Quirky World: Fact better than fiction for adopted long-lost sisters

USA: Two women who took a writing class at Columbia University found that their own stories were better than fiction.

They were sisters born to the same teenage mother in the early 1980s and adopted by different families.

The New York Times reported that Lizzie Valverde and Katy Olson discovered they were sisters during a writing class in January 2013.

Valverde grew up in New Jersey while Olson grew up mostly in Florida and Iowa.

Both moved to New York as adults and enrolled in Columbia’s school of general studies.

Olson figured out the connection when Valverde introduced herself to the writing class and talked about being adopted.

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Greasy rescue

USA:

A 22-year-old man was rescued after falling through the roof of a Colorado restaurant and becoming lodged in a greasy kitchen air duct.

Poudre Fire Authority officials said Andrew Neely fell through the roof and was trapped in the chimney at Pueblo Viejo when he called 911. Firefighters and police found the man and crews forced the restaurant door open. Firefighters said the man was stuck directly above the fryer. Crews dismantled the exhaust vents and lowered him down.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan reported that Neely was not injured. He was cited for trespassing.

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Buffalo bike ride

SOUTH AFRICA:

Cyclists in South Africa’s biggest city usually worry about getting hit by vehicles. But one cyclist rode into an unexpected obstacle in Johannesburg’s suburbs: A dead buffalo.

Andrew McLean said he damaged a ligament on his collarbone and broke his hand when he hit the buffalo carcass while riding downhill at up to 60km an hour in Fourways, a suburban area in northern Johannesburg. McLean said he didn’t have time to brake before the pre-dawn accident. Two cycling companions also crashed but were not seriously injured.

“It just looked like a huge shadow,” said McLean, a veteran cyclist who runs a chain of cycling shops.

He recalled lying injured on the road and seeing steam rising off the buffalo’s body.

“I think the buffalo had been running and had died within a couple of minutes of us getting there,” McLean said.

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Shady antics

USA:

Part of the erotic movie Fifty Shades of Grey was shown in a West Virginia high school classroom after students convinced their teacher to let them watch it as a reward for good work.

The Charleston Daily Mail reported that the teacher apparently didn’t know what the film was about.

Hampshire High principal Jeff Woofter said the film was shut down after 10 minutes when an assistant principal walked by and saw what they were watching.

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Penguin search

NORWAY:

Police searched for three baby penguins stolen from an aquarium in a suspected student prank, with time running out for the tiny chicks that cannot survive long outside a nest.

“It’s a tragedy,” Tor Erik Standal, head of the Aalesund Aquarium on Norway’s west coast, told Reuters after the three Humboldt penguin chicks and one egg vanished.

Police charged five or six youths for endangering animals by breaking into the aquarium, based on video surveillance evidence, police investigator Rita Thoresen said.

“None of them admits taking the penguins,” she said.

More than 100 volunteers turned out to help the police search for the flightless birds in the countryside around the aquarium, Standal said. The chicks are about three weeks old and weigh only about 300g each.

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