Monday 04/25/11

Human Interest News   —   Posted on April 25, 2011

zebrasDon’t think of them as zebras — they’re just walking bar codes.
Scientists studying the behavior of zebras, tigers and giraffes in the wild have a new tool — a scanner that identifies individual animals by their stripes. The researchers take a digital photo of the beast they’re interested in, upload it to the “StripeSpotter” database, and find out if it’s who they think it is.

Just as no two human fingerprints are alike, the markings on zebra, giraffes, tigers, and other be-striped creatures are unique. StripeSpotter can identify such animals by scanning their markings off photographs. Once an animal is captured in an image, the software can identify the animal from any photograph by reading its markings. The system can even pick individual beasts out of a crowd.

NYC cabbie drives 2 guys across US for $5,000
A New York City cab driver has racked up the fare of a lifetime. Mohammed Alam is being paid $5,000 to drive a pair of friends to Los Angeles. The trio left Saturday night and had reached Las Vegas by Thursday. Investment banker John Belitsky, of Leonia, N.J., tells the New York Post that the idea was hatched during a birthday celebration for Dan Wuebben of Queens. Belitsky said they wanted to do something “magical.” When they decided on a cab ride to California, they found Alam at LaGuardia Airport and brokered the deal. The two friends haven’t decided how they’ll get back yet. As for the cab driver, he says a friend will meet him in Los Angeles and help him make the drive home.

The eggheads who run Seattle public schools have taken political correctness to a new level. The term “Easter egg” has been banned, and kids and teachers now have to refer to them as “Spring Spheres.” The administrators who decided on the decree should invest some school funds in a dictionary. An egg is not a sphere, which is defined as a perfectly round object.

Government gone mad
A regional agency in Florida is spending taxpayer funds on red superhero capes to inspire the unemployed to get jobs. So far, its “Cape-A-Bility Challenge” has shelled out more than $14,000 on capes for job seekers. It also paid $2,300 for foam cutouts of a cartoon character it calls “Dr. Evil Unemployment.” Gary Earl, who heads the agency, Central Florida Workforce, acknowledged “not everyone will agree on creative strategy.”

Maybe she wanted to set up piano lessons for her “kid.”
A goat walked into a music store in Ammon, Idaho, and promptly made friends with the staff and patrons. Clerk Lorri Bridges described it as “adorable.” Staffers named the goat Beethoven, and it’s at an animal shelter awaiting adoption.

From The Boston Herald and The New York Post. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. Visit the websites at and