the winners are …
London awaits rocking horse and rooster
What do a giant blue rooster and a boy on a rocking horse have in common? They will stand alongside a statue of a military hero, Adm. Horatio Nelson, in London's Trafalgar Square. They're the winning entries and thus the next two artworks to fill the square's empty "fourth plinth," one of the city's major showcases for public art. The fourth plinth was erected in 1841 for an equestrian statue that was never completed. Since 1999 it has been occupied by artworks erected for about 18 months at a time. The current occupant is Yinka Shonibare's Nelson's Ship in a Bottle, a replica of the naval hero's HMS Victory. The rocking horse sculpture by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset follows next year, then the rooster by Katharina Fritsch in 2013. The "witty and enigmatic creations underline London's position as one of the most exciting cities for art and are sure to keep people talking," Mayor Boris Johnson said.
When a Beemer just won't do
A third-hand used car isn't likely to raise eyebrows on Philippine streets — unless it's a Porsche bought by President Benigno Aquino III. Some commentators noted that he bought the flashy car after criticizing the lifestyle of his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. But this is different, he said. After all, he paid for the car himself ($102,000) and sold his BMW.
At 93, a date with a federal prison
Convicted Colombo mob boss John "Sonny" Franzese is so old, he knew Frank Sinatra in his heyday. He's so old, his recent extortion trial in New York became nap time — even when his turncoat son took the witness stand against him. A federal judge decided Friday that Franzese is not so old that he can avoid prison. Franzese, 93, got eight years for extorting strip clubs and a pizzeria. His response? A fragmented mumble: "I never got a fair … "
A prize worthy of potato diet king
One potato, two potatoes, three potatoes ... After 60 days of essentially an all-potato diet, it's no surprise that Chris Voigt of Pasco, Wash., collected the National Potato Council's Potato Man of the Year award. Voigt, who is executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission, told the Columbia Basin Herald that he ate nothing but potato dishes for the 60-day stretch last fall to demonstrate they are healthy and not junk food. Midway through, he noted there are only so many ways to prepare a potato, but he's smiling now. And he's 21 pounds lighter.
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources.