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 Jun 14 - 20, 2007 

Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O’Leary

Dateline: India—Wildlife officials in India have found a high-tech way to trap wayward leopards—with cell phone ringtones. So far six leopards that have strayed too close to villages have been lured into traps by ringtones playing the calls of roosters, goats and cows, said H.S. Singh, chief conservation research officer in the western Indian state of Gujarat. “Now instead of using live bait, sounds of animals have been downloaded as ringtones on mobiles, which are attached to speakers kept behind cages and then played at regular intervals,” Singh said last Tuesday. “The leopard drawn by the sound is an unsuspecting victim,” Singh said, adding that the trick only worked at night. All the leopards were later released unharmed in forests away from the villages, Singh said.

Dateline: China—A public amusement park in China has erected (so to speak) what it claims is the world’s largest penis. The 30-foot-tall statue, known as the Sky Pillar, was build at Longwan Shaman Amusement Park in Changchun city. Builders wrapped more than 6,500 square feet of straw around the steel structure which stands on an altar atop 1,250-foot-high Qinlong Hill. “It is a totem of Shamanistic culture, which originated in this city,” Cheng Weiguang, president of the park, told the East Asia Economic and Trade News. According to local legend, an ancient Shaman hero named Ewenki vanquished a cruel female ruler and gave her a penis totem, telling her to respect males and not kill them at will. Shi Lixue, director of the China Folk Culture Association, backed the project, saying, “It symbolizes our ancestor’s pursuit of happiness and prosperity.”

Dateline: Germany—A 43-year-old man was rushed to the hospital after he fell off a second story balcony during a spitting contest with his 12-year-old son. A spokesperson for police in the eastern town of Cottbus said the man, who lived in neighboring Forst, had apparently lost his balance after thrusting too far forward in an attempt to outspit his son. He tumbled over the ledge and landed on the balcony of the ground floor apartment below. According to hospital officials, the man was listed in critical condition.

Dateline: England—In other gravity-based news, a man died after plummeting 80 feet from a posh rooftop restaurant in London and landing on the roof of a passing double-decker bus. The man allegedly fell from the seventh-floor terrace of the restaurant Le Coq D’Argent, near the Bank of England in the City of London. A witness who was working nearby described the incident for the UK’s Independent Television News agency: “He slammed straight down on to the roof of the bus. There were about 10 passengers on the top deck and around 20 below. I expected lots of screaming from the bus, buargell ton'" class="url permalcteynned/span>

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