The Odd Side – February 16, 2016

Boston Program Allows Smokers To Vote and Keep City Tidy

BOSTON (AP) — The city of Boston is trying to rid the streets of unsightly cigarette butts by placing special receptacles in high-traffic areas that will allow smokers to vote on a simple question.

The receptacles, with two disposal holes each, will be placed in seven areas of the city.

Each is decorated with a question that has two possible answers.

For example, one receptacle asks smokers: “Which superpower would you want?” Smokers can deposit their cigarette butts in an opening for “Flight” or for “Invisibility.”

The receptacles, which are costing the city about $3,000, are part of the Neat Streets program. They will be installed later this month and residents are encouraged to suggest their own questions.

Cars Parked on Thin Ice Get Icy Bath in Wisconsin

GENEVA LAKE, Wisc. (Reuters) – Call it the polar bear plunge for cars and trucks.

The drivers of 15 vehicles parked on the ice at Lake Geneva in the Wisconsin for a so-called Winterfest celebration on Saturday, but their festivities were interrupted when the ice broke, police said.

Five of the vehicles that fell into the water were salvaged, as their owners drove out of the chilly lake, but the remaining 10 cars and trucks were totaled, police for the town of Lake Geneva said in a statement.

No one was injured in the incident, about 60 miles northwest of Chicago, police said.

“People park on the lake all the time from what I understand,” Laurie Oberhelman, one of the car owners, told Milwaukee station WDJT.

“It was a bad choice.”

Twin Sisters in New Jersey Give Birth to Girls Minutes Apart

VOORHEES, N.J. (AP) – Twin sisters in New Jersey have given birth to girls just minutes apart at the same hospital.

Station WPVI reports that Stephanie Edginton and Nicole Montgomery delivered their daughters Cora and Louisa six minutes apart on Monday afternoon at Virtua Hospital in Voorhees.

Edington says that as she was on her way to the hospital with her husband, she got a call saying Montgomery was on her way there, too.

The twins say they were born three minutes apart.

Ohio Gas Station Glitch Lets Drivers Fill Up for Pennies

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – A computer glitch led to a brief price war between two gas stations in northwest Ohio, allowing some drivers to fill their tanks for pennies per gallon.

WTOL reports that a computer malfunction dropped prices at one north Toledo gas station, and another across the street lowered its prices to stay competitive early Sunday.

Customer Taylor Kline told the station he filled his empty tank for just 26 cents. The extra-low pricing lasted at least three hours before returning to normal.

Ohio’s average price for a gallon of regular gas was $1.55 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s down from $2.29 a year ago.

The national average Monday for regular gas was $1.70.

Jumping Donkey Leaps to Fame In Egyptian Village

AL-ARID, Egypt (AP) – A donkey has leapt to fame in a small Egyptian village by defying her species’ well-known stubbornness and jumping hurdles on command.

Ahmed Ayman, a 14-year-old farmer living in the Nile Delta north of Cairo, discovered his donkey’s natural talent when she leapt over an irrigation canal one day, and decided to train her. “We got a very small barrier, and then would make it higher and higher each day,” he said.

Now the two perform in front of crowds of gleeful children from their village of al-Arid.

Ayman uses a wooden baton to urge the donkey on and leaps over a homemade wooden barrier in the style of an equestrian.

A cousin has posted pictures of the feat online, which have been spread through social media.

Donkeys are a fixture of daily life in rural Egypt, where they are used for transportation or to haul goods, and can often be seen in Cairo and other major cities. But it’s rare to see a donkey gallop, much less go airborne.

“I have never seen a jumping donkey before. We even tried it with another donkey and when it reached the barrier it stopped,” said Abdel-Moneim Sayed, Ayman’s uncle.

“A donkey is very stubborn. If he knows that he cannot pass a barrier he will not even try, no matter what you do,” says Sayed.

Ayman dreams of one day jumping horses, but he says he would never part with his donkey, even for a huge sum of money, “because she can jump.”