Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Issue: "Steve Jobs 1955-2011," Oct. 22, 2011

Animal running

Unsatisfied with lazier candidates, the Society for New Bulgaria party in the Eastern European nation has put forth a donkey to stand for election in the mayoral race in the Black Sea city of Varna. Incumbent mayor Kiril Yordanov has refused to debate the beast of burden but the marginal political party is campaigning on its virtues. "Unlike the other mayor candidates and politicians, the Donkey has a strong character, doesn't steal, doesn't lie, and gets work done," a party representative told a local radio station. Another party member added: "Let the residents of Varna draw the line and decide who has more positive qualities-the donkey or the incumbent mayor."

Texas Chia Pet

Don't expect this to show up on the campaign trail anytime soon. One eBay seller in Blanco, Texas, has offered for sale a six-foot terra cotta sculpture of Texas Governor Rick Perry for the first person to fork over $4,500. The sculpture comes with a special bonus: Much like a Chia Pet, the seller promises anyone can grow grass or ivy out of the terra cotta Governor Goodhair's scalp. EBay user "momdogger" bragged about the offering: "[Perry] stated at a Tea Party debate that he would be offended if somebody thought he could be bought for $5,000. He obviously hasn't evaluated his worth as a gigantic planter. You can secure this bad boy for only $4,500."

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When officials in charge of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Tennessee struggled to find the right moniker to rename their airport, they eventually paid an advertising firm in Birmingham, Ala., for answers. Birmingham-based Big Communications solution for officials at the Chattanooga airport: Rename the facility Chattanooga Airport. The firm said the removal of "Metropolitan" from the name adds simplicity to the title.

Patently obvious

As far as the U.S. Government is concerned, New Yorker Ignacio Marc Asperas holds the patent on making snowmen. In September, the Melville, N.Y., resident applied for and received a patent for his technique in rolling snow into the shape of a snowman. His patent application included detailed diagrams and instructions on how to create large snow people, with tips and tricks including using the "long end of a shovel as a lever to rotate the boulder when it is really big," he wrote in the patent. "I do not pretend that the ultimate snowman will be as revolutionary to the advancement of mankind (as the wheel and the toaster oven)," Asperas wrote. "But I do contend that as far as I know no one has ever conceived and reduced to practice such an apparatus."

Inside out

In its most recent magazine issue, terror group and Sept. 11 perpetrator al-Qaeda delivered harsh words to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Stop conspiratorially portraying the terror attacks on Washington, D.C., and New York City as an inside job. "Why would Iran ascribe to such a ridiculous belief that stands in the face of all logic and evidence?" the al-Qaeda writer said. The missive from the terrorism network improbably mirrored a satirical news video uploaded by The Onion to YouTube in April 2008.

Face time

If cats have nine lives, one named Frank and Louie in Worcester, Mass., may have 18. Frank/Louie turned 12 years old in September, a record age for a cat with the rare condition of having two faces. Few "Janus cats"-named for the Roman god of transitions, gates, and doorways-survive into adulthood. Frank/Louie has one brain, so its faces act in unison. It can only eat with its right face (Frank's).

Gum disease

Elsie Pawlow of Edmonton, Alberta, says she had a bout with depression. It lasted 10 minutes. It was caused by chewing gum. Regardless, Pawlow is suing Kraft Canada, makers of Stride Gum, for emotional pain and suffering rendered to her when a piece of the gum became lodged in her dentures. According to the lawsuit filed on Sept. 14, Pawlow said she chewed the Stride Gum for five minutes before it became stuck in her dentures. She then spent some time digging the gum remnants out of her false teeth and, according to her claim, slipped into an agonizing "depression for approximately 10 minutes." Pawlow's lawsuit requests $100,000 for her trouble.

Alive on arrival

A nightmarish scenario was real life for one Brazilian woman whose family says she was mistakenly ruled dead, placed in a body bag, and delivered to the refrigerated morgue, only to be discovered alive two hours later. The family of Rosa Celestrino de Assis says that an attending doctor pronounced the elderly pneumonia sufferer dead on Sept. 23 and sent her body to the Rio de Janeiro hospital's morgue. After two hours, the woman's daughter came to see the body for one last time only to discover her mother was breathing. "Not only did I have to go collect my mum from a cold storage drawer at the morgue, but when I got there, I find her still breathing," Rosangela Celestrino told the Brazilian daily O Globo. ABC News reported that one nurse was fired and one doctor resigned over the incident.


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