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The skinny

By Times Wires
Published January 1, 2008


The trash man

Man saves his garbage, hopes it becomes art

Ari Derfel of Berkeley, Calif., above, decided to take stock of his life last year. And by "take stock," we mean "save all his garbage," just to see how much he generates. "When we throw something away, what does 'away' mean?" Derfel said. "There's no such thing as 'away.'" It turns out, he generated about 96 cubic feet of it. And it's all in bins in the kitchen and living room of his apartment. He composts food scraps, so it's not too smelly. Theoretically. Derfel, 35, plans to donate all his ... stuff ... to a sculptor. As soon as he can find one that works in media that mixed.

Dumb robbers

Addresses doom two burglars

- Police in Amityville, N.Y., saw a guy riding a bike while carrying a bunch of items. One of the items was a GPS unit. When he was evasive to their questions, they looked at the GPS unit, and pressed the "home" button. It displayed a nearby address. The officers went there and learned that the GPS belonged to the homeowner. The bike rider was arrested.

- Police in New Bedford, Mass., arrested Daniel Cabral, 22, on charges of burglary of a building at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. He thought he was pretty sly and gave them a fake address. He was released after his arraignment, and on his way home, he was robbed at gunpoint. He reported the robbery to police and gave his real address. Armed with this information, police got a search warrant for his real home and found some of the stolen merchandise.

Grand theft

Someone stole Hungary's beach

If you happen to see a beach that is somewhere there didn't used to be a beach, it's possible that it was stolen from Hungary. The city of Mindszentas had fabricated a beach on the riverside, complete with huts, chairs and almost 8,000 cubic yards of sand. It was closed for the season, but someone checking on it found that it was no longer there to check on. "I would have thought it was impossible to steal an entire beach," said council member Etelka Repas. "It had totally disappeared." They are looking for it, but officials suspect that with the new open borders among European Union countries, the beach is long gone. "It has probably been shipped over the border now without any checks being made where it will be easier to get rid of."

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

[Last modified December 31, 2007, 22:01:27]

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