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FACEBOOK SAVES LIVES ... WELL, IN A ROUNDABOUT WAY

Status update

Two preteen girls in Adelaide, Australia, found themselves stuck in a drainage well. The story of how they got there is probably either near-tragic or hilarious, but it wasn't included in the news reports due to the nature of their rescue. Seems the girls got decent reception on their cell phone, so they did the obvious thing and updated their Facebook statuses. When a friend saw "(Girl's Name) is stuck in a storm drain in the south suburbs," they called for help, and they were saved. Happy, right? But then fire department spokesman Glenn Benham brought up an excellent point: "If they were able to access Facebook from their mobile phones, they could have called 000 (Australia's 911)." Huh. So they didn't really need Facebook. Interesting.

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Critics' choice

Pile of garbage wins $15,000 prize

New Zealand's Waikato Museum has awarded the National Contemporary Art Award, and the $1 5,000 that goes with it, to Berlin artist Dane Mitchell, for his piece called Collateral. Mitchell's work, if you can call it that, consisted of a pile of packing material discarded by the other artists as they installed their works. And he didn't even do it. He asked the staff to collect the stuff in a bin, then dump it. Genius? Not in the eyes of the other artists. One artist told the Waikato Times that it was a "sad mockery," but the museum defended the decision, saying, "There will always be people who love things and those who hate them."

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Police reports

He stole a lot, but not her heart

Three robbers broke in to Diana Martinez's house in Columbus, Ohio, and made off with wallets and purses. But one of them saw something he liked - Martinez - and returned a couple of hours later to ask her for a date. He was cool about it, asking her if she had a boyfriend first. But she got her cousin to call police anyway, and they arrived while Martinez was still working out scheduling issues with the suspected robber, Stephfon Bennett, reports the Columbus Dispatch. "We are not exactly sure what he was thinking at the time," said Sgt. Shaun Laird. Or even if he was thinking.

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Emergency room

Be careful where you chase rabbits

Joseph Asher of Greenville, S.C., had been listed as a missing person, but police know where he is now. He walked into a hospital naked and covered in burns. But how did all that happened? Well, Asher, 38, says he was chasing a rabbit. He followed it into a power station. At some point, he is believed to have jumped up on an electrical transformer assembly, grabbing a component that sent about 100,000 volts of electricity through his body. Police know this happened, because that was where they found the stack of ashes that had been his clothes. No one has any idea why Asher was chasing the rabbit, but it seems unlikely that the rabbit had climbed the transformer. He is recovering.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at jwebster@sptimes.com.

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