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The skinny

The Skinny: Of mice, police and the soft side of PETA

no fur hits the fan

OF MICE, POLICE AND THE SOFT SIDE OF PETA

The suspects were small, furry and elusive, as mice tend to be. They were scurrying around police headquarters in Lower Manhattan. Janitors were put on the case. Traps were set — glue traps, to be exact. But not everyone was happy: Someone complained to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA proposed alternatives: traps of the neck-snapping variety. They are more humane, after all — no frustrating struggle for snared animals. One "thwack!" and it's over. The cops followed the advice. And that's how the New York Police Department this week was given the Compassion Award from PETA, a group better known for excoriating those who wear fur, the New York Times reported. "We built a better mousetrap," police spokesman Paul Browne said.

a winning bid

'Star-Spangled Banner' wows 'em

An 1814 first edition of the Star-Spangled Banner going for $300,000? No way. Christie's auction house said an anonymous telephone bidder placed a winning bid of $506,500 on Friday. The pre-sale estimate was $200,000 to $300,000. Christie's said it's the only known copy in private hands and one of 11 first-edition copies known to exist. The others are in institutions or university libraries. Francis Scott Key wrote a first draft of the poem in September 1814. It was set to music and rushed into print, typos and all. Now, someone is the new owner of an original version of the U.S. national anthem.

CALL IT A MIRACLE

Recovery gives her name to remember

A Sumatran tiger cub nearly died last month at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Wash. Instead, it made a remarkable recovery and became "Miracle Mali." On Nov. 15, the 6-month-old cub had emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage and went into cardiac arrest. On Friday, she made a public appearance. And she's acting like a normal tiger, the zoo said.

a barber's tale

Pay no attention to that errant SUV

Talk about a close shave. An SUV crashed into a barbershop in Anchorage, Alaska. It narrowly missed shop owner Heng Song and his two customers. But Song wasn't about to let the scary moment get in the way of a good haircut. No one was seriously hurt, so when things calmed down Wednesday, Song returned to the chair and continued the haircut he had started. He wouldn't let a loyal customer go home with a botched job, he said. Leaving a customer with half a haircut would be "something too ugly." He also cut the other customer's hair. Both at no charge.

Compiled from Times wire services

The Skinny: Of mice, police and the soft side of PETA

12/03/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 3, 2010 9:58pm]

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