Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Oddball occurrences

Issue: "Kids' books," Dec. 2, 2006

Do-it-yourself dentistry

Unable to get a dentist for three years through the United Kingdom's socialized health-care system, 55-year-old Gordon Cook has been forced to superglue a loose crown on one of his front teeth. Cook said when his crown came loose three years ago, he tried to find a dentist through the country's National Heath Service but couldn't because many dentists have abandoned working in the NHS system. Around 2 million Britons have reportedly tried and failed to receive dental care.

Space wings

First there was the Man on the Moon. Now, there's the Colonel on Earth. On Nov. 14, the fast-food chain KFC unveiled a giant logo in the Nevada desert that officials of the fried-chicken chain say can be seen from space. KFC president Gregg Dedrick said he hopes astronauts and airline passengers aren't the only ones to see the massive 87,500-square-foot image of Colonel Sanders: "If there are extraterrestrials in outer space, KFC wants to become their restaurant of choice."

On the prowl

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By November, bears in Siberia should have been asleep. But unusually warm weather means hibernation could wait for lots of Russian bears. People in southwestern Siberia reported seeing numerous bears roaming through the forests at a time when they should be entering their six-month hibernation to escape the frigid winter months.

Poll position

Democratic challenger Clint Curtis doesn't plan to concede his race against incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Feeney despite finishing the race with fewer votes. Curtis believes the election was stolen. His proof? "In this election, the results did not match the Zogby pre-election poll, our internal VoteNow2006.net polling, or our exit polling," Curtis said. The Democrat claimed there were Election Day anomalies, but offered no proof.

Round trip

Even with price tags reaching $20 million per trip, the Russian space tourism industry says it's booked through 2009. Space tourism company Miassishchev says it plans on looking into ways of sending space tourists up in suborbital vehicles for a cut rate. So far, four space tourists have taken the 10-day tour of Earth's orbit and the International Space Station and have returned with rave reviews.

Bird food

Birdwatchers who rushed to see a rare red-rumped swallow that landed on a television antenna near Montrose in Scotland probably never intended to see this much nature. After watching for about 20 minutes, the birdwatchers suddenly saw another bird-a sparrowhawk-that made the rare swallow his meal. "We were horrified," spectator Mike Sawyer told Britain's Metro. "We had just called other birdwatchers to tell them the news, and then had to call back to say it had been eaten."

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