Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Issue: "Trailer park blues," Nov. 26, 2005

A bone apart

It's not worth much as a chomper anymore, but a 200-year-old tooth fetched $22,600 at a Nov. 10 auction. Of course, it wasn't just an ordinary tooth. The tooth was believed to be Napoleon Bonaparte's upper right canine tooth, which a doctor removed in 1817 while the deposed French emperor lived in exile on Saint Helena. Although the tooth shows some signs of decay, its root is still intact. And the lucky winner even received a note of documentation from Napoleon's doctor.

Added homework

Forget student council. Hillsdale, Mich., high-school senior Michael Sessions set his sights on higher office. Mr. Sessions, who turned 18 this September, beat incumbent Doug Ingles in the southern Michigan town's mayoral election and was sworn in Nov. 21 as the nation's youngest mayor. With $700 he earned from a summer job, Mr. Sessions mounted a successful door-to-door campaign and came away with 732 votes, 64 more votes than Mr. Ingles received. Until he graduates from high school, Mr. Sessions will make his bedroom in his parents' home his mayoral office. He says he plans to carry out the rest of his four-year term while attending nearby Hillsdale College.

Seeing dollar signs

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So what sort of credibility does a night watchman have if he reports seeing ghosts? According to the Neighborhood Patrol of Urbandale, Iowa (outside of Des Moines), not much. The organization fired Wade Gallegos after he reported seeing ghoulish specters haunting the neighborhood. He even called in his supervisor, who saw nothing. But when the neighborhood watch fired Mr. Gallegos and he applied for unemployment benefits, the organization fought it, saying Mr. Gallegos was guilty of misconduct. On Nov. 10, a judge disagreed and now Mr. Gallegos, who saw ghosts during a nightly watch, will see green when he's paid in a settlement.

A day's journey

Boeing's 777 has given new meaning to its name-the Worldliner. One of the new Boeing jets completed a 13,422-mile trip from Hong Kong to London's Heathrow International Airport without refueling. It was the longest-ever nonstop commercial flight and just an indication of what's to come for airlines flying the 777. The flight, which carried eight pilots, a number of journalists, and Boeing representatives, made the journey in 22 hours and 42 minutes. There was some bumpy weather, said Captain Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann: "But we had a great ride across the United States . . . and across the Atlantic we saw our second sunrise of the trip."

The truth about cats and dogs

What's more odd: that a dog's funeral had more than 300 attendees or that most of them were cats? Ginny, a schnauzer--Siberian husky mix, was remembered-of all places-at the Westchester Cat Show on Nov. 19 in front of a house of hundreds of cats and their owners. Ginny is no stranger to devotees of the Westchester show. She was given the curious honor of being named Cat of the Year in 1998 for her work finding endangered tabbies. "We'll call for quiet, and then a few people will get up on stage and talk about Ginny," Westchester spokesman Leslie Masson said before the eulogy. "Her owner will be there and talk, if he's able to, and some people from her fan club." Yes. Ginny had a fan club too.

Bra wars

If Russians and Americans had the space race, could a rivalry be forming between China and Japan over brassiere technology? Tokyo's Triumph International announced its new cold-weather bra, while Hong Kong's Polytechnic University announced plans to keep up with a new degree in bra studies. The Hong Kong program is all about looks, however, while Japan's innovative heated model is all about comfort.

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