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The skinny

Published May 29, 2007


Casino lockout

PA. gamblers want a chance to lose big

If you know a person who lives in Pennsylvania who is a "pathological gambler, " the chances are no better than 1 in 2, 385 that they signed up for the state's new casino self-exclusion program. Under the program, compulsive gamblers can have themselves effectively banned from the state's casinos. Just 52 people have signed up in the first year. The state estimates that 124, 000 residents, or 1 percent of the population, are "pathological gamblers, " and up to 3 percent are "problem gamblers."

Peak of interest

Everest looking less like a dump

A Japanese mountaineering team brought down about a half-ton of garbage from its most recent trip up Mount Everest and said that the world's highest mountain is looking less like a garbage dump all the time. It was the fifth such trip by Ken Noguchi, who claims to have brought down a total of 19, 800 pounds over the years. He credits awareness with people leaving less junk on the trail. That and maybe the $4, 000 deposit climbers have to leave when they enter that they forfeit if they don't leave with their gear and garbage.

Everest is a long walk in short pants

A Dutchman is planning a trip up Mount Everest later this year without what might seem a key piece of gear: long pants. According to West Australian newspaper, Wim Hof, above, known as "Iceman" because he likes to do things like sit in huge glasses of ice, plans to take the long walk in shorts. He has already made it 24, 000 feet up the 29, 028-foot mountain in the casual wear. Heck, he made it to 22, 000 feet in open sandals. Oh, and his walk is one-way: He plans to return to the bottom on a paraglider. Hof has been fighting a foot injury suffered last year while running in the Arctic Circle. Barefoot. Really.

Weird, not illegal

Man gets kick out of asking for abuse

Canadian police are looking for a man who has approached at least three women and asked them to kick him in the ... well, there. The police point out that, technically, it isn't illegal to ask someone to kick you in the groin, but they are generally uncomfortable with where the request might be leading. "That kind of behavior tends to be a precursor to sexual assault, " said Sgt. Cate Welsh.

Here, kitty, kitty

If it's not bugs, it's wild leopards

Arthur Du Mosch's daughter got scared by a mosquito in her bedroom, so she asked if she could sleep in his room. Little did she know that a wild leopard was going to jump in that room. The wild cat jumped through the window of the home in southern Israel, apparently after the family cat, which was also in the bed. Du Mosch was able to catch and restrain the old, weak big cat until authorities arrived. After a checkup, the cat will probably be returned to the wild.

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

[Last modified May 29, 2007, 00:43:20]

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