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It's Marmot Day, but don't count on any predictions

Animal Kingdom

It's Marmot Day, but don't count on predictions

Everybody knows that today is Groundhog Day, and by the time you read this we'll know whether a group of Pennsylvania men dressed like they are playing a live-action version of Monopoly has decided that a large rodent has "seen" its shadow or not, and report on what this means to the persistence of seasonal weather patterns. Wow, it kind of sounds stupid when you say it that way. Anyway, lest Punxsutawney Phil be the only member of the family sciuridae to be honored today, Alaska has declared Feb. 2 as marmot day. What's a marmot? Well, it's a ground squirrel . . . that mostly looks like a groundhog. The marmot will not be given any prognostication duties. It's just sort of a celebration.

Ohio reindeer gets a brand new leg

The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reports that Kathy Simmons, an orthotist in Granville, has outfitted a reindeer with a prosthetic leg. Simmons admits that when the unidentified owner called her, she thought it was a gag. "I never even knew reindeer were domesticated," she said. But when the woman actually brought in a three-legged reindeer, Simmons helped create a prosthetic for it. "He's a high-tech critter," said prosthetist Joe Nye. It was too early to tell whether the reindeer would be ready to fly by Christmas.

Traffic court

Man cited for congestion in traffic

Michael Mancini of Prestwick, Scotland, was feeling a little stuffy while stuck in traffic recently. So, with traffic at a standstill, he says he applied the parking brake, accessed a tissue and went about the destuffing. Before he could dispose of the tissue, he says, he was waved over by four officers and given a ticket for not maintaining proper control of his vehicle. "I thought it was some kind of Beadle's About moment," he told the Daily Mail. Roughly translated, that means he thought he was on Candid Camera. Or Punk'd, for those of you under 40. Anyway, Mancini says he is going to fight the $96 ticket.

Police reports

Attempted robber calls the police

Police in San Diego aren't giving us names of any of the people involved, but follow along with what happened, as reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune: Alleged Creep, 43, calls police to report that he has been assaulted. Police arrive, and determine that, yes, in fact, Creep had been punched but that he did not give the whole story when he called it in. Further investigation revealed that Creep was attempting to rob Victim, 83, when Hero, age unavailable, saw this happening and popped him to break it up. Creep was arrested on suspicion of elder abuse and robbery.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at

It's Marmot Day, but don't count on any predictions 02/01/10 [Last modified: Monday, February 1, 2010 11:07pm]
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