Nobody Wants to Be in Tom Hanks Movie

The makers of the Hollywood blockbuster "The Da Vinci Code" are looking for a bunch of nobodies to appear in the Tom Hanks movie, but nobody wants to be in it.

They would be fed and paid for their time, but according to, in association with the Lincolnshire Echo, London-based casting company Mad Dog claims it has a serious shortage of local men over 40 who want to appear as extras in the thriller, which is based on the best-selling book.

The successful candidates will get to work with double Oscar-winner Hanks, French actress Audrey Tautou, star of the hit film "Amelie," and Oscar-winning director Ron Howard.

The shortage of middle-aged men was revealed in e-mails sent to major employers in Lincoln.

In these, Mad Dog casting director Ilenka Jelowicki said: "We are working on an American feature film shooting in Lincoln in August. We have been casting in Lincoln but we are still desperately looking for men aged 40 and over to take part."

Lincolnshire County Council PR support worker Ian Pilcher got one of the Mad Dog e-mails and is excited to get involved. But the 46-year-old from Lincoln said he could understand why there is a shortage of men.

"Most of us are working and probably don't have time for auditions like this," he said. "It's also school holiday time and family men will be off with their children.

"Add to that the embarrassment factor and you're not going to get many of us. I guess some people might view it as a bit of an unmanly thing to do. But I'd love it -- it would be a fascinating experience."

Mad Dog held extras auditions at Lincoln Drill Hall two weeks ago. Drill Hall administrator Gavin Street said the response had been fantastic.

"We had more than 500 people -- it was absolutely packed and there was a real buzz about the place," said Street. "Everyone was talking about the book and the stars that were going to be in the film."

Report: Yoga Stirs Tempers in Norway Prison

OSLO, Norway (AP) — A Norwegian prison has stopped giving yoga sessions to inmates after finding that some of the prisoners became more aggressive and agitated, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

The yoga classes were introduced on at trial basis earlier this year at Ringerike prison, which holds some of Norway's most dangerous criminals.

Prison officials had hoped mediation and breathing exercises would help inmates contain their anger, but it appeared to have the opposite effect.

Some inmates became more agitated and aggressive, while others developed sleeping problems as a result of the yoga sessions, prison warden Sigbjoern Hagen told newspaper Ringerikes Blad. Hagen said that deep breathing exercises could make the inmates more dangerous, by unblocking their psychological barriers.

Man Pays Speeding Tickets in Pennies

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — A man ticketed for speeding thought he'd get even by paying his fine with 12,000 pennies. But the judge had the final word by making him wait for the change to be counted.

"If the person is mad at the cop, why take it out on court administration?" said Clay County District Judge John Pearson. "They're punishing the wrong people."

Rather than count the small garbage can full of pennies by hand, Court Administrator Jan Cosette took them to the bank, where they were put in a counting machine. She returned with $120 in cash and some extra pennies, which were given to the Seattle man, who waited in the courthouse.

He was cited for driving 70 mph in a 55 mph zone March 5.

Family Finds Python Under Dishwasher

SEDALIA, Mo. (AP) — The new residents of a Sedalia duplex were surprised to learn a 4-foot-6-inch constrictor didn't move out when the old residents left.

The family made the discovery Sunday when the ball python slithered out from under the dishwasher. The snakes like warm, humid air, making the dishwasher a perfect place to hide.

Stefanie Leafty had just told her two children — ages 5 and 3 — to get ready for bed when she saw something on the floor underneath the dishwasher.

"I thought it was a toy, and I was going to pick it up," she said.

Leafty says her mixed-breed Jack Russell terrier ran to sniff the snake, and that's when it moved. Leafty pulled the dog away way by its hind legs and told her children to run out of the house.

"I've never screamed so high in my life," she said.

Leafty's husband, Cordell, and their neighbor, Larry King, pulled the dishwasher out from under the counter and found the snake curled up on top. They dropped it into a pillowcase, and the family now plans to sell it and split the profits with King.

A previous renter in the duplex admitted the snake was his. He said it had escaped and he decided he didn't want it anymore.

Leafty, who recalls seeing a snake cage in the home before she moved into the duplex, said she started getting mad when the shock wore off.

"Could it have been in my kids' room while they were sleeping? Could it have been underneath the couch?" Stefanie Leafty asked. "That's the kind of stuff that scares me."

Nudist to Be Buried Fully Clothed

PEKIN, Illinois (AP) — Even in death, Robert Norton's nakedness is a no-no. Norton, 82, spent four decades in and out of court fighting repeated arrests for gardening and wandering his yard in the nude. He said he wanted to be buried without any clothes, but his family is sending him to eternity wearing gray slacks and a matching shirt.

"He's not going to be buried in the nude," said his brother, Jack Norton, a minister.

Robert Norton's family said they hope to lay the years of controversy to rest Thursday when the World War II veteran is buried. Norton, who died Monday, had fought 20 indecency arrests since 1962, arguing that he had a constitutional right to public nakedness.

Relatives say Norton suffered emotional problems after serving in the Army Air Forces during World War II. Prosecutors counter that he was just stubborn.

Brenda Loete, who lived next door to Norton for a dozen years before he moved into a nursing home, said she never spoke to her neighbor.

"We didn't really know him. We just had him arrested," Loete said. "Normally, if we had him arrested in the spring he'd be gone for the summer and we wouldn't have to worry about him until the next spring."

Compiled by's Jennifer D'Angelo.

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