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The skinny

The skinny: Tightrope walker breaks record

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Swiss acrobat takes a walk on the wild side

A Swiss acrobat set a world record by completing a walk on a cable car wire nearly 2 miles above the ground. Freddy Nock, 46, did not use a harness or safety nets for the stunt near the Swiss mountain resort of St. Moritz. Using only a balancing stick, he walked down the cable of a funicular on Mount Corvatsch, which is 9,908 feet above sea level. He shuffled along the cable for some 5,249 feet, starting from the mountain station — at 10,836 feet — to the middle station, which is 8,865 feet above sea level. Nock, who starting learning acrobatic skills at 4, successfully completed the walk on his second attempt, after bad weather forced him to stop earlier Saturday.

record passing

World's oldest person dies at 114

An East Texas woman cited as the world's oldest person has died at the age of 114. Eunice G. Sanborn of Jacksonville died Monday morning at her home, according to Patricia Ellis of Boren-Conner Funeral Home of Jacksonville. Ms. Sanborn had been recognized as the world's oldest person since Nov. 4, when a 114-year-old nun named Eugenie Blanchard died on the French Caribbean island of St. Barts, according to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, which uses data from the 1900 census. Robert Young of the group said the title passes to Besse Cooper of Monroe, Ga., who is 114 years and 5 months old.

freeze warning

Alcohol keeps his motor running

A man found on a frozen park bench in his underwear survived because of the amount of alcohol in his blood. Aleksander Andrzej, 32, was spotted in the Warsaw park — where the temperature was 23 degrees — and taken to hospital by police. A breath test showed that his blood-alcohol level was nearly 30 times the threshold at which Polish law presumes someone is unable to drive a motor vehicle safely. Doctors believe alcohol in his blood acted like antifreeze — on the other hand it may have played a part in him ending up on a frozen park bench in his underpants.

cheep chatter

Mayor adds to his flamboyant rep

It may sound like a bird-brained idea, but the mayor of a Mojave Desert city wants to brighten the streets by broadcasting recorded bird songs. The Antelope Valley Press says Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris wants to play the bird chatter from loudspeakers on Lancaster Boulevard. The mayor says there's science to show that listening to bird songs makes people happier. Parris is the man who got a law passed giving the Southern California city the right to castrate pit bulls, ordered city officials to learn Mandarin in a bid to woo Chinese business and riled some people by saying he was growing Lancaster into a Christian community.

Compiled from Times wires.

The skinny: Tightrope walker breaks record 01/31/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 6:13pm]
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