Watercooler Stories

Aug. 7, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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Speeder busted going 152 mph

LONDON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- A British financial company said the top speeder busted by police in the country was a motorcyclist driving at 152 mph.

LV, which offers services including insurance and investments, said its freedom of information requests to police departments across the country found the top speeder was a Yamaha-riding motorcyclist caught driving 152 mph on a 70 mph-limit stretch of A27 in Binstead, England, while Tayside Police said their top speeders were a pair of motorists going 149 mph and 141 mph on the A90, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

"There is a significant difference between those drivers who are a few miles over the limit and those who are driving dangerously at breakneck speeds," LV managing director John O'Roarke said. "Driving at such high speeds is very dangerous and dramatically increases the chance of failing to react quick enough in an emergency."

British councils nix rat removal services

LONDON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- British pest control experts said recent cuts to public rat removal services could put low-income households at risk for vermin-spread diseases.

The British Pest Control Association said the households could be at risk if they can't afford professional pest control and they live in one of the 28 areas where local councils have axed pest control departments during the next two years, The Sun reported Monday.

"Many people who can't afford pest control need to find some sort of support. They're often the ones who have the worst pest problems," BPCA chief executive Simon Forrester said. "We're looking at the transfer of disease through rats coming up through sewers and into people's houses."

Blog aims to bolster baritones

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- A San Francisco blogger said he is aiming to boost the profiles -- and the sex appeal -- of the underappreciated opera baritone.

The blogger, who asked to remain anonymous due to his place on California music boards, said Barihunks.blogspot.com is about getting baritones the same attention often heaped on sopranos and tenors, the Boston Herald reported Monday.

"It's all about promoting careers," the blogger said.

The Web site features pictures, performance clips, calendars and T-shirts aimed at boosting the baritone profile.

Douglas Williams, 30, who has been featured on the site, said he appreciates the blogger's aims.

"The sexiness of opera is part of the marketing of opera," he said. "You have to look good these days in addition to singing. You have to be a good actor in addition to a good singer."

Pedicab customers complain of gouging

NEW YORK, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Some customers of a New York pedicab alleged the driver is tricking patrons into paying hundreds of dollars for rides.

Brenda Rodriguez of Texas said she and her husband took their two children for a ride in Savas Avci's pedicab Tuesday and the driver promised a $1 per block ride, but revealed at the end of the ride that he charges a minimum $100 per person, the New York Post reported Monday.

Rodriguez said the charge, which is hidden in small print on his rate card, brought her total to $406 plus $36.54 in taxes.

Young Song of Maryland said he took his wife and kids on a similar ride with Avci and he charged them $316 plus $28.52 in taxes and an $86.35 tip.

"I was angry," Young said.

Officials with the city department of Consumer Affairs said Avci's pricing practice is not illegal. However, they said he may find himself in hot water for taking four people in his cab when only three are allowed.

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