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Work in progress

An artist in Tasmania is working on a sculpture that might seem to suggest an antismoking message. Adrian Avenell plans a 15-foot by 6-foot piece featuring a coffin and a Grim Reaper. His medium calls into question his motive, however. To build it, he needs 200,000 cigarette butts. "I've estimated if I can get 50 40-a-day smokers to save their butts for me, I could get what I need in about six months," Avenell told the Mercury of Tasmania. Avenell smokes, but a paltry 10 per day, so he'll need help. "I am hoping Australia's antismoking lobby will commission the piece," he said. But he insists there is not a specific antismoking message attached to it, despite the whole death theme. "It is just an artistic piece I want to make using quite different material."

Aggravated stupid

Hedgehog hurl may land man in jail

Police in New Zealand have arrested William Sinalargh, charging him with assault on a teenage boy in the town of Whakatane. Specifically, he is charged with throwing a hedgehog at the boy. "It hit the victim in the leg, causing a large, red welt and several puncture marks," police Senior Sgt. Bruce Jenkins said. The teen did not need medical treatment. It is not known whether the weapon was alive or dead when it was hurled at the 15-year-old, but it is known that it was dead when police picked it up as evidence. Sinalargh's lawyer says he will plead innocent. He could get five years in prison.

Man applies for job, then robs store

There have been many stories about criminals who drop some sort of ID during the commission of a crime, but very, very few on those who left all their pertinent information with a business by filling out a job application just prior to robbing the joint. Police in Athens, Ga., say that's how they caught Demetrius Robinson. They say that as he was waiting for customers to clear the Golden Pantry he filled out the application to kill time. He gave a phony address, but his real name and an uncle's phone number. Police arrested him Saturday.

Hair club for men

Billionaires seem to prefer brunets

A very important study has revealed that blonds can have their fun, but billionaires tend to hook up with brunets. A report conducted by the Internet company Lycos, which owns a dating site, studied the coif color of the wives and girlfriends of the world's top 100 male billionaires. They found 62 percent were linked to brunets, 22 percent preferred blonds and 16 percent of the beloved have black hair. If you were wondering, there isn't a red-head in the top 100.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at

"Larry King this week was asked by the umpire to leave his son's Little League baseball game. Partly because of his behavior, and partly because his son is 81 years old."

Amy Poehler, Weekend Update anchor on Saturday Night Live