curious news

Most people living in Western, developed countries are psychologically distinct from the rest of the world.

For one, they tend to be more individualistic and think of themselves as being independent of other people.

Sun Sentinel

Do you smell a rat?

If you live it the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area it wouldn’t be terribly uncommon. That’s according to Orkin, the pest-control company that includes us in its annual “Top 50 Rattiest Cities.”

Miami-Fort Lauderdale takes the cheese at No. 20. We’re actually down three spots from last year’s list but still rank the highest of all Florida cities. (To be fair, we also have the highest population of humans in the state.)

After a record-breaking 780 days circling the Earth, the U.S. Air Force's mysterious X-37B unmanned space plane dropped out of orbit and landed safely on the same runway that the space shuttle once used.

It was the fifth acknowledged mission for the vehicle, built by Boeing at the aerospace company's Phantom Works.

It's a story fit for Hollywood.

An unidentified woman, her hair pulled up in pigtails and arms loaded with bags, sings a hauntingly beautiful rendition of a Puccini aria seemingly spontaneously on the platform of a Los Angeles Metro stop.

A video of the woman was posted to Twitter by the Los Angeles Police Department late Thursday evening.

British police have arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with the theft of a solid gold toilet from a palace west of London.

The toilet, titled America, is a work of art by the 58-year-old Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. It had been installed for an exhibition at England's Blenheim Palace earlier this week.

Blenheim Palace confirmed the theft in a statement posted on Twitter.

Egyptian Goose
cuatrok77 vis Flickr Creative Commons / WLRN

A large flock of Egyptian Geese has taken Coconut Creek's Sabal Pines Park - and its sports fields - hostage.

City officials brainstormed potential solutions to what has become a problematic situation with residents who want their park back and environmentalists who don't want to see the geese get harmed at a community meeting held on Monday night.

The first time I stuck my head into the mouth of a great white shark, I did not flinch. In fairness to the shark, named Bruce, he was old. And made of fiberglass, with chipped wooden teeth. That was nine years ago.

I found him in a Sun Valley, Calif., junk yard.

A few weeks ago, I did it all again. Same shark. Only this time, I broke a sweat and closed my eyes. Bruce had gotten a makeover. He now has row after row of razor-sharp teeth and a hauntingly deep, fleshy gullet.

It took a week, but wildlife officials in Chicago say they've finally captured a 5-foot-long alligator nicknamed Chance the Snapper. The gator surprised city residents who spotted it last Tuesday in Humboldt Park, on the city's West Side.

It's the Cubs, Bulls and Bears that usually get Chicagoans talking, but this week the animal that has residents snapping to attention is a real live alligator cruising through a lagoon in the city.

The alligator, estimated to be between 4 and 5 feet long, was spotted Tuesday in the unlikely locale of Humboldt Park on the city's West Side.

Surprised parkgoers called 911, and responding officers brought in animal control.

Courtesy

Homestead police began the Fourth of July responding to an unwelcome backyard guest: a young black bear strolling from home to home in a popular subdivision on the east side of town.

A resident called police around 1:30 a.m.. Thursday in the Oasis housing development, reporting a bear sighting. Squad cars arrived and officers spotted what they described as a four-foot-tall black bear “walking in between backyards,” said Homestead Police Col. Scott Kennedy.

North Florida is seeing a sudden surge in the number of homeless cats and kittens. Deidre Carey is with the Leon County Humane Society.

Grumpy Cat — the blue-eyed cat with the withering stare and permafrown that suggested perpetual irritation — has died, her family announced early Friday. She was 7.

The scowling kitty died of complications from a urinary tract infection, her owners said.

"Some days are grumpier than others," Tabatha Bundesen wrote, announcing her cat's death.

Born in 2012, Grumpy Cat became a darling of memes, cat fanciers and anyone who needed to be reminded that somewhere out there, there was a cat who looked as grumpy as they felt.

Jennifer Lett / Sun Sentinel

As a cultural melting pot, it’s tough to pin down exactly what a “Miami accent” sounds like. (Aside from over-the-top Latin exaggerations you hear on TV.)

Yet a survey done by the website Big 7 Travel has named Miami the 13th sexiest accent in the United States.

In the tiny town of Erwin, Tenn., history is the elephant in the room.

At the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce, Cathy Huskins remembers one particularly angry tourist "came barreling through the door, and came up to the counter here and slung her hands down. ... And she says, 'I cannot believe that you killed an elephant!' "

Librarian Angie Georgeff is used to the strange phone calls and unannounced visits from world travelers:

Jeffrey Salter / Courtesy

South Florida author Dave Barry wants to be more like his dog, Lucy.

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