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Watercooler Stories

Briton, 67, comes out of matador retirement

BENALMADENA, Spain, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A 67-year-old British matador who was ordered by his doctor to retire more than five years ago has announced he will return to the ring in Spain.

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Frank Evans, a grandfather-of-five from Salford, England, said he will once again don the bullfighting moniker El Ingles -- The English -- and face off against a bull in Benalmadena, Spain, this month, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"I am just delighted to be able to get back into that same bullring and show that I am better than ever," said Evans, who quit bullfighting in 2005 after undergoing a quadruple heart bypass and knee replacement surgery.

"People should take me as an example of what can be achieved later in life. If I can do this at my age then surely that proves anything is possible," he said.


Potter fans hail crop circle owl

WOODBOROUGH HILL, England, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A crop circle discovered in England has been identified by some fans of the Harry Potter book and film franchise as a tribute to the boy wizard's pet owl.

Potter fans said the 400-foot pattern in Woodborough Hill bears a strong resemblance to Hedwig, Potter's pet owl in J.K. Rowling's books and the film series, The Sun reported.

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"It is very exciting to think that there are fans of Harry from other galaxies," Potter fan Steve Killick said. "Most of the world has fallen in love with Harry Potter so it makes sense that most of the universe will do eventually too."

However, pattern expert Karen Alexander had a non-Potter-related take on the crop owl.

"The owl is an ancient symbol of wisdom, so perhaps it is a message to people that we should be thinking deeper about the world around us," she said. "This is obviously a time of some upheaval in the world so perhaps this is a sign that we should be looking backwards for some wisdom in how to deal with today's problems, rather than anything to do with Harry Potter."


Britain releases 4,000 pages of UFO docs

LONDON, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- The British Ministry of Defense has released documents detailing hundreds of UFO sightings and extraterrestrial "close encounters" between 1981 and 1996.

The 4,000 pages of documents released Monday, separated into 14 files, include sightings reported by police officers and fighter pilots as well as young children, the Daily Mail reported.

David Clarke, a UFO expert and Sheffield Hallam University journalism lecturer who has studied the files, said UFO sightings jumped from 117 in 1995 to 609 in 1996 -- the year the alien-invasion themed blockbuster "Independence Day" was released into theaters.

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"Obviously, films and TV programs raise public awareness of UFOs and it's fascinating to see how that appears to lead more people to report what they see to the authorities," Clarke said.


Police: Woman in cart dispute had knife

ST. PETE BEACH, Fla., Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Police in Florida said a woman charged with aggravated assault threatened a man in a grocery store during a dispute about a shopping cart.

Joy Smith, 58, was banned from the Sweetbay Supermarket in St. Pete Beach and charged with aggravated assault after she threatened to use a pocket knife to threaten a man she said was trying to take her shopping cart, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported.

"I have a knife," the police report quotes Smith as saying during the Saturday incident. "Give me back my cart."

Smith, who was arrested, booked and released, said the pocket knife was small, bent and dull.

"It wouldn't even open. I had a hand over the blade," she said. "I was going to get the handle and smack him on the nose, like you do an alligator."

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