Watercooler Stories

July 8, 2011 at 6:30 AM
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'Corpse flower' about to bloom in Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., July 8 (UPI) -- The University of Illinois announced a rare tropical plant known as the "corpse flower" for its distinct odor is about to bloom at the school's greenhouse.

Debbie Black, manager of the greenhouse, said the titan arum, nicknamed the "corpse flower" for the rotting-meat stench it emits while blooming, is expected to bloom July 14-15.

"We've coddled it for 10 years," Black said of the plant, which was named Titania by a poll of visitors in 2010. "For about the first five years, I wouldn't let anybody touch it but me. That way, if it died, I could only get mad at myself and not at the students."

Black said officials have not yet decided whether the titan will be pollinated when it blooms.

"I have a tiny bit of pollen from Eastern Illinois University from when their titan bloomed a couple of years ago," Black said. "But that's 2-year-old pollen that's been in the freezer."


Woman requests jail for slapping hubby

CONWAY, S.C., July 8 (UPI) -- Authorities in South Carolina said a woman called 911 and requested to be taken to jail for slapping her husband because he refused to have sex with her.

The Horry County Police Department released the 911 tape from June 17 featuring the woman requesting to be arrested for slapping her husband during an argument stemming from his refusing her sexual advances, WMBF-TV, Myrtle Beach, reported Thursday.

"Basically I slapped him this morning because he wouldn't have sex with me, and he hasn't had sex with me in a couple of months, so I slapped him across the face and he wants me to go to jail," the woman said on the tape.

The police report of the incident said the husband told officers his wife never struck him and she was just trying to get herself arrested.

Police did not say whether the woman, whose name was not released, was arrested.


Indiana stops requiring cursive teaching

INDIANAPOLIS, July 8 (UPI) -- The Indiana Department of Education has issued a directive allowing schools to discontinue teaching cursive with an increased focus on keyboarding skills.

The directive said schools in the state can individually choose whether cursive teaching will cease, decrease or stay the same while students at all schools will be expected to become proficient in keyboard use, Time magazine reported Thursday.


Lemonade stand robbed by teens

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio, July 8 (UPI) -- The parents of a group of Ohio children whose lemonade stand was robbed by teenagers said an anonymous donor gave $20 to pay back their losses.

Strongsville youngsters Omar Schpeb, 11, Decklin Walsh, 11, and his sister Maiti, 4, said the group of three teenage girls and two teenage boys pulled up to their Park Lane Drive lemonade stand Saturday and drove off with at least $13.50, WJW-TV, Cleveland, reported Thursday.

"As a parent, this is upsetting. This shouldn't happen at a lemonade stand. It should be simple summer fun and they made it frightening for the kids," mother April Walsh said.

The parents said an anonymous donor gave police $20 to replace the stolen money.

Strongsville Police are asking members of the public to contact them with information about the thieves, who the children said were traveling in a rusted green car.

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