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Economic samaritan

Tracy Orr went to a foreclosure auction in Pottsboro, Texas, on Saturday. It was her house being auctioned off. She was distraught at the thought of losing it, and when Marilyn Mock asked her questions about it, she just started crying. Then Mock was the winning bidder, getting for $30,000 a house that Orr paid $80,000 for in 2004. Then Mock told Orr she didn't have to move out. She can keep the house and start making payments to Mock when they finalize a deal. "She needed help. That was it," Mock said. "I just happened to be there. Anybody else would have done the same thing."

Search for Spock

From here, you can almost see Vulcan

You don't have to be much of a Star Trek fan to know that Mr. Spock was from the planet Vulcan. You'd have to be a pretty big fan, though, to remember that in the show, Vulcan orbits the star Epsilon Eridani. So now that NASA has found two bands of rocky and metal fragments surrounding the star - could one be Vulcan?! - it is only logical to begin conjecture that one of those rocks could be inhabited. Sounds like sequel time.


Go for a shot, and go for the record

The University of Minnesota dispensed 11,538 flu shots over the course of nine hours on Tuesday, presumably shattering the old flu shot record of 3,271, set two years ago in Sanford. The feat required the services of 60 people qualified to administer the injection. Guinness is considering the record, but the number includes shots given at four campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, which sounds an awful lot like cheating.

Arousing interest

Telephones are a dangerous tool

- Democrats in Michigan made fliers to get party members to apply for absentee ballots. There was a typo in the number. And since you are reading it here, you know where the number went. It was a whole different kind of hotline.

- A Republican candidate for Congress sent out a robo-call against his Democratic opponent that got a little out of control when the volunteer recording it showed a little too much enthusiasm. "Mike Thompson has been a bad boy," she said, and the inappropriate tone and double entendres spiraled from there. "(It) was not exactly the tone I wanted to set," Zane Starkewolf said.

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


"I was in Las Vegas over the weekend. I thought it would be empty with the economy the way it is. But it wasn't. There were people everywhere. Turns out roulette is less risky than the stock market."

Craig Ferguson, host of Late, Late Show