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Secondhand smoke from cigarettes is much worse than that from vaping, in terms of exposing children to nicotine, a new study finds.

Children exposed to vaping indoors absorb less than one-seventh the amount of nicotine as kids exposed to indoor smoking, blood tests reveal.

Secondhand exposure to harmful substances in e-cigarettes likely would be even lower, researchers said, given that vaping contains similar levels of nicotine but only a fraction of the toxins and carcinogens found in tobacco smoke.
July 12 (UPI) -- A California town is attempting to gather 10,000 people to break a Guinness World Record for the largest water balloon fight.

Splash Fest, organized by nonprofit Balloons over Bullets in Stockton, kicks off at 2 p.m. Saturday, and organizers are hoping to amass at least 10,000 people at the event to throw 209,000 water balloons.

Organizers are encouraging prospective participants to pre-register online.

"This record-breaking endeavor not only promises thrilling water-filled battles but also carries a powerful message of promoting unity, non-violence, and the importance of education and community engagement," the Splash Fest website states.

The festival will include other water-themed attractions including giant slip 'n' slides, a dunk tank and water games. There will also be food trucks and live music.

The current Guinness World Record for the largest water balloon fight was set by 8,957 people at the University of Kentucky in 2011.

As much of the nation deals with sweltering conditions, officials are warning of the dangers of leaving children and pets in hot vehicles.

The temperature inside a car parked in a sunny spot rockets to dangerous levels in minutes. The rate at which temperatures rise the fastest occurs within the first 10 minutes, according to Kids and Car Safety, an organization dedicated to preventing these tragedies.

In the latest heartbreaking incident, a 5-year-old boy died after being left inside an SUV in Omaha, Neb. His death was at least the 10th child to die in a hot car nationwide this year and the 1st in Nebraska, according to Kids and Car Safety, which says three additional child fatalities -- as highlighted in the map below -- are likely hot car deaths pending autopsy results.

An Arizona girl died Tuesday after she was found unresponsive in a hot car amid record-breaking temperatures in the state. The 2-year-old girl's father reportedly told police that he left her in the car with the air conditioner on. When he returned, the vehicle was off, and she was unresponsive, leading him to call 911, local affiliate Fox 19 reported. This marks the first hot car death in Arizona this year.

In another incident Sunday, a 2-year-old boy lost his life after being left inside a vehicle in Little Rock, Ark. According to CBS News, the boy and three siblings were left in the car while their parents took another child into a hospital for "urgent medical treatment." The couple has been charged with capital murder following the death of their son and has pleaded not guilty.

Heatstroke can start when the body reaches a core temperature of 104 degrees. Death can occur at 107 degrees. Because a child's body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult's, a hot car can quickly become dangerous.

Dogs left in cars face the same risk their only way to cool down is through sweat glands on their paws or by panting.

Hot car deaths continue to be a pressing concern across the country. Since 1990, at least 1,093 children have lost their lives after being left in vehicles, according to KidsAndCarSafety.org. An additional 7,500 children have survived with varying degrees of injuries. Nearly 90 of these victims are 3 years old or younger.

Kids and Car Safety is also monitoring three additional child fatalities pending autopsy results. The organization has tracked hot vehicle deaths for years and is pushing automakers to add more technology to prevent them.
July 10 (UPI) -- Transit officials in California said a stretch of highway was closed for several hours when a truck overturned and spilled its load of tomatoes into the roadway.
July 11 (UPI) -- A Texas longhorn steer used its horns to undo the latch on the back of a trailer and made a dash for freedom on a Pennsylvania highway.

Rhonda Collins said she and her family were on northbound Interstate 83 Wednesday afternoon in York County when they saw the steer in the trailer in front of them appearing to rub its horns against the door latch.

Collins said the doors swung open and the horned Houdini jumped out onto the highway near the Fishing Creek exit.

"He rolled around a little bit," Collins told the York Daily Record. "Then he got up like nothing happened."
Colorado health officials on Tuesday confirmed a case of human plague in that state.

The infection -- which occurred in Pueblo County, in the southern part of the state -- was first reported Friday based on preliminary test results, while the source of the infection is still being tracked down.

"Plague can be treated successfully with antibiotics, but an infected person must be treated promptly to avoid serious complications or death," Alicia Solis, program manager of the Office of Communicable Disease and Emergency Preparedness at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, said in a news release announcing the case.

"We advise all individuals to protect themselves and their pets from plague," she added.

This is not the first case of plague that Colorado has seen: The state had 67 reported cases between 1970 and 2022, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the United States as a whole, an average of seven human plague cases are reported each year.

Worldwide, 3,248 human plague cases were reported between 2010 and 2015, the World Health Organization says.

Unfortunately, "a plague vaccine is no longer available in the United States," the CDC notes. "New plague vaccines are in development, but are not expected to be commercially available in the immediate future."

Caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, the plague is an infectious disease typically spread by fleas. Once known as "The Black Death," which killed millions in Europe during the Middle Ages, the plague circulates naturally among wild rodents and rarely infects humans today.

Anyone who develops symptoms of plague should see their doctor immediately, the CDC says. Typical symptoms include sudden fever and chills, severe headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting and, commonly, swollen lymph nodes with pain.

What can people do to avoid infection?

One way is to eliminate places where wild rodents can exist close to humans such as brush, rock piles, trash and piles of lumber around homes, garages, sheds and recreation areas, according to Colorado health officials.

Taking precautions around pets can also reduce risk of transmission. Health officials suggest treating dogs and cats for fleas, keeping pet food in rodent-proof containers and not letting pets roam in rodent areas or sleep in bed with you.
July 9 (UPI) -- A reveler enjoying Fourth of July celebrations in Rhode Island ended up jumping into the Providence River to rescue a struggling rabbit.

Emily Swift, who was visiting Providence from New York, attended the Fourth of July WaterFire celebration and ended up catching the unusual rescue on camera.

Swift's video, which she posted to TikTok, shows a woman swimming in the Providence River to rescue a not-so-buoyant bunny that was struggling in the water.

The woman, who has not been identified, was rescued by a WaterFire boat captained by Christine Maino, a 26-year volunteer of the annual celebration.
July 10 (UPI) -- Animal rescuers in Indiana are trying to solve the mystery of a "slithery surprise" after a large snake was found wandering outside of a home.

The Westfield Police Department said the "slithery surprise" was spotted "on Barley Circle" and the Exotic Animal Rescue and Pet Sanctuary was called in to collect what is believed to be a large Burmese python.

Police shared a photo on Facebook showing the yellow snake failing to blend in with some greenery right outside a home.

The snake is currently being cared for by the sanctuary.

"If thissssss guy belongs to you, please call them," police wrote.
July 8 (UPI) -- Researchers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shared an unusual catch from a recent fish survey -- a longnose gar with a crooked back.

The FWC's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute said biologists were conducting an electrofishing survey in Silver Glen Springs when they found the 2.7-foot-long gar with a bend in its back making it resemble an upside-down letter V.

Researchers said it evoked memories of a recent discovery of a "squiggly" bull shark caught near Titusville that appeared to have scoliosis or a similar spinal deformity.

The FWC said there were some key differences between the fish.

"Unlike the bull shark with a spinal deformity that we shared a few weeks ago, this fish likely got its interesting shape from a spinal injury at some point in its life," researchers wrote.

The gar, which weighed in at about 10.6 pounds, was returned to the water.
July 8 (UPI) -- An Idaho man threw chopsticks to burst 55 balloons in one minute to break a Guinness World Record -- his 180th concurrently-held title.

Serial record-breaker David Rush previously held the title for the most balloons burst with chopsticks in one minute when he managed to pop 24 balloons with his hand-thrown projectiles, but it was later broken by someone who popped 28.

Rush retook the record by bursting 41 balloons, but lost it again to a record-breaker who managed to pop 47.

The record-breaking master said he spent two months preparing for his latest attempt, throwing a total 10,000 chopsticks into cardboard boxes to fine-tune his speed and aim.

Rush successfully captured the title once again by popping 55 balloons in the 60-second time period.
July 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. National Park Service is pleading with visitors to Yosemite National Park to put a stop to "a sight that's become all too familiar" by not leaving their used toilet paper behind.

NPS officials wrote on the California park's social media channels that rangers recently came across "used toilet paper waving hello near Rancheria Falls -- a full roll too!"

Officials wrote that the discovery is just the latest in a string of used toilet paper discoveries in the park.

The NPS asked visitors who bring toilet paper on their trips to make sure it also leaves the park with them.

"You can bring a sealable plastic baggie to stash it in, and even cover the bag in tape so you don't have to look at it," the post said. "Because really, nobody wants to stumble upon a surprise package left behind by an anonymous outdoor enthusiast."
WILLIAMS, Ariz. (AP) — One way to help tell how a Tyrannosaurus rex digested food is to look at its poop.

Bone fragments in a piece of fossilized excrement at a new museum in northern Arizona — aptly called the Poozeum — are among the tinier bits of evidence that indicate T. rex wasn’t much of a chewer, but rather swallowed whole chunks of prey.

The sample is one of more than 7,000 on display at the museum that opened in May in Williams, a town known for its Wild West shows along Route 66, wildlife attractions and a railway to Grand Canyon National Park.

The Poozeum sign features a bright green T. rex cartoon character sitting on a toilet to grab attention from the buzzing neon lights and muffled 1950s music emanating from other businesses.

Inside, display cases filled with coprolites — fossilized feces from animals that lived millions of years ago — line the walls. They range from minuscule termite droppings to a massive specimen that weighs 20 pounds (9 kilograms).
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — For those of you who don’t celebrate World UFO Day, consider this:

A former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer told Congress last summer about a government program that retrieves and reverse engineers unidentified flying objects.

The Mexican Congress held an unprecedented session in September during which supposed mummies were presented as “nonhuman beings that are not part of our terrestrial evolution.”

And NASA now has a director of research for unidentified flying objects, or what it calls “unidentified anomalous phenomena.”

Never mind that the Pentagon denied the former intelligence officer’s claims; that Mexican researchers said the mummies “made no sense;” and that a NASA study found no evidence of extraterrestrials.

There’s still never been a better time to mark World UFO Day.
The silver pocket watch was a prized possession of Theodore Roosevelt, a keepsake given to him by his sister and her husband in 1898 before he became president that would travel with him around the world and end up at Sagamore Hill — his home on Long Island, New York, and now a national historic site.

But in 1987, it went from museum piece to pilfered prize when someone stole it from an unlocked case at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site in Buffalo, New York, where it was on loan.

It was mystery that endured 36 years until it turned up at a Florida auction house last year and was seized by federal agents. On Thursday, it was returned to public display at Sagamore Hill as the National Park Service and the FBI triumphantly announced it was back home during a ceremony featuring Roosevelt’s great-grandson, Tweed Roosevelt.
July 8 (UPI) -- A herd of 45 escaped cows paraded through a neighborhood in North Yorkshire, England, creating a racket that "sounded like an earthquake" and leaving behind "quite a lot of poo."

Security camera footage recorded in the Ripon neighborhood shows resident Leon Box, 16, going out to investigate the sound and sprinting for safety when he spotted the herd of cows barreling toward him.

"My eldest had just got to the corner. A few of his friends has said there are some cows loose. They couldn't see any road just a load of cows," mother Jess Box, 36, told the Yorkshire Post.

She said her husband captured cellphone camera footage when he and the couple's two younger children went out to see the commotion.

"It sounded like an earthquake," she said.

The cows, which apparently escaped from a nearby farm by pushing their way through a gate, were rounded up over the course of several hours by North Yorkshire Police.
July 6 (UPI) -- Pop star Taylor Swift's Tortured Poets Department is the No. 1 album in the United States for a 10th week in a row.

Coming in at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart dated Saturday is Gracie Abrams' The Secret of Us, followed by Morgan Wallen's One Thing at a Time at No. 3, Billie Eilish's Hit Me Hard and Soft at No. 4 and Peso Pluma's Exodo at No. 5.
July 5 (UPI) -- A Nebraska woman scored a $220,000 jackpot from the Nebraska Lottery's Pick 5 drawing with a ticket that was printed by mistake.

Lori Sailors of Lincoln told Nebraska Lottery officials she bought an extra Pick 5 ticket that was printed by mistake at the Casey's store on N 48th Street in Lincoln.

"I don't let the mistakes go," she said. "I don't just let them sit there."

The ticket earned Sailors a $220,000 prize in the June 22 drawing.

Sailors previously won $54,000 from a Pick 5 drawing in June 2019 -- and she said that ticket had also been printed by mistake.
July 5 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania police department is trying to find the owner of an unusual escaped pet found wandering loose -- an emu.

The Newtown Township Police Department said on social media that patrol officers "encountered an Emu wandering in the area of Stoopville Road/Rosefield Drive."

The post included a photo of the emu standing next to a resident's driveway.

The department said it is trying to identify the emu's owner "so we can return it home safely."
July 5 (UPI) -- A Las Vegas man who works as a sideshow artist broke a pair of eye-popping Guinness World Records using the strength of his eye sockets.

Andrew Stanton appeared on Italian TV series Lo Show Dei Record in Milan and took on the records for the heaviest weight pulled with eye sockets and the heaviest weight lifted with both eye sockets while swallowing a sword.

For the first title, Stanton attached large metal hooks to his eye sockets and used them to pull a Cadillac and driver -- totaling 5,319.75 pounds -- across the TV show's stage.

He became the first holder of the second title by swallowing his sword and using the hooks in his eye sockets to lift his 129.63-pound assistant.
July 3 (UPI) -- A Colorado dairy farm worker is the nation's fourth person to test positive for the highly contagious H5N1 bird flu virus, the Centers for Disease Control announced Wednesday.

The infected worker is employed on a dairy farm where cows tested positive for H5N1 and is the first person in Colorado to be infected by the bird flu.

The other three people who also have tested positive for the bird flu also work on dairy farms where cows tested positive for the virus.

Two dairy farm workers in Michigan and one in Texas also have tested positive.

The Colorado worker already has recovered after reporting eye symptoms and obtaining oseltamivir treatment.

CDC officials are closely monitoring potential bird flu cases in affected states and said there's no sign of unusual flu infections among people.

The CDC says there is a low risk that the general population might become infected with the bird flu.
July 5 (UPI) -- Willie Nelson returned to the stage Thursday evening following his health issues in recent weeks.

The singer-songwriter, 91, performed at his 4th of July Picnic concert in Camden, N.J., after missing several shows due to illness.

Nelson performed more than 20 songs, including "On the Road Again" and "Always on My Mind," according to Consequence.

The appearance comes after Nelson canceled performances on his Outlaw Music Festival tour in late June due to illness.
July 5 (UPI) -- Wildlife officials in Colorado are attempting to track down a long-legged South American rodent seen wandering loose in Lakewood's Bear Creek Lake Park.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said officers are still searching for the Patagonian mara, which was first spotted Monday by several witnesses, including park rangers.

Patagonian maras grow to be about 2 1/2 feet tall.

"They are a larger species of rodent, even though they've got ears that are pretty long like a rabbit and legs that look almost like a deer," Kat Emanuel, Denver Zoo animal care specialist, told KUSA-TV.

The origins of the Argentina-native animal spotted in the park remain a mystery.

"I don't think it walked all the way from Argentina," said Emily Insalaco, senior director of animal care at the Denver Zoo.

She suggested the Patagonian mara, a species sometimes known as Patagonian cavies or Patagonian hares, may have been an exotic pet that escaped or was abandoned by its owner.

Patagonian maras are not legal to keep as pets in Colorado.
July 3 (UPI) -- A town on New York's Long Island is aiming to clean up its chronic littering problem with an aggressive anti-littering campaign and steep fines.

The Town of Babylon's "Operation Clean" campaign was launched with an ad showing a serial litterer getting some "karma" in the form of a garbage truck dumping its load on his lawn.

The town has also erected anti-littering signs, which read: "Why are you littering? I am lazy. I don't care about natural areas. Mommy still cleans up after me. All of the above."

"Why do we have to have the moniker of being slobs? That's why we're literally getting in everybody's face now and saying, 'Enough is enough,'" Town of Babylon Supervisor Richard Schaffer told CBS New York.

The town said more than 250 tons of road trash has been picked up so far this year. Another 15,000 pounds of trash has been removed from the creeks that lead into the Great South Bay.

"We want to show people that if you are littering, you're doing something totally irresponsible and immature," Schaffer said.

The town said first-time offenders can face a fine of up to $1,000 for littering.
July 3 (UPI) -- An object in the early morning sky over North and South Carolina was initially suspected to be a meteor, but was later identified as something more terrestrial in origin.

The object, which many witnesses compared to a large comet, was spotted over the Carolinas and parts of Georgia at about 5 a.m. Wednesday and was caught on camera by multiple witnesses.

Some witnesses suspected the object to be a meteor or a UFO, but it was later identified as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
NEW YORK, July 3 (UPI) -- An attitude of gratitude for the positives in life may help older adults live longer, a new Harvard study suggests.

The research, conducted at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, was published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry.

In this study of older U.S. female nurses, those who maintained a grateful outlook had a decreased risk of death.

People in the highest level of gratitude, compared with those in the lowest level, had a 9% reduced hazard of death from any cause. When researchers considered specific causes of death, gratitude lessened the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 15%.

These findings persisted after researchers adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, social participation, religious involvement, physical health, lifestyle factors, cognitive function and mental health.

"In addition to reducing risk factors and illness, there has been increasing interest in positive psychological factors that may enhance health and well-being in older adults. Gratitude may be one of such positive factors," the study's lead author, Ying Chen, a research scientist in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard Chan School, told UPI via email.

"Gratitude is a facet of positive psychological functioning that may be particularly relevant for generating a sense of meaning and connection among older adults," Chen said.

"The findings of this study pave the way for future investigations into the roles of gratitude in enhancing health and longevity in older adults."
July 3 (UPI) -- Federal food safety officials are investigating a potential death linked to ingesting recalled microdosing chocolates and candies that have sickened dozens of people across the United States.

All Diamond Shruumz-brand chocolates and gummies were recalled late last month over the products containing toxic levels of muscimol, a chemical found in some mushrooms that can cause seizures, involuntary muscle contractions and a loss of consciousness, among other issues.

At least 48 illnesses linked to the edibles have been reported in 24 states as of Monday, the Food and Drug Administration said in an update to the recall on Tuesday.

Twenty-seven of the patients have been hospitalized, it said, adding that there is one potentially associated death under investigation.

American Poison Centers in a statement added that it has received 82 reports of exposure associated with the Diamond Shruumz products, including 48 cases of severe illness, of which all but two sought medical attention.

The FDA said those who became ill after eating Diamond Shruumz-brand products reported a variety of severe symptoms, including seizures, central nervous system depression, agitation, abnormal heart rates, nausea and vomiting.

Diamond Shruumz is instructing its customers to not eat their products amid the investigation. It said in a statment on its website that those who became ill from eating their products had consumed "the entire chocolate bar and some products containing higher levels of muscimol than normal."

The FDA is also recommending not to eat, sell or serve any flavor of Diamond Shruumz-brand chocolate bars, cones or gummies. Those in possession of the recalled products are being instructed to either discard them or return them to the company for a refund.

The products affected by the recall were sold online as well as at retail stores that sell such products, including smoke and vape shops.
July 2 (UPI) -- The first volunteer crew, to live for more than a year inside NASA's Mars habitat at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, will exit the simulated Red Planet ground mission on Saturday.

Crew members Kelly Haston, Anca Selariu, Ross Brockwell and Nathan Jones will be greeted with a short welcome ceremony at about 5 p.m. EDT, which can be viewed on NASA+, NASA Television, the NASA app and the space agency's website, when they walk out of Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog's, or CHAPEA's, 3D printed habitat after 378 days.

CHAPEA's Mars Dune Alpha is an isolated 3D-printed 1,700 square-foot habitat that simulates a realistic Mars environment. The layout of the habitat provides for separate areas to live and work.

The crew entered CHAPEA on June 25, 2023, and enacted Mars mission operations, including virtual reality "Mars-walks" while growing and harvesting vegetables to supplement their shelf food. They also spent their time maintaining equipment while being tested with stressors, including isolation and communication delays with Earth.
July 3 (UPI) -- An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper had an otherworldly encounter when he pulled over an unusual UFO-shaped vehicle on the highway.

The OHP said on social media that Trooper Ryan Vanvleck stopped the driving saucer on the Turner Turnpike due to an obstructed tag.

The two occupants of the unusual vehicle explained they were en route to the annual UFO Festival in Roswell, N.M.

Vanvleck decided not to issue a citation and instead let the driver and passenger go with a warning -- after posing for a couple photos.

"It's not every day you pull over a UFO," the post said.
July 3 (UPI) -- An Italian retirement home chain's annual gathering of centenarians broke a Guinness World Record when 70 people who were at least 100 years old attended this year's event.

The Fondazione Opera Immacolata, which operates 11 retirement homes in Veneto and Gorizia, has been holding annual gatherings of centenarians for about 15 years, and the event has steadily been growing.

A Guinness World Records adjudicator was brought in for this year's event in Padua, which saw 70 people who had surpassed their 100th birthdays in attendance.

The event broke the record for the largest gathering of centenarians, which was set by 45 people in Australia in 2016.

July 2 (UPI) -- A primary election in Oregon was resolved with a coin flip under state law -- but the winner of the flip was ineligible to run.

The 8th House District in Eugene, which skews heavily Democratic, had no Republicans on the primary ballot last week, so the race came down to write-in votes.

The two top candidates among the 103 write-in names were Democratic nominee Lisa Fragala and her former rival for the nomination, fellow Democrat Doyle Canning. Each of them received 7 votes.

State law requires the tie to be broken "by lot," which in the past has meant a roll of the dice or a coin flip.

Luke Belant, the state's deputy elections director, was placed in charge of the coin flip, and a Secretary of State's Office employee serving as Fragala's proxy called "heads."

The flip came up tails, giving the nomination to Canning. There was one further hiccup, however, as the state's "sore loser" law bars Canning from accepting the nomination, since she already lost the Democratic primary.

Fragala will now be the only candidate on the ballot in November, unless Republicans call a precinct convention to choose a candidate.
July 2 (UPI) -- Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice -- the sequel to the classic 1988 supernatural comedy Beetlejuice -- has been selected to open next month's Venice Film Festival.

"I'm very excited by this. It means a lot to me to have the world premiere of this film at the Venice Film Festival," director Tim Burton said in a statement Tuesday.

The Michael Keaton-Winona Ryder-Jenn Ortega movie will screen out of competition at the high-profile Italian event on Aug. 28.

"Beetlejuice Beetlejuice marks the long-awaited return of one of the most iconic characters of Tim Burton's cinema, but also the happy confirmation of the extraordinary visionary talent and the masterly realization of one of the most fascinating auteurs of his time," said festival organizer Alberto Barbera.

"The Venice Biennale is honored and proud to host the world premiere of a work that features a surprising swing of creative imagination and driving hallucinatory rhythm."

Also featuring Catherine O'Hara, Justin Theroux, Monica Bellucci and Willem Dafoe, the film is set to open in North America on Sept. 6.
July 1 (UPI) -- The only privately-owned first edition of Mary Shelley's pioneering horror novel Frankenstein was auctioned for a hair-raising sum of $843,750.

The 1818 first edition of Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, published anonymously in three pink-boarded volumes, was sold by Heritage Auctions alongside other prized tomes from The William A. Strutz Library.

"This was a single-owner sale 60 years in the making, and the results are a true testament to a great collector and a market that recognized the treasures assembled by William Strutz," Francis Wahlgren, Heritage Auctions' international director of Rare Books & Manuscripts, said in a news release.

The copy of Frankenstein is one of only three pink boarded first editions known to still exist, and the only one in private hands. The other two reside in the Pforzheimer and Berg Collections at the New York Public Library.
July 1 (UPI) -- A pair of Idaho men spent 1 hour, 8 minutes and 52 seconds passing a giant inflatable ball back and forth a total 7,827 times to reclaim a Guinness World Records title.

David Rush, a serial Guinness World Record-breaker on a mission to hold the most records concurrently, teamed up with Seth Lemmons to recapture the record they originally set with 4,169 passes in 2021.

Rush said he and his partner fought through the pain in their necks, arms and shoulders to pass the giant inflatable ball a total 7,827 times in 1 hour, 8 minutes and 52 seconds, enough to retake the title.

The reclaimed record brings Rush's current total of concurrently-held records to 179. He needs to hold 181 titles concurrently to take the top spot in the world.

June 20 (UPI) -- A Japanese man borrowed some of the luck of the Irish and broke a Guinness World Record by growing a 63-leaf clover.

Yoshiharu Watanabe, 45, started cross-pollinating clovers at his Nasushiobara home in 2012 with an aim toward breaking the world record.

"Since the number of leaves has increased year by year, I have been aiming for the Guinness World Records title ever since," he told Guinness World Records.

Watanabe said he used a combination of letting his clover patches pollinate naturally and hand-pollinating those with the most leaves. He said his methods weren't always successful.

"Sometimes the number of leaves can go down, or sometimes you end up with the normal three-leaf clover," he said. "We know that genetics are involved in a higher number of leaves, yet we don't exactly know how it works."

Watanabe's prize clover has 63 leaves, beating the previous record of 56 leaves, set by fellow Japan resident Shigeo Obara in 2009.
July 1 (UPI) -- A British Columbia chicken earned a Guinness World Record by identifying different numbers, colors and letters.

Gabriola Island veterinarian Emily Carrington said she bought five hyline chickens last year to produce eggs, and she soon started training the hens to identify magnetic letters and numbers.

"Their job was to only peck the number or letter that I taught them to peck and ignore the other ones. Even if I add a whole bunch of other letters that aren't the letter they are supposed to peck, they will just peck the letter that I trained them to peck," Carrington told the Nanaimo News Bulletin.

Carrington decided to have all of her chickens attempt the Guinness World Records title for the most tricks by a chicken in one minute.

One of the chickens, Lacy, emerged as the clear winner of the flock, correctly identifying 6 letters, numbers and colors in one minute.
The spread of H5N1 avian flu to dairy cows has health experts and many Americans on edge, and now a new study finds the virus stays viable on milking equipment for at least an hour.

"Dairy cows have to be milked even if they are sick, and it has not been clear for how long the virus contained in residual milk from the milking process remains stable on the equipment," said study lead author Valerie Le Sage. "It is concerning that the virus in unpasteurized milk can remain stable for hours and potentially infect farm workers or spread from animal to animal."

Le Sage is a research assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at the Center for Vaccine Research at the University of Pittsburgh.

She and her team believe the findings underscore the need for dairy workers to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at work, to cut down on their odds for infection.

So far, there have been three known cases of human H5N1 infection linked to the current outbreak in dairy cows. All three cases occurred among dairy workers with long and close exposures to infected animals.

The illnesses were mild, but the fear among scientists is that H5N1 will mutate in a human to become easily transmitted between people, raising the specter of a new pandemic.

H5N1 originated in birds but has now spread to many species of mammals, including seals, dolphins and cows. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is watching the situation closely, but says that, for now at least, the risk to people remains low.
June 28 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania woman who bought a lottery ticket to celebrate the dual milestones of her birthday and finishing cancer treatment won a $5 million prize.

The Pennsylvania Lottery said in a news release that Lancaster County resident Donna Osborne, 75, bought her Monopoly Own It All scratch-off ticket from the Speedway store on Oregon Pike in Leola.

Osborne told officials she was celebrating finishing radiation treatments for breast cancer and her upcoming birthday when she bought the ticket, but she almost ended up not visiting the store at all.

"I was at the airport with my daughter. We were on our way to see family in Florida when the flight got delayed. Well, it was delayed so many times, I decided to go home. My daughter stayed and flew to Florida," Osborne said. "If I didn't leave the airport, I would have never bought that ticket!"

Osborne said she was shocked to see her prize in the Speedway parking lot.

"I could not believe my eyes," Osborne recalled. "I went back into the store and said, 'Can you please check this? Is it right or wrong?' Well, the clerk said, 'It's right!'"

June 29 (UPI) -- Pop music star Taylor Swift's Tortured Poets Department is No. 1 on the U.S. album chart for a ninth week.

Coming in at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart dated Saturday is Billie Eilish's Hit Me Hard and Soft, followed by Don Toliver's Hardstone Psycho at No. 3, Morgan Wallen's One Thing at a Time at No. 4 and $uicideboy$'s New World Depression at No. 5.
Skies across the United States will be lit up by splashes of colors followed by thunderous booms on July Fourth as people coast to coast celebrate Independence Day.

Every firework display is unique, but they all have one thing in common: science.

Inside every firework is a specific combination of metals and salts that determines what colors will appear in the sky when the firework explodes.

Strontium radiates hues of red, barium glistens in shades of green, and copper dazzles onlookers with vibrant blues.

Other compounds are added to these metals and salts to help the colors pop even more to create awe-inspiring displays.

Chlorine can cause some colors to shine brighter, potassium nitrate and sulfur help fireworks burn, and chlorates and nitrates provide oxygen for the colorful explosion, according to EarthSky.

Similar science is also at work during meteor showers, as the chemical composition of the space rocks can cause shooting stars to glow in various colors as they burn up in Earth's atmosphere.
June 27 (UPI) -- A Michigan man said a last-minute decision at the check-out counter led to his winning a $446,571 lottery jackpot.

The 43-year-old Oakland County man told Michigan Lottery officials he went to the 7-Eleven on Hayes Road in Clinton Township to buy his usual lottery tickets.

"I usually play Mega Millions and Powerball, but when I was at the store, I made a last-minute decision to purchase a Fantasy 5 ticket," the player said. "A few days later, I was at the same store and people were talking about how a big Fantasy 5 winner was sold there. I scanned my ticket, and that's when I knew I was the big winner! The excitement in our house has been through the roof!"

The man's ticket, bearing the numbers 07-16-24-29-31, earned him the $446,571 jackpot in the May 28 Fantasy 5 drawing.
June 27 (UPI) -- A massive sinkhole opened up beneath the soccer fields at an Illinois park, swallowing large chunks of several fields and a large light pole.

Security video recorded by Alton Parks & Recreation shows the moment the sinkhole opened up in the middle of the soccer complex at Gordon F. Moore Community Park at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
June 28 (UPI) -- Posters resembling Rorschach ink blot tests have appeared in various locations around Wichita, Kans., and city officials said they are stumped as to their origins.

Photos of the mysterious artwork have been posted online by curious residents, but thus far no one has come forward to claim responsibility.

The communications department for the city government told KWCH-TV that officials are aware of the posters, the most recent of which was found on a utility box near 13th and Waco, but they do not know who is behind them.

Local police said they do not consider the artworks to be vandalism and no laws appear to have been violated.

The Wichita Art Museum said it also has no idea of who might be putting up the posters, but the prospect of a new street artist in town is exciting.
June 28 (UPI) -- A Canadian man has become the first candidate in the nation's history to receive zero votes in a contested federal election.

Félix-Antoine Hamel was one of 84 candidates to run in a Toronto byelection after he and 76 others were approached by election reform group Longest Ballot Committee, which packed the race with candidates to successfully create the longest ballot in Canadian history.

Hamel was the only candidate in the race to receive zero votes. He said he didn't even vote for himself because he is not a Toronto resident, and therefore not eligible to cast a ballot.
June 27 (UPI) -- Residents of a Connecticut neighborhood are dealing with a stinky situation after a manure truck rolled over, collided with a car and spilled its odoriferous cargo.

Ann Bedard, whose house is located at the intersection of Deerfield Road and Brayman Hollow Road in Pomfret, said she heard the sound of the crash and rushed to investigate.

She discovered a manure truck had rolled over and struck her neighbor's car, causing it to spray manure on her yard, a neighbor's yard and their homes.

June 26 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts man learned the value of loyalty when he won a $1 million lottery prize at the same store where he has bought tickets for 20 years.

William Lally of Roslindale told Massachusetts State Lottery officials he has been buying lottery tickets from the Roslindale Food Mart on Washington Street in Roslindale for 20 years.

He found his persistence paid off recently when he bought a $5,000,000 100X Cashword ticket for $20 and scratched off a $1 million prize.

Lally chose to take his winnings as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $650,000 before taxes.

His favorite store earned a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
June 26 (UPI) -- A Maryland man's lost dog turned up two years later after somehow ending up 1,000 miles from home.

Tony Duncan said his dog, Luna, vanished from his Mardela Springs home after chasing some wild animals into the nearby woods and failing to return.

Duncan said he never gave up hope he would see Luna again, but he was still shocked to receive a phone call last week from LaBelle Animal Control in Florida.

Animal control told Duncan a dog had been found wandering in the parking lot of a LaBelle Walmart store and was scanned for a microchip, which identified her as the missing Luna.
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