Tree sees Tweet twit coming, pops him in head
Last year, neighborhoods in London added padding to lamp posts when texters started slamming into them as they walked along. That's not cutting it, apparently. A man in Bristol, England, was slammed to the ground while posting from his phone to Twitter when he smacked into a heavy tree branch. Then he blamed the tree. "The branch came out of nowhere and hit my face hard," James Coleman, 23, told the Daily Telegraph. The paper did not get comment from the tree, but we're willing to assume that it had established position. Coleman got a black eye, but is on the mend. "I was a laughingstock at the office. I guess you could say I feel a right Twit."
Shrapnel slips, man feels better
Alf Mann, 87, was injured in an explosion during World War II. The former member of Britain's Royal Army Medical Corps never talked about it much, because it hurt too much. In fact, a jaw injury made it hard to talk at all, or even eat. Until a recent morning when he woke up to find his pillow bloody ... and a piece of shrapnel that had been in his jaw since 1944. "I had no idea that it was in my jaw," Mann told the Daily Mirror. "It's fantastic now. I can move my mouth properly and I have been able to eat steak and lamb cutlets, which I couldn't before." Mann's wife, Constance, has reveled in all the stories he is telling her now, but the eating thing has proved a bit of a challenge. "The food bills are more expensive," she said.
Rome and Prague: It's an arms race
Rome: Vandals threw paint-filled balloons at a controversial museum designed by U.S. architect Richard Meier. Critics contend the modern building clashes with Rome's classical architecture. No one claimed responsibility or gave a motive.
Prague: Protesters have made sport of shelling Jiri Paroubek, chairman of the left-wing Social Democrats. It started with a lone lobber two weeks ago, then 43,000 people joined a Facebook group called "Eggs for Paroubek in every town!" On Wednesday, 16 people were detained after about a dozen of them hit their target. Young people in the Czech Republic think Paroubek is out of touch.
In April of 2006, doctors told Jon Matthews of Milton Keynes, England, he had cancer and only months to live. So he went to the bookmakers and placed a wager that he would still be alive on June 1, 2008. He was, and collected $8,200. He let it ride, and on Monday collected another $8,200. Those bets were at 50-to-1. For the coming year, the bookmaker gave him 100-to-1. For Matthews, 59, it's all about the incentive. "I know I'm going to die eventually and I have no real need for money, so it will mostly go to worthy causes."
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.