News at a Glance

By Sarah Masker
Copy Editor

1.) The purple squirrel that showed up a few days ago in central Pennsylvania just might be the real thing. Either that or he’s got a great stylist. Harold Cole, a warden with the Pennsylvania Game Commission who investigated the case, believes that this squirrel actually was a different color. He said, “It’s not typical, but it’s not impossible.” As crazy as the squirrel’s hair is, he doesn’t appear to pose a hazard or be suffering from disease. He’s just an oddball, now with his own Facebook page and 3,800 adoring fans. Dude, way to give the other squirrels another reason to be jealous. Msnbc.com

2.) They say as long as the first and last letters stay where they should be, the human brain can still read a word. Maybe that’s what a school building in the Lower East Side was thinking when it placed a sign reading “SHCOOL X-NG” on the sidewalk. The day after the New York Post reported the spelling error, utility workers used heavy machinery to correct the sign, which had been there since July 2010. This school is going to have a rough time getting kids to take their spelling lessons seriously. Usatoday.com

3.) Coming home to find that your house has been broken into is unsettling, but it just gets plain weird when the unwelcome guest has folded clothes, cooked dinner, swept the floor, and set up a pillow and blanket on the couch. That’s what Ashley Murray of South Bend discovered when she arrived home. Murray stated, “The police said it looked like he was a good chef.” Davis did not steal anything apart from the food, and as far as that goes, Murray said, “He drunk up my orange juice, but it’s cool because he swept up my floor and folded my clothes.” Let this be a lesson to petty criminals: a little housecleaning just might be something to think about. Msnbc.com

4.) The pub crawlers might have been ready for a pint or two, but no one was expecting this: a chainsaw-wielding man attacked customers in a United Kingdom bar, simply because he was not permitted to smoke inside. 24-year-old Dean Dinnen entered The Endyke Pub in Hull, drunk and high, and proceeded to threaten the pub patrons and obliterate every object in his path, much like a scene in a horror movie. Witness Kevin Fletcher said, “I ran. I did not look back. I could hear the chainsaw screaming behind me.” Dinnen has been sentenced to three years in prison; the UK can expect a sequel around then. Huffingtonpost.com

5.) Whenever anyone thinks of the Roman Empire, chariots and some guy named Julius Caesar come to mind. What people don’t think of are camels. In a report in the Journal of Archaeological Science, Belgian archeologists Fabienne Pigière and Denis Henrotay report that 22 sites in Northern Europe have turned up camel bones from the Roman era. The camels turn up near both civilian towns and military camps, far from their native homes, causing scientists to believe that the animals were used as beasts of burden or perhaps mascots for the Roman soldiers. After all, camels are quite inspiring in battle. Usatoday.com

6.) Name a quality wine shop the Wine Thief, but don’t be surprised when a wine thief throws a rock through the window and takes a $250 bottle of 2006 Chateau Teyssier. Mark Clark, 54, has been charged with burglary and larceny after surveillance video footage helped New Haven police identify him. The expensive bottle of wine has been placed into evidence, giving it a little while longer to age. Msnbc.com

7.) Although Valentine’s Day is over this year, there’s no harm in reading about the truly unique gifts available for purchase next year. A heart pendant retails at $348, only this necklace, which is available in either gold or silver, is anatomically correct. Rubies are located at the end of each auricle and ventricle, which really helps make this necklace one of a kind. Or maybe a Frisbee greeting card is the right way to go. For $10, SendAFlyingCard.com will personalize a Frisbee with a special greeting, offering up the perfect opportunity to throw something at your special someone. If that doesn’t say love, what does? Huffingtonpost.com

8.) Scrabble players have been telling this to the rest of the world for years, but a new study has finally confirmed it: Scrabble players are actually smarter than everyone else. Researchers at the University of Calgary have discovered that competitive Scrabble players are able to increase visual word recognition, or the ability to read words, well into adulthood. Study author Ian Hargreaves said, “I think that it’s safe to say that there is plenty of evidence showing that exercising yourself, whether physically or mentally, can carry positive benefits.” Let the board games begin. Msnbc.com

9.) Malaysia ruined Valentine’s Day for more than 80 Muslims after conducting raids and arresting couples who were sharing hotel rooms. Religious authorities in the country first started cracking down on the holiday that it considers “synonymous with vice activities” back in 2005. Last week, a campaign called “Mind the Valentine’s Day Trap” was launched, warning Muslims not to celebrate the holiday, since it is “not suitable.” Although other faiths were not affected by the anti-Valentine’s Day campaign, almost two-thirds of Malaysia is Muslim. Huffingtonpost.com

10.) Woolly mammoths are extinct, right? According to a sketchy video filmed by a government engineer in Siberia, there might be one left. The man supposedly saw the beast crossing a river in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug region last summer, yet the 10-second video has only recently been released. Paranormal writer Michael Cohen, who claims the copyright on the video, said, “Rumours of a handful of mammoths still kicking around in the vast wilderness of Siberia have been circulating for decades and occasionally sightings by locals have occurred.” To believe or not to believe, that is the question. Huffingtonpost.com

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