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The skinny: 10,267 Chinese set human domino record

Numbers game

10,267 Chinese set a human domino record

In a country with the world's largest population, it was a small gathering. But a world record for the longest chain of human dominoes was still set Thursday in northern China. Arranged in lines, the 10,267 people slowly collapsed backward onto each other in sequence from a sitting position like a line of toppling dominoes. Participants wore color-coordinated clothes that spelled out in English and Chinese the name of the city of Ordos in Inner Mongolia, where the record attempt was made. The monitor for Guinness World Records, Wu Xiaohong, declared the new record. It beat one set a decade ago in Singapore by more than 1,000 people.

Emergency tweet

911 just doesn't work on Twitter

This is getting scary. There are among us people, the Red Cross says, who may turn to Twitter in an emergency — and expect help to arrive. The American Red Cross, as part of an effort to figure out how social media merges with disaster communications, found in an online survey that 1 in 5 adults who couldn't get through on 911 after a disaster said they would try e-mail or a social-network site such as Twitter to call for help. Three out of four reaching out this way said they would expect a response from emergency personnel in an hour or less. Officials at the Red Cross advise all who plan to tweet for emergency help to not hold their breath.

Whiskey wonder

What, no cheers for this discovery?

A crate of Scotch whiskey that was trapped in Antarctic ice for a century was finally opened Friday — but the heritage dram won't be tasted by whiskey lovers because it's being preserved for its historical significance. The crate, recovered from the hut of renowned explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton after it was found there in 2006, was thawed slowly over several weeks at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island. It contained 11 bottles of Mackinlay's Scotch whiskey. Antarctica's minus 22 Fahrenheit temperature was not enough to freeze the liquor, dating from 1896 or 1897 and described as being in remarkably good condition.

Stinking reminder

Utility adds rotten egg smell to bills

Paying bills usually stinks, but gas bills from a utility in Washington state will include something truly odorous this month: the stench of rotten eggs. As part of a safety campaign, Puget Sound Energy is including a scratch-and-sniff pamphlet with its billing statements to remind customers of what leaking gas smells like. Natural gas is odorless, but providers add a chemical to the gas that has a distinctive, sulfur-like aroma similar to rotten eggs so leaks can be detected. Bellevue, Wash.-based PSE serves nearly 750,000 natural gas customers.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources.

The skinny: 10,267 Chinese set human domino record 08/13/10 [Last modified: Friday, August 13, 2010 9:27pm]
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