Setting record was ticklish but disgusting
Have you ever seen a cockroach scamper across the living room floor and wondered, just what is the record for the most cockroaches in someone's mouth? No? Well, that isn't going to stop Travis Fessler of Florence, Ky., from claiming his moment of fame. Fessler works in a sideshow, you'll be surprised to learn, and knew the record was nine. But Fessler thought that if he just did 10, it would only encourage some young punk to break it. So according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, he got 11 of the Madagascar hissing variety, all at least 2.5 inches long, and held them in his mouth for the required 10 seconds (those are the roach rules). Another rule: The bugs had to come out alive. They did. We eagerly await word from Guinness.
Whatever you do, don't say 'squash'
Thad Starr of Pleasant Hill, Ore., won the World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, Calif., on Monday. Starr set the event record last year with a 1,524-pounder, and broke it this year with a gourd that weighed 4 pounds more. He says that the secret is the spectacular soil he grows in and that it allowed his champion to put on about 30 pounds per day. To transport his great pumpkin, which has a circumference of 15 feet, on the 550-mile trip, he needed a new trailer. "We really pamper them," he said.
Pageant takes back seat to politics
Yuan Jing, already a member of Parliament in China's Jiangsu province and the Chinese Communist Youth League's Central Committee, has withdrawn her bid at higher office. Yuan, 22, had been in the running for Miss Chinese International but pulled out of the race due to time constraints ... she says. But the real reason may be that she was accused of exploiting her office to get the tiara. "Contestants naturally would try all means to win votes. Why can't I?" she told Xinhua News Agency.
'Obama' goes 0-8 in Brazil elections
At least eight candidates in local elections in Brazil used the name "Barack Obama" on the ballot, and none of them won. "The name Obama definitely helped," said Claudio Henrique dos Anjos, who used it to run for mayor of Belford Roxo. "It opened the doors for me to talk about projects. It brought a positive result." It didn't bring votes, though, because according to official results he didn't get any. He disputes the shutout. No one ran as "John McCain," meaning that candidates with that name won just as many races as "Barack Obamas."
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.