QUIRKY WORLD... Hero cat invited to "throw" baseball first pitch

USA:

QUIRKY WORLD... Hero cat invited to "throw" baseball first pitch

Tara, the California cat that became a YouTube sensation after being caught on video saving a boy from a dog attack, has been invited to “throw” the first pitch at a minor league baseball game.

Video footage showed a dog dragging 4-year-old Jeremy from his tricycle in a driveway in Bakersfield.

Tara, the family’s cat, ran to the rescue, broadsided the dog, and chased it away from the child. She then returned to the boy.

“Thankfully, it wasn’t worse,” the child’s father, Roger Triantafilo, wrote in a posting with the video. “My son is fine.”

Local minor league baseball team the Bakersfield Blaze has invited the cat, assisted by the Triantafilo family, to throw the first pitch at a game on May 20.

“We will be attempting to have her throw out the first pitch. Now, how that goes off, we’ll see, but the idea is to have her pitch the ball,” said Philip Guiry, assistant general manager for the Blaze. Jeremy will also pitch a ball.

The dog, described as an 8-month-old Labrador-Chow mix, is scheduled to be euthanised four days after the game, according to Bakersfield police.

The Triantafilo family could not be reached for comment.

SNAIL SOLUTION

ENGLAND: It is an age-old problem for gardeners — how to handle the pests that chomp through the plants in the flower beds.

A recent survey by the Royal Horticultural Society found that a fifth of gardeners admitted to throwing snails over the fence into their neighbours’ garden to get rid of them.

Research suggests that it is a strategy that is just as effective as killing the snails, despite their “homing instinct” which means they frequently make their way back again. Gardeners would do best with a strong throwing arm, the research found, as snails removed at least 20m rarely came back.

QUESTION OF TIME

EGYPT: A sudden switch to daylight saving time has everyone asking the same question: What time is it?

The decision to move clocks ahead one hour, now putting the country two hours ahead of Ireland, saw computers and mobile phones showing the wrong time. Worried employees at Cairo International Airport made sure to adjust announcements and scurried to help passengers, though the flights appeared calm during the day.

Egypt’s military-backed interim government made the decision to move clocks ahead as a power-saving measure. It will flip back next month as people begin celebrating the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, then resume until September.

EASY RIDER

USA: Motorcyclists and movie fanatics from as far away as Canada have made the pilgrimage to northern New Mexico to celebrate Dennis Hopper and his counterculture film Easy Rider.

Dozens of motorcyclists gathered in the dusty, adobe-encircled plaza in the community of Ranchos de Taos, about 8km south of Taos, to kick off what town officials hope will be an annual event — Dennis Hopper Day — with a rally and ride through some of the places made famous in the 1969 film.

Saturday would have been the late actor and director’s 78th birthday. Hopper lived in Taos for years and is buried there.

PERSUASIVE PURCHASE

ENGLAND: Roger Moore’s signature Aston Martin from hit 1970s action adventure show The Persuaders! has been sold at auction for a world record £533,000 (€655,000).

The 1970 Bahama Yellow DBS, which Moore’s playboy character Lord Brett Sinclair drove on his adventures around Europe, was snapped up at Bonhams annual auction at the Aston Martin Works.

Specially modified for its role in the series, the sports car was very much the star of the afternoon in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, and set a world record for a DBS sold at auction.

The car featured in almost all of the 24 episodes of The Persuaders! with its BS 1 number plate — for Brett Sinclair.

METEOR TROUBLE

USA: A small central Iowa city is having a big problem drilling a new well, and the reason could date back millions of years.

Manson has failed three times to drill for a new steady water supply. The difficulty apparently is due to a meteor that struck an estimated 74m years ago, creating what is known as the Manson impact crater.

Geologists believe the meteor caused a catastrophic explosion that burned up everything within 210km, although there now is no evidence of the impact.

Underground, however, remnants of the meteor remain — and they are causing headaches for drill engineers.

To improve the chances of success in their fourth drilling attempt, the city has hired Aquetech Innovation, a company that uses satellite imagery to determine well sites.

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