Watercooler Stories

Blood donor wins Super Bowl tickets

LAFAYETTE, Ind., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- An Indiana woman who has donated 143 units of either whole blood or platelets since 2003 said she was shocked to win Super Bowl tickets.


The Indiana Blood Center said Carol Sikler, 50, of Lafayette gave blood frequently enough to qualify for the contest, which was open to anyone who donated blood or blood products four or more times in the space of three months, and she has now been announced as the winner of two tickets to Sunday's Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, The Journal & Courier, Lafayette, reported Monday.

Sikler said she has been giving blood in a bid to "break even" for the blood made available to her husband Chuck during a pair of lengthy hospital stays prior to his death in 2003. She said she recently surpassed her goal and decided to keep donating.


"It's a way for me to do something for someone that can't ever thank me or pay me back personally. It's giving without expectation," she said.

Sikler said she was shocked to win the contest.

"I'm not the kind of person who wins things," she said.

New York to get new ... typewriters?

NEW YORK, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Some workers in the high-tech environs of New York City say they'll be accomplishing their daily tasks on new typewriters -- replacements for their old ones.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- a man fond of his iPad and electronic gadgets, and who says he'll turn his city into a new "Silicon Alley" -- has employees of several municipal agencies working not on the latest speediest computers, but a fleet of 1,172 typewriters, the New York Post reported Monday.

Those employees in the New York Police Department, Department of Buildings and Human Resources Administration and 18 other agencies will be getting new electronic typewriters to replace aging ones, the report said.

The city Department of Administrative Services issued a request for bids for new typewriters to replace the geriatric assortment now in use, an agency spokeswoman said.

"The contract is for typewriters, which are primarily used to complete carbon-copy forms that are not computerized," Julianne Cho said.


New York's last typewriter contract -- put out five years ago at a cost to the city of $320,000 -- is set to terminate, the Post said.

"The offices that use them here have to fill out old-style standardized requisitions and purchase orders, etc. -- forms that have multiple carbonless-copy pages and which need an actual keystroke to make a copy on all the pages," said Department of Transportation spokesman Seth Solomonow.

Woman buys two rats, soon has 71

BOSTON, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Animal rescuers in Massachusetts said a woman who bought two rats to save them from being snake food soon found herself with 71 rodents.

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the woman bought the rats from a pet shop in Sandwich to save them from being food for a snake and she contacted the society about three months later when the number of rapidly breeding rats ballooned to 71, the Boston Herald reported Monday.

"She realized she was in over her head, and she drove to Boston," MSPCA spokesman Rob Halpin said.

Halpin said the incident took place only days after a Lawrence man brought in 94 hamsters that resulted from his adopting only two.


The spokesman said the hamsters will likely have better luck finding new homes.

"There are many more homes for hamsters than there are homes for rats. It is a smaller audience of enthusiasts for rats," Halpin said.

Python latches onto woman's face

MADISON, Wis., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Police in Wisconsin said a woman who decided to take a python out of its terrarium during a book club meeting ended up with the serpent latched onto her face.

Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said the 31-year-old woman was attending a book club meeting Jan. 19 at another member's home and decided to take Annie, a 12-year-old ball python measuring about 4 feet long, our of its terrarium, The (Madison) Capital Times reported Monday.

"She just wanted to hold her," DeSpain said. "She apparently had prior experience handling snakes and had no reason to believe she was putting herself in danger."

However, the non-venomous snake bit into the woman's right cheek and refused to disengage until the owner was able to remove it.

The snake was returned to its enclosure and the woman's injuries were treated by a doctor.

"It was sort of a happy ending," DeSpain said. "The women ended up with no scars and no lasting emotional trauma."


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