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Christmas tree intended as crash scene
A 14-foot Christmas tree appears to have smashed through the roof of a one-story house in Seattle. Wanting passers-by to take a second look, homeowner Patrick Kruger created the illusion by cutting a 14-foot tree into two pieces. He attached the top 6-foot section to a piece of plywood that's bolted to the roof. According to MyNorthwest.com, Kruger, who is an architect, studied the physics of an object breaking through a roof, then added sheathing and typical roof construction materials to create the effect.
Bad mix: Turkey fat, sewers, Psy
Sewer workers in London have used Gangnam Style to kick up a stink about fat being disposed of in sinks, the Guardian reports. The workers are responsible for keeping city sewers clear of blockages, but Christmas is a particularly bad time for what is known in the trade as "fatbergs." These are formed when the plump turkey's fat and other household oils and gunk make their way into the sewer system and solidify. Last year Thames Water dealt with 101 blockages on Christmas Day alone. To raise awareness of the problem, the singing workers changed the lyrics to Psy's international hit, and Sewerman style, recorded a video for YouTube — which makes it clear why they had better keep their day jobs.
Ikea monkey update
Darwin's not home for Christmas
The monkey that shot to worldwide fame this month when it was found wandering an Ikea parking lot wearing a coat did not get to go home for the holidays, the Toronto Star reports. A judge ruled Friday that the monkey must stay at a sanctuary until at least mid January. Owner Yasmin Nakhuda launched a lawsuit to regain custody just days after Darwin was captured by Toronto Animal Services on Dec. 9, following its escape from her car in an Ikea parking lot. The judge says Darwin is "personal property" and "not a human being," which is not how the owner viewed it. The rhesus macaque used to eat, sleep and shower with her, she said. So Darwin didn't get to wear his Santa suit.
Mr. Toad's wild ride
Stowaway lands in a new home
They say cats have nine lives. Now a toad has joined that club of wily survivors. After being trapped for weeks in a cargo shipment from China to Cape Town, South Africa, the toad startled a customer at a store when its leg stuck out of an imported porcelain candlestick, according to the SPCA. But South African officials feared the Asian gold toad would cause harm as an invasive species. A last-minute reprieve spared the toad and it was flown Friday to Johannesburg for delivery to an animal sanctuary. The toad, dubbed Jack B Nimble, is believed to have survived the odyssey from China by hardening its skin to prevent it drying out and also slowing its breathing and heart rate.
Compiled from wire services and other sources.