Watercooler Stories

Sept. 2, 2011 at 6:30 AM
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PETA protests Glendale elephant float

GLENDALE, Calif., Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Officials in Glendale, Calif., are working on ways to make their circus elephant float for the Rose Bowl Parade less obnoxious to animal rights activists.

The float features an elephant -- manufactured -- pulling a carriage. While no living elephants will be harmed when the float travels through Pasadena on New Year's Day, members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals say it glorifies the exploitation of animals in the circus, the Glendale News-Press reported.

PETA members demonstrated Tuesday outside the Glendale city council meeting, holding signs with slogans like "Circuses Are No Fun For Animals."

Mayor Laura Friedman suggested making the elephant a wild one, and Councilman Rafi Manoukian said the float could carry a sign opposing the use of elephants in circuses. Councilman Dave Weaver, on the other hand, said the float design is a closed issue and the council should just stay out of it.

Glendale's float was made possible this year, in a time of straitened municipal finances, by large donations from business owners.

Baby lamb named Irene Hope after storm

NEW YORK, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Workers at New York's Central Park Zoo said they named a baby lamb born during Hurricane Irene preparations Irene Hope.

Susan Cardillo, assistant curator of the zoo, said zookeepers showed up early Saturday to prepare the facility for the coming storm and discovered the 8-pound newborn lamb next to its mother, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

"We thought she was going to have a baby in the spring and no baby came," Cardillo said of the ewe.

"We don't expect a baby in late August," she added. "This is very unusual."

Cardillo said the zookeepers created a private stall in the zoo's stable, which serves as emergency shelter for the animals, to allow Irene Hope and her mother, Truffle, to bond in private.

"We saw nursing right away," Cardillo said. "We just needed to keep them safe from the storm."

The zookeepers said the lamb officially went on display to the public Thursday.

Man claimed he was shooting at UFOs

HEDEMORA, Sweden, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- A Swedish man accused of firing a gun from his apartment window told police he was fighting against a fleet of UFOs.

The 23-year-old Hedemora man, whose name was not released, allegedly began shooting the pistol out of his apartment on the evening of July 15 and the mother of his child called police, The Local reported Thursday.

Police said it took several hours to convince the man to stop shooting at the sky. They said he told them he was shooting down UFOs that exploded when hit.

The man was charged with illegal weapon possession and threatening a police officer, but officers said they did not feel threatened by the man.

"We do not believe that the threats voiced were anything other than the desperation of a confused person," the police report stated.

A psychiatrist who evaluated the suspect, who has a previous conviction for attempted manslaughter, said he may have been suffering from a severe psychiatric ailment at the time of the incident.

Nashville named 'manliest' U.S. city

NASHVILLE, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- The Combos "Americas Manliest Cities" study named Nashville as the most masculine metropolis in the United States.

Mars Chocolate North America said the third annual study used metrics including the number of manly businesses, such as home improvement stores and steak houses, and manly jobs, such as construction, to rank the relative manliness of 50 U.S. cities.

The study, which deducted manliness points from cities with large numbers of cupcake stores or fancy furniture sellers, ranked Nashville in the top spot, followed by Charlotte, N.C.; Oklahoma City; Memphis and Columbia, S.C.

Los Angeles ranked last on the list with San Diego ranking No. 49.

The Board of Manliness, which helped rank the cities, included actor Lou Ferrigno, baseball Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers, retired wrestler Sergeant Slaughter, comedian Judy Gold and champion lumberjack Mike Sullivan.

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