the plot thickens
poe fans are not deterred by 2010 no-show
Fans of American author Edgar Allan Poe are heading to Baltimore again this year to try for a glimpse of the shadowy figure known only as the "Poe toaster" — even though the mystery visitor was a no-show last year. An anonymous caller had left three roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac on Poe's grave on the Jan. 19 anniversary of the writer's birth every year for some six decades, but the person failed to appear in 2010. But that's not the end of the story. If anything, the no-show has deepened the mystery, attracting more curiosity to the ritual. The curator of the Poe House and Museum says he's expecting a larger crowd than usual Wednesday morning as fans gather in hopes that the Poe toaster will return. Poe was born in 1809 and died Oct. 7, 1849.
Saddle up and avoid that DUI
A Montana Department of Transportation public safety video that features a horse picking up a rider at a bar is intended as a metaphor to encourage drinkers to get a ride home. But it is being taken literally by some in a state well known for its horse culture. Helena police Chief Troy McGee says he has received many calls from residents wanting to know if riding a horse while under the influence is legal. McGee told the Independent Record newspaper that it is. Montana law carefully defines a vehicle and excludes those running under animal power. The popular 30-second video titled "Sober Friend" shows a savvy horse carefully obeying traffic laws on a nighttime journey through town before stopping in front of a bar to pick up a rider.
No sun? Bring in the tanning beds
A centuries-old Russian prison notorious for its primitive conditions will soon offer inmates a new perk — tanning beds. The ITAR-Tass news agency cited federal prisons service official Viktor Dezhurov as saying the tanning beds at Moscow's Butyrskaya prison will be ready for observances of its 240-year anniversary this year. Dezhurov was quoted as saying the tanning beds are meant to compensate for inadequate sunlight in the cells. But inmates will have to pay, and at 33 cents a minute, that's a sizable fee in a country where the average monthly salary is well under $1,000.
Compiled from Times wires.