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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Dec. 18, 2012 at 5:12 PM   |   Comments

School solves Indiana Jones mystery

CHICAGO, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The University of Chicago said an Indiana Jones replica prop ended up at the school because of an included replica envelope, complete with fake postage.

The university said admissions officials were initially perplexed to receive a package addressed to "Henry Walton Jones, Jr." the full name of movie hero Indiana Jones, and containing a replica of fictional professor Abner Ravenwood's journal from "Raiders of the Lost Ark," the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

However, officials said they have now learned the journal had been placed in a replica envelope meant to look like the one from the film before being shipped in a larger package by an eBay seller in Guam who specializes in Indiana Jones replicas.

The envelope containing the journal had fallen out of the package during shipping to Italy and the post office simply sent it along to the address on the envelope.

"What we can piece together, the postal service honored the postage, which happens to be fake," university senior admissions adviser Grace Chapin said.

"We've been so amused that other people have thought this was so funny," she said. "This is how fun the world is at this point, something being sent from Guam to Italy and it finds its way to us."

Chapin said the eBay seller told officials the school can keep the journal.


Man gives lotto tickets to unemployed

MALAGA, Spain, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- A Spanish man who handed out free lottery tickets at benefits offices said he wanted to relieve some of the "sadness" faced by the unemployed.

Bartolome Florido, 60, a driving instructor in the Costa del Sol region, said he spent nearly $2,000 on the 333 lottery tickets he handed out to those waiting in jobless benefits lines in five cities, ThinkSpain reported Tuesday.

"I went through the dole queue in Malaga, Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Sevilla and Arroyo de la Miel, asking everyone if they were unemployed, and if they said yes, I gave them a ticket with the number 11.946," Florido said. "A lot of them asked me, 'how much is it?' and when I said, nothing, it was a present, many of them hugged me and cried."

Florido said he wanted to relieve some of the "sadness" and despair of the unemployed people and give them hope for the future.

All of the lottery tickets Florido purchased have the same numbers, 11.946, and will each pay out $26,352 if the numbers win.

Florido said he saw significance in the number when he saw a ticket at the store.

"My father died in 1964, aged 46, and it seemed like a sign," he said.


Six arrested in mall parking spot brawl

SALEM, N.H., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Police in New Hampshire said they arrested six people accused of brawling over a parking space in a mall parking garage.

Salem Police Deputy Chief Shawn Patten said a fight broke out Sunday at the Mall at Rockingham Place parking garage when two groups of people laid claim to the same second floor parking spot, WMUR-TV, Manchester, N.H., reported Tuesday.

Multiple officers responded to calm the situation, but some of the participants refused to keep cool heads, police said.

"Subsequent to that, six people were taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct," Patten said.

All six of those arrested were from Lawrence, Mass., police said. They are scheduled for arraignment Jan. 28.


Cheetahs cut loose at the race track

HOUSTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Curators at the Houston Zoo said they took a pair of cheetahs to a horse racing track to let them stretch their legs and sprint off their excess energy.

Beth Schaefer, the zoo's curator of primates and carnivores, said the zoo's two cheetahs, 5-year-old brothers Kito and Kiburi, were taken to the Sam Houston Race Park to let them cut loose and run at speeds of up to 65 mph, the Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday.

"They need about 600 feet," Schaefer said. "We don't have that straightaway anywhere on zoo grounds."

However, she said the fenced-in horse track was a perfect place for the cheetahs to tire themselves out.

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