The dumb and dirty
Fire brigade blames calls on 'Fifty Shades'
The London Fire Brigade speculates that the popularity of an erotic novel may account for a spike in handcuff emergencies: 79 in three years. The brigade released its list of trapped body parts Monday to encourage people to use common sense and keep the keys handy. "I don't know whether it's the Fifty Shades (of Grey) effect, but the number of incidents involving items like handcuffs seems to have gone up," said Third Officer Dave Brown. Since 2010, London firefighters have rescued almost 18 children with heads stuck in potties or toilet seats, nine men with rings stuck on their privates, and one man with his stuck in a toaster.
Catch of the week
Not buying story of Putin's pike
President Vladimir Putin, the phenom of the outdoor adventure photo-op, was shown in a Kremlin video with a really, really big pike, the Los Angeles Times has reported. How big is a question that consumed the Russian blogosphere over the weekend and led to an avalanche of humorous and sarcastic remarks. Putin's spokesman insisted it weighed 46 pounds. "The Kremlin must have weighed the pike the way they count the votes," one observer wrote.
• The parents of a 15-year-old Connecticut girl are suing a summer camp in Massachusetts, saying their daughter was kicked out of camp after she was kissed by a boy.
• Firefighters arrived at a Utah home to put out a blaze and discovered more than flames — 28 snakes, six of them deadly.
• A South African chef who moved to New Zealand had his work visa revoked because immigration officials said he is too fat, the BBC reported.
Compiled from wire services and other sources.