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The skinny

The skinny: If you think you need cheese, just go get cheese

Snack emergencies

If you think you need cheese, just go get cheese

Gerri Guardipee, 63, sat down in front of the television in her Kent, Wash., home and was about to dig in to a late-night bowl of chili when it hit her: There is cheese in the fridge. It should be on my chili. While she was properly adorning that bowl of red, she heard a crash in the living room. "I thought at first it was an earthquake," she told KOMO-TV. But it was actually a car that had crashed through her wall, and hit the chair she had been sitting in moments earlier. "Had I not gotten up to get the cheese I would probably be dead." Which should serve as a lesson to us all. Police do not know what caused the 24-year-old driver to lose control. He died in the crash.

Train workers burned with toast

The King's Cross St. Pancras station on London's commuter train line has been closed twice in the past six weeks due to fire alarms. The station was closed for about 20 minutes each time, and firefighters responded to the scene on both occasions. The other similarity between the two emergencies: Both were caused when someone burned toast in the staff lounge, according to the London Evening Standard. "Staff have been reminded to take care when using the cooking facilities," a spokeswoman said.

Space oddity

Hawking: Let's try to avoid the aliens

Professor Stephen Hawking is smarter than almost any of us, probably, and he says that aliens almost certainly exist. "To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational," he said. He says that life could be microbial, or worms, or intelligent life on massive ships seeking a planet to exploit. So his general advice is that we should not go out looking for them. "If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the American Indians," he said in an alien-centric episode of Discovery Channel's Into the Universe. "We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet."

Pet peeves

Dog is okay, but recliner is shot

Ken Makris, 87, had a nice recliner in his apartment in Naperville, Ill. Unfortunately, all the mechanical features of the chair stopped working when his dog, Ebonyser, became lodged in it. Which was bad on two levels: First, the chair wasn't working, and second, the dog couldn't get out. This resulted in a call to the fire department, which was next door. They got Ebonyser free with the aid of a saw, further diminishing the comfort of the chair, but totally solving the stuck dog problem. "It took about five minutes to get him free," paramedic Scott Bolda told the Daily Herald of suburban Chicago. "We've never had to rescue a dog like that before." Ebonyser is on painkillers but went for a walk on Monday.

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

The skinny: If you think you need cheese, just go get cheese 04/26/10 [Last modified: Monday, April 26, 2010 10:51pm]
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