The biweekly water aerobics class at a holiday park in northern Australia was postponed Tuesday when an unwanted guest entered the pool – a 5-foot-long crocodile. A government ranger was summoned to remove the visitor, which was identified as a freshwater crocodile – generally considered to be capable of giving a nasty bite but rarely fatal to humans. ***MARLAR: They are also great at giving your heart and aerobic workout.
Real Goods Solar Inc. has been selling solar panels for homes for years, but its latest mail-order catalog goes one step further: The Louisville (LOO’-iss-vil), Colo., company offers a whole solar house, with a choice of traditional or cedar siding. The factory-built, one-story house by Boulder-based Solar Village Homes goes for $90,000 to $120,000. It has energy-efficient and energy-producing features, including solar electrical and hot water systems. Setting it up could cost $40,000 to $100,000 extra. Solar Village co-founder Mark Kostovny says it’s possible for solar home owners to have no energy bills, depending on their consumption. ***MARLAR: Good thing, because they’ll need the money to pay for their catalog order.
Chicago is a cold, snowy place every winter. But somehow, the squirrels manage to survive. Now, a University of Illinois researcher is trying to figure out how they pull it off. Joel Brown and his team of students plan to trap about 200 squirrels, put bright collars on them, and follow them around. They’ll also put threads on acorns and nuts to track where the squirrels take them. Brown’s team is going to use the same kinds of methods normally used to study animals in places like Africa. But he says not much research gets done into the lives of urban animals. ***MARLAR: Because we don’t care.
Soon, you’ll be able to get your coffee black, light or even solar. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters of Vermont is looking to the sun to help cut its electric bill. The company is planning a major solar power installation this spring. More than 500 panels will be placed on top of Green Mountain’s distribution center. Coffee company officials say the project is expected to produce enough electricity to run the equivalent of 16 houses year-round. That’s a lot of juice for a cup of joe. ***MARLAR: If you already like dark coffee, just wait until it comes to you with a suntan!
Ellen Basinski is getting her favorite sauce pan and then some. The 70-year-old wife of an Ohio judge used her pan to fight off four teens who had invaded her home. But Basinski was upset when the police took her pan as evidence. Chef Emeril Lagasse says he feels for the woman. He’s sending Basinski a set of his signature cookware to replace the pan she used as a weapon. ***MARLAR: Who knew that elderly ladies could be Skillet fans? (The band’s fans are called “pan heads.”)
A recent survey shows 81% of Americans do more than drive when they’re behind the wheel. Eight out of 10 surveyed by Nationwide Mutual Insurance said they adjust the radio or music while they drive. ***MARLAR: As for the two out of ten – liar, liar pants on fire!
A poll of 3,000 Americans found that for 41 percent, the thing they’re most afraid of is speaking before a group of people. 32 percent stated they were afraid of heights. ***MARLAR: The remaining 27 percent clammed up when asked the question because they were afraid of people with clipboards.
A Polish woman got fed up with her husband returning home drunk, so she chained him in a freezing dog kennel and fed him nothing but water and dog food for several days. ***MARLAR: He would’ve called for help, but the Alpo was better than her usual cooking.