Watercooler Stories

Aug. 20, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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Brazilian survives skewering by iron bar

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A Brazilian construction worker appeared to be recovering well after a 6-foot steel bar was removed from his head, hospital officials said.

Eduardo Leite, 24, was working on a building in Rio de Janeiro this week when the bar fell six floors and impaled him through the skull.

Hospital spokesman Luiz Essinger told Globo TV Leite was lucid during the whole ordeal and appeared to be on the road to recovery this weekend. "It is really a miracle," Essinger said.

Leite underwent 5 hours of emergency surgery during which doctors removed the bar, which had pierced his hard hat, entered the back of his skull and then exited right between his eyes, Medicaldaily.com said.

Two Leonardos found in 'Last Supper'

ROME, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A British art expert says two of the figures in Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece "The Last Supper" are actually self-portraits of the artist.

Ross King said this week that while not a lot is known about Da Vinci's physical appearance at the time he painted "The Last Supper," he is confident the noses on two of the apostles are a giveaway.

King has concluded the long hair, beards and Greek noses on the two matched up with a portrait of the Italian master drawn years later. Greek noses and prominent hair, King said, were "rarities for an Italian man of that period."

Italy's ANSA news agency said art historians long suspected Da Vinci painted himself into the work, but King told The Independent that no one had really taken the time to seriously look for it.

Shaky 'emergencies' among U.K. police calls

DEVON, England, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A spike in emergency calls prompted British police to remind the public to make sure they have a true emergency before dialing 999.

The Devon and Cornwall police this week released a list of some of the off-the-wall "emergencies" citizens have reported to 999, the British version of 911.

Police were summoned to such dire situations as a shopper who could not find her glasses after leaving a store and another person who wanted the electrical outlets in her home checked out.

Another woman anxiously asked police to pull over a taxi she had just exited because she had left her purse in the back seat.

The Daily Telegraph said questionable 999 calls were not limited to Devon and Cornwall. Ambulances were summoned in Wales by people bitten by hamsters or who had awoken from a night of drinking and realized they had been on the losing end of a bar fight.

Another fellow complained of sharp stomach pains at a pub in Cardiff. Once the ambulance pulled up to the emergency room entrance, the patient jumped out, said, "Thanks for the lift, mate," and ran off.

Chihuahua terrorizes Swedish neighborhood

MALMO, Sweden, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Swedish police responding to a report of an aggressive dog said they were surprised to learn the offending canine was a Chihuahua.

Police in Malmo said they were called to a neighborhood by residents who said a loose canine was acting aggressively toward passersby and had bitten another dog, The Local.se reported Friday.

Officers said they were shocked when they arrived and the neighbors described the aggressive pooch as a Chihuahua, the smallest breed of dog.

"I did think it was going to be a bigger dog than that," Officer Calle Persson said.

Police said they were unable to locate the dog, which fled the scene before they arrived.

"The canine that was bitten is recovering well from the ordeal. We still haven't found the dog either, I guess that could be because of its size," Persson said.

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