Watercooler Stories

May 27, 2008 at 6:30 AM
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Girls brew root beer for college money

MILWAUKEE, May 26 (UPI) -- A Milwaukee 10-year-old says the root beer that bears her name and that of her younger sister is designed to pay for their college education.

Haley Jurena, who is on track to graduate high school in 2016, said the homemade vanilla root beer will first pay for her education, then that of her 5-year-old sister, Annabelle, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Monday.

"We're going to pay for my college first, and hopefully have enough left for Annabelle," she said.

Parents Dave and Jill Jurena said about 6,200 bottles of Haley and Annabelle's Vanilla Root Beer have been sold at local businesses during the past seven months, raising about $2,000 for the college funds.

Dave Jurena said he mixes the root beer with his daughters in the kitchen of his restaurant, The Soup Market.

Man amasses top 'Star Wars' collection

DALLAS, May 26 (UPI) -- A Dallas man who began collecting "Star Wars" merchandise in 1995 has amassed one of the largest private collections of memorabilia related to the films.

Philip Wise, 54, said he has always been a fan of the movie series, but his affair with collection did not begin until 1995, when his then-16-year-old daughter, Amy, asked him to take her shopping for action figures, the Dallas Morning News reported Monday.

"I just thought it was a nice father-daughter bonding sort of thing," said Wise's wife, Anne. "Little did I know it would get so out of hand."

Wise's collection now includes 19,741 pieces, 8,256 of which can't be found anywhere else.

"By nature, I'm called a completist," he said. "If I can't buy every single version that came out, then I'm not interested in the collection. It's terrible to be afflicted with that."

Wise said the bulk of his collection resides in a Roanoke, Texas, warehouse that he converted into a private museum.

The collector also operates two Web sites for fans of "Star Wars" and collecting, Rebelscum.com and Theforce.net.

Colossal squid caught by fishing boat

PORTLAND, Australia, May 26 (UPI) -- A Portland, Australia, fishing trawler captain said a 500-pound colossal squid that was caught in his net is headed for a museum.

Rangi Pene, skipper of the Zeehaan, said the trawler was fishing about 40 miles off the coast of Portland when the 20-foot-long squid appeared in his net, the Melbourne Herald Sun reported Monday.

The animal, known as a colossal squid, was taken to a Portland freezer to await transport to the Museum Victoria.

Woman banished from cruise line

CLEVELAND, May 26 (UPI) -- An Ohio woman was been banished from a major cruise line's ships for making too many waves, she said.

Brenda Moran of Cleveland said Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has said that she and her husband are no longer welcome on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or Azamara ships, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported Sunday.

Moran had posted unflattering remarks about the company on the Internet, the newspaper said.

"If you place negative comments about them on the Internet, you're gone," Moran said. "People should know that a large company is smashing a citizen of the United States for using her First Amendment rights."

Moran calls herself a professional "mystery shopper." On the Web site CruiseCritic.com, she has posted more than 6,000 comments and questions.

Michael Sheehan, the cruise line's spokesman, said the Morans had sailed on six Royal Caribbean-affiliated ships since 2004, and they complained about "a variety of service failures they experienced" on five of them.

"In a small number of cases, we agreed and compensated them appropriately," Sheehan said in a statement.

"In most cases, however, we disagreed. Having concluded that we are unable to meet the expectations of the Morans, we have told them that they would be best served by sailing with another company."

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