UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

May 20, 2005 at 5:04 PM
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Russian lake disappears overnight

BOLOTNIKOVO, Russia, May 20 (UPI) -- A Russian lake appears to have disappeared overnight -- leaving a debris-filled hole in Bolotnikovo, Russia.

Officials speculated a cave or underground river was responsible. Fishermen discovered the muddy hole that pulled in trees along the shore, the BBC reported Friday.

It was not the first time something like this had happened. A local official told Russia's NTV a similar incident about 70 years ago sucked in several houses around the lake that is about 155 miles east of Moscow.

"It looks like somebody has pulled the plug out of a gigantic bath," an NTV correspondent said about the vanished lake.

Village youngsters said the lake had been shrouded in "dark mystery" ever since it appeared during the reign of Ivan the Terrible.

Camel sits on woman's foot

BETHLEHEM, W.Va., May 20 (UPI) -- A West Virginia woman painting a fence that borders a camel's habitat called 911 when the animal approached her and sat on her foot.

"The camel got down beside her and sat on her foot and when it did, it scared her," camel-owner Woody Mayle of Bethlehem told the Charleston Gazette Thursday.

"I don't know why she just didn't call me," Mayle said.

Mayle admitted, however: "It did nibble at her hair. It was chewing on her hair."

Paramedics arriving on the scene found neither the unidentified woman nor Punjab, the 1,500-pound camel, required medical attention.

When Mayle arrived he simply pulled on Punjab's harness and the animal stood up and walked away.

Unique dialect identified in Pac Northwest

SEATTLE, May 20 (UPI) -- Local linguists in the Pacific Northwest are agitating for broader recognition of area residents' unique dialect and distinct speaking style.

"Linguists have generally assumed that the West is one dialect region," University of Washington linguistics professor Alicia Beckford Wassink told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"That may have been the case in the 1800s, when the West was being settled and there was a mixing of dialects among all the immigrants," she said, but the English language as spoken in this corner of the world has developed unique sounds including a creaky voice, strong s's and something she calls the "low-back merger" -- the conflation of sounds that causes Northwest speakers to pronounce the words "caught" and "cot" in exactly the same way.

Couple sleeps in boat while it is stolen

PORT SALERNO, Fla., May 20 (UPI) -- A Palm City, Fla., couple was sleeping on their 26-foot motor boat when thieves boarded and piloted it out of a marina.

Mike and Kathleen Jones told the Stuart News they were locked in the cabin of the 26-foot Irie Daze by the boat thieves.

Mike Jones dialed 911 on his cell phone and said: "I'm a captive on my boat. It's an act of piracy."

But it wasn't long before the two men ran the boat aground near Port Salerno. They jumped ashore and ran.

The two were later captured by sheriff's deputies who found them walking nearby. Sean Michael Huff, 18, of Stuart, and John Joseph Camerlengo, 19, of Palm city, were charged with kidnapping, grand theft and burglary.

"I think a lot of boaters out there need to be aware of what could happen," Jones said. "This is the equivalent of a boaters' home invasion."

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