By The Editors of WorldMag.com
Built not to last
Even with an “unarticulated recyclable-box” design as described by United Nations architects, a 175,000-square-foot complex will cost the UN roughly $150 million to build-only to be demolished in 2013. The expensive temporary structure to be built on the UN’s midtown Manhattan property will allow the international organization to renovate its aging headquarters. When renovations to the UN’s headquarters on the East River are complete, the structure will be razed and replaced with a lawn. According to a 2006 internal report, the United States government contributes about one-fifth of the United Nations budget.
Booked over a book
Police arrested a 39-year-old woman Jan. 22 after she failed to return a library book she checked out from the Jesup, Iowa, Public Library in April 2008. The woman, Shelly Koontz of Independence, Iowa, was charged with fifth-degree theft. Court records indicate both library officials and law enforcement attempted to contact Koontz to ask her to return the book and pay the library fine. Koontz spent two hours in jail before posting $250 bond.
Those who live and work near a certain Twin Falls, Idaho, storage tank found themselves in a sticky situation Jan. 22. The leaky tank allowed nearly 10,000 gallons of gooey cattle feed to ooze into a neighboring auto repair shop and a trailer park. The storage tank owned by feed supply company Performance Plus held feed made mostly of molasses. After the spill, Performance Plus said it hired a backhoe operator to help clean up the mess, which might take up to two weeks.
A student forever
If knowledge is power, a 67-year-old Kalamazoo, Mich., man might be one of the most powerful men around. After earning 27 college degrees-two associates degrees, one bachelor’s degree, 20 master’s degrees, three specialist’s degrees, and one doctorate-Michael Nicholson says he’s not close to quitting. Nicholson, who says he’s retired, is working on two more master’s degrees from Grand Valley State University. Prior to his 16-year career as a substitute teacher, Nicholson used tuition discounts he earned at Western Michigan University while working as a parking-meter attendant for just over a decade. “I find that the intellectual stimulation and the acquaintances that I have at the intellectual level make it really worthwhile,” Nicholson told the Kalamazoo Gazette, noting he’ll keep pursuing degrees so long as he can make it to class.
Unlike some taxpayers, one Queens, N.Y., property owner probably won’t need to reach too far into his pocket to foot this bill. Victor Serby, who owns property in Queens but lives in Woodmere, N.Y., received a bill from New York City’s finance department in the amount of 23 cents. City officials say the tiny charge was one of 10,000 bills the city mistakenly sent out trying to collect amounts less than $5. According to city records, the finance department will book a minus-62 percent return on investment considering the 60-cent capital cost of postage, paper, and processing per bill mailed. And, though the Long Island patent attorney paid his back taxes all at once, the city’s installment plan could have allowed him to mail in a 12-cent payment in January and the remaining 11 cents in April.