Wait a second, the year
just got longer
If you were worried that the year is going by too fast, relax. Because of peculiarities in the earth's rotation, scientists will add an extra second to 2005.
According to the International Rotation and Reference Systems Service in Paris, the organization apparently in charge of time, an extra second needs to be added to 2005 to keep atomic time and astronomic time from getting out of whack.
If you can't quite grasp that concept, don't worry. You aren't alone. The "out of whack" theory of scientific measurement is understood by only a handful of scientists and newspaper columnists.
The question is, what will you do with your extra second of 2005? You don't want to waste it. I plan to use mine to further my continuing in-depth research into napping.
Now the news ...
Love flame burns hot
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) » To prove his love, a 38-year-old man set himself on fire before getting down on one knee and asking his girlfriend to marry him.
About 100 people watched Todd Grannis climb up a 10-foot scaffold, light a gasoline-soaked cape he was wearing and then plunge into a swimming pool. Unhurt, he emerged from the pool and proposed.
"Honey, you make me hot," he told his now fiancee, Malissa Kusiek.
(Curiously, she received a similar proposal from another man previously, but contended he was just an old flame.)
When uncles go bad
STUART, Fla. (AP) » A Jack Russell terrier named Kaylee was killed when it attempted to retrieve a powerful firecracker thrown into its owner's yard.
Joseph P. Kolinoski said he and his family were celebrating July 4th when his wife's uncle drove by and threw the firecracker into the yard. The dog raced after the firecracker and was killed when it exploded.
Kolinoski said of the uncle, "He wasn't even invited."
(We can see why.)
Tanzania tissue issue
DAR ES SALAAM,Tanzania (Agence France Presse) » The Tanzanian government is threatening legal action against companies producing sub-standard toilet paper.
The country's chief regulatory body, the Tanzania Bureau of Standards, says it will take manufacturers and distributors of toilet tissue to court if the tissue doesn't meet requirements of softness, size and alkalinity.
A senior TBS official said, "The production of sub-standard toilet paper is not only bad for the manufacturer but could tarnish the country's image."
(Among other things.)
Honolulu Lite on Sunday
It turns out that those nasty box jellyfish that come ashore once a month and sting the bejesus out of swimmers don't like the color red. This would seem to be a very important development for the swimming apparel industry.
Quote Me On This:
"That woman speaks 18 languages and she can't say 'no' in any of them." -- Dorothy Parker
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winner of National Society of Newspaper Columnists awards, appears Tuesdays, Thursdays , Fridays and Sundays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org