Watercooler news from The Associated Press

Odd News

Wild boars eat garbages near trash bins in Rome, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. They have become a daily s...

Basta! Romans say enough to invasion of wild boars in city

ROME (AP) — Rome has been invaded by Gauls, Visigoths and vandals over the centuries, but the Eternal City is now grappling with a rampaging force of an entirely different sort: rubbish-seeking wild boars. Entire families of wild boars have become a daily sight in Rome, as groups of 10-30 beasts young and old emerge […]
1 day ago

Court battle ends tree dispute in pricey San Francisco area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tall trees are venerated across California, but one towering Monterey Pine at the center of a heated dispute in San Francisco’s wealthiest neighborhood has to go, according to an appeals court ruling this week. A state appeals court on Wednesday ordered a couple in the hilltop Pacific Heights neighborhood to remove […]
2 days ago
German Chancellor Angela Merkel feeds Australian lorikeets at Marlow Bird Park in Marlow, Germany, ...

What a cracker! Merkel pecked by parrot

BERLIN (AP) — Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel provided a rare splash of color amid Germany’s staid election campaign while visiting a bird park where she posed with half a dozen parrots. Not content with the bird feed on offer, one of the rainbow lorikeets took a peck at the long-time German leader’s hand, prompting a […]
3 days ago

Comical, topical? Party bus saves day for school field trip

BOSTON (AP) — A group of high school students in Massachusetts had to ride on a party bus complete with a stripper pole and neon lights during a recent field trip — an experience their teacher said highlights problems with the education system. Jim Mayers, an 11th grade Advanced Placement language and composition teacher at […]
5 days ago
FILE— In this Aug. 13, 2021 file photograph, a man walks by Boston's famous Skinny House, at cent...

Boston’s famous Skinny House sells for a nice fat price

BOSTON (AP) — Boston’s famous Skinny House has sold for a nice fat price. The home in the city’s North End hit the market in August for $1.2 million, and the deal was closed Thursday for $1.25 million, according to Zillow. The home “received multiple offers and went under agreement for over list price in […]
9 days ago
Ben Tomkunas holds a catfish he caught in Coventry, Conn., on Aug. 21, 2021, that has smashed a sta...

White catfish catch shatters state, and maybe, world record

A white catfish caught in Connecticut last month has smashed a state record and could also be a world record for the species — though the evidence has been eaten. Ben Tomkunas, 25, caught the 21.3-pound (9.66-kilogram) fish late at night in Coventry on Aug. 21. It was longer than 3 feet (about a meter). […]
11 days ago
Virginia Oliver, age 101, works as a sternman, measuring and banding lobsters on her son Max Oliver...

At 101, she’s still hauling lobsters with no plans to stop

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) — When Virginia Oliver started trapping lobster off Maine’s rocky coast, World War II was more than a decade in the future, the electronic traffic signal was a recent invention and few women were harvesting lobsters. Nearly a century later, at age 101, she’s still doing it. The oldest lobster fisher in […]
11 days ago
In this undated photo provided by the Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology in Dummerstorf, Ge...

No bull: Scientists potty train cows to use ‘MooLoo’

Turns out cows can be potty trained as easily as toddlers. Maybe easier. It’s no bull. Scientists put the task to the test and 11 out of 16 cows learned to use the “MooLoo” when they had to go. Just like some parents, the researchers used a sweet treat to coax the cows to push […]
13 days ago

Winner DQ for wearing wrong shoes at Vienna Marathon

VIENNA (AP) — Ethiopia’s Derara Hurisa was disqualified for wearing the wrong shoes after winning the Vienna Marathon on Sunday. The 24-year-old Hurisa crossed the line first by three seconds but was later told he had been disqualified because the soles of his shoes were 1 centimeter (0.4 inches) thicker than the maximum 4 centimeters […]
14 days ago
A young ostrich bird stands in a cage in an animal shelter in Krefeld, Germany, Saturday, Sept.11, ...

German town seeks owner of baby ostrich found in local park

BERLIN (AP) — Is anyone missing an ostrich? An animal shelter says it is looking for the owner of an ostrich chick that was found in the German town of Krefeld late Friday. German news agency dpa reported Saturday that passers-by called the fire service after catching the 1.4-meter (4-foot-6) -tall bird in a town […]
16 days ago
FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2019 file photo, the 2019 Ig Nobel award is displayed at the 29th annual I...

Research on beards, wads of gum wins 2021 Ig Nobel prizes

Beards aren’t just cool and trendy — they might also be an evolutionary development to help protect a man’s delicate facial bones from a punch to the face. That’s the conclusion of a trio of scientists from the University of Utah who are among the winners of this year’s Ig Nobel prizes, the Nobel Prize […]
17 days ago

Florida man wins $1 million the day he opened his auto shop

CALLAHAN, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man won $1 million in a lottery game the same day he and his wife opened an auto repair shop. Brian Woodle, 46, bought the $5 Gold Rush Supreme scratch-off ticket from a Circle K in Callahan. “I love working on vehicles and it has always been my dream […]
17 days ago

NY county worker charged in digital currency mining scheme

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (AP) — An employee cost a New York county at least $6,000 in electricity bills by allegedly secretly installing dozens of machines at his workplace in a cryptocurrency scheme, authorities said Wednesday, announcing charges against him. Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said Christopher Naples, who worked in the county clerk’s office as […]
18 days ago

Florida man fed up with potholes plants banana tree in road

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — A man fed up with a private road in poor condition near his southwest Florida business has a novel solution: plant a banana tree in a pothole to warn motorists away. Last week, Bryan Raymond planted the tree in a stubborn pothole along Honda Drive just off U.S. 41 in […]
18 days ago

Former France defender Adams dies after 39 years in a coma

PARIS (AP) — Jean-Pierre Adams, the former France and Paris Saint-Germain defender who spent 39 years in a coma, has died. He was 73. In a poignant tribute on Monday, PSG called him the club’s “glorious elder.” “His joie de vivre, his charisma and his experience command respect. Paris Saint-Germain offers its condolences to his […]
21 days ago
Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark, right, smiles at his twin brother Rasmus after winning the Italian Ope...

Identical: Nicolai Højgaard duplicates twin brother’s win

GUIDONIA MONTECELIO, Italy (AP) — Identical twins, identical results. Nicolai Højgaard sunk a birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the Italian Open on Sunday, a week after his identical twin brother, Rasmus, won the European Masters in Switzerland by also making a birdie with his final stroke. “To finish it off like this, […]
21 days ago

Italy police stop man suspected of snatching winning ticket

ROME (AP) — Border police at Rome’s main airport on Sunday prevented a Naples tobacco shop owner suspected of running off with a customer’s winning game ticket from boarding a flight to the Canary Islands, Italian news reports said. The man didn’t have the filched card worth 500,000 euros ($580,000) on himself, but he did […]
22 days ago

Scratch, win, run: Italian cops seek man who snatched ticket

ROME (AP) — Italian police on Saturday were hunting for a Naples tobacco shop owner who allegedly ran off on a motor scooter with a customer’s “scratch and win” game card, which had clinched the top prize of 500,000 euros ($580,000), Italian news reports said. A day earlier, a woman in her late 60s had […]
22 days ago

Landlord finds 19 tarantulas, 1 python left behind by tenant

AUBURN, Maine (AP) — A Maine landlord arranged for the rescue of 15 tarantulas and one python that had been left behind by a tenant. Animal rescuer Drew Desjardins was called to the apartment Wednesday in Auburn, the Sun Journal reported. He found that four of 19 tarantulas had died and that the ball python […]
23 days ago
This photo provided by New York's Bronx Zoo shows an 11-month-old, 80-pound cougar that was removed...

Cougar that was kept as illegal pet removed from NYC home

NEW YORK (AP) — An 80-pound cougar was removed from a New York City apartment where she was being kept illegally as a pet, animal welfare officials said Monday. The owner of the 11-month-old female cougar surrendered the animal on Thursday, Kelly Donithan, director of animal disaster response for the Humane Society of the United […]
27 days ago

Spotted: Cow at a McDonald’s drive-through in Wisconsin

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (AP) — Spotted in a car at a McDonald’s drive-through in Wisconsin: A cow — all of it. Jessica Nelson of Mosinee pulled into the drive-through at a McDonald’s in Marshfield on Thursday and said she looked up to see a cow in the backseat of a Buick sedan three cars ahead of […]
1 month ago

N Carolina couple split jackpot thanks to 2 winning tickets

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina couple split a nearly $1 million lottery jackpot thanks to two identical tickets, a sudden windfall the pair say they will put to good use. The North Carolina Education Lottery says Luther Cannon bought two tickets for Sunday’s Cash 5 jackpot at a convenience store in Rocky Mount. […]
1 month ago

Parents must pay $30,441 for getting rid of son’s porn cache

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — A judge has ordered a western Michigan couple to pay $30,441 to their son for getting rid of his pornography collection. U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney’s decision this week came eight months after David Werking, 43, won a lawsuit against his parents. He said they had no right to throw […]
1 month ago

Australian mourns beloved aunt with heart-shaped love ewes

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian farmer couldn’t go to his aunt’s funeral because of pandemic restrictions so he paid his respects with a novel alternative: dozens of sheep arranged in the shape of a love heart. Drone-shot video of pregnant ewes munching barley in a paddock while unwittingly expressing Ben Jackson’s affection for his […]
1 month ago