Beer Guts Save Lives


Beer-guzzling bubbas everywhere will be happy to know that spare tire might just spare your life — if you happen to be a man in a car accident.

New research suggests that guys with a little more to love around the middle are more likely to survive a serious car crash than those who maintain a slender bod, HealthDay News reports.

As cruel fate would have it, the study says women in wrecks don’t benefit from the bulge at all.

The research says that since women tend to gain weight in their thighs and bottoms, they don’t have the car crash cushion in the right area to protect them from the impact of an accident (life is unfair).

But before the guys get giddy about growing a gut and start washing down donuts with jugs of Bud, take heed:

Dr. Shankuan Zhu, an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the lead author of the study, warns that there is a “cut-off point” where packing a pooch becomes dangerous rather than protective. D’oh!

To Whom Does the Bling Belong?

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Marlene Kiraly asked her husband to hide the 3 1/2 karat, uninsured diamond ring her mother had given her just before she died 23 years ago. Problem was, he did such a good job no one could remember where it was.

That was until John Kilcooley was renovating a bathroom in his home last month. Tucked away in a bag, behind a light fixture, Kilcooley found a 3 1/2 karat diamond ring.

Instead of keeping it, he tracked down the home's previous owner who sold the house in 2004. His wife called Kiraly and asked if she lost something during the move.

"She started crying and said her mother's ring," John Kilcooley said. "We could have sold the ring, but if I would have lost something or she would have lost something, we'd want somebody to track us down."

The Kiralys unsuccessfully searched the house before they moved and had tried numerous ways to jog their memory.

"I went to a psychic a month ago to find out where the ring is, and she said my husband hid it really well and I would find it," Kiraly, 48, of Lake Worth said.

As a reward, the Kiralys said they would fix the Kilcooleys' hurricane-damaged outdoor screens.

Thanks to Out There reader Shannon O.

Faster Than a Speeding ... Mayor?

COTTAGEVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina mayor who worked to erase his town's reputation as a speed trap has fallen prey to the trap himself ... clocking in at 103 mph in a 55 mph zone.

"Thank goodness I'm not trying to get re-elected," said Mayor Bert Reeves.

The mayor was given a $375 ticket Wednesday after a Colleton County sheriff's deputy stopped his 2005 Ford F-250 on state Highway 303. Reeves told the deputy he thought he was driving about 80 mph, according to an incident report.

Deputy Robert Cook wrote that Reeves has had numerous traffic violations and requested the ticket not be reduced.

AAA Carolinas recognized Cottageville in December as one of the state's top five communities with populations of less than 10,000 dedicated to traffic safety. The town is about 45 miles northwest of Charleston.

Since Reeves has been in office, Cottageville has reduced its reliance on revenue from speeding tickets.

The mayor declined to discuss the ticket, but said he is not seeking another term. "I will have done my public service," he said.

Because Music Is the Crooked Man's Kryptonite

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Residents of one Hartford neighborhood hope Beethoven and Mozart will help drive drug dealers and prostitutes out of a local park.

Activists propose playing recordings of classical music in Barnard Park in hopes of annoying petty criminals so much that they'll leave. They also hope the music will make the park more pleasant for other people once it is cleaned up.

Resident Carol Coburn said she came up with the idea after reading about similar efforts in West Palm Beach, Fla., where she said crime decreased as much as 40 percent in parks where classical music was played. Cities in Canada and Australia have reported success with similar efforts.

But to University of California-Los Angeles musicologist Robert Fink, the plan makes Hartford's crime-fighting efforts look desperate.

"Beethoven is not going to save you," he said. It's ironic that "some of the greatest composers in history are now being viewed as some kind of bug spray or disinfectant."

The plan still needs city approval and funding.

She Better Watch Her Back ... An Elephant NEVER Forgets

WACO, Texas (AP) — A 25-year-old woman climbed past barriers and into an elephant's zoo exhibit, then crawled out with minor injuries after the 6,000-pound animal smacked her with its trunk.

"That's how an elephant reacts to something they would perceive as a threat," said Cameron Park Zoo director Jim Fleshman.

After saying she wanted to play with the elephant, the woman climbed over a 3-feet-high wood-and-wire fence, scaled an 8-foot-tall artificial rock structure and bypassed an electric wire before jumping into the exhibit Thursday afternoon, Fleshman said. A moat extends around most of the exhibit.

After the woman got out, fire and emergency crews took her to a hospital with minor injuries, including scrapes on her side and arm. Waco Fire Capt. Greg Kistler said the woman, whose name was not released, was visiting the zoo with a child and another woman.

The exhibit contains two female African elephants that have been at the zoo at least nine years. Only one of the elephants struck the woman.

Both animals were stressed after the incident and were moved to a private area for part of the afternoon, and one didn't want to return to the exhibit even later in the day. But both were back for visitors to see Friday, Fleshman said.

"They're not used to somebody being in their space," he said.

Thanks to Out There reader Shannon O.

Compiled by's Taylor Timmins.

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