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Sound Smart at a Party: January 6 – January 12, 2011


Snowball fights bring to mind hot chocolate, snow days, laughing children and . . . pepper spray? In Berlin, two police officers fought off about 40 kids who pelted them with snowballs. The officers were investigating a fight when a group of around 25 kids demanded they leave. When the officers refused, the number of kids increased and they started attacking the cops with snowballs. After retreating, the officers began to fight back with pepper spray, prompting their snowball attackers to flee. They later arrested a number of the perpetrators…

A father and daughter could go to jail over pigeon eggs. Rufino Blanco and Claribel Blanco Cuellar pleaded guilty to attempting to bring 72 unhatched eggs from Cuba into the United States. The United States has a long-running trade embargo against Cuba that prohibits commercial imports from the country. After the two were intercepted by customs, Cuellar first told inspectors that the eggs, which were hidden inside cotton-padded plastic Easter-egg shells, were for her father to use in Santeria religious ceremonies. It was later discovered that they had intended to sell the chicks through Blanco’s Miami pet store and his online business, which was devoted to racing pigeons. They also found out that Blanco had been advertising Cuban-origin pigeons to enthusiasts. The two each face a possible prison term of up to five years, fines of up to $250,000 and a period of supervised release of up to three years…

An anonymous thief sent $45 cash in an envelope to a family-owned supply store in Pennsylvania as retribution for a hammer he stole years ago. A handwritten note came with the money saying, “I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway. Enclosed is $45 to cover the hammer plus a little extra for interest. I’m sorry I stole it, but have changed my ways.” Lynne Gramling, one of the store owners, donated the money to the Salvation Army. Better late than never…


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Pick up the pace, you’ll live longer. Scientists reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association that older adults who typically walk 1 meter per second (3.28 feet per second) or faster live longer than expected. The study said, “In this older adult population the relationship of gait speed with remaining years of life was consistent across age groups, but the absolute number of expected remaining years of life was larger at younger ages.” Those early morning mall walkers have been light years ahead of us all…

If you have always dreamed of being a witch, in Romania you can now call yourself a professional. The country changed its labor laws to officially recognize witches, astrologists, embalmers, valets and driving instructors as real jobs in order to crack down on widespread tax evasion. One unhappy witch said she plans on casting a spell to create discord in the government as retaliation…

Apparently, you can’t use Ozzy Osbourne as an excuse for driving drunk. Who knew? William Liston was arrested in suburban Cleveland on Christmas Eve for allegedly driving drunk. He explained to officers that “Ozzy Osbourne and his music made me do it.” The excuse didn’t impress the police, and he faces a charge of operating a vehicle while impaired…

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