The mountain rescue unfolded like a graceful ballet.
Pasadena, Calif., cops saved two-dozen Caltech students in tutus, Superman capes and other weird attire after they got stuck on the Mount Wilson Toll Road during a hazing stunt, according to The Pasadena Star-News.
A representative for the California Institute of Technology students — known worldwide for genius-level IQs — said the rituals' organizers didn't know the road had been covered last year by a landslide.
"You've got to remember that common sense is not factored into the intelligence quotient," Deputy Greg Gabriel, who leads the Altadena Search and Rescue team, told the Star-News.
Caltech sophomore Nick Goeden told the paper the annual "Mount Wilson Night," when freshmen are initiated into the school's Page House dorm, kicked off without a hitch Monday night.
The fraternity treated the male and female freshmen to a huge feast, clad them in tutus and capes, paraded them around Pasadena, and then took them to the Mount Wilson Observatory for a 10-mile trek down the road.
Rescuers got a call about the party of "geniuses" around 3 a.m. after the group got stranded in Eaton Canyon a quarter-mile from the bottom — with a landslide blocking their path.
Gabriel told The Star-News the "gifted" students didn't bring warm clothes, flashlights or other important supplies.
However, he told the paper they had all kinds of goofy "distinctive headgear — hats with antennas and horns, that kind of stuff."
"Going up those trails in the middle of the night without any safety equipment and no lighting is pretty stupid," Gabriel told The Star-News. "We've had washouts. If they took a wrong trail or fell off that trail, it's hundreds of feet down."
OK, What's the Secret Ingredient?
You know, this sliced ham is leaving a bad taste in my mouth.
A British meat processor mistakenly listed dog feces as one of the ingredients on packages of sliced ham — and started desperately trying to recall the product Tuesday, according to United Press International.
Mick Woods, 34, lost his appetite when he read the list of ingredients on the side of the $1.75 "premium" package of ham, he told The Mirror.
Among the ingredients "Dog [excrement]," or another word for such excrement, was listed, he told the newspaper.
Cops arrested a 21-year-old man on suspicion of tampering with the label -- who was bailed by police as detectives continued to investigate, according the BBC.
"A 21-year-old man from Salford, Greater Manchester, was arrested on suspicion of making claims to have made goods appear contaminated," a Greater Manchester Police spokesman told the BBC.
Woods said he and his wife had a good laugh at the label — but didn't eat any of the ham.
Officials at Manchester meat manufacturer H.R. Hargreaves & Son are scrambling to recall all of the packages listing the "extra ingredient" before they make it to consumers.
— Thanks to Out There reader Kirk L.
Bird Watching Is Simply Intoxicating
VIENNA, Austria (AP) — Experts who conducted tests on 40 songbirds found dead in Vienna say they didn't die of bird flu as initially feared, but slammed into windows after becoming intoxicated from eating fermented berries.
The birds — whose remains were carefully examined to ensure they were not victims of avian influenza — had livers so diseased "they looked like they were chronic alcoholics," Sonja Wehsely, a spokeswoman for Vienna's veterinary authority, told Austrian television Thursday.
All died of broken necks after slamming into windowpanes, apparently after gorging themselves on berries that had begun to rot, turning the juice inside to alcohol, Wehsely said. She said the juice probably continued to ferment as the birds digested the berries, causing them to become disoriented and fly into the panes.
Their discovery last month in a residential neighborhood of Vienna had triggered concerns that bird flu had reached the Austrian capital.
— Thanks to Out There readers Jennifer S. and Jennifer G.
Geez, This Billy Goat's Gruff!
ROUND O, S.C. (AP) — A normally pleasant billy goat turned gruff and, for his troubles, was zapped three times with a Taser gun. Dodge the billy goat snapped a leash and charged at Dawn Pinette, knocking her to the ground last Wednesday about 35 miles west of Charleston.
"All I could do was grab his horns and scream bloody murder," Pinette, 38, said.
Her daughter called police and Colleton County Deputy Jeff Scott arrived to try to help Pinette up. But the goat bullied his way through and the deputy used his Taser.
At first, Pinette thought the goat was dead.
"Within a few seconds he was back up and going after him again," she said.
Deputies were finally able to get the goat in the back of a pickup truck, but not before stunning it twice more.
It's apparently not the first time a Taser has been used to subdue an animal.
Steve Tuttle, a spokesman for Taser International, said he has heard a Taser being used on two moose in the Yukon as well as on a bear.
"An ostrich would be the oddest one," Tuttle said.
The goat was owned by one of Pinette's neighbors who plans to find him a new home, authorities said. That's fine with Pinette.
"He's too old for goat burgers," she said.
— Thanks to Out There reader Lorilei P.
Horse-Puncher in Deep Doodoo
OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A 24-year-old man could be shoveling horse manure as part of his punishment for punching a police horse.
Butte County Superior Court Judge Stephen Benson sentenced Robert William Huff, of Chico, to 20 hours of community service and 24 hours in jail after he pleaded no contest Tuesday to a charge of assaulting a police horse.
The horse, named "Bailey," was helping police control fraternity party crowds last Labor Day when Huff allegedly backhanded it in the face. Huff's attorney, William Short, said the horse had stepped on Huff's foot and was he was trying to get it off.
"There was never any malicious intent," Short said.
District attorney Mike Ramsey said he hopes Huff's probation will be spent "shoveling horse manure at the Chico police mounted unit's training grounds."
— Thanks to Out There reader Don W.
I Guess Oil Have to Help Clean Up Your House
BETHPAGE, N.Y. (AP) — A suburban New York couple came home to find that at least 50 gallons of heating oil had been pumped into their house, rendering it uninhabitable, after a company made the delivery to the wrong address.
A driver for the Benit Fuel Oil company on Tuesday mistakenly pumped the oil into the family's home on Long Island through a long-idle filler pipe after misreading the address on a bill, said Juliann and Edward Tesoriero, who were forced from their home by the error.
The oil flooded their basement and rendered the house unlivable, the couple said. Everything in the basement — including carpeting, furniture and pictures — was ruined.
"When we came home, we smelled it," said Juliann Tesoriero. "There was liquid on the floor of the basement and we said, 'Oh my God, it's oil.'"
Benit General Manager Dennis Barlow said the driver pumped 50 gallons of oil through the pipe before realizing the mistake less than a minute into the delivery. The Tesorieros estimated it was 150 gallons.
"We are doing everything we can for the people," Barlow said. "We hired a company to restore the house."
The homeowners said they had switched from oil to natural gas about 35 years ago, although the pipe on their property remained intact.
And They Didn't Catch Them for a Year...
MARTINEZ, Calif. (AP) — A married couple pleaded no contest to charges they ran a brothel across the street from a Concord police station, Contra Costa County authorities said. Debra Watts, 52, will serve one year of home detention after pleading to three felony counts of pimping and pandering, prosecutor Jose Marin said Monday.
Her husband, Ernest Watts, 63, pleaded to one misdemeanor count of maintaining a house of prostitution, Marin said.
Investigators said the couple ran the brothel for a year in an apartment located a few hundred feet from the Concord police station and used the Internet to solicit clients.
Police raided the apartment in January of 2005, six months after an informant tipped them off in exchange for leniency in a pending fraud case, according to a search warrant affidavit.
Surveillance of the apartment revealed a Monday-through-Friday operation in which women would arrive by 10 a.m. and leave by 7 p.m. Men would enter and leave throughout the day, staying for about 30 minutes at a time, according to the affidavit.
The women charged $160 for every half-hour and Debra Watts would take half, according to the affidavit.
A third defendant, Michelle Secrist, 22, of Vacaville, pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of prostitution.
The couple, who lived in Fairfield but recently moved to Las Vegas, will be prohibited from working in any business related to prostitution as part of their probation.
— Thanks to Out There readers Don W. and Derek H.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Andrew Hard.
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