Watercooler Stories

May 6, 2009 at 6:30 AM
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School employs dogs to ease finals stress

MADISON, Wis., May 5 (UPI) -- The University of Wisconsin-Madison campus said dogs are being brought to the school to help ease the stress of students preparing for final exams.

The school said "counseling canines" will be on hand from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday on the Library Mall under the supervision of University Health Services staff, The Capital Times of Madison reported Tuesday.

In addition to playing with the dogs, students will also be invited to talk to counselors from the UHS Counseling and Consultation Services for advice on good study practices, officials said.

"Taking brief study breaks, even five minutes an hour, can reduce stress and help you recall information," said Rob Sepich, UHS student relations manager.

"Some of the most successful students I know have made sleep their top priority," Sepich said. "Forget the all-nighter and you'll probably reap the benefits of sleep on your exams."


Teen logs over 300,000 texts in a month

SACRAMENTO, May 5 (UPI) -- A California teenager said she sent and received more than 300,000 text messages in her first month as an iPhone user.

High school student Crystal Wiski of Sacramento County said she racked up 303,000 text messages in a single month, a number that translates to more than 10,000 messages per day and 421 texts an hour.

"I am popular. I can't help it," Wiski said. "I don't talk on the phone that much."

Wiski's mother, Jacki, said her daughter's text messaging obsession has not impacted her work or her grades.

"She has a 40-hour-a-week job and straight As," Jacki Wiski said. "Thank God for free texting."

Jacki Wiski said her son is the family' second most prolific texter, with 3,000 messages last month.


Bar brawl started with karaoke slap

BEAVERTON, Ore., May 5 (UPI) -- Authorities in Oregon said a bar brawl that required 12 police officers to break it up started when a man slapped a woman singing karaoke.

Sgt. David Thompson, a spokesman for the Washington County Sheriff's Office, said deputies and police were called to the Azteca Restaurant near Beaverton at about 2:20 a.m. Tuesday to stop a fight that involved beer bottles and chairs being used as weapons, The (Portland) Oregonian reported Tuesday.

Thompson said the brawl started after Yemby Gomez, 29, slapped the woman on the buttocks as she sang karaoke. The woman's husband confronted Gomez and a fight broke out among two large groups of bar patrons.

The spokesman said the seven Beaverton officers and five sheriff's deputies halted the brawl after bouncers failed to quell it with pepper spray.

Gomez, who received treatment for non-life-threatening injuries at a local hospital, was arrested and charged with riot, second-degree disorderly conduct and harassment. Six others were arrested on riot and second-degree disorderly conduct charges, Thompson said.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is investigating allegations that the bar served alcohol to minors, Thompson said.


Laborer asked cop for ride to Guatemala

SOUTHOLD, N.Y., May 5 (UPI) -- Police in New York state said a homeless day laborer asked an officer for a ride home to Guatemala and was arrested when he became angry at being refused.

Southold Town police said Pilar Secaida Giron, 38, approached the officer's car at about 3 a.m. Monday and asked to be driven home to the country south of Mexico, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

Giron, who police said was heavily intoxicated and slurring his speech, became angry after the officer told him he "would have to make other arrangements" to get back to Guatemala and walked into traffic, forcing motorists to drive around him, police said.

Officers said Giron was arrested for disorderly conduct after he refused to vacate the road.

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