The skinny

Published May 24, 2007



Prince Charles is famously in support of environmental initiatives, so it only makes sense that Madame Tussauds would introduce a brand new royal wax figure that combats climate change. They made the new figure out of recycled wax from a 1989 Prince Charles figure, updated with 82 pounds of organic beeswax, 55 pounds of clay and fiberglass and organic pigments. Then it gets weird. Sculptors could only use their hands and had to work during the day to cut down on electricity use. And workers rode bicycles to meetings during the four-month project. For good measure, they planted three trees to offset any carbon toeprint they might've overlooked. The figure, above, cost $298, 000 to make, which is about the same as a regular figure, and is every bit as creepy.


Fisherman defends his spot, with gun

In the spirit of good sportsmanship, an 86-year-old fisherman in Greensboro, Ga., started shooting at competitors in a fishing tournament. Technically, guns are allowed in fishing tournaments, but John Burke Yearwood wasn't a competitor. It was just that some of the contestants got a little too close to his spot. To his credit, Yearwood fired warning shots into the water first, but then winged one of them in the arm. "He was just trying to warn (them) away from the fishing lines, " said Greene County Sheriff Chris Houston, who took Yearwood in on a charge of aggravated assault nonetheless.


The beer is dumped and ribs are burned

- Runaway rail cars derailed and spilled beer into downtown Denver. The crew lost control of 34 cars while assembling the train about 4:30 a.m. One of the tankers carrying Coors beer overturned and spilled its content. A spokesman for the railway says that they don't know how much beer was lost, but it is possible he was just trying to manage the grief.

- A fire on a farm in northern Japan killed about 2, 000 pigs, which would just be a weekend barbecue party in many cities in the southern United States, though they hadn't been properly dry rubbed first. Authorities noted that the pigs will not be sold at market.


Fake vet sentenced

Steven Vassall, 29, was sentenced to probation and mandatory psychiatric treatment in New York after pleading guilty to scheming to defraud and to unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine. Vassall was arrested last year in a case that gained worldwide attention because of the work of an undercover kitty named Fred. Fred died in a traffic accident in August.

Compiled from Times wires and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster.