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May 20 (UPI) -- A tense rescue was caught on camera in New Jersey when a man jumped into the Hudson River to rescue a dog.

A video posted to Instagram shows the man, later identified as Cole Franchi, jumping into the river in Hoboken to retrieve another person's dog from the water.
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May 20 (UPI) -- A cat frequenting the Vermont State University Castleton Campus was awarded "a very special honorary degree" as the school's first "Doctor of Litter-ature."

The school said on social media that the cat, named Max, lives with his owners on Seminary Street and "has been an affectionate member of the Castleton family for years."

The feline can often be found "socializing with friends outside Leavenworth," the post said.

"With a resounding purr of approval from the faculty, the Board of Trustees of the Vermont State Cat-leges has bestowed upon Max Dow the prestigious title of Doctor of Litter-ature, complete with all the catnip perks, scratching post privileges, and litter box responsibilities that come with it," the school said.


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May 17 (UPI) -- Authorities in Tokyo are struggling to deal with problems caused by an especially wily invasive species: North American raccoons.

The city reported the number of raccoons living in the wild in Tokyo and its surrounding areas has skyrocketed in recent years, with 1,282 trapped in fiscal 2022, a sharp increase from 259 caught in fiscal 2012.

The animals are believed to have established a breeding population in the wild after bring bought as pets and either escaping or being abandoned.

Raccoons became popular pets in Japan after animated TV series Rascal the Raccoon raised the species' profile in the 1970s.

The raccoons have been blamed for severe crop damage in recent years in the hills to the west of Tokyo. The local farm ministry estimated the animals caused a total $2.8 million in crop damage in fiscal 2022.

Local authorities said the highly-adaptive animals have proven difficult to deal with, and they have even started destroying traps set out by officials.
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May 17 (UPI) -- A grocery store in Washington has claim to the title of the state's luckiest store after selling three big prize-winning lottery tickets in a single week.

Washington's Lottery said Yoke's Fresh Market on East Montgomery Avenue in Spokane Valley sold a $4.6 million winning ticket for the April 17 Lotto drawing.

The store earned a $46,000 bonus for selling the winner.

One week later, the store sold a Hit 5 ticket that scored a $165,000 prize for the purchaser, and a $200,000 Powerball ticket.

The Powerball ticket was sold to a resident named M.L., who said he plans to share his winnings with his granddaughter, who is about to graduate college.

Employees at the store said they are planning a party for the entire team to celebrate the recent string of good luck.
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May 17 (UPI) -- Wildlife trappers were called to a Florida school where an "absolute dinosaur of an alligator" came wandering up a path.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's office said deputies responded to a report of a a large alligator on a pathway used by kids who walk to and from a nearby elementary school.

Deputies contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for help relocating the 12.5-foot gator.

"PCSO remained in the area to keep the public from accidentally stumbling across this absolute dinosaur of an alligator until trappers contracted through FWC arrived," the Sheriff's Office said on social media.

Deputies helped trappers capture the alligator and relocate it to a more suitable habitat far from the school.
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May 17 (UPI) -- Serial Guinness World Record-breaker David Rush recaptured one of his former titles by snapping 110 pencils in one minute.

Rush, whose goal is to hold the most concurrent Guinness World Records titles, originally held the record for most pencils snapped in one minute in 2019, when he broke 98 writing implements in the allotted time.
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May 17 (UPI) -- Traffic on a California highway was brought to a standstill when a bear wandered out onto the roadway and paused to enjoy the view.

Witness Dan Kanes captured video when the bear wandered onto the 14 Freeway near Newhall Avenue in Santa Clarita about 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The video shows the bear wander out into the roadway, stopping traffic. The animal looks around for a few moments, before turning around and returning to the hills.

"Motorists displayed compassion and patience for the bear," Kanes told KTLA-TV. He said the bruin appeared to be "a little confused."
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May 10 (UPI) -- The Force was strong with a Massachusetts man when he scored a $5.37 million lottery jackpot on Star Wars Day.

James Jorgensen of Northborough told Massachusetts State Lottery officials he was celebrating the May 4 holiday when he found out the Megabucks ticket he bought from Lowe's Variety Market and Meat Shop on West Main Street in Northborough was a big winner.
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May 10 (UPI) -- A fan of Ohio's defunct Coney Island theme park decided to keep a small part of the attraction's memory alive by purchasing an entire waterslide.

Adam Woltermann, who spent five seasons working at the Cincinnati water park, said he was dismayed to learn it would be closing permanently in December 2023 and all of the slides, pools and rides would be demolished.
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May 9 (UPI) -- A New Jersey man said a fortune cookie predicated his lottery prize of $1,000 a week for life.

The New Jersey Lottery said the player opened up a fortune cookie from a Chinese restaurant and received the message: "Believe in miracles."

The man bought a Cash4Life ticket from the Jackpocket app and discovered his fortune cookie was correct, as he matched all five white balls in the drawing, earning a prize of $1,000 a year for life.
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May 9 (UPI) -- A Texas man reclaimed his Guinness World Records title by going skydiving at the age of 106 years and 327 days old.

Alfred "Al" Blaschke originally earned the title of the oldest person to tandem skydive when he jumped out of a plane at the age of 103 in 2020, but his record was broken by Swedish woman Rut Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson, who was 103 years and 259 days old when she went skydiving.

Blaschke recaptured his title by going skydiving at the age of 106 years and 327 days old. He was joined by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who made his first jump.

"If you think you can't, you're just underestimating yourself. Everyone is more capable than they think. They just need to make the decision to try," Blaschke told Guinness World Records.
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May 10 (UPI) -- A British woman followed in her father's footsteps and broke a Guinness World Record by cleaning three office windows in 16.13 seconds.

Aliscia Burrows, 33, cleaned the three 45-inch-by-45-inch windows while competing in the Manchester Cleaning Show and ended up besting the record for fastest window cleaner (female) by .15 seconds.

Burrows doesn't work as a window cleaner, but the skill is in her blood -- her father, Terry "Turbo" Burrows, is a professional cleaner who holds the male version of the record at 9.14 seconds.

"Although I've never been in the window cleaning trade, my childhood was very much involved with it," the younger Burrows told Guinness World Records. "I'd sometimes go to London with my dad and watch him working, I'd attend the window cleaning shows which were hosted by the Federation of Window Cleaners."
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May 8 (UPI) -- An SUV-sized Radio Flyer red wagon with a top speed of 60 mph and about 57,000 miles on the odometer is up for auction.

Judy Foster said she decided to sell the unique vehicle after the death of her husband, Fred Keller, who used the chassis of a 1976 Mazda pickup truck to create the Radio Flyer car about 14 years ago.

"I'll miss it and I'll miss the fun of driving it. It's just so much fun to take somebody for a ride and seeing peoples' reaction to you," Foster told CNN.

The wagon car is now being auctioned online by Alaska Premier Auctions & Appraisals as part of its Mother's Day Classic Car Auction. Bidding is open through Sunday.
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May 8 (UPI) -- A contortionist and a hula hoop performer teamed up in Britain to break an unusual Guinness World Record involving a "human belt."

Liberty Barros, a dancer and contortion expert, wrapped herself around the middle of hula hooper Mariam "Amazí" Olayiwola's body to break the record for most double arm hula hoop rotations with a human belt in 30 seconds (team of two).
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May 9 (UPI) -- A Chinese zoo is being criticized online after visitors complained the animals in a "panda" exhibit aren't bears at all -- they're painted chow chow dogs.

Visitors to the Taizhou Zoo in Jiangsu Province said they were surprised to discover the so-called "panda dogs" that went on display May 1 are dogs with their fur trimmed and dyed to closely resemble the iconic Chinese bears.

A zoo spokesman explained the zoo put the dogs on display because it does not have any resident pandas, but he denied the fur dying process was in any way dangerous or harmful to the canines.

A zoo employee told state-run media outlet The Global Times that the "panda dogs" aren't meant to be deceptive, as signage posted at the enclosure explains they are chow chows in disguise.
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May 7 (UPI) -- An Idaho man added an unusual Guinness World Records title to his tally by catching and donning five T-shirts launched from a T-shirt cannon in 46.09 seconds.

David Rush, who has broken more than 250 Guinness World Records, said he had nearly attempted the title on a couple of occasions in the past, but never made an official try due to scheduling and equipment problems.

Rush's friend, Jake Smith, operated the T-shirt cannon and fired off shirts for Rush to catch and quickly put on.

The duo ended up with a record-breaking time of 46.09 seconds.

The title marks the 167th concurrently-held record for Rush, who is aiming to overtake the world's top record breaker, Silvio Sabba, who currently holds 180 titles.
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May 7 (UPI) -- A dump truck with its trailer upright was caught on camera colliding with a Virginia highway overpass.

Amir Jaffery's Tesla dashboard camera recorded video when he was behind the truck on Interstate 66 as it approached the Route 286/Fairfax County Parkway overpass.

The video shows the truck's raised trailer collide with the overpass bridge and break free from the truck, flipping into the roadway.

No injuries were reported from the incident and no other vehicles were damaged.

It was unclear why the dump truck's trailer was raised or whether its driver was aware of it before the collision.
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May 8 (UPI) -- A British man who ran 1,000 marathons over the course of 43 years earned a Guinness World Record for his aggregate time: 3,363 hours, 4 minutes and 2 seconds.

Steve Edwards, 61, finished his 1,000th race on Sunday at the Milton Keynes Marathon in England and was presented with a Guinness World Records certificate for the fastest aggregate time to run 1,000 marathons (male).
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May 6 (UPI) -- Residents on the Texas coast are being asked to keep a lookout for mysterious orange-painted blocks after wildlife researchers revealed their purpose -- researching turtles.

Beach-goers in Galveston and Freeport recently reported coming across the unusual objects -- small rectangular blocks attached to larger rectangular blocks -- in the sand along the shoreline.

The objects had water-logged notes attached asking the finders to call a phone number.

The Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research revealed on social media that the blocks are "wooden effigies" meant to emulate sea turtles "in an effort to understand how weather patterns and ocean currents influence annual sea turtle strandings."

"A total of 80 effigy drifters were released off Chandeleur Island, La., and over half are headed towards the Texas coast. Four have already been found this week in our area," the center said.

The post asked anyone who finds an orange-painted block to contact the Gulf Center so research data can be collected.


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May 6 (UPI) -- The North Carolina Education Lottery said there were 5,662 top prize winning tickets Monday when a Pick 3 drawing resulted in the winning numbers 6-6-6.

The three-digit combination was drawn in the Monday afternoon Pick 3 drawing, leading to $2.1 million in prizes being owed.
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May 6 (UPI) -- A grocery store in Texas broke a Guinness World Record by gathering more than 311,000 avocados into a single display.

The El Rio Grande Latin Market in Dallas celebrated the Cinco de Mayo by amassing 86,764 pounds of avocados into the world's largest fruit display.

The display was examined by a Guinness World Records adjudicator and confirmed to be the largest in the world.

The display was set up on Friday and kept in place over the weekend so Cinco de Mayo revelers could visit the record-breaking avocado collection and pose for photos.
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May 7 (UPI) -- A southern California resident shared video of the moment a family of bears visited their back yard so the mother could take a dip in the pool.

Video posted to Instagram by @RICKYMARTINEZ87 shows the mother bear and two cubs approaching the pool in the Monrovia resident's back yard.
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May 4 (UPI) -- Saturday's Lovers & Friends music festival in Las Vegas -- which was supposed to include performances by Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige and Usher -- was canceled due to anticipated bad weather.

The lineup also included Backstreet Boys, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, Gwen Stefani, Ciara, Nas, Ludacris, Nelly, Rick Ross, Robin Thicke, TLC, T-Pain and Timbaland.

"Lovers & Friends Festival organizers have been monitoring the weather for several days and proactively preparing for a windy Saturday. However, the National Weather Service has now issued a High Wind Warning, including dangerous 30-35 mph sustained winds with gusts potentially more than 60 mph," the venue said Friday.

"Following advice from the National Weather Service and in consultation with local public officials, we must make the safest decision for our fans, artists, and staff, and cancel tomorrow's Lovers & Friends Festival," the message continued. "This was an incredibly heartbreaking decision to make as we are aware that fans have traveled from all over the world to enjoy this incredible lineup of superstars and have been looking forward to this event for several months. We've worked hard to create an amazing event for you, and we are just as disappointed as you are."
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May 6 (UPI) -- The zebra who spent several days on the loose in western Washington was successfully recaptured and returned to her owner.

The zebra, named Shug, was one of four to escape a trailer on Interstate 90 on April 28, and was the only one to remain on the loose after a few hours of rescue efforts.
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MIAMI (AP) — Airport security officers in Miami found a slithering surprise last week — a bag of snakes hidden in a passenger’s pants.

According to an X post by the Transportation Security Administration, officers at the Miami International Airport found the small bag of snakes hidden in a passenger’s trousers on April 26 at a checkpoint.

The post included a photo of two small snakes that were found in what appeared to be a sunglasses bag.

TSA said the snakes were turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
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May 3 (UPI) -- Officials warned of traffic delays on a Wisconsin highway when an overturned truck spilled beer into the roadway.

Menomonee Falls police shared photos on social media showing the semi truck on its side in the northbound lanes of Interstate 41 on Thursday with cases of Miller High Life beer spilling out from its rear.
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May 3 (UPI) -- A Virginia woman bought a lottery ticket for the first time in her life and ended up winning a $50,000 prize.

Katelynne Berland of Yorktown told Virginia Lottery officials her mother asked her to pick up some lottery tickets from the 7-Eleven on Ottis Street in Yorktown.

She said the errand inspired her to buy her own first-ever lottery ticket for the April 14 daytime Pick 5 drawing.

She matched all five numbers: 2-9-4-2-3.

Berland's beginner's luck earned her a $50,000 prize. She said she will use her winnings to help pay for her sister's college tuition.
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May 2 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts woman won $1 million from a scratch-off lottery ticket just 10 weeks after winning the same amount from another game.

Christine Wilson, of Attleborough, previously won a $1 million top prize from the Massachusetts State Lottery's $50 Lifetime Millions scratch-off ticket in February.

Wilson told lottery officials she decided not to give up her lottery habit, and bought a $10 100X Cash scratch-off from the Family Food Mart on East Street in Mansfield.

The ticket, purchased 10 weeks after her previous win, earned her another $1 million prize.

Wilson said she spent some of the winnings from her first ticket on a new SUV. She said her latest prize will go into savings.
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May 2 (UPI) -- The California Highway Patrol shared a photo of a dummy passenger that earned several citations for a carpool lane driver.

The CHP Santa Fe Springs station said on Instagram that an officer pulled a vehicle over for crossing solid double lines in the high-occupancy vehicle lanes, and soon discovered something unusual about the sole passenger.

"The goatee was sharp," the CHP wrote, "just a little too sharp."

The goatee, like the rest of the passenger, was made of plastic.

"The driver was subsequently issued a citation for multiple carpool violations," the post said.
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May 3 (UPI) -- One of Britain's largest water companies said the most unusual items found in its sewers include a Dora the Explorer action figure and a Ken doll.

Severn Trent, which provides water services to regions including the Midlands, Bristol, the outskirts of Sheffield and north and mid-Wales, released a list of the "strangest and funny things that have made their way into the sewers."

Toys including a Dora action figure "which obviously went on quite an explorative adventure" and a Ken doll topped the list, followed by pieces of a garden shed, false teeth, underwear, a chopped-up bed frame and pairs of glasses.

Other out-of-place items found among the sewage included wallets, keys, cutlery and car tires.

Grant Mitchell, head of sewer blockages for Severn Trent, said its "anyone's guess" how some of the larger items came to be in the sewer, but "it makes the job pretty entertaining for everyone."

"Although we see items like this at times, the thing we see the most that cause blockages are wet wipes and other 'unflushable' items such as nappies and sanitary products. We would urge everyone to keep in mind that only the three P's should be put down the toilet -- pee, poo and paper -- and bin everything else," he said.
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May 3 (UPI) -- A 9-foot alligator wandered up to a Florida elementary school and managed to buck a trapper off its back before being safely corralled.


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May 2 (UPI) -- Country music star Randy Travis has announced he will release a new song on Friday.

"It's been a while since my last new recording, but I'm excited to share that this Friday, May 3, I will be releasing my first brand new studio recording in more than a decade, 'Where That Came From,'" Travis posted on X Wednesday.
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May 1 (UPI) -- James Whomsley, a British YouTube engineering channel host, has built the world's biggest remote-controlled aircraft carrier model, according to Guinness World Records.

He also landed two remote control model planes on the 16.46-foot model carrier, scoring another world's record.


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Earlier this month, the combination of the two made for a stressful trip in an Amazon package, a feverish search, a California rescue and a tearful reunion.

Her family is still waiting to “reintroduce cardboard to her again,” owner Carrie Clark said Tuesday, because they don’t want to stress her out.

Clark got Galena as a kitten after her aunt rescued a pregnant feral cat. The American short hair with calico and Siamese coloring has been a constant companion and source of emotional support.

“I’ve been through a bunch of health things and she and I have gone through all of that together. And she’s she just has this extra great part about her personality that’s very loving. And she can tell when you don’t feel well,” Clark said. “And she’s just really, really special to me.”

So when Galena disappeared on April 10, Clark was beside herself.

They searched the neighborhood, put up flyers and posted notices on Facebook lost pet pages in Lehi, Utah.

“Not knowing what had happened to her was pretty excruciating,” Clark said, “I cried my eyes out for seven days trying to figure out what had happened.” Clark also ran through all the worst-case scenarios, wondering if the cat could have gotten out of the house and been nabbed by a predator or run over by a vehicle.

Clark said she received a “text that changed my life” on April 17, saying that Galena’s microchip had been scanned, so Clark knew she had been found somewhere. Soon after, she got a call saying her cat was near Riverside, California, after being found in a box along with steel-toed boots that had been returned to an Amazon warehouse.

Clark’s husband had ordered several pairs of boots, kept one and returned the rest in a large box on April 10.

“We realized that that our sweet kitty must have jumped into that box without us knowing,” she said.
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April 30 (UPI) -- A North Carolina man won a $837,187 lottery jackpot after his sister had a dream that he encountered riches.

"In her dream I found a bunch of gold," David Atwell of Kannapolis told NC Education Lottery. "I guess dreams do come true."

Atwell bought the winning $1 Cash 5 ticket at Jiffy Quick in Kannapolis.

"I was stunned," he said. "At first I saw the jackpot went back down to $100,000 so I knew someone hit it. I had no idea it was me."

"He was hollering so much it scared the cat," his wife, Cherie, said.

After taxes, he took home $598,591. He said he plans to donate some of the money to his church and pay bills.
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May 1 (UPI) -- A pest control professional cleared a bee swarm of thousands while fans roared and later earned the nod for ceremonial first pitch before a delayed game Los Angeles Dodgers-Arizona Diamondbacks matchup in Phoenix.

The insect invasion occurred Tuesday at Chase Field. It caused a two-hour delay before the Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers 4-3.

Bees surrounded their queen in the cluster about 15 minutes before the game was set to begin. Umpires then met managers from both teams and Diamondbacks vice president of operations Mike Rock and opted to call in Matt Hilton to assess the situation.

They opted to call in Matt Hilton, branch manager at the local Blue Sky Pest Control office.

"It was a little nerve-racking, I'm not going to lie," Hilton told reporters. "A lot of pressure to get this game going. But I was happy to come and take care of it."

Hilton said that he left his son's tee ball game in Sunrise, Ariz., and drove about 30 miles to Chase Stadium. He put on a beekeeper outfit and used a scissor lift to ride under the bee swarm. The lift then elevated Hilton closer to danger before he used a non-pesticide spray on the swarm and vacuumed up the bees.
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May 1 (UPI) -- A shower of moderately priced meaty treats rained down on a New York Mets fan during $1 hot dog night, resulting in his removal in the ninth inning of the victory over the Chicago Cubs in Queens.

The dogged deluge, which was caught on video and posted on social media, occurred Tuesday at Citi Field.

Mets officials announced that they sold a stadium-record 44,269 hot dogs during the promotion. The Mets announced an attendance of 22,880, meaning they sold about two hot dogs per fan.

One of those fans sported a custom T-shirt, which he wrote on to keep track of his consumed hot dog and beer tally. The shirt read "bad day to be a glizzy" -- referring to the nickname for a hot dog.

Fans started launching hot dogs at him later in the game before several police and security staff went down to his section and escorted him out of the area. He consumed nine hot dogs and 10 beers at the time of his departure, according to his shirt tally.

The man also wore a hot dog hat, in honor of the frank feast.

Mets officials did not respond to a request for comment about the incident.

Several fans who claimed to be at the game said they were also hit by hot dogs and that the tosses could be seen from the other side of the stadium. The man who was removed from the stadium was later seen riding on a subway train, while still wearing his hot dog hat.
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BRICK, N.J. (AP) — Jersey Shore beach season is almost here, and if last year is any indication, it will soon be time to pack the voodoo dolls, whoopie cushions, zip ties and denture powder.

Those were just a few of the bizarre items plucked from the sands of New Jersey’s beaches last year by volunteers with the Clean Ocean Action environmental group, according to a report the group released Thursday.

Nearly 3,700 volunteers picked up and disposed of 176,206 items along the state’s 127-mile (204 kilometer) coastline. Many were mundane and sadly common, like bottle caps, cigarettes and plastic pieces.

Then there are the oddities: a 50-pound bag of rice; a Baby Yoda doll; a severed Barbie head. And then there was the food fryer. Who even BRINGS a food fryer to the beach, much less leaves it behind?

Also left seaside were boxer shorts; a bra; a bikini; fake eyelashes; fishnet stockings and a jockstrap; along with a pregnancy test, result unknown.
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Updated 12:42 PM PDT, April 6, 2024
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LONDON (AP) — The world’s oldest man says the secret to his long life is luck, moderation — and fish and chips every Friday.

Englishman John Alfred Tinniswood, 111, has been confirmed as the new holder of the title by Guinness World Records. It follows the death of the Venezuelan record-holder, Juan Vicente Pérez, this month at the age of 114. Gisaburo Sonobe from Japan, who was next longest-lived, died March 31 at 112.

Tinniswood was presented with a certificate by Guinness World Records on Thursday at the care home where he lives in Southport, northwest England.

Born in Liverpool on Aug. 26, 1912, a few months after the sinking of the Titanic, Tinniswood lived through two world wars, serving in the British Army Pay Corps in World War II.

The retired accountant and great-grandfather said moderation was key to a healthy life. He never smokes, rarely drinks and follows no special diet, apart from a fish and chip supper once a week.


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BY ANITA SNOW
Updated 2:50 PM PDT, April 15, 2024
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The one thing 9-year-old Cal Clifford wanted more than anything since he was a toddler was a pet octopus.

The boy’s family in rural Edmond, Oklahoma, humored him with toy versions of an eight-legged mollusk, but as Cal got older it became clear that only the real thing would do.

The child’s father, 36-year-old dentist Cameron Clifford, researched the possibility with a local aquarium store and before long Terrance the California two-spot octopus, also known as a bimac, was living in a watery enclosure at the family home southwest of Oklahoma City.

“We really like to encourage our children’s interests,” said the older Clifford. “It’s magical to see a kid embrace their dreams and bring them to fruition. Cal has been infatuated with the natural world and with marine biology since he was very little.”

A popular TikTok saga was launched with the father narrating the tale of Terrance the cephalopod, using a faux British accent generated by the social media app. Eventually, hundreds of thousands of people were following.
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FUJIKAWAGUCHIKO, Japan (AP) — The town of Fujikawaguchiko has had enough of tourists.

Known for a number of scenic photo spots that offer a near-perfect shot of Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji, the town on Tuesday began constructing a large black screen on a stretch of a sidewalk to block the view of the mountain. The reason: misbehaving foreign tourists.

“Kawaguchiko is a town built on tourism, and I welcome many visitors, and the town welcomes them too, but there are many things about their manners that are worrying,” said Michie Motomochi, owner of a cafe serving Japanese sweets “ohagi,” near the soon-to-be-blocked photo spot.

Motomochi mentioned littering, crossing the road with busy traffic, ignoring traffic lights, trespassing into private properties. She isn’t unhappy though — 80% of her customers are foreign visitors whose numbers have surged after a pandemic hiatus that kept Japan closed for about two years.

Her neighborhood suddenly became a popular spot about two years ago, apparently after a photo taken in a particular angle showing Mount Fuji in the background, as if sitting atop a local convenience store, became a social media sensation known as “Mt. Fuji Lawson,” town officials say.

The mostly foreign tourists have since crowded the small area, triggering a wave of concerns and complaints from residents about visitors blocking the narrow sidewalk, taking photos on the busy road or walking into neighbors’ properties, officials said.

In Europe, concerns over tourists overcrowding historic cities led Venice last week to launch a pilot program to charge day-trippers a 5-euro ($5.35) entry fee. Authorities hope it will discourage visitors from arriving on peak days and make the city more livable for its dwindling residents.

Fujikawaguchiko has tried other methods: signs urging visitors not to run into the road and to use the designated crosswalk in English, Chinese, Thai and Korean, and even hiring a security guard as crowd control. None worked.

The black mesh net, when completed in mid-May, will be 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) high and 20 meters (65.6 feet) long, and will almost completely block the view of Mount Fuji, officials said.
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April 30 (UPI) -- A miniature horse in South Carolina broke a world record for longest tail on a miniature horse with locks measuring 5 feet, 11.26 inches.

The horse, named Sweetie, stands 3 feet, 1 inch tall and is 36 years old. Her owner, Risa Formisano, told Guinness World Records she wraps up Sweety's tail to keep it from dragging behind her. She also washes and conditions it twice a year.

Formisano brought Sweetie home in 2012 to comfort two horses after the death of another horse. Her owner was looking to rehome her at the time.

"I went to his barn, trailer in tow, and picked up Sweetie," Formisano said. "She hopped right in the trailer and the rest is history."

Sweetie's tail first reached the ground in 2012, and it has been growing ever since.
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NEWBERRY, S.C. (AP) — Emerging cicadas are so loud in one South Carolina county that residents are calling the sheriff’s office asking why they can hear sirens or a loud roar.

The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office sent out a message on Facebook on Tuesday letting people know that the whining sound is just the male cicadas singing to attract mates after more than a decade of being dormant.

Some people have even flagged down deputies to ask what the noise is all about, Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said.

The nosiest cicadas were moving around the county of about 38,000 people, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) northwest of Columbia, prompting calls from different locations as Tuesday wore on, Foster said.

Trillions of red-eyed periodical cicadas are emerging from underground in the eastern U.S. this month. The broods emerging are on 13 or 17 year cycles.

Their collective songs can be as loud as jet engines and scientists who study them often wear earmuffs to protect their hearing.
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CHICAGO (AP) — The “rat hole” is gone.

A Chicago sidewalk landmark some residents affectionately called the “rat hole” was removed Wednesday after city officials determined the section bearing the imprint of an animal was damaged and needed to be replaced, officials said.

The imprint has been a quirk of a residential block in Chicago’s North Side neighborhood of Roscoe Village for years, but it found fresh fame in January after a Chicago comedian shared a photo on the social platform X.

The attention, however, quickly grew old for neighbors who complained about visitors at all hours, sometimes leaving coins and other items scattered across the sidewalk. Plus, many in the neighborhood argue that the imprint was actually caused by a squirrel.

Erica Schroeder, a spokesperson for the Chicago Department of Transportation, said the square of sidewalk “containing the famous ‘Chicago rat hole’” is now in temporary storage.
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