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Sculptures butter up shuttle astronauts

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 27 (UPI) -- A butter sculpture of an astronaut was set up at the Ohio State Fair Tuesday in honor of the just-ended space shuttle program.


The astronaut sits at a shuttle control panel, eating freeze-dried ice cream. Next to him in the Dairy Building at the state fairgrounds in Columbus stand the fair's traditional Holstein cow and its calf, also made of butter, The Columbus Dispatch reported. They don't melt because they're kept in a 45-degree glass case.

Three sculptors from Cincinnati artists -- Bob Kling, Alex Balz and Paul Brooke -- made the figures.

Nineteen Ohio natives or residents have flown on the shuttle, the best-known of them former Sen. John Glenn, who earlier was the first American to orbit Earth in 1961, the Dispatch said.

Last year's fair featured butter statues of Cincinnati Bengals safety Chinedum Ndukwe and Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas, along with a butter football.


The state fair runs from Wednesday through Aug. 7.

Indian baby born with 34 digits

ALLAHABAD, India, July 27 (UPI) -- Guinness World Records said an Indian baby born with 10 toes on each foot and seven fingers on each hand is the new record holder for largest number of digits.

Amrita Saxena of Uttar Pradesh said her 1-year-old son, Akshat Saxena, has undergone several surgeries since his birth to remove the extra digits, and doctors plan further procedures to give him thumbs, the Press Trust of India reported Tuesday.

Saxena said her family contacted Guinness after learning about the previous record holder, a Chinese boy born with 15 fingers and 16 toes.

Akshat's condition is a genetic disorder known as polydactyly, his family said.

U.K. woman falls down 400-year-old well

WORCESTER, England, July 27 (UPI) -- A Worcestershire, England, woman said she fell down a 400-year-old well in her back yard and was stuck in 8 feet of cold water for 90 minutes.

Denise Brooks, 65, lost her footing climbing down a ladder to free a water pump stuck at the bottom of the well, slipping into the murky water below Monday afternoon, The Guardian reported.

"It was a real shock and very frightening when I hit the water as I was completely submerged. I can't swim but managed to grab on to the rope to keep myself afloat," Brooks said.


She then called out to her husband, Mike Brooks, for help.

The couple had been pumping water from the 30-foot well into a duck pond in their yard before the incident.

"After we'd pumped enough water across, we tried to pull the pump back up but it got stuck while still under the water. When it has happened in the past we have lowered a ladder down the well and Denise has climbed down with a pole and prodded the pump until it has come free," Mike Brooks said.

Mike Brooks, also 65, called the fire department after unsuccessfully trying to pull his wife up.

"I cannot tell you how pleased I was to see a firefighter being lowered down the well coming to rescue me," Denise Brooks said.

Denise Brooks sustained an elbow scrape but was none worse for the wear, Jerry Penn Ashman of West Midlands ambulance service said.

Wisconsin woman wins bad fiction prize

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 27 (UPI) -- San Jose State University in California announced a Wisconsin woman won the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest with an intentionally poorly written sentence.

The university said Sue Fondrie, an associate professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, won the 29th annual competition, which calls upon participants to compose the worst possible opening sentence for an imaginary novel.


"Cheryl's mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories," Fondrie's entry read.

The university said Fondrie's sentence was the shortest grand prize winner in the history of the contest.

The Bulwer-Lytton prize is named for Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who began his novel "Paul Clifford" with the famous opening sentence, "It was a dark and stormy night."

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