Watercooler Stories

Jan. 25, 2011 at 6:30 AM
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Downing Street rat on TV for second time

LONDON, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- A rat appearing on camera during a BBC broadcast from in front of the British prime minister's residence made a second TV appearance during an ITN report.

The rat, which made its first appearance in front of 10 Downing Street during a BBC broadcast Jan. 17, hit the airwaves for a second time Monday during a broadcast featuring ITN correspondent Lucy Manning, the Daily Mail reported.

The rat appeared as Manning was speaking about Andy Coulson's resignation from his position as the Conservative Party's head of communications amid allegations of improper wiretapping at the News of the World tabloid while he was editor.

Coulson resigned his position Friday, saying the "drip drip" from the scandal, involving allegations of workers accessing voice mails left for royal aides, was making it difficult for him to perform his duties. The newspaper's royal editor, Clive Goodman, and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed in 2007 on conspiracy charges related to the investigation.

Union slams crematorium heat plan

REDDITCH, England, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- A British union is calling for local officials to apologize for proposing a new stadium be heated with waste energy from a nearby crematorium.

Roger McKenzie, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary, said he wants the Redditch Borough Council to apologize for suggesting the new Abbey Stadium be heated with waste energy from the crematorium next door, saving more than $23,000 a year, The Redditch & Alcester Standard reported.

"Unfortunately, local authorities are increasingly pursuing desperate polices in a reaction to the unprecedented spending cuts imposed from Whitehall. This just shows that the Government's slashing of funding is impacting on the ability of local authorities to provide our services," McKenzie said in a statement. "In this particular case I call on Redditch Borough Council to apologize to local residents for the insulting and insensitive proposals and to work with UNISON to fight for a fairer budget settlement from the Conservative-led Government."

Middleton name-alike banned from Facebook

WELLINGBOROUGH, England, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- A British woman with the same name as Prince William's fiancee said Facebook suspended her account and accused her of using a fake name.

Kate Middleton, 29, a Wellingborough, England, healthcare assistant, said Facebook suspended her account Thursday, claiming "the name under which it was registered was fake," the London Evening Standard reported Monday.

"I've had no contact from Facebook about the situation or what they are going to do," Middleton said.

A Facebook representative said the company is looking into the issue.

"We review thousands of pieces of content every day and take action to ensure Facebook remains a safe and trusted environment for everyone. Of course, we make an occasional mistake. This is an example. When this happens, and it's brought to our attention, we work quickly to resolve the issue," the representative said.

Calif. man creating marijuana soda

SOQUEL, Calif., Jan. 25 (UPI) -- A California man said he is designing medical marijuana-infused soda pop, a product he has no intention of trying.

Clay Butler of Soquel said the line of sodas containing THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, includes Canna Cola, Dr. Pepper-like Doc Weed, lemon-lime Sour Diesel, grape-flavored Grape Ape and orange-flavored Orange Kush, the Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel reported Monday.

However, Butler said he will not be trying the products he's designing.

"I don't do drugs," he said. "Never have. I never drank, never smoked. I'm a clean-living guy. I've had two beers in my whole life, and I remember them both too. No marijuana, I've never smoked a cigarette. I take an aspirin when I get a headache. That's it.

"Even though, personally, I'm not interested and I don't think it's right for me, I'm a firm believer that adults have an inalienable right to think, eat, smoke, drink, ingest, decorate, dress any way they choose to do so, " he said. "It's your life; it's your body."

He said the sodas will sell for $10 to $15 per 12-ounce bottle when they go on sale in Colorado in February. He said the products will later be introduced in California.

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