Scots can adopt a turkey, then eat it
WEST LINTON, Scotland, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Patrons of Whitmuir Farm in in Scotland can adopt a turkey, name it, watch it grow and then eat it, farm co-owner Heather Anderson says.
Fifteen pounds ($24.18), covers the cost of raising the turkey for six months at the organic farm near West Linton, The Scotsman reported Sunday. The idea behind it is to help people better understand how their food is produced.
Anderson finds it "ridiculous" some people cringe at the thought their dinner once walked around.
"Most people are delighted to see the turkeys and to see that they're well looked after," she said. "If there's any squeamishness it's from the adults, not children. They understand 'that's my turkey, that's what I'm going to see at Christmas.'
"By paying for their bed and board you're acknowledging that it takes six months of care and attention to raise these birds -- it's a down payment on us looking after your Christmas dinner."
Anderson says women frequently name their birds after their husbands. Then there's the one whose name directly foretold its fate: "Christmas Dinner."
Deadly spiders mistakenly shipped to U.K.
NORFOLK, England, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- A shipping container that arrived in Norfolk, England, was infested with deadly black widow spiders, shocking workers unloading it.
The container, which was infested with hundreds of the spiders, originated in Arizona, where the spiders are more common, The Mirror reported Saturday.
The container firm called in local pest control experts to get rid of the spiders.
"It is not something you expect to see, especially in the outback of Norfolk. Our guys are used to checking for wildlife, so when they spotted the spiders they shut the doors to keep them trapped in," said firm spokesman Mark Cook.
Black widows are the most poisonous spiders in North America, with venom 15 times more potent than a rattlesnake's. Their bites can be fatal.
"The little creatures have a bad reputation with people thinking their bite is immediately fatal, but generally people are just fairly sick," Cooke said.
Winemaker to harvest in the nude
BALLANDEAN, Australia, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- In an effort to revive an ancient ritual, an Australian winemaker says he plans on harvesting some of his grapes during a full moon -- in the nude.
Mike Hayes, of Queensland, has been studying 4,000-year-old wine-making techniques as part of a Churchill Fellowship, The (Brisbane) Sunday Mail reported Sunday.
Hayes said the first record of nude harvesting and crushing of the fruit with bare feet for wine came from Georgia, the birthplace of wine-making.
"I don't know if it will work, but I'm certainly going to give it a shot," Hayes, from the Symphony Hill Wines on the Granite Belt, said. "The ancients believed the moon drew energy from the grapes and goodness from the soil -- just as the moon pulls the tides."
Hayes said he will harvest a crop of nebbiolo, an Italian red wine grape, in April in the nude. And, for authenticity, Hayes will ferment the wine in clay amphora pots that he will bury underground.
"There will be no preservatives or additives whatsoever," Hayes said.
Kiteboarding Santas break record
FORT DE SOTO, Fla., Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Twenty-five people dressed as Santa gathered at Fort De Soto near St. Petersburg, Fla., to set a record for the most kiteboarding Santas.
The Santas traveled from all over the United States to Fort De Soto for the event Friday, the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times reported.
Although there were 25 Santas, only 12 of them got in the water.
Organizers, who got the word out about the event via Facebook, said they believe they broke the record; however the previous record was only one kiteboarding Santa.
"The wind picked up a bit," said Ken Brackin of Tampa. "It's a great day to be on the water."
Organizers said they plan on doing it again next year and maybe linking the event to a charity.