A minuscule cow with a taste for contemporary music has been named the world’s smallest by the Guinness World Records book. Guinness said the sheep-sized bovine from the West Yorkshire region of northern England measures roughly 33 inches (84 centimeters) from hind to foot. The 11-year-old cow is named Swallow and her owner, Caroline Ryder, said she would spend Thursday either grazing with her herd or listening to BBC radio in her cowshed. Swallow is a Dexter cow, a breed known for its diminutive stature, but is small even by Dexter standards. ***MARLAR: They named her Swallow because that’s the exact amount of milk she produces each day.
The former manager of a school district’s cafeteria service listed his dog as a dependent so he could get discounted school lunches for his children, state police said. The state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s organized crime division announced theft charges Thursday against Gabriel Paulick. Paulick worked for Nutrition Inc. when he managed the Ringgold School District cafeteria system, about 15 miles south of Pittsburgh, police said. Capt. Bret Waggoner, who heads the organized crime unit, said his troopers have investigated school lunch frauds before but never one in which someone tried to pass off a dog as a family member. ***MARLAR: Paulick says it was an honest mistake, as even he had a difficult distinguishing between dog food and school cafeteria lunches.
It’s not Picasso but a New Hampshire woman hopes a piece of art painted by a chicken will raise money to rebuild a playground. The 8.5-by-10-inch painting called “Feathered Fireworks” is being auctioned on eBay. Wendy Thomas of Merrimack says she created the piece by dipping the chicken’s feet in paint then placing the hen on canvas. The bidding started at $9.99. ***MARLAR: Several churches have made bids already – not on the painting, but on the bird. There’s also interest from KFC and a guy named Popeye.
Authorities said a would-be South Carolina bank robber left with a polite “thank you” after a teller told him she didn’t have any money in her cash drawer. North Charleston police told multiple media outlets that 31-year-old Melvin Jesse Blain walked into a Wachovia branch Tuesday afternoon with a note saying he was robbing the bank and asking for $30,000. Investigators said the teller told Blain she had no money and he walked out empty-handed, saying “thank you.” Not long after, officers stopped Blain walking near the bank. Police said he told them he just finished a nearly four-year prison sentence for bank robbery and didn’t want to go back. ***MARLAR: With manners like that, I’m guessing the reason he got out of prison early was because of good behavior.
You might call Tom Frampton a fan fanatic. He opened the Museum of the Antique Fan Collectors Association. The collection is housed in the corporate headquarters of Fanimation, an Indiana company that makes upscale ceiling fans. Frampton is the company president and he owns about a-third of the antique fans on display. For other fan fans, the museum offers a chance to see everything from electric fans, to water-powered fans that date from the early 1880s. ***MARLAR: And then there are Bill Gaither fans who also happen to be antiques.
If you’re a woman and you just don’t get football, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema can help. Bielema hosted an event called Football 101 for Women at Camp Randall Stadium. The event was a breast-cancer fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. For $65, women talked about Xs and Os with Bielema and got on-the-field coaching from Wisconsin assistant coaches. They also got hors d’oeuvres as well as soda, wine and beer, a T-shirt, a rundown of football equipment and a tour of the stadium. ***MARLAR: If you believe getting the quarterback has something to do with retrieving money, this event is for you. (And since when do hors d’oeuvres and wine go with football?)
This really gets my goat. Upset that his third wife couldn’t give him kids, Bulgarian farmer Stoil Panayotov made a deal that stunned the crowd at a livestock market. With his wife’s approval, Stoil traded her for a goat. Stoil came up with the idea after the goat’s owner told him that he had no luck with women and really liked his wife. Stoil says, “This deal was more profitable to the goat owner, I got a second-hand goat and he got a brand new wife.” ***MARLAR: A goat or an unhappy marriage – either way you’re butting heads.
The economy has yet to impact vacation cruise lines, which are building ever-larger ships to meet passenger demand. In Southampton, England, Dame Helen Mirren they’ve christened the Ventura, which cost nearly $700 million and can carry 3,600 passengers. It’s aimed at a younger crowd and will feature 11 eclectic restaurants, a 3D cinema, modern art galleries, an “urban groove” nightclub, salsa classes and a rock guitar school. But it’s a toy boat compared to Royal Caribbean’s 1,180-foot, $1.4 billion ship Genesis, now being built in Finland. It will carry 5,400 and feature a revolutionary design that opens to the sky in the center, where there will be a Central Park-style tropical forest with plants 2-1/2 decks high. ***MARLAR: Or as they call that on a cruise ship, “the salad bar.”