone Ciccarese, lost her voice after breaking in the clouds from dry ice placed on the stage, The Local.de reported Monday.
The show's string of problems culminated in a fire breaking out on stage when two men, Christian and Leo, accidentally caused a fire when they smashed up a car as part of their act. Stage hands rushed the stage with fire extinguishers to put out the flames.