Aquarium uses eel to power Christmas tree
SANDY, Utah, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The Living Planet Aquarium in Utah says it is using an electric eel to power the lights on a Christmas tree in its "Journey To South America" gallery.
Terry Smith, project manager at Cache Valley Electric, said the electricity generated by an eel in a nearby tank causes the four strands of lights on the 5-foot tree to flash intermittently at the Sandy aquarium.
Officials at the aquarium said electric eels can discharge specialized cells called electrocytes simultaneously to create a 600-volt electric charge equal to about five times the power of a standard U.S. wall socket.
"Visitors can visually and audibly experience the power of our electric eel and get a real sense of how amazing this creature is," said Angie Hyde, director of public relations and marketing. "We thought we'd put a festive twist on it for the holidays which has been a huge hit with our members and visitors."
The eel-powered tree will be on display through Dec. 31, officials said.
Christmas tree costs $2,500
CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- An Ohio Christmas tree lot offering trees from $40 to $2,500 said its specimens are hand selected from the woods in North Carolina.
The Breezewood Gardens Christmas tree lot in Chagrin Falls has about 300 trees, with the most expensive tree being an 18-foot Fraser fir, WJW-TV, Cleveland, reported Tuesday.
"It's for customers we've been dealing with for years. They expect the perfect Christmas tree," owner David Kay said of the lot's more expensive trees, which include three that cost more than $1,000.
"We have 300 trees. You can browse around. They're all named so you can get back to that tree easier. It's really about the experience," Kay said of shopping at his lot.
Police: Man falls asleep in wrong house
FREDERICK, Md., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Police in Maryland said a man arrested when he was discovered sleeping in a stranger's house apparently thought he was home.
Frederick police said officers responded to a report of a burglary around 10 p.m. Sunday and discovered Kevin Thursun Siddique, 36, sleeping on a woman's couch, The Frederick News-Post reported Tuesday.
Officers said they woke Siddique and he told them he thought he was in his own home. They said he apparently entered the house through an unlocked back door.
Police did not say whether Siddique was intoxicated.
Siddique was charged with fourth-degree burglary and taken to the Frederick County Adult Detention Center with bail set at $5,000.
No jail for fake $500M reserve note
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- A Florida judge spared jail for a man who admitted to the "laughable" offense of trying to pass off a counterfeit Federal Reserve note for $500 million.
Cleland Ayison, 32, who was arrested in September 2010 for trying to pass off a fake note from the 1930s in what turned out to be an undercover sting in a Palm Beach County bank, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Tuesday.
Prosecutors pushed for a prison sentence at Monday's sentencing in U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas' Fort Lauderdale courtroom, where he faced a maximum three and a half years, but the judge said he did not think prison was appropriate.
"It becomes almost laughable," Dimitrouleas said. "To me, it doesn't promote respect for the law to send someone to prison ... for doing something so silly and outrageous."
Ayison was sentenced to six months of house arrest, five years of probation and 250 hours of community service.
Prosecutors said there is no such thing as a $500 million Federal Reserve note.