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Quick Takes

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Issue: "Rejecting religious liberty," June 15, 2013

Walled treasure

If he had Superman-like vision, David Gonzalez of Elbow Lake, Minn., might have noticed it sooner. But it wasn’t until he was remodeling his home that Gonzalez found a rare and valuable comic book being used along with old newspapers as wall insulation. The comic book was a copy of Action Comics No. 1, which in 1938 introduced a character called Superman. Gonzalez is now auctioning the comic book, and bids are reportedly going above $100,000. Auction expert Stephen Fishler told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the value would be even higher but for a tear Gonzalez caused on the back cover when he and family members grabbed at it in the excitement of the discovery. According to Fishler, auctioneers officially downgraded the condition of the comic book because of the back cover: “That was a $75,000 tear.”

A coke and a pout

For a moment it seemed like Cliff Kluge had struck it rich with his discovery. Earlier in May, Cliff Kluge made news when he claimed to have stumbled upon the original Coca-Cola recipe in a box of letters dated from 1943 he bought at a Georgia estate sale. Rather than attempting to mix up a batch of the soft drink for himself, the Georgia man put the papers on eBay with a buy-it-now price of $15 million. And on May 15, someone apparently clicked the link and ended the auction at Kluge’s asking price. Problem: The “buyer” was a 15-year-old boy who apparently doesn’t have $15 million. Other problem: Coca-Cola insists it has the only copy of the 127-year-old recipe hidden in a vault.

Chicken run

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The Colonel’s secret recipe for finger-lickin’ good chicken has an extra step in Gaza: smuggling. A smuggling operation advertising itself on Facebook as al-Yamama says it can get KFC fast food chicken into Gaza (where there is no KFC) in just three hours. Once a customer makes the call, smugglers go to a KFC 35 miles from the increasingly porous Egypt-Gaza border in Al-Arish to pick up the food. From there, delivery men take the food through one of the numerous smuggling tunnels for front-door delivery in Gaza.  According to customers, the delivery fee means the fried chicken comes at triple the price. But with about 10 orders to the smuggling group per week, it’s apparent some hankerings know no boundaries.

Dirty trick

Turns out the manly advice to rub some dirt in your wound may not be such bad advice after all. Scientists at the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute say they’ve found an antibacterial clay capable of killing a host of pathogens. The clay contains metallic ions that can kill E. coli and other pathogens. But not all clays are alike, so researchers caution against rubbing just any sort of dirt into wounds. 

Reality show

While celebrity chefs like Rachel Ray and Ellie Krieger failed to bring about change in school lunch programs across the country, fourth-grader Zachary Maxwell may have found a recipe for success. Grossed out by his lunch choices at his New York City elementary school, Zachary began video recording the fare served in the cafeteria. Zachary then spliced the clips together and created a 20-minute documentary. At first, the 11-year-old’s goal was to convince his mother to pack him a meal for school. But Zachary managed to edit the 20-minute film well enough to earn it a spot in the Manhattan Film Festival in June. Officials at Zachary’s school argue the fourth-grader’s film distorts reality by showing only the grossest of the cafeteria’s options. But administrators with the city’s Department of Education Office on School Food have asked the youngster to serve as an advisor to help solve the problem.

Mad money

There’s Maserati money, and then there’s this. According to Chinese media sources, an unidentified Chinese man became so furious with the company tasked to repair his $423,000 Maserati super car, he hired men to destroy the car with sledgehammers. The bashing took place May 14 outside the Qingdao Auto Show where three hired men slung sledgehammers at the man’s Maserati Quattroporte. Speaking with local reporters, the wealthy Chinese man said he was upset that the Furi Group, the company responsible for repairing the super car, used secondhand parts in a $390 repair job. Rather than quibble over the bill, the owner decided to destroy the car in the most public way possible. The Maserati’s destruction isn’t unprecedented in China: In 2011, a Lamborghini owner smashed up his own car outside the same auto show as a protest against the Italian maker’s customer service.

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