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The skinny

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 5, 2007


BOSTON CATCHES UP

LITTLE WD-40, HISTORIC BELL RINGS AGAIN

Turns out, all it took for the city of Boston to ring in a new year, or just noon, was a new piece of rope and some WD-40. A British-forged bell from 1866 rested at the top of Faneuil Hall, but for as long as anyone could remember, it was ringless, the Boston Globe reported. Historic bell, big fix-it bill, right? City officials found that just repeated sprays of the off-the-shelf lubricant on the rusted striker and a new rope had it ringing like a champ. Now they figure they might take advantage every Sunday afternoon, July Fourth - and maybe New Year's Eve.

HEART TRANSPLANT

Kidney puts love back in marriage

After more than 10 years of marriage, Chip and Cindy Altemos of South Whitehall Township, Pa., agreed about five years ago to separate, see other people and begin divorce proceedings - too much baggage from previous marriages, they said. But when 48-year-old Chip was hospitalized with kidney failure in September, Cindy, 49, offered him one of hers. "There was no way I could walk around with two kidneys and he had none, " she said. Chip Altemos said his wife's gesture put an end to his new relationship and to talk of divorce. The transplant happened Feb. 21, and the two will be married 17 years in October. "I guess just being around each other, we slowly fell back in love again, " he said. Or maybe he's holding out for the second kidney?

ACCIDENTAL FINDS

Nope, not rocks - big, big bones

Australian rancher Stuart Mackenzie thought maybe he had found just a rock while mustering cattle two years ago near the town of Eromanga. Instead, his discovery of that first dinosaur bone helped uncover a 5-foot-long, 220-pound humerus from the foreleg of an ancient creature - from what scientsts say was an 82-foot behemoth, the largest dinosaur ever found in Australia. Searches have now turned up bones from two animals, titanosaurs, that would have been about two buses in length. That foreleg, he said, "was the daddy of them all."

Bulldoze driveway, find a forest?

When Clyde Friend, 50, saw the glinting in his driveway, he was probably thinking precious stone. But not an entire forest of it, more than 15-million years old, standing as upright as it did when it was still just plain old wood. Now, the Seattle Times reports, he has spent five years pulling the rare petrified trees from his property, a hillside above Yakima, Wash. A local museum just paid him $150, 000 for four stumps, some polished slices and two trunks (a discount, the Seattle Times says). Multiply that by the more than 200 "trees" he also has excavated. Though they're not for sale - yet.

SMART MOVE

I mean, would you have eaten there?

The KFC/Taco Bell in New York that was shut down after dozens of rats were videotaped crawling around its floor will stay closed for good, the chain's owner told investors. But it did reopen 10 other restaurants.

Compiled from Times wires and other sources.