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The skinny

Published July 28, 2007




Five Chinese men, who are apparently terrible at math, are on trial, facing charges of embezzling $6.7-million from the bank where two of them worked. Agence France-Presse reports that a vault manager got the idea that he could "borrow" about $26,000, use it to play the lottery, then replace the money from his assumed winnings and keep the profits. The problem was that it worked the first time. So he got bold, enlisted his co-worker's help, and took $6.7-million. They lost $6.2-million of it before they realized that it wasn't going to work this time. They tried to disappear, but police found them. The three other men are charged with helping them. Though none appear to have offered the help of asking, "Are you insane?"

She won big, and has big plans

Australia's reports that a woman in Tasmania was the big winner in a $10-million lottery drawing. "I then checked our ticket and was stunned to see that I had the winning numbers," said the woman, who has kept her identity a secret. No doubt you've spent time day-dreaming about what you might buy if you hit that kind of windfall, and this woman is no different. "The weather down here is really cold, so I'll buy a new set of thermals underwear before we do anything with the money," she said.


Unidentified frozen objects hit Iowa

Even in Iowa, it's weird to get an ice storm in July. And when the ice is coming down in huge chunks, one reportedly 50 pounds, its just downright strange. "It sounded like a bomb!" said 78-year-old Jan Kenkel, above, after a big chunk of ice crashed through the roof of her Dubuque home and into her TV room. Investigators from the FAA plan to see if the chunks are something that fell from a plane. It could be ice that forms on the outside and falls off, or, well, stuff from the rest rooms that the plane drops in flight sometimes. Geology experts are also looking into the possibility that they were megacryometeors, which is a really cool word for humongous hailstones.


Apparently, fake IDs spur drinking

In May, we reported on a groundbreaking study at the University of Missouri-Columbia that found that young adults who were binge drinkers made poor decisions. Well, now there are more results from that insightful study: Turns out that heavy drinking among students under 21 is much higher among those with fake IDs. Not only that, but students who acquire a fake ID often start drinking more than before they had a fake ID. The overall study was funded by a $2.3-million grant from the National Institutes of Health, but Kenneth Sher, a professor at the school, said that the fake ID study was ancillary and that the cost of it made it "essentially a freebie."

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at

[Last modified July 28, 2007, 01:16:27]

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