John Cleese offers to auction colon bits
LONDON, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- British comic John Cleese says he is undergoing colon surgery and will auction off pieces cut out to help pay his medical bills.
The "Monty Python" alum made the tongue-in-cheek announcement on his Web site this week, Zap2it.com reported Wednesday.
In a letter to his fans, Cleese, 65, writes he is suffering from diverticulosis, in which little pockets of his colon are inflamed.
He writes: "The infected bit, which has been cut out by the surgeon, will be offered for sale on the Web site in the next few days. Proceeds from the sale will be divided between JC" -- Cleese, not Christ -- "and the very nice surgeon."
Cleese provided the voice for the animated animal comedy, "Valiant," which opens Friday.
Russian cows to get pot-laced food
MOSCOW, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Cows in Russia's Urals will spend a euphoric, stone-cold winter this year, as cattle breeders are putting together their winter feed laced with marijuana.
The situation was created when federal drug agents discovered vast tracts of sunflower and cornfields laced with marijuana plants, the Novye Izvestia newspaper reported.
"There is simply no other way out," a Federal Drugs Control Service spokesman told the newspaper. "You see, the fields are planted with feed crops, and if we remove it, all the cows will have nothing to eat."
So the corn and sunflowers are being cut and baled, along with an estimated 40 tons of cannabis, Mosnews said.
Agriculture officials said they had no idea if anyone would beef about subtle changes in the milk once the cows got into the spiked weed-feed.
Artsy cow parade heads to Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis., Aug. 18 (UPI) -- The herd of artist-enhanced cows headed for the Dairy State as the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board called for artists and sponsors of its summer 2006 event.
"We're talking about 100 cows around Wisconsin," a marketing board spokesman told the Wisconsin State Journal. "We have plans to take the cows all over the state."
The state Milk Marketing Board hopes the June-though-October CowParade Wisconsin raises awareness of the state's $20.6 billion dairy industry.
The company guiding the artful herd is West Hartford, Conn.-based CowParade, which says it has staged 20 such charity events since 1999 when Chicago and New York started blazing the trail.
McFarland, Wis., artist Steven Kozar told the newspaper his neighbors must wonder at the 100-pound fiberglass bovine statue he has been painting in his front room.
While he usually paints traditional rural scenes, "there's something just plain funny looking at a cow face to face," Kozar said.
Beer caps replacing cash in Cameroon
YAOUNDE, Cameroon, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Beer bottle caps with prizes on the inside are replacing currency in parts of Cameroon, gripped in a fierce promotional battle between competing breweries.
Almost every $1 bottle of beer has a winning cap, with the smallest prize being another bottle, and larger prizes including mobile phones and luxury cars, the BBC reported.
Journalist Martin Etonge said using the winning caps in place of cash is most visible in the taxi business, where five beer caps would be enough to cover someone's taxi expenses for a day.
"Taxi drivers are also using the caps in their fishy deals with the traffic police," Etonge said. "So they can get off by giving one or two caps to the officers."
The promotional battle has seen about 20 million bottles of beer given away since the start of the year, the report said.