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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

  |   Dec. 19, 2012 at 7:15 PM
Lotto winners to build high school stadium

BONDURANT, Iowa, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- A pair of recent lottery winners have pledged $3 million to build a new stadium for an Iowa high school -- provided the visitor's locker room is painted pink.

Brian and Mary Lohse, who recently won a $202 million Powerball Jackpot, said they want Bondurant-Farrar High School to build the new stadium before fall 2014, so it will be in place in time for their oldest son to play in it before graduating in spring 2015, the Des Moines Register reported Wednesday.

Mary Lohse said the pink visiting team's locker room was her idea, inspired by a similar scheme at the University of Iowa.

"I was sort of half joking and half not I suppose, but they said they'd do it," she said. "It's supposed to put them in a certain soft frame of mind. ... it will certainly give all the players something to talk about."


LA parking meters now take credit cards

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced all of the city's parking meters are now officially accepting credit cards.

Villaraigosa said Tuesday the city's 33,997 single space meters and 458 multiple-spot pay stations have been converted to accept both coins and credit cards, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

"These card and coin meters generate needed revenue, are environmentally conscious and, most importantly, they're convenient and reliable," Villaraigosa said.

The conversion began in 2007, with 33,345 of the meters being upgraded during the past two and a half years.


Care packages meant for troops stolen

SACRAMENTO, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- A California group said someone stole 25 care packages intended as Christmas gifts for U.S. troops serving abroad.

Scott Raab, outreach coordinator for Sacramento-based Move America Forward, said the 350 care packages created for the troops were in a trailer Sunday, awaiting shipment the following day, when someone broke the lock on the trailer and took 25 of the packages, ABC News reported Wednesday.

"We pack pretty much everything in there," Raab said, "deodorant, coffee, candy. But also notes from school kids here at home thanking them for their service, Christmas cards, everything we can."

Raab, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, said he knows firsthand what the packages mean to troops stationed abroad.

"This can mean the whole world to these troops. We send packages year-round, but during the holidays it's even more special. And we get some of the packages out to specific soldiers whose family is not able, for whatever reason, to send them anything," he said.

Raab said the group is raising money and accepting donations to replace the stolen packages.


Eagle snatching toddler video is a hoax

MONTREAL, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- A video seeming to show a golden eagle grabbing a small child in its talons in Montreal is actually the work of animation school students, the school said.

The clip, titled "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid," depicts the bird grabbing the child in front of his mother and carrying the toddler a few feet into the air before dropping him, The Independent reported Wednesday. The child is then seen crying, but does not appear to be seriously hurt.

The video had been viewed more than 5 million times on YouTube as of Wednesday evening.

The National Animation and Design Center -- Centre NAD -- posted a message on its website Wednesday saying the video was made by Normand Archambault, Loic Mireault and Felix Marquis-Poulin, students in a production simulation workshop class that "aims to produce creative projects according to industry production and quality standards while developing team work skills."

"Hoaxes produced in this class have already garnered attention, amongst others a video of a penguin having escaped the Montreal Biodome," the school said.

Alex Hearn, a blogger for the New Statesman, said there was evidence in the video to suggest it was a fake.

"When the bird swoops down, its shadow pops in one frame after it does. And for one frame, and one frame only, around three seconds in, its right wing becomes transparent," he wrote. "Then there is the slightly odd motion of the child after the eagle lets go of it. Not only does it carry on going up -- which would just be momentum -- but its ascent actually speeds up a bit before falling."

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