QUIRKY WORLD ... Dead or alive, I’m planning to cast my ballot

USA: Dale Hopfinger ran into a problem while trying to vote in Michigan: he was told he was dead.

An election worker even told him that local records listed the date of his demise as September 25.

After some persuasion, Hopfinger says officials finally allowed him to cast a ballot last week in Lee Township.

Hopfinger told WNEM-TV he’s been working to figure out what happened, and that the Social Security Administration told him it was likely a clerical error.

The 48-year-old said he plans to visit a Social Security office in Bay City on Friday to try to settle the issue.



A biology teacher is facing possible disciplinary action after killing and skinning a rabbit in class to show students where their food comes from.

Nampa School District spokeswoman Allison Westfall says the Idaho teacher killed the rabbit in front of 16 students by snapping its neck on November 6 at Columbia High School.

The rabbit was then skinned and cut up in front of the 10th graders. Ms Westfall said the demonstration is not part of the biology curriculum and students who did not want to view the lesson were allowed to leave.



An 18-year-old US man has been arrested after allegedly breaking into two homes while naked, at about the same time his own home was destroyed in a fire.

Logan Valle, from Maine, faces charges including burglary, theft and attempted theft. Police say he forced his way into two homes looking to steal car keys.

He was found in the attic of one of them. At about the same time, the nearby home owned by his parents was destroyed in a fire.

Nobody was injured. Valle’s vehicle was found in a country club car park, and police say it appears someone had tried to set fire to it.



A piece of severed ear has been found in a street following a city centre brawl, police have said.

Officers were alerted by staff at the Sunderland Royal Infirmary who had taken a call from a man saying he had found the chunk of flesh in the city.

The discovery was thought to be linked to a fight in Derwent Street, off Park Lane and Stockton Road.

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “Police are in the early stages of investigating this incident; however, they are appealing for witnesses or persons with information to contact them.”



Christmas dinner is set to cost less than last year thanks to the rise of the discounters, bringing some welcome news for consumers.

Good Housekeeping said it would be possible to provide the festive feast for just £2.66 (about €3.34) per guest by shopping around for the cheapest ingredients.

The magazine’s survey found the cheapest Christmas basket is down 3% on last year.



Magicians may now have another tool in their box of tricks — a computer.

Scientists have for the first time “taught” a computer to create magic tricks, using artificial intelligence (AI).

They gave a computer program the outline of how a magic jigsaw puzzle and a card trick work, and fed into it the results of experiments into how humans understand magic tricks.

The program created new variations of those tricks using complex mathematical techniques, but which can still be performed by a magician.



Hundreds of Macy’s department store employees and other volunteers in New York are being schooled in the art of clowning around.

A one-day training session dubbed “Clown U” has been held at the Lincoln Centre for people who want to be among the thousand or so clowns in the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The “professors” were professional clowns from the Big Apple Circus, who donated their time.

The volunteers will be divided into Keystone Kops, billiard balls, wooden soldiers and 25 more teams, each assigned to a balloon or float.



A former director at a Tennessee credit union has his wedding ring back, 25 years after he lost it.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports Bowater Employees Credit Union executive Ginger Carter found the ring when she was jokingly rummaging between chair cushions in one of the offices.

Because the band bore two sets of initials and a wedding date, she determined the ring likely belonged to Bob Lee.

Lee said he thought he had lost the band at a mill where he worked. He had gotten a replacement band years ago.

Lee joked that the credit union in Calhoun needs a new cleaning person.


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