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Sound Smart at a Party for the Week of December 1 – December 8


“It’s been an incredible run, I wouldn’t have it any other way,”—actor and martial arts master Chuck Norris on his career. Texas Gov. Rick Perry made Norris (center left) and brother Aaron (center right) honorary Texas Rangers on Dec. 2. Chuck Norris is best known for “Walker, Texas Ranger,” and has achieved cult status for his alleged superhuman powers. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Someone in Houston was really in the Christmas spirit. A gold coin was dropped into a Salvation Army red kettle outside of a Sam’s Club last week. The $50 coin is valued at more that $1,100. It was wrapped in a $1 bill with a note that read, “A child is born, Jesus!”…

The coffin of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who was charged with assassinating John F. Kennedy, will be auctioned off in Los Angeles on Dec. 16. Thankfully, his body will not be included. The pine coffin was unearthed in October 1981 after a legal dispute between his widow and his brother allowed an exhumation to test a conspiracy theory that a look-a-like Russian agent had been buried in Oswald’s place. When an exam showed that the body was in fact Oswald’s, he was reburied in a new coffin. The original coffin, which he had been in for almost 20 years, had extensive water damage. The bidding will start at $1,000


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Iowa is testing an idea that would save taxpayers money and provide jobs to inmates—and all it entails is making toilet paper. Inmates at two Iowa prisons are testing a single-ply tissue processed at a Missouri prison. If the legislature allows, Iowa inmates could begin processing their own TP next year, which would save about $100,000 a year, since Iowa prisons use about 900,000 rolls of toilet paper annually. It would also create jobs for about 50 inmates. One of the associate wardens said that the paper is not fluffy, but is approved by the state as acceptable. The Charmin bears better make sure they don’t get arrested in Iowa…

A real barber will not let anything get in the way of a good haircut. In Anchorage, Alaska, an SUV was pulling into a parking spot of a barber shop when the driver’s foot slipped off the brake pedal and hit the gas, causing the vehicle to crash through the front of the store. The shop owner, Heng Song, proceeded to finish the haircut he had been working on while the SUV was still inside the shop. No one involved had injuries or even a bad hair day…

Ever wonder where can you find the world’s hottest chili pepper? You can find it in a snow-covered greenhouse in northwestern England. Chili farmer Gerald Fowler’s Naga Viper, which is a cross between three of the hottest varieties, rates 1,359,000 on the Scoville scale. The Scoville scale measures heat by the presence of the chemical compound capsaicin. Jalapeno peppers rate from 2,500 to 5,000. According to Fowler, his pepper “numbs your tongue and burns all the way down.” This feeling can last an hour. Guinness World Records has approached him to include it in its 2012 edition…

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