UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Feb. 22, 2010 at 5:30 PM
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Poll: Washington, Lincoln lied to public

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A U.S. poll suggests 74 percent of adults don't buy into the story that George Washington, the nation's first president, never told a lie.

The CNN/Opinion Corp. poll of 1,023 U.S. adults, conducted via telephone Feb. 12-15, found 74 percent of respondents said they believe George Washington lied to the public while in office, while 71 percent said the same of the 16th president, Abraham "Honest Abe" Lincoln, CNN reported Monday.

"Part of it may be the recognition that, however much we revere them today, both men were politicians, and Americans are always a little cynical about people seeking office," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

"Part of it may also be a realistic assessment that the president sometimes has to keep things from the public," Holland said. "But whether it's based on cynicism or realism, or a little of both, it's an indication that Americans think that our government has been broken for many, many years."

The poll, released to coincide with Washington's 278th birthday, also suggests a full three quarters of the public believe modern-day politicians are routinely dishonest.

The poll had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, CNN said.

Man complains to cops about his hash buy

ESLOV, Sweden, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Police in Sweden said a man walked into a local precinct to complain about the quality of hashish he had purchased from a dealer.

Eslov police said the 26-year-old man told police he was a frequent user of marijuana and its derivatives, including hash, but the latest batch of hash he purchased sent him on a bad trip that made him feel like his TV was talking to him and his girlfriend was turning into a dolphin, The Local reported Monday.

Police said it was unclear whether the man, who brought a small amount of the hash in for testing, will face possession charges. Possession of marijuana and its derivatives in small amounts is an offense usually punished with a small fine.

Scientist: Aliens may be beyond us

LONDON, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The British queen's astronomer says extraterrestrial aliens "could be staring us in the face" in a form we are simply unable to recognize.

Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society science group and astronomer to Queen Elizabeth II, said after hosting the national science academy's first conference extraterrestrial life in London that humans might not be able to recognize aliens even if they were looking right at them, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

"They could be staring us in the face and we just don't recognize them," he said. "The problem is that we're looking for something very much like us, assuming that they at least have something like the same mathematics and technology.

"I suspect there could be life and intelligence out there in forms we can't conceive. Just as a chimpanzee can't understand quantum theory, it could be there as aspects of reality that are beyond the capacity of our brains," Rees said.

Car lovers wed in Mustang showroom

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A Florida couple said they held their wedding at a place almost as dear to them as they are to each other -- a Ford Mustang dealership.

Mustang aficionados Vickie Sue Kilpatrick and Ronnie Cox said they met in 2007 at Family Worship Center in St. Augustine and quickly bonded over their mutual love of their favorite cars, The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union reported Monday.

"We hadn't talked three minutes and we were talking Mustangs," said Kilpatrick said after Sunday's wedding at Bozard Ford Lincoln Mercury in St. Augustine. "We can spot a Mustang by a tail light in the dark."

Bozard general manager Letti Bozard said wedding planners were given free run to arrange the cars and other items inside the showroom Sunday, the day of the week the dealership is generally closed.

"If it moves, you can move it," Bozard said she told them.

The couple also received a special wedding gift from their favorite car dealer: "The Mustang Dynasty" coffee table book, complete with an inscription from Bill Ford Jr., executive chairman of the company.

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