Watercooler Stories

Oct. 20, 2010 at 6:30 AM
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Poodle alerts owners to fire

DULUTH, Minn., Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Move over Lassie, look out Rin Tin Tin, a Minnesota couple credits their poodle Clyde with saving their lives by alerting them that their apartment was ablaze.

Jack and Barb Arnold told the Duluth News Tribune they were asleep when they were awakened about 4:45 a.m. Tuesday by Clyde and discovered flames blocking their escape. They said they made their way to a deck where firefighters rescued them as the fire burned the apartment and a garage.

"Clyde is a good dog, a life saver," Jack Arnold said.

Other than a cut suffered by Barb Arnold, the couple -- and Clyde -- were none the worse for wear. But fire officials estimate the blaze caused $600,000 to $1 million damage.

The cause of the fire had yet to be determined.


Group seeks mustache of the year

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- The Missouri-based American Mustache Institute said finalists for the 2010 mustache of the year include a Florida firefighter and a mustache made for a car.

The St. Louis-based organization said the 15 finalists for the 2010 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year include Jason Kintzler, creator of social public relations platform PitchEngine, Brian Sheets, a Florida fireman and founder of the Firemen with Mustaches Facebook group, and Minnesota Twins pitcher Carl Pavano.

Other finalists for the online vote include former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who is running to reclaim the office, former NBA star and Sacramento, Calif., Mayor Kevin Johnson, University of Texas at El Paso mascot Paydirt Pete and Ethan Eyler, inventor of the Carstache Car Mustache.

"Based on popular voting, the award recognizes the person who best-represents or contributes to the Mustached American community over the past year," the institute said.

The winner is scheduled to be named Dec. 4 at 'Stache Bash 2010 in St. Louis.


Orlando approves homeless donation meters

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Officials in a Florida city approved a plan to use old parking meters as donation boxes for the local homeless population.

Orlando city commissioners approved the plan Monday, allowing for 15 of the meters to be installed in downtown areas frequented by panhandlers with the money to go toward a homeless charity, the Orlando Sentinel reported Tuesday.

Mayor Buddy Dyer gave his support to the plan.

"It's not going to fund all of the needs, but it's one more piece," Dyer said.

The money is expected to go to the Central Florida Regional Commission on Homelessness but a funding agreement has not been finalized.

"This, in and of itself, will not end homelessness," said Thomas Chatmon, executive director of the city's Downtown Development Board. "It's another tool in our toolbox."


World's largest toast mosaic created

LEICESTER, England, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A British woman set a world record by creating a mosaic of her mother-in-law's face from 9,852 pieces of toast.

Laura Hadland, 27, of Leicester said she enlisted the help of 40 friends to create the mosaic from 600 loaves of bread as a birthday surprise for Sandra Whitfield, 50, the Leicester Mercury reported Tuesday.

Hadland said her team used nine toasters to color the bread various shades of brown before arranging them into the 32-foot-8-inch by 42-foot-3-inch mosaic.

Hadland said the mosaic was officially recognized Sunday as the world's largest by Guinness World Records.

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