Couch potatoes: Mark your calendars


Norwegian sheep were last in the news more than a dozen years ago, when a resurgent wolf population killed hundreds, including 63 at Anne Ulvik’s farm in Stor Elvdal County. Now, one lucky lamb will be coming to national fame as NRK television stages National Knitting Night on Nov. 1. (Bjoern Ove Holmberg, LA Times 1/28/00)

Norway’s NRK television network, the folks who brought you 12 hours of a crackling fire in February and 5 1/2 days of a cruise ship steaming along the Arctic coast in 2011, plans to carry five hours of live knitting as its next “Slow TV” offering.

The Friday night prime-time event on Nov. 1 is a bid by Norwegian wool shearers, yarn spinners and avid knitters to capture the world record from Australia for producing a sweater, from sheep’s back to human’s.

But it also reflects a national penchant for savoring simplicity and celebrating the mundane. Norwegians tend to pride themselves on being boring, claiming modesty, reticence and respect for tradition as national virtues.

And “Slow TV” has found a receptive audience among the serene and often snowbound.

“You would think it’s boring television, but we have quite good ratings for these programs, so obviously there’s an audience for it,” Kristian Elster, a journalist with NRK’s international affairs department, told the English-language Norwegian website the Local.

UFO in Maine turns out to be restaurant light

image1080bSeveral Augusta residents called police and the local newspaper to report a UFO hovering over the capital city this week.

But there were no little green men invading. Just chimichangas and fajitas.

Deputy Police Chief Jared Mills tells the Kennebec Journal the source of the UFO rumor turned out to be a spotlight being used by Margaritas Mexican Restaurant to celebrate its reopening.

Manager Rob Michaud says the restaurant recently completed renovations and was shut down for about two weeks. 

Mills says police asked the restaurant to shut off the light because of the concerns.

Rare white lion cub shows off its voice at Belgrade Zoo

It may be the cutest roar you’ll ever hear.

A tiny female white lion living at the Belgrade Zoo in Serbia tests out its voice in a new heartwarming video released by The Associated Press.

The fluffy beast, which weighs just 2.8 pounds, crawls around in a crate and takes careful steps over a pillow as it squeaks out several “roars.”

The adorable cub, born last week, does not yet have a name. It’s mother, Masha, came to reside at the zoo from South Africa in 2006. The cub’s father, Wambo, has also been a popular attaction at the zoo for several years.

White lions are a rare mutation of a species found in that region. Sadly, their bright color often makes them easy targets for predators and poachers, which is why they are endangered.

They were first seen by explorers in the 1930s, but were not confirmed to actually exist until 1975 when they were first photographed, according to The Global White Lion Protection Trust.

Watch the roaring lion cub below:

From The LA Times and The NY Daily News.